DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT + PROJECT MGMT
What is MIS 374?
- MIS 374 is a required course for MIS (Management Information Systems) majors. The course teaches concepts and techniques related to the iterative software development lifecycle (SDLC) including planning, analysis, design, build, quality assurance, and implementation. The course also teaches topics such as client management, scope management, and risk management.
- The first 25% of the course covers high-level considerations of organizational issues, system development goals, project risk, and team management. Students gain an understanding of the SDLC and learn when to apply specific project management and development techniques in a case setting.
...with Real-World Experience
- The last 75% of the course is a practicum project, which means the students work on a 12-week pro-bono system development project for an actual local business or non-profit. This allows students to apply the skills they learned from the case to an actual project and practice working with real people to develop a real IT system. We are always looking for local non-profits and businesses in need of IT systems work!
Solution Analysis and Scoping
One learning objective for each student is to learn how to analyze an organization and work with a client to determine requirements for the best feasible solution that adds value. NOTE: We do not typically take on projects that are purely research or analysis without development. We expect the students to also build at least part of the system even if it's just a prototype or minimum viable product.
Students have the skills to build websites or web applications to offer strategic, managerial, and operational value to your org. They can also explore use of social media and web analytics to help monitor the effectiveness of your website and social media towards your goals.
Data Management Solutions
Student teams are also equipped to create systems to help better manage an organization's data. This could include a creating database, or may leverage other data management tools to best fit the organization’s needs.
Our students have skills that allow them to complete other systems solutions depending on the needs of the clients. For example, they can create custom systems solutions using a variety of technologies. Students can also learn new platforms, and implement and configure them for clients. A few examples of platforms implemented in past projects include SalesForce, Knack, ArcGIS, Little Green Light, Tableau. This list is not exhaustive, and is meant to illustrate the ability of our students to learn quickly and provide the solution that best fits the needs of the client.
- Custom Apps
- Data Management
Examples of other clients
What types of projects are best for MIS 374 students?
Projects that encompass the full IT systems development process that can ideally be completed by upper level students in 11-12 weeks are ideal. Each project must incorporate the following components of the systems development process: analysis/design, developing a new system (at least creating a prototype) or augmenting an existing system ideally with a data management component, system testing and validation, and finally documentation of the system solution including user & developer guides, and testing results. Please refer to the Services section and Past Projects section for more information about the type of projects that align with our students’ skills .
What projects are NOT good for MIS 374 students?
This class is not a strategy or marketing class. If you are looking for market research or strategic planning, this class is not ideal for you since the curriculum does not cover these topics. If you need this type of assistance, we recommend that you look into the MBA+ Leadership Program, which pairs student groups with clients looking for this sort of service. Click here for more info on the MBA+ Program
What are expectations clients?
- Meet with the student team at least once per week through the entire project. Meetings should always be face-to-face; if necessary, a video conference could substitute occasionally. Meeting more than once a week, especially in the first 4-5 weeks of the project, increases chances of project success. If you are going to have to miss a week please bring that up ahead of time. Since the biggest risk to a project’s success is lack of communication, meeting at least weekly with the student team is extremely important.
- Actively communicate with students to help them understand the symptoms of your issue or need for this project. Provide as much detail as you can around your business/organization and the specific problem that you’re trying to solve so the students can better understand your requirements and propose better solutions.
- Between weekly meetings, clients should commit additional time (1-2 hours at least) to be in communication with students and perform any tasks required (e.g. reviewing materials, gathering data). If this time commitment isn't feasible, consider applying for a future semester when you have more time.
- Give professors honest feedback at two milestones in the project via an online form that will require about 20 minutes of effort to complete each time.
- If you are a non-profit, we prefer that you acquire your board's approval before signing up
- Help us recruit more clients. We always are looking for organizations in need, especially non-profits with a great mission!
How do I apply to be a client?
NOTE: If you choose to apply to become a client, you are committing to the expectations listed above and to act in a professional manner at all times. Professors do reserve the right to terminate the partnership if professionalism isn't maintained and expectations can't be met. Click here to apply to be a client for MIS 374 You'll need to create a UTEID first (if you don't have one) before you can submit your project application.
NOTE: At the time of submission you do NOT need to have a specific idea about the solution that you need. Because the students are required to analyze your situation and propose possible system solutions, it is better to only provide context around the problem you’re facing (not how you hope the students will fix it). Please just submit 2-3 sentences about your organization and a few bullets on the issue/need you have. After you submit your application, an email alert will be sent to the professors who will eventually reach out before the semester starts.
Also NOTE: By applying to be a client, you are not guaranteed the opportunity to work with the students in a given semester. Projects are selected based on the number of students in the course, how well the project aligns with the educational goals of the class, and the level of need of the client (e.g. non-profits generally don’t have the same level of resources to complete a project compared to well-established for profit organizations).
What are the expectations of the student teams?
- Work with the client to determine requirements, schedule, and deliverables.
- Meet weekly with the client (in person or virtually) to keep the project moving.
- Deliver a defect free final system with associated documentation and training and by the end of the semester.
- NOTE: Students will likely be in other classes during this project which means they will not be full-time and will have to balance their project workload with other classes. For more information, please refer to the Services section.
What is the general timeline for the class?
- Clients submit their project applications on the submission site via link above by the first week class (e.g. last week of August in Fall or the week of MLK day in January in Spring).
- Project applications are reviewed based on when they are received, so projects submitted first are reviewed first. Fall semester projects are typically reviewed in July/August. Spring semester projects are typically reviewed in December/January. We cannot guarantee that each project submitted will be assigned a student team, and we will let you know early in the semester if your project has been selected.
- Student teams bid on the projects by selecting their top 7 projects at the end of the fourth week of class each semester. Instructors will review their bids and make the final assignments of teams to clients.
- The Monday after teams are assigned, the clients are invited to campus for an evening information session and to meet their assigned student groups (generally with pizza served).
- Inception Phase – the first 4-5 weeks of the project – clients and the students develop system requirements and create a project plan.
- Development Phase – the last 7-8 weeks of the project – students build and test the system with your regular input, and create user/developer guides and train you on system use. The final system and report is delivered in the 2nd week of May or December.