Management & Entrepreneurship
Information systems (IS) practitioners must regularly work cross-functionally with business users when implementing enterprise systems. However, most IS higher education is not truly cross-functional in nature with students typically relying on instructors or even themselves to represent user requirements. To address this gap, we describe an ambitious multi-course project that paired students from an operations management class as business users with students from an undergraduate IS capstone course as systems developers to build an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. In doing so, we attempted to emulate the critical success factors typically encountered in realistic cross-functional systems projects as identified in existing literature, including top management support, team interaction, communication, project management, and training. We analyze post-project debriefings combined with structural modeling of student survey data to reveal moderate realization of these success factors. We also highlight opportunities for replicating and improving the project as well as review important feedback for our entire IS program.
Journal of Information Systems Education
Maloni, M., Dembla, P., Swaim, J. A. (2012). A Cross-Functional Systems Project in a IS Capstone Course. Journal of Information Systems Education, 23(3), 283-296.