Fall 2010

Bob Bostrom, Jeff Howells & Elena Karahanna are making a major effort to integrate UGA projects into the Project Management and System Analysis and Design courses. They are working with the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) this semester to create eight projects for these courses.

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) supports research and scholarship across the University of Georgia in a variety of ways. One major component of this support involves the management of external funding for research and other projects as well as ensuring institutional compliance with federal and state regulations and policies. Among the more important research compliance efforts are animal, human, and biohazard use regulatory compliance.

These research administration activities are common to major research universities and several companies have developed software applications based on best practices to automate much of the routine effort involved. Given the need for each institution to adapt to a different set of business processes and to interface with custom sources of authoritative data, these products remain highly configurable.

Students in an MIS Project Management class are helping OVPR do a “gap analysis’. By developing detailed OVPR process and data models, four student teams are providing OVPR with the basis for a comparison of their existing processes and the processes embedded in the new software application they will start to use next year.

Students will interview experts in many of the departments within OVPR. Utilizing business process management software tools, they will document the complex procedures OVPR uses to support UGA researchers. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to use the BPM techniques they have learned in the classroom and will help improve a very important function of the University – future research.

The Systems Analysis and Design course, which is the capstone course in the MIS sequence of courses, requires students to develop a system to put in practice systems analysis and design concepts learned throughout the curriculum. Four project teams of students in Systems Analysis and Design are using their skills to develop applications for OVPR at UGA.