Identify the basic components of the information system: hardware, software, data, processes, and people, and how these components are used to support strategic decision making.

Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (IFSM201)
Class Project

Purpose of this Assignment

The Class Project is the most significant assignment in this course, Concepts and Applications of
Information Technology. As such, it accounts for 58% of the course points. This assignment is
comprised of two deliverables; a SWOT Analysis and a Presentation. The SWOT Analysis is due
in Week 4 (worth 33% of course grade), and the Presentation is due in Week 8 (worth 25% of
course grade).
This assignment gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to research, evaluate,
and describe business strategy focused on information technology tools and services. This
assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes:

• Identify the basic components of the information system: hardware, software, data,
processes, and people, and how these components are used to support strategic
decision making.

• Apply information technology tools for research, data gathering and information
analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, and communicating information that aligns
with business needs and objectives.

Start Here

The Class Project for this course focuses on the evaluation of a business or organization and
how they might strengthen their operations through technology, including their information
systems. There are two parts to the Class Project; the SWOT Analysis and the Presentation. You
will use the same business/organization for both parts; however, the grade received on the
SWOT Analysis will not affect the grade for the Presentation (they are separate assignments).
Step 1: Choose a Business or Organization

To begin, choose a business or organization that you would like to evaluate – it can be where
you work, a school (UMGC), a place of worship, government entity (e.g., DMV, Secretary of
State, courthouse, etc.), or any other type of organization. Since the focus of the analysis will
involve information technology, the best type of organization to choose is one where you can
envision technology playing a key role in improving products, processes, or services.
*From this point on, the instructions focus on the first deliverable, the SWOT Analysis*

Step 2: The SWOT Analysis (due week 4)
Now that you have chosen a business or organization for your Class Project, it is time to
complete the first deliverable – the SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a framework for
identifying and analyzing an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats —
SWOT stands for: Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat. Commonly used by businesses, this
tool focuses on factors that are important to strategic decision making. These factors include
both internal and external influences on the viability of the organization.
For more explanations on a SWOT Analysis, go to:

• YouTube “How to Perform a SWOT Analysis”

• Forbes: What Is A SWOT Analysis?

• SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

• Refer to the SWOT examples on Heineken and Walt Disney World (below)
You will use a SWOT analysis to help analyze the current health of your organization, and (in
week 8), you will identify possible ways the information technology could be used to make it
The SWOT analysis offers a visual way of identifying both the positive attributes of an
organization, and areas that need to be recognized and addressed. Thinking of the organization
you chose, start by filling out a simple table listing its internal strengths and weaknesses, and
external opportunities and threats.
SWOT Table:

Task: List 2-3 Strengths and 2-3 Weaknesses
Strengths and weaknesses are associated with internal resources and experiences and include:

• Characteristics of the business that give it an advantage over others in the industry.

• Positive tangible and intangible attributes, internal to an organization. ▪ Human
resources – staff, volunteers, board members, target population

• Physical resources – location, building, equipment

• Financial – products/services, other sources of income

• Activities and processes – programs and processes, online presence

• Past experiences – building blocks for learning and success, your reputation in the

Task: List 2-3 Opportunities and 2-3 Threats
Opportunities and threats are factors outside of business operations that can contribute to
either the make the organization stronger or be troublesome. The ability of a business to
identify, control, and adapt to these external factors can make it more profitable:

• Market expansion

• Complacent/aggressive competition

• Changing customer needs and tastes

• Economic swings

• Changing government deregulations
Step 3: Write the SWOT Analysis
Now that you have identified the organization you will analyze and completed a SWOT table
listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the organization, it is time to
write the analysis paper that will be submitted to your instructor/classroom.
The paper should include all of the following:

1. Title page – the title of paper, company/organization name, your name, course, and
date of submission.

2. Purpose – briefly describe what the SWOT methodology is and the
business/organization you are focusing on.

3. SWOT Analysis – include a SWOT Analysis table and describe each quadrant
(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) for your organization. Each quadrant
should be clearly identified in the analysis and the description should include the
importance of the attributes to the organization.

4. Conclusion – synthesize the findings from the SWOT analysis.

5. References – cite at least two resources with APA formatted citation and reference.
• Double spaced. Any 11- or 12-point font.

• Paper should be approximately 3-4 pages in length, excluding title page and

• Cite at least two resources with APA formatted citation and reference. Incorporate at
least two resources correctly; one reference should be from the course materials and
one reference should be external. An external resource is a resource other than those
provided in the class or textbook. Incorporate properly formatted APA citations in the

text of your document for each reference used. Then, place an APA style reference page
at the end of your document.

• Consider your audience – you are writing in the role of a business analyst and your
audience is upper management of the organization.

• Compare your work to the Grading Rubric below to be sure you have met content and
quality criteria.

• Submit your paper as a Word or PDF document to the appropriate folder under
Activities and Assessments > Assignments in the classroom.

SWOT Analysis – Examples
Read the following: Heineken and Walt Disney World SWOT Analysis
Now, let’s take the information from the article and create SWOT tables for Heineken and Walt
Disney World.
SWOT Table – Heineken:
SWOT Table – Disney World:

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