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2a) Which decisions are supported by the DSS/BIS being discussed?

Microsoft project is smart and user friendly decision support system that allows
users to make multiple decisions that can make or break a real life project.
 When provided with realistic data, this software helps user decide whether
or not the project is worth the cost (feasible).
 Make project management easy and engaging for project managers by
enabling them to analyze resources, budgets and timelines. Also, project
managers can easily measure progress and anticipate resource needs with
detailed and easily customizable out-of-the box reports.
 Enable executives to define business drivers, measure strategic impact of
competing ideas, make right funding decisions and view project and
resource status across the enterprise.
 It helps user skim through a number of scenarios that may happen and
what costs will be associated with each scenario. This information is likely
very helpful when the user is trying to avoid or mitigate risks. It allows users
to identify issues and problem areas using work breakdown structures and
Gantt charts etcetera.
 The software helps the user decide which activities can be delayed in the
whole project without delaying the overall completion of the project. The
critical path that needs to be followed strictly can be structured using this
software. Whenever user fall behind schedule on their real project, they
can easily know how much additional costs and time will be required to
complete the now delayed project.
 The software even helps in calculating whether full time workforce costs
less or part time workers.
b) Are the problems to be addressed by the DSS/BIS, structured, semi-
structured or unstructured? Explain
The problems that users want to solve using Microsoft Project are definitely
structured because user need to provide realistic and required information to
make decisions using the software. Ambiguous data and numbers will achieve
nothing. A guide by Microsoft to help users make appropriate use of the said
software states that for making decisions that are to the maximum correct, users
need to be highly realistic or close to realistic with the information they provide
the software.
The software helps user make decisions like capital budgeting, allocation of
resources, distribution, procurement, planning and inventory control decisions
and they all fall under the head of structured problems.
c) Who built the system? Is the system off-the-shelf, outsourced, in-house ?
Microsoft project is built and sold by Microsoft. It is an in off the shelf project
which means that it is ready made and available for sale to the customers who
need it.
d) Who are the stakeholders?
According to (“who are the main stakeholders in Microsoft Project, 2010), the
four main stakeholders are the Customer, Project Manager, Project Team
members, and other Managers with an involvement in the project such as a
resource manager
 “The customer is the key stakeholder for whom the project is being carried
out. The customer is likely to need overall project summaries, project
costing and project progress reports”
 “The Project Manager stakeholder needs data to assist in all stages of the
project, from planning, managing resources, costing, project tracking and
producing output reports for other stakeholders”
 “The Project Team Member is one of the stakeholders involved in
completing work in a project. For example this could be in carrying out one
or more tasks or in managing the project budget or having a specific project
role such as managing variances. He or she will therefore need data to
show for example assigned tasks, project phases, costs and variances”
 “Other Managers may be involved in providing or managing project
resources and may include subcontractors or external service providers”
e) Explain the data visualization e.g. tables, dashboards, text
The software allows the user to view the progress of the whole project both
actual and planned using a Gantt chart, tables and critical paths that allows user
to see which activities can never be delayed. User can clearly see what happens to
the whole project when one critical activity is delayed. The timeline view allows
the user to build a basic Visio-style graphical overview of the project schedule
The software is not all dependent on the visuals but allows user to get work with
text as well. It is a user friendly project after the user is familiar with all its
wonders and uses.
f) What are some of the issues that have been encountered?
Online forums and posts suggest that users have been facing problems like
resource allocation and scheduling. These are the users who are either new to the
software, have upgraded to a newer version and getting used to it or have a bug
in the software they are using.
g) Do you now have descriptions for DSS/BIS? What are they?
Yes, from the lecture and the research regarding decision support system I have
to come to understand that this term refers to the help a user can gain from
computer programs related to decisions making and analysis within an
organization. This system is a computer based information system that supports
decision making activities in an organization. It is an interactive system that uses
data analysis to assist in decision making.

References
Mantel, S.J., Meredith, J.R. and Shafer, S.M., 2010. Project management in practice. Wiley
Global Education.
Power, D.J., Sharda, R. and Burstein, F., 2015. Decision support systems. John Wiley & Sons,
Ltd.
https://products.office.com/en-ie/project/project-and-portfolio-management-software
Who are the main stakeholders in Microsoft Project. (2010, August 22). Retrieved from
http://www.microsofttraining.net/article-1063-who-are-main-stakeholders-in-microsoft-
project.html