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How to Effectively Manage Information Systems

The following questions are largely based upon the concepts of the textbook or lecture slides.  To develop your answer, please consult with the lecture material first to be in line with the presented MIS concepts.  Each question will count to 3 points, to make 24 points in total.

[Chapter 6.  Databases and Information Management]

  1. We want to set up a database to record the business data for a small auto service center. 
  2. To compose a database structure, we think three tables initially needed such as CUSTOMER, VEHICLE and SERVICE.  The VEHICLE table can be set like VEHICLE (VehicleID, Maker, Model, Year, VehicleType).  How the data fields for the tables CUSTOMER and SERVICE would be set up?  You need to show the primary key underlined and foreign key in italic letters as shown in table VEHICLE.

VEHICLE (VehicleID, Maker, Model, Year, VehicleType)



  • The above table, VEHICLE contains the data fields for a general vehicle type description.  If we want to specify a particular vehicle information for the customer, we need to add more data fields to specify the VEHICLE that is unique.  How the data fields for the VEHICLE table can be updated?


  • In the table SERVICE, multiple services might be required for a vehicle work order.  To handle the multiple services, we may need another table, SERVICE_DETAILS, to put each individual service, in addition to SERVICE table.  What would be appropriate data fields for the table SERVICE_DETAILS?  How the table SERVICE needs to be changed to link with the SERVICE_DETAILS table?


[Chapter 7.Telecommunications]

  • Explain how the Packet Switching can use the communication capacity in much more efficient way than the Circuit Switching, especially for voice communications without much losing signal quality.


  • Wireless Sensor Network places many sensors in the field to pick up the signals that are important for security purpose.  If all these sensors are going to report to the monitoring system at the same time, the data traffic will be very heavy.  How the traffic congestion situation of the wireless sensor network can be alleviated?


[Chapter 12.  Enhancing Decision Making]

  • The Balanced Scorecard Framework is a short list of metrics to measure the overall business status.  The metrics are divided by four categories: Financial, Business Processes, Customers, and Employees.  Let’s set up a Balanced Scorecard for a grocery market.  Suggest at least two  new metrics relevant to the grocery market for the categories of Business Processes, Customers, Employees, other than the metrics shown in Figure 12-7 of the lecture slides (Slide 12.35).

Metrics for Business Processes:

Metrics for Customers:

Metrics for Employees:

[Chapter 14.Building Information System]

  • A US Army Program Management Office (PMO) selected two Prime Contractors for developing a new Army Wireless Information System.  One company performs program planning, software development, and Tactical Vehicle development, while the other smaller company is responsible for System Architecture development.  The PMO has set various levels of integrated teams for collaborative working environment between the Government and two Prime companies.   As the development is on the way, a serious problem has aroused.  The software team in the first Prime company was not going to use the database structure set by the database development team of the second Prime company, and tried to build their own database system for the system software.  The different approaches between two teams that belong to different companies are almost halting the whole system development effort. 
  1. In this situation, how do you think the US Army PMO should do to resolve this deadlock situation?  As the Army PMO provides funding for the whole program, it has the power to control Prime contractors but lacks technical understanding of the issue.  Provide your idea to resolve this issue in terms of organizational dimension.


  • What necessary actions should be taken by the Army PMO to resolve the issue?


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