Example Essay Plan

A2 Module 4
Essay – style Question
June 2004
13.2 IS and Organisations
Essay Title ……
Suggested Essay Plan
Information systems are the life-blood of any organisation.
Discuss this statement with the aid of examples. Include in your discussion:
the rôle and relevance of an information system to aid decision making;
the development and life-cycle of an information system;
factors whic lead to the success or failure of an information system.
[not essential to write it out
but it helps to clarify your ideas and ensure you fully understand what is being asked]
 Increased reliance upon information systems in huge variety of organisations
– give examples show the range, e.g. Supermarkets: EPOS linked to stock
control, Industry: quality control systems, etc.
 Organisations rely on information to aid decision making, give example, e.g.
Supermarkets: product promotion, targeted at customers
 Transferring or up-grading from one information system needs to be carefully
handled to prevent problems
 Aim is to create effective and usable system – mention commercial benefits
In this essay, I will first show why good quality information systems are so important to
an organisation. Then I will consider …
[one paragraph for general points & indication of what you are going to cover in the essay]
 Define an Information System
Rôle And Relevance of an Information System:
 State how an Information System differs from a Management Information
System and a Data Processing System
 Link systems to management layers in an organisation – Give examples
 Source of information
 Importance of quality information - Accurate, concise, relevant, up-to-date,
 Decision making - Data collection, Presentation of information
Development Life Cycle of an Information System:
 Aim – effective, efficient, usable system
 Discuss importance of each stage – Give examples
 Compare approaches – Waterfall model
Success/Failure of an Information System:
 Compare and contrast different factors
 Link successful factors to stages in information system life cycle, e.g. Poor
user documentation resulting in the system not being used effectively
 Comment on effect on an organisation of a poor information system, e.g.
London Ambulance Service
 Increased reliance by organisations
 Information systems key to commercial success or efficient running of an
 Only as good as the design of the system
 Poor systems costly, e.g. staff time, budget, lost sales, etc.
 Important to ensure success of system when it is introduced or developed
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