MG481      Half Unit
Innovating Organisational Information Technology (formerly IS471)

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr William Venters NAB3.13


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available on the MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Management Science (Decision Sciences) and MSc in Management Science (Operational Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


A basic knowledge of computing, including hardware and software. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of the challenges of implementing and managing information systems in organisations. A short study pack of selected readings will be provided for students who require this background understanding.

Course content

The course provides students with a practical and theoretical insight into the processes and practices of developing contemporary Information Systems. The course reflects the diversity of contemporary information systems contexts; discussing how we should manage the development of complex Internet enabled systems and services. The course focuses on new technologies and practices including cloud and grid computing, open-source development, Software as a Service, Web2.0 mashups, mobile and ubiquitous information technology, technology to support knowledge work, innovating customer relationship management, mediating mutual adjustment and mass-scale mediated communities. The changing architectures of information systems towards an Internet based cloud are key themes of the course. Attention is however also given to the development of traditional ERP and information management systems which remain important in enterprises. Particular attention is given to problem structuring and problem design issues within such complex settings using Soft Systems Methodology and the Unified Modeling Language as a toolkit. Agile methods form a core part of the teaching, with Extreme Programming, Rapid Application Development and Internet-speed development contrasted with development formalism such as the Rational Unified Model and Capability Maturity Models. To ensure that students gain practical experience we include a two-week intensive "bootcamp" group project in which outside consultants present a "real-world" case study of systems development and the groups undertake to rapidly analyse and design a proposal for a technical solution. This allows students to support their theoretical understanding with a strong practical experience of the pressures and difficulties of systems development today. The "bootcamp" group project provides a realistic experience of developing systems within a consulting role, and is supported by classes and question and answer session and online discussion. Students gain an understanding of the benefits and difficulties of working within a small team under pressure.


20 hours of lectures, 5 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

A reading week will take place in Week 6. There will be no teaching during this week.

Formative coursework

Students discuss articles, practice systems development techniques, and critically evaluate their success. Formative feedback is provided on class participation. There is also a mock exam in January shared with IS470 and IS472.

Indicative reading

Avgerou, C. & T. Cornford, Developing Information Systems: Concepts, Issues and Practice. Macmillan, 1998; Avison, D. & G. Fitzgerald, Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools, McGraw Hill, 2006; Beck, K. and C. Andres (2005). Extreme Programming Explained. Addison-Wesley; Benkler, Y. (2006): The Wealth of Networks. Yale University Press; Carr, N. G. (2008): The Big Switch: Rewiring the World From Edison to Google. W. W. Norton & Co; Checkland, P. and J. Poulter (2006). Learning for Action. John Wiley and Sons; Galliers, B. & W. Currie, ed. (2011): The Oxford Handbook of Management Information Systems. Oxford University Press; Jarvis, J. (2009): What Would Google Do? Collins; Mathiassen, L., J. Pries-Heje, & O. Ngwenyama (2000): Improving Software Organizations. Addison Wesley; Monson-Haefel, R. (2009): 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know. O'Reilly Media, Inc; Pralahad, C. K. & M. S. Krishnan (2008): The New Age of Innovation. McGraw-Hill Professional; Rittinghouse, J.W. & Ransome, J.F. (2009): Cloud Computing. CRC Press; Scott, K. (2001). UML Explained. Addison-Wesley; Sommerville, I. (2010): Software Engineering. Addison Wesley. Tapscott, D. & A. D. Williams (2007): Wikinomics. Atlantic Books; Thackara, J. (2005): In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World. MIT Press; Zittrain, J. (2008): The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It. Allen Lane.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Project (50%) in the MT.

A two-hour unseen examination taken in the ST (50%). The team 'boot camp' project in the MT (50%).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills