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Management of Information Systems (GSI)

Credits Dept. Type Requirements
6.0 (4.8 ECTS) ESSI
  • Compulsory for DCSFW
BD - Prerequisite for DCSYS
ES1 - Prerequisite for DCSYS


Person in charge:  (-)

General goals

The aim of this subject is to introduce a selection of concepts of practical relevance to the professional practice of future engineers, and, in particular, to introduce all that which concerns the management of information systems in organisations. This subject focuses on two different approaches to reach this goal: firstly, by studying information systems in organisations, their characteristics, function and evolution; and secondly, those aspects of management and control associated with software development and maintenance. To go into further detail:
-  Students must know what comprises an information system, independently from the technology that supports it, and they must understand its importance as a working tool and strategic resource for an organisation.
-  They must also be familiar with the problems associated with the use of information technology in organisations.
-  They must gain an idea of all the factors related to the organisation, management and development of projects in information technology.
-  They must consolidate and complete their understanding of the tools and methods used in software engineering-taken from the prior subject "Software Engineering: Specification"-by applying them to information systems.

Specific goals


  1. The importance of organisational IS, differentiating between the technology used and its application. Study the history of computerisation in organisations and its impact on organisational aspects and on IS departments.
  2. The need to plan computerisation of an organisations in accordance with their structures, cultures, and corporate strategies (which also require planning), and the role played by the organisation in society as a whole.

    Learn the main approaches to IS planning, ranging from those that attempt to align IS with corporate strategy and those that take a more innovative approach to ICT.
  3. The development, localisations, and internal structures of IS functional areas/departments. IS roles and specialist areas (including development, systems, and data management, among others).

    What constitutes an IS development project from a management computing standpoint, and the difficulties arising from its management from a software engineering standpoint.
  4. Learn how to define and evaluate development projects with regard to resource needs and to planning, programming, monitoring and control tasks. Critical introduction to the metrics and models used for estimation purposes. Learn the tools for managing computing projects.
  5. Learn the main approaches to evaluating IS alternatives, and identify the financial impact of computerisation on the company's activities from the viewpoint of project risk management and application portfolios.


  1. Foster active participation in group discussions on course and related themes, communicate effectively orally and in writing, and to listen to the contributions of others.
  2. Participation in group work is fostered in this project covering the definition, evaluation, and documentation of a small information system, using computing tools for the purpose.
  3. This develops research and summary skills by studying the state-of-the-art of the technology applied to the course theme.


  1. Abstraction.
  2. Critical spirit.
  3. Oral and written communication.
  4. Teamwork.


Estimated time (hours):

T P L Alt Ext. L Stu A. time
Theory Problems Laboratory Other activities External Laboratory Study Additional time

T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
12,0 0 10,0 0 10,0 0 0 32,0
  • Laboratory
    1.1. Computing project:
    - Concept and stages.
    - Resource management.
    - Organisation and documentation.
    1.2. Models and metrics for estimating loads.
    1.3. Planning computing projects.
    1.4. Project monitoring and control.
    1.5. Automated project management tools.

T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
10,0 0 0 0 0 2,0 0 12,0
  • Laboratory
    2.1. Development of computing in organisations.
    2.2. The Computing Department.
    2.3. Computing Department functions.
    2.4. Internal organisation of Computing Departments: Posts
    2.5. Relationship with users: Information Centre.
    - Computing for end users: office computing.
    - Continuous training
    2.6. Computing planning.
    2.7. Control, security and auditing.
    2.8. New perspectives: BPR, Workflow, etc.

T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
8,0 0 0 0 0 2,0 0 10,0
  • Laboratory
    3.1. Main problems in the construction and maintenance of the software.
    - Computing productivity: the software "crisis".
    - Historical development in Software Engineering practices.
    - The problem of software quality.
    3.2. Methodologies for constructing computing systems.

4. Student presentations relating to the course.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
0 10,0 0 0 0 1,0 0 11,0
  • Laboratory
    (content varies each year)

5. Articles written by students on their presentation theme.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
0 10,0 0 0 0 8,0 0 18,0
  • Laboratory
    (content varies each year)

6. Practical assignment on the management of a Computing Project.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
0 0 0 0 25,0 0 0 25,0

7. Research and preparation of a presentation.
T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
0 0 0 0 10,0 0 0 10,0

Total per kind T      P      L      Alt    Ext. L Stu    A. time Total 
30,0 20,0 10,0 0 45,0 13,0 0 118,0
Avaluation additional hours 2,0
Total work hours for student 120,0

Docent Methodolgy

The course comprises theory classes, classes of problems, and lab sessions.


The theory classes comprise the teacher"s explanations and constitute the main part of the course.


These are based on students presenting articles or cases to the class and that are linked to the theme under discussion. These presentations must be made by groups of students. A group of between 2 and 4 students will present a previously-prepared theme at each session. The presentations will then be debated by students in order to delve more deeply into the theme. The teacher will guide and moderate the debate. The students will then fill in a questionnaire on the theme. These questionnaires measure student participation and provide feedback revealing how interesting and useful students found the presentation.


A simulation will be carried out on the management of a computing project. Students will be required to prepare a report on the project they are managing, including:

- Project definition.

- Project assessment.

- Project management plan

The practical assignment will be carried out using an application on the course web site.

The assignment will not require intensive work on the computer. It will, however, require constant attention throughout the course and short meetings with the rest of the work group.

Evaluation Methodgy

Assessment will be based on the following items and weights in computing the final grade:

- 30% of the final grade - STUDENT PARTICIPATION (reports on cases/articles, questions in class, discussion on cases, etc.)

- 30% of the final grade - GROUP PRACTICAL WORK

- 40% of the final grade - WRITTEN TEST (course exam)

Basic Bibliography

  • Peter Checkland and Sue Holwell. Information, systems and information systems : making sense of the field, John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
  • Robert B. Grady Practical software metrics for project management and process improvement, Prentice Hall, 1992.
  • Roger S. Pressman Ingeniería del software : un enfoque práctico, McGraw-Hill, 2006.
  • Àngel Ros Domingo, Jordi Viñallonga Plaza Gestió dels sistemes d'informació a l'empresa, Edicions UPC, 1995.

Complementary Bibliography

  • Barry W. Boehm Software engineering economics, Prentice-Hall, 1981.
  • Rafael Andreu, Joan E. Ricart, Josep Valor Estrategia y sistemas de información, McGraw-Hill, 1996.
  • Tom DeMarco Controlling software projects : management, measurement & estimation, Yourdon, 1982.
  • Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. The Mythical man-month : essays on sotware engineering, Addison-Wesley, 1995.
  • Frank Wellman Software costing : an objective approach to estimating and controlling the cost of computer software, Prentice-Hall, 1992.

Web links

(no available informacion)

Previous capacities

Knowledge of software engineering.

In view of the skills required, we recommend that students have previously taken the following courses:

- Software Engineering I
- Databases


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