Decision-making and Information Politics

One of the most critical problems faced by the information technology department in virtually every organization is how to provide effective help to end-users facing problems with the technology. The help desk is the point at which every frustration, every concern, and every mistake known to humanity is brought for resolution. Typically staffed by lower-level and often new personnel, help desks often have a reputation for minimal service and buck-passing. It shouldn’t be this way, and doesn’t have to be; there’s a lot of information out there about how to effectively manage and coordinate help services, and a great deal of information about how important is to do so. But like many aspects of IT, this knowledge doesn’t always make it into the field in many organizations.

A while ago, TechRepublic ran a series on how to set up and manage help desks. You can read the series here:

“Setting up a successful help desk–physical considerations” http://www.techrepublic.com/article/setting-up-a-successful-help-desk-physical-considerations/ and

“Try these efficiency strategies when setting up a successful help desk” http://www.techrepublic.com/article/try-these-efficiency-strategies-when-setting-up-a-successful-help-desk/#

For this SLP you are expected to evaluate in a 2-3 page paper, the best strategies for a successful help desk within an organization. Identify three (3) best practices and provide some examples on how and why those strategies are important. Because this is a SLP, you are expected to discuss the topic with practical approach. Do you have experiences that you can describe about user support (as a user or as an IT person)? why were they good or bad? what suggestions do you have?

SLP assignment expectations:

Your assignment will be graded following these expectations:

– Precision: the questions asked are answered.

– Clarity: Your answers are clear and show your good understanding of the topic.

– Breadth and depth: The scope covered in your paper is directly related to the questions of the assignment and the learning objectives of the module.

– Applicability: once you complete the practical exercise, such as the visit to a web site or program testing, you correctly relate it to the theoretical concepts and the learning objectives of the module.

– Your paper is well written and the references are properly cited and listed (refer to TUI guidelines http://www.trident.edu/files/Well-Written-Paper.pdf )

– Your paper meets the page requirements not counting the cover page or the references pages.

background reading
Required Websites

Objective of IT governance: http://www.intosaiitaudit.org/intoit_articles/25_p30top35.pdf
Centralization versus Decentralization:
http://www.ppcwg.org/images/files/Federated%20Model%20White%20Paper.pdf
Different models / Roundtable discussion: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EDU03184.pdf
IT Governance Structure for a public child-welfare agency:
http://www.ppcwg.org/information-management-key-processes-governance-structure.html
University of South Florida IT Governance Structure:
http://generalcounsel.usf.edu/policies-and-procedures/pdfs/policy-0-512.pdf
Overview of Decision Making: http://www.enotes.com/business-finance-encyclopedia/decision-making
Main methods of business decision-making: http://tutor2u.net/business/organisation/decisionmaking.htm
Optional Readings

Schuman, E. (2005) The CIO Who Admitted Too Much. CIOInsight. Retrieved , from http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,1852559,00.asp

Strassmann, P.A. (1994) The Politics of Information Management: Policy Guidelines. Information Economics Press. Retrieved from http://www.infoeconomics.com/info-politics.php. Only a description available, the book in no longer available on line.

Strassmann, P.A. (2005) Check: How to Verify if You are Important. CIOInsight . July 8, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1540,1849919,00.asp

Grace, P. L. (2009). Wikis as a knowledge management tool. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(4), 64-74. Retrieved from http://lpis.csd.auth.gr/mtpx/km/material/JKM-13-4b.pdf

“Setting up a successful help desk–physical considerations” http://www.techrepublic.com/article/setting-up-a-successful-help-desk-physical-considerations/

“Try these efficiency strategies when setting up a successful help desk” http://www.techrepublic.com/article/try-these-efficiency-strategies-when-setting-up-a-successful-help-desk/#

Gulledge, T.R. and Haszko, R.A. (N.D.) The Information Technology Enabled Organization: A Major Social Transformation in the U.S.A. George Mason University. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/most/gulled.htm

Website: http://www.strassmann.com/. This site has great articles about latest issues of information technology management.

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