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Assignment Overview This module addresses the conditions under which systems development becomes confused with a range of other organizational problems, where the results can be less-than-optimal combinations of social and technical systems. To begin with, it will be useful to review the general topic of “organizational politics” and the conditions under which political games are played in organizations. Power and Politics https://hbr.org/1970/05/power-and-politics-in-organizational-life Egeland, B. (2011). The influence of organizational culture and politics on the project. Project Management Tips. Retrieved from http://pmtips.net/influence-organizational-culture-politics-project/ Krisgsman, M. (2008, November 6). Gartner: Office politics kill IT projects. ZNet. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/gartner-office-politics-kills-it-projects/1126 Carried to extremes, organizational politics, combined with other factors, can result in what are sometimes called “death march projects.” Here are some sources describing this phenomenon. Yourdon, E. (2004). What is a death march project and why do they happen? InformIT. Retrieved from http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=169512&seqNum=3 Yourdon, E. (2010, March 16). Death march projects in today’s hard times. Retrieved from http://www.boston-spin.org/slides/boston_spin_slides_2010_03.pdf The PPR Wiki has a discussion on this book http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?DeathMarch with a good many stories and examples. You might also want to check out the PPR Wiki on Extreme Programming In Enemy Territory http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ExtremeProgrammingInEnemyTerritory for further discussion troubled development and how to survive it. Case Assignment Read the assigned readings, supplemented if you wish with material from the optional readings and perhaps the supplementary background as well, and even other outside reading you might find by yourself to be useful. Look at this video on best practices in Project management. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00rzg3y6hJc Then write a short paper discussing how project management practices can help reduce politics and “death march projects.” Your paper should be short (5-6 pages, not including cover sheet and references) and to the point. It is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner. You are expected to: Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can. Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position — that is, establish what counterarguments can be made to your original position. Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement. By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally reaffirm your original position. Assignment Expectations Your assignment will be evaluated based on the Rubric. You will be particularly assessed on: Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly. Your informed commentary and analysis — simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper. Your ability to apply the professional language and terminology of systems design and analysis correctly and in context; you are expected to be familiar with this language and use it appropriately.


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