Reference no: EM131268246
The overall Capstone Case paper is arranged in three distinct parts. The course provides you with directions about how to respond to, and set up, each case segment. In Module 4, all the previous segments are brought together in a final comprehensive paper, along with an addendum regarding your intended use of the MSITM degree.
The following guidelines must be followed in preparing each case segment and the overall Capstone paper.
1. The overall purpose of this Capstone Case Series is to allow you to reflect on and summarize your entire MSITM experience. In this light, the case in each module asks you to respond to unique questions highlighted by the assignment's directions. It is important to note that in each case paper you must reflect back on your various MSITM courses and bring forward/properly discuss, cite, and reference ideas and learning that support points you make in response to the assignment's unique questions. In short, use the case as an opportunity to appropriately ‘hark back' and note/cite previous important learning points. While you may cite military/corporate papers/Wikipedia, these are not academic papers. You may, however cite relevant magazine articles from CIO and other substantial IT sources. Each Capstone Case module paper must contain at least five academically sound citations. Do not turn in any Case or SLP papers without the required academically sound citations and references, as these will be graded as failing. Cases require a minimum of five academic citations and references; SLP papers a minimum of three.
2. Please recall that a key ‘organizing principle' of your entire MSITM program has been General Systems Theory and Socio-Technical Systems Theories, a concern for the structural, social, as well as technical issues apparent in IT management and supervision. Make sure elements of this perspective are brought forward and integrated/cited in your various module papers as relevant.
3. The organization you select in Module 1 as the basis for your continued discussion/issue integration in your successive individual case papers must be one where you have personal and detailed knowledge. If you do not, it will be nearly impossible to integrate bits of your learning from previous classes into the paper's structure -- you simply won't know the details. For example, organizational politics is a key element in many IT management decisions. To comment, you often have to know precise details. In addition, do not pick a whole military service or very large corporation as your subject organization. Your current or a recent organization (unit level) would likely be the best bet. If in doubt, e-mail me and we can discuss your choice of a topic organization.
4. Note that if you integrate the successive case papers into a cumulative paper as you go, only one introductory paragraph is required. Otherwise, each segment requires an appropriate introduction. When integrating case segments one through three into your final Capstone Case paper in Module 4, include a single introductory paragraph followed by a smoothly flowing paper and a conclusion.
5. Integrate and properly cite various issues and learning from previous MSITM courses in each module's case assignment. Again, each module's Capstone case effort must cite at least five academic references from your previous MSITM coursework. You may cite other references, such as lay, military, corporate, Wikipedia, etc., if they support your work, but these are not part of the required five references.
6. The Module 4 case is to be a smooth-flowing paper that integrates the papers from the previous three modules and gives the reader a review of what you have learned in the MSITM program. Thus, the individual/unique module cases are simply a ‘straw-man' (if you will), giving you a forum for showing what you have learned in this program. Again, when you put together the final Module 4 Capstone paper, please go back and remove any segment introductions, providing only a single, overall introductory paragraph.
7. Use the significant feedback from the early modules to correct any deficiencies prior to integrating those papers into the Module 4 final Capstone Case. The final paper will consist of the discussions from your previous papers integrated into a paper that flows nicely and includes the references you used, in proper format. There should be 15 to 20 references in this final paper, most of which should be academic.
8. If for some reason you do not submit enough work during the regular modules for the professor to provide ample comments, feedback, and guidance, there is a strong likelihood that the papers submitted during any post-session extension could incur failing grades.
9. Note that if you keep current with the Capstone Case and follow this guidance as well as the personal guidance provided via feedback for each case segment, passing this course should not be problematic. Students who take this approach typically do very well. Your professor considers it a unique privilege to work with you to help you develop a Capstone Case paper that you can use as a sample of the work you did in your graduate program.
Optional Supplemental Materials
The Capstone course is a summary of your learning from all previous MSITM coursework. Thus, it has no assigned academic readings except brief writing/Capstone Case guides, exemplars, or other materials directly provided by your professor. Your course resources are the readings, background information, and other learning from your overall program. In addition, you are free to integrate relevant information found through your own preparation. A limited number of background readings will also be made available within this course for your review as interested.
As you know, the purpose of an SLP is to give you the opportunity to explore the applicability of the course learning to your own work-life. By this time, most MSITM students are assumed to have acquired a good deal of important knowledge about information technology and its management. Interestingly, you have likely also functioned (formally or informally) in the role of 'internal organizational IT consultant' (or can at least imagine what this might be like). Those of you who have been (or are) IT consultants or contractors (or simply just had to offer IT or other advice) certainly know that, in addition to technical knowledge and skill, you also have to acquire a set of successful ‘consulting techniques', to include a set of suitable interaction/communication/political behaviors. You also have to know something about the organization and your customers, how to get at the data/issues, then get your message across, getting people to trust and respect you and a host of other things necessary to get the 'helping gig' and keep it, or to get and keep an important IT project moving. This is only a little less true for the internal IT specialist or manager who must respond in many ways as a consultant to internal customers.
The SLP question thus is:
"What do I really know about my personal ‘consulting' activities?"
Your task for this SLP is to: (1) do a little personal literature mining (properly cited) on the particulars and importance of this subject. You are encouraged to look beyond personal behaviors and check out 'organization development' (OD) or general consulting literature to understand organizational techniques (i.e., 'scanning') and issues (such as political realities). In particular, you might wish to find one of the several 'step' models which suggest phased consulting activities; (2) note some truly important characteristics; and then (3) using this information as a guide, suggest your current most important consulting strengths as well as opportunities you see for improvement, based on both personal knowledge and your assignment literature review. Try to do this in three to four pages or so. (There is no penalty for a longer paper.) Note that you may wish to seek the opinions of co-workers in this largely self-diagnostic project. They may have some interesting insight for you. Remember, this is not a paper where you make generalized comments about what consultants do. It is about your insight and typical activities. Do not discuss personality 'traits' or 'style labels' you may have learned. You must discuss actual activities you now use when dealing with others and providing expert IT advice. For example, how well do you listen versus talk, or how well do you scan the organizational environment and try to find out about the politics of a given situation before you wade in with your advice or start a project? As noted above, you will wish to research the Web and check out traditional models of consulting behavior and typical behaviors in each 'stage.' For example, what are effective behaviors when one first enters any kind of consulting relationship? Again, stay out of the personality and trait literature; this is about observable activity. You may want to chat with people whom you have provided advice to, to see what they have observed. Be forewarned that generalized papers with no personal information, or including a 'personality assessment' will be be downgraded as unresponsive to this assignment.
Do not provide a technical outline or project details such as; "conduct project/needs analysis." This is assumed.
SLP Assignment Expectations
These SLP papers require that you integrate, discuss, contiguously cite, and later fully reference at least three academically sound sources. Please use enough concurrent discussion so that the purpose of each citation is apparent to the reader. Please note that this paper is incomplete without at least three academically sound references (relevant magazine articles such as CIO are OK. Also, you may use Wikipedia and military/corporate references, but they do not count as one of the required three).
You will be assessed on the appropriateness and completeness of the detail you provide regarding your topic, your use of citations and references as noted above, and your intellectual insight into topically important issues.
You are expected to use correct grammar, spelling, and English vocabulary. Also, please check your paper for missing or inappropriately used words. If in doubt, check the dictionary and not 'spell check.' Please consider that this paper, and all others, will be reviewed by the CIO and/or your commanding officer. It is strongly suggested that you ask a trusted colleague to review and edit each of your papers.
Post your paper once it is completed.
Finally, you are not to use any government/military classified or corporate-sensitive information in the development of any course papers or in any Discussion participation.