1 Themensteller Thema / Beschreibung des Themas / Betreuer AHe Success factors and best practices in international IT project management - critical discussion on the basis the project management life cycle Project management has experienced great attention within science as well as in daily management practices as projects are the most frequent organisational form to introduce change. But even though project management is not a new field of action and research there are still many questions open. Especially the influence of certain project management practices, methods and paradigms throughout different phases of a project life cycle on the "success" of the project and its outcome is yet unclear. The student should compare a selection of qualitative or quantitative studies on IT project management success factors and summarize the factors that impact on the success of IT projects. Subsequently project management methods, practices and paradigms, and, to a certain degree, organization and general project type should be analyzed whether they take these factors into account. The thesis should compare the different dimensions of success that are found within the studies and evaluate whether the way IT project management is carried out (paradigm, method, organization) has influence on the success dimensions respectively on which success dimension the influence seems stronger or weaker. One outcome could be hypothesises about the influence of applied PM methods on success that can later be confirmed / declined in empirical studies (these studies would NOT be part of the thesis). AHe From generating ideas, realizing projects to running IS - challenges on the way from project to line organization in IT development and maintenance Introducing change or innovation is often realized through projects. The focus of this thesis should be on IT projects and systems as their specific outcome, on departments that use these systems and on organisational units that are responsible for the technical side of the system (e.g. maintenance or improvement). Setting up systems is fundamentally different from running and maintaining them, since the first one is often realized through one ore more (temporary) project organizations whereas the latter is realized within one ore more (permanent) line organizations. Differences between these forms of organisation not only include staffing, management practices or task focus but also other areas which are to be clearly identified by this thesis. The student should try to find existing frameworks and recommendations how enterprises should migrate best from project to line organization when it comes to IT systems, what difficulties and common mistakes lay on the way (e.g. passing on system responsibility from project team members to employees in one ore more functional areas) and how to avoid them (e.g. training in a certain form). If no framework is provided through the scientific community the student should sketch out how such a framework should look like. Some elements of the framework could be players and stakeholders, type of projects respectively type of systems, methods of PM respectively methods of system development and applicable life cycle models.
2 BMü Towards Service-Oriented Architectures - Foundations, Methods and Case Studies Service-Oriented Architectures are currently reviving as a paradigm for planning, developing, building, and running IS-applications. Also dynamic orchestration is part of this paradigm. The evangelists of this new approach to software engineering predict that SOA will fundamentally change the software- and IT-reliant industry. This thesis is supposed to investigate the transition to service-orientation. The analysis of current approaches and methods based on cases is the basis for deriving a set of recommendations of how businesses can profit the most from this change. BMü BMü BMü Case Studies on Service Sourcing - Concepts and Controls for Governing the Sourcing of Services Virtualization is one of the key trends in the management of IT, for both applications and infrastructure. Especially concepts like grid computing and SOA are fueling this development in terms of technical realizability. This thesis investigates to what extend the service-based logic in applications and infrastructure is currently an important paradigm in sourcing relations of non-it companies (i.e. financial services, consumer goods and not e.g. application providers). Based on a set of case studies or interviews, the thesis will investigate the governance systems used to set-up, run, and measure such outsourcing relations. The aim of the thesis is to identify roles and rules needed to ensure the success of such sourcing relations. This focuses on customers and supplier. Service-oriented Business Models - How service-orientation disrupts traditional value chains In many industries, a decomposition of the traditional, often monolithic value chains can be observed. Rather than showing a high degree of vertical integration, many modern business models seem to place great emphasis on the relevance of being part of a strong network of suppliers, customers, and strategic partners both up- and downstream. The thesis comprises a brief theoretical investigation of the concept of SOA as well as of the concept of business models. Based hereon, a case has to be selected, preferably based on own empirical work (i.e. interviews and document analysis) that will be used for an in-depth investigation of how service-orientation has or will lead to a change in business model. The aim of the thesis is to develop a set of well-grounded hypothesis on how the potentials of SOA can influence the strategic orientation of a company. Business Models for IT-Departments - Successfully Spinning-Off IT-Departments In some industries spinning-off IT-departments has become rather popular. Along with trends of in- and outsourcing, the traditional organizational set-ups of cost-, profit-, and investment-center are more and more replaced by independent organizations. The thesis will investigate this trend. The advantages and disadvantages of the traditional versus the new approaches are to be discussed. Based on a sound review of existing literature, the student is supposed to devise a (set of) business model(s) for spun-off IT providers (e.g. own organization but exclusive provider of services for a group-enterprise, separate organization also delivering services to other companies, etc.). These business models should, if feasible, be investigated in a real-world business setting by means of providing appropriate cases.
3 BMü Accounting for IT - Development of a Cost Accounting Scheme for Information Systems Especially in the light of the "industrialization" of many businesses, business Information Systems are under considerable pressure to make their contribution to top and bottom line transparent. Especially the latter is a challenge to current organizations, since no systematic approach to account for cost incurred by the IT exists in most cases. The thesis will use traditional cost accounting approaches used in established industries, e.g. manufacturing, to develop a cost accounting scheme for IT. The scheme is supposed to enable the organization to determine cost and price of its services, products, and processes as well as determine cost and revenue for e.g. a server or function. The study should be based on a detailed review of existing best practices in industrial cost accounting and use this as an analogy to be transferred to a case-study covering an IT-department. The result would be a design of an accounting scheme and processes for organizational anchorage and usage. FRa Enterprise Architecture Frameworks - A Critical Evaluation and Classification of Existing EA Frameworks Beginning with the Zachman Framework (1987) various frameworks have been proposed in the last 20 years of Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) research. Such frameworks in general describe an integrative approach for modeling the enterprise architecture while considering different aspects like strategies, governance, processes, applications, middle-, and hardware. In this paper the most common frameworks proposed in the past shall be examined, evaluated, classified, and related to each other. FAh JLu The Selection of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Software - Development of a Process Model based on selected Case Studies Large enterprises like banks or automotive companies frequently manage IT project portfolios with three-digit million Euro budgets. Mostly, commercial project portfolio management software systems are used for this purpose. These systems support numerous processes and stakeholders and are far more complex than traditional project management tools. Consequently, their introduction can lead to significant changes in the project portfolio management methodology and this is why a carefully planned process is required for their selection, installation, configuration and deployment. In the thesis, the student shall develop a reference model for this process serving as a guideline for "real-life" projects. The reference model development can be based on interviews with subject-matter experts. Corresponding cases and interview partners can be provided by the chair of Information Systems II. Enterprise Architecture as strategy compliance tool within IT projects Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is an approach for supporting IT-Management in organizations. It builds the informational foundation for many IT-related management decisions and focuses on a consistent planning, operation and maintenance of the IT. To ensure adherence to the long-term strategy, IT-related projects must be aligned to the standards, principles and guidelines defined within EAM. Consequently established control mechanisms of project management must be adjusted to this management paradigm. The student shall analyze how the goals of EAM and EA artefacts such as an EA Framework or concrete models (e.g. models of IT infrastructure) can be integrated in project governance mechanisms. Existing approaches of EAM should be examined and compared in consideration of this aspect. This can result in a model of key factors and a recommendation towards certain approaches depending on these factors. The work can include practical investigation at a project partner of the IS chair to empirically affirm the findings within the scope of a single case-study.
4 JLu GVi, (BMu) GVi FRa Integration of Enterprise Architectures in IT management processes Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is an approach for supporting IT-Management in organizations. It builds the informational foundation for IT-related management decisions and focuses on a consistent planning, operation and maintenance of the IT. Hereby EAM goes beyond the representation and assessment of the existing IT landscape: Implementing processes that ensure the adherence to specifications and guidelines is crucial to a holistic EAM. As the discipline of EAM still shows signs of immaturity approaches address this topic with different intensity and scope. This work should investigate how far current EAM approaches provide integration into operative and strategic processes. The student should analyze to what degree the process perspective on EAM is considered in major approaches. This can result in a comparison of approaches and/or in an identification of key processes that should be implemented in combination with an Enterprise Architecture. Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) as an enabler of innovative financial products Service-oriented architecture can be understood as one form of a modular, component-based architecture for information systems (IS). Past studies have shown that the financial services industry in particularly its banking branch, are very progressive adopters of service-oriented information systems architectures. One reason for the progressive adaptation is the prospect that the development of new products like for example combining a credit card with a savings account could be faster and more easily be realized. The student is supposed to critically analyze the potential of SOA in the field of product development in the financial services industry. The analysis can be done either by interviewing experts or by a thorough analysis of literature. By discussing advantages and disadvantages the student should be able to describe potentials based on his / her analysis. Middleware within a service-oriented environment. The term middleware denotes software that connects application components or entire applications. Hence, architecture decisions are indirectly middleware decisions. A lot of past middleware approaches were limited to the functionality of backbone systems, i.e. the exchange of data in between "connected applications". With service-oriented architecture on the rise, the task list for middleware becomes much longer than it has traditionally been: orchestration, semantics and a consistent presentation / integration of in- and external service repositories are just a few examples of challenges that new middleware systems need to address. The student is asked to analyze product concepts of current middleware solutions. The analysis can be done either by interviewing experts from software vendors or by a thorough analysis of theoretical concepts as presented in the literature. The aim of the thesis is to compare current approaches, show advantages and disadvantages, and provide an outlook of the development in this field. Business Data Exchange A Structured Analysis of Exchange Standards (VW Topic) Whereas former information systems often worked widely autonomous, today s information systems are often closely interconnected. In order to exchange data it is necessary to agree on standardized data formats (e.g. XBRL - Extensible Business Reporting Language). This is especially important when exchanging data among independent enterprises. In this thesis a comparison of existing business data exchange standards shall be conducted. Based thereon a concept for exchanging business data in the context of a case at a German automotive manufacturer shall be developed.
5 FRa Organizational Structures in IT Departments of Large Scale Enterprises A Comparison among Industries (VW Topic) Depending on the industry percentages spent for IT expenses differ strongly. Whereas in the banking industry IT costs constitute 25% of the overall cost, this percentage is much smaller in other industries, e.g. the automotive industry. This leads to the question, whether there are differences in organizing IT departments among industries in general. FRa Whereas another thesis examines the process organization in IT departments, in this thesis a comparison of the organizational structures of IT departments among different industries shall be conducted. Based on literature reviews and eventually qualitative analyses (e.g. while arranging interviews) it shall be examined how the IT departments are arranged within the overall organization and how they are structured internally. Software on Demand Business Models, Adoption, Case studies (VW Topic) The Software on Demand approach for software usage is characterized by an outsourced allocation and maintenance of the software. This means the software is usually hosted by a service provider and the use takes place via an internet browser. Analysts predict a growth from now 5 % to about 25 % on Software on Demand sale turnovers in JLu In this thesis the Software on Demand phenomenon shall be examined. Thereby benefits and limitations, business models and the adoption by the industry shall be investigated. The analysis shall be based on case studies at industry partners. Governance Mechanisms in Enterprise Architecture Management Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is an approach for supporting IT-Management in organizations. It builds the informational foundation for IT-related management decisions and focuses on a consistent planning, operation and maintenance of the IT. Besides modeling the existing IT landscape within an Enterprise Architecture, governance mechanism have to be set in place to assure the right use of the architecture and to control the actions derived. As the discipline of EAM still shows signs of immaturity, approaches address this topic with different intensity and scope. The work should analyze existing mechanisms of governance within EAM approaches. Beside the foundational groundwork on the topic, the student shall analyze the type of mechanisms and what determines the applicability dependent on the context. Furthermore the work can include an investigation on the roles that are needed within EAM to ensure a proper functioning of the described mechanisms.
6 JRö Combining Benefits Management & Project Portfolio Management How can the potential benefits of an entire project portfolio be realized more effectively? Benefits management is the process of organizing and managing such that the potential benefits arising from the use of IS/IT are actually realized. The benefits management process model accommodates a lifecycle emphasis that includes not only pre-investment appraisal and post-investment evaluation, but also how organizations do or do not ensure that the benefits claimed are actively managed through realization. The fact, that even today up to 75% of projects are estimated not to deliver the benefits they promised, is a major concern for IT managers and points out the importance of managing potential benefits more effectively. The benefits management process was originally developed with a primary focus on realizing benefits from single IS/IT investment projects and several publications report the results of studies into the state of practice. However, further investigation of how the process Benefits Management can be extended or refined, in combination with project portfolio management approaches, may enable an increase in overall value delivery from organizations range of IS/IT investments. MKa MKa SSm Based on a literature review the student should first analyze, how far the benefits management process is appropriate to be combined with project portfolio management and evaluate the strengths and limitations. Based on these results, suggestions shall be made how to extend or refine the benefits management model. For this purpose, interviews with IT managers can/should be conducted. "Wissensbilanz made in Germany" - A Critical Reflection of Stakeholder Benefits and Constraints Based on international approaches to knowledge measurement as part of a company's annual reporting, a German version has been developed and tested in pilot projects (see Discuss the approach s benefits and constraints for several stakeholders of the firm. Consider that only few companies took advantage of the state-aided project. Develop a stakeholder scheme (suppliers, customers, employees, etc.) for your evaluation. Potentials and Risks of Collaboration Systems for Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Transfer within and between Organizations Intra- and interorganizational collaboration with KM systems bears potentials as well as risks for companies. Describe three collaborative KMS. Compare and evaluate them regarding the creation and transfer of knowledge with a self-developed scheme. Comparative Study of Information Lifecycle Management and Enterprise Content/Document Management by means of the Layers Strategy, Processes, and Systems Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is a new buzzword in the current IT landscape. ILM is faced by the well-established approaches of Enterprise Content/Document Management (EC/DM). Within the scope of this thesis, ILM and EC/DM should be compared by means of the layers strategy, processes, and systems and specific benefits and challenges should be elaborated and evaluated.
7 MKa MKa MKa MKa MKa A Comparative Analysis of Three Studies in Knowledge Management - Evaluation of the Research Design and Results For many years now, researchers try to evaluate Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives with different foci. Three recent studies were conducted by the University of Mannheim, the University of Potsdam, and the European Business School. Please compare those with regard to their scientific approach and KM content as well as with regard to their research findings. Who and what is examined, how many participants, how many questions, kinds of questions and questionnaire design, which dimensions of KM were reflected, how are findings presented, do researchers draw conclusions, do they publish recommendations, etc.? Build your own research raster and review the three study approaches accordingly. Knowledge Management in International Consulting Firms A Research Agenda to Examine Advantages and Disadvantages Knowledge Management (KM) has become a basic prerequisite in consultancies and other professional services firms. Especially huge and regionally/internationally distributed companies with many projects and project teams face a certain challenge regarding their KM dimensions (i.e. strategy, processes/organization, systems, and culture). Please develop a set of potential advantages and disadvantages that may arise. Substantiate your claims with an appropriate literature review. Taking that list, please construct a research approach and prepare an eligible questionnaire design based on empirical social research methods. Knowledge Management in International Law Firms - The State of the Art With an increasing internationalization of legislation and the development of globally operating law firms, the classical challenges of Knowledge Management (KM) become more relevant in the legal environment. In the course of this thesis, the current usage of KM in law firms is to be explored. Ideally, a general overview will be developed on the basis of a comprehensive literature review and a detailed case study of one law firm will be conducted. Automatic Text Categorization: Current Research and Application The vast amount of documents entering and being processed in modern business organisations calls for intelligent systems capable of categorizing and organizing information objects autonomously. There is a wide range of methods to accomplish this task, from keyword-based approaches to highly sophisticated, statistical or AI-based classifiers. They are used for the assignment of simple dichotome attributes (e.g. filtering spam) as well as locating documents in complex ontologies. Purpose of this thesis is to identify the current state of the art in text classification research. The thesis should be based on a in-depth literature review and include an overview over the commonly used classification techniques together with their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, common usage patterns of such techniques should be identified. Grid Computing: Current Research and Application The performance increase of recent desktop computers led to a considerable waste of computing power. In large organisations, thousands of PCs are running almost day and night with average CPU utilisations of well below 10 percent. The idea behind grid computing is to leverage those unused resources for computation intensive tasks like the simulation of physical systems (e.g. for engineering or weather forecasts) or "number crunching" in business intelligence. Still an emerging technology, current implementations make the adaption of existing applications to a grid environment feasible for the first time. Goal of this thesis is to describe the state of the art in grid computing research and identify its potentials and pitfalls.
8 NUr Cost Drivers of Enterprise Portal Implementations An Enterprise Portal is an application based on web technologies that provides central access to personalized content as well as appropriate processes. A typical function of portals is the connection of and the data exchange between heterogeneous applications within a single portal platform. Due to single-sign-on functionalities a manual login into the different integrated applications is not necessary and thus, a central access with a homogeneous user interface exists. Implementations of Enterprise Portals in organizations incur costs in many respects, e.g. for Hardware, Software Licenses, Software Development, System Integration, User Training, and Maintenance. NUr The objective of this thesis is to analyze the different cost items and to determine the main cost drivers of Enterprise Portal implementations. The research questions should be answered by both analyzing existing literature and using empirical research methods (qualitative or quantitative). For example, expert interviews or a survey could be conducted to obtain empirical data. Enterprise Portal Success An Enterprise Portal is an application based on web technologies that provides central access to personalized content as well as appropriate processes. A typical function of portals is the connection of and the data exchange between heterogeneous applications within a single portal platform. Due to single-sign-on a manual login into the different integrated applications is not necessary, central access with a homogeneous user interface exists. From a technological perspective, the research on Enterprise Portals is quite mature, whereas empirical research focusing on this concept is rather rare. From a practitioner s point of view, results of empirical examinations in that field are valuable since a large number of companies invest huge amounts of money in portal solutions. Especially the measurement of the success/effectiveness of Enterprise Portals is a top concern in practice. Within the scope of the thesis, the following questions should be answered: a) What is the state-of-the-art of Enterprise Portals in the existing literature? b) What concepts for measuring the success of Enterprise Portals in organizations do exist? c) What are success factors for Enterprise Portals in organizations? The research questions should be answered by both analyzing existing literature and using empirical research methods (qualitative or quantitative). For example, expert interviews or a survey could be conducted to obtain empirical data.
9 NUr Success Factors for Implementing IT Service Management according to ITIL in Organizations IT Service Management is a discipline for managing IT systems, centered on the customer's perspective of IT's contribution to the business. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices standards that has become the world-wide de facto standard in IT Service Management. SSm SSm Within the scope of the thesis, the foundations of ITIL as well as the process of implementing IT service management according to ITIL in organizations should be examined. To do so, literature needs to be reviewed and experts interviewed. The results of the thesis cover a comprehensive, up-to-date overview on the concept of IT Service Management with ITIL as well as experiences with and critical success factors for the implementation of ITIL-based service processes in organizations. The Potential for KM to Enhance Creativity and Drive Innovation - How is Knowledge Created and Applied to Derive Business Value, Generate New Ideas, and Develop New Products and Solutions The objective of this thesis is to explore the potential for Knowledge Management (KM) to enhance creativity and drive innovation. It addresses issues related to how knowledge is created and applied to derive business value, generate new ideas, and develop new products and solutions. The following issues should be addressed in the course of the thesis: Knowledge and action: how knowledge is developed, transformed, interpreted and used to make effective decisions and take actions KM and New Product Development: how KM contributes to the generation, evaluation and implementation of new products, services, processes and solutions KM and KMS support for collaborative and creative work, e.g., design, research and development, exploration, customer support Mechanisms associated with KM, creativity and innovation The use of KM to reduce risk in creative/innovative processes Besides a profound literature review, case study research could be applied. The Relevance of Social Networks and Their Analysis for the Organizational KM A social network is a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, ideas, or financial exchange. Social network analysis (SNA) views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. There can be many kinds of ties between the nodes. Research in a number of academic fields has shown that social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals. Within the scope of this thesis, characteristics of social networks and their analysis as well as potentials and risks of SNA for organizations should be explored. Futhermore, an overview of typical practical approaches and applications should be given and the future organizational relevance should be judged. The research questions should be answered by both performing a profound literature review and using empirical research methods (qualitative or quantitative). For example, expert interviews or a survey could be conducted to obtain empirical data.
10 SSm SSm AHe Exploring Collaborative Intelligence - Characteristics, Opportunities, and Challenges of Collaborative Intelligence Approaches within Organizations Collaborative intelligence (CI) occurrs in situations where the knowledge and problem solving capability of a group is much greater than the knowledge possessed by an individual group member. As groups work together they develop a shared memory. The memory is accessible through the collaborative artifacts created by the group: meeting minutes, transcripts from threaded discussions, drawings etc. The shared/group memory is also accessible through the memories of group members. The ability of a group to solve a problem collectively is potentially directly proportional to the number of members in a group; however effective architecture of interaction is needed to achieve this. Within the scope of this thesis, CI's characteristics as well as opportunities and challenges for organizations should be examined. An overview of typical practical approaches and applications should be given and the future organizational importance should be judged. The research questions should be answered by both performing a profound literature review and using empirical research methods (qualitative or quantitative). For example, expert interviews or a survey could be conducted to obtain empirical data. Folksonomies and Controlled Vocabularies - Leveraging the Value of Organizational Information Assets by Using Tagging and Metadata Mechanisms Collaborative tagging (or folksonomy, social classification, social indexing) is the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content. In contrast to traditional subject indexing, metadata is not only generated by experts but also by creators and consumers of the content. Usually, freely chosen keywords are used instead of a controlled vocabulary. Folksonomic tagging is intended to make a body of information increasingly easy to search, discover, and navigate over time. A well-developed folksonomy is ideally accessible as a shared vocabulary that is both developed by, and familiar to, its primary users. Two widely cited examples of websites using folksonomic tagging are Flickr and del.icio.us. Within the scope of this thesis, characteristics of folksonomies and controlled vocabularies should be explored. Benefits and risks of bottom-up and top-down approaches for enriching information with semantics should be evaluated. In addition, the thesis should provide a structured comparison and judgment of the classical and the social software based approaches. The research questions should be answered by both performing a profound literature review and using empirical research methods (qualitative or quantitative). For example, expert interviews or a survey could be conducted to obtain empirical data. The concept of IS success and its measurement - overview of IS success theories and success measurement methods throughout a system's life cycle The question, what makes a system a success is one often discussed. Current science offers some theories on success; in parallel many different definitions of "system success" exist and so do approaches to measure them. The student should choose one mayor success theory, reason his/her choice while briefly shedding light on definitions of system success and acceptance. The student should concentrate on the different phases that a system goes through, which are e.g. idea generating, planning and implementing as well as running and improving them. Target is a structured overview with critical assessment and comparison of success theories, definitions and success measurements methods. The thesis should give insight how the different ways to measure success and the measurement outcome are used to derive recommendation for the different phases of the system life cycle. The main achievement of this thesis is the clear structuring of the before explained problem area, which puts stronger focus on the theoretical foundations, deepness and on the literature reviewed.