Brainstorming 1.1

CEBA (Center for e-Commerce and Business Analytics)

1/11/2011 – by Jason Baddley

Edited 4-6-2011 – By Jason Baddley



The Center for E-Commerce and Business Analytics (CEBA) seeks to become a world-class, student run, laboratory for researching and utilizing current information systems tools, techniques, and technologies in order to build professional business applications for Utah State University, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and their stakeholders. CEBA intends to recruit the most promising students in key areas of management information systems and related fields to prepare them to immediately step into highly competitive careers as information systems managers with experience and skills above those of their peers.

Roles and Responsibilities

Program Manager – Graduate Student

  • Works with current project stakeholders to define project scope, constraints, milestones, and implementation strategies.
  • Regularly communicates with stakeholders in order to report on current project milestones as well as receive feedback on the project, advises Project Manager in charge on project changes.
  • Works directly with CEBA advisor to ensure projects are feasible and meet academic, industrial, and stakeholders’ standards.
  • Helps CEBA advisor to examine current MIS curriculum to explore ways to minimize weaknesses and find opportunities to add programs and courses that keep up with current technologies.
  • Recruits project managers, helps them to recruit their own team members, assign projects with reasonable milestone expectations based on stakeholder needs.
  • Trains and mentors project managers and team members in current technologies to accomplish CEBA mission. Actively seeks to add additional projects and stakeholders to the CEBA repertoire.
  • Actively researches and learns upcoming technologies and methodologies that might be useful to current and future stakeholders.
  • Implements strategies to teach and use these new technologies.
  • Markets CEBA as Utah State University’s premier center for developing enterprise business applications as well as preparing students to become leaders in all areas relating to business information systems.
  • Develops and implements plan for recruiting and training new Program Manager (selects replacement during final semester of Grad School).
  • Teaches the CEBA Project Management Implementations course (MIS 5950/6950 special topics).

CEBA Advisor – MIS Faculty Member

  • Works directly with CEBA Program Manager to ensure CEBA meets department and school priorities and expectations.
  • Advises CEBA Program Manager on his/her duties and responsibilities. Helps departing Program Manager train incoming Program Manager.
  • Determines project priorities, final milestones, as well as ongoing testing and maintenance strategies for completed projects.
  • Audits projects and advises on how well they meet stakeholder requirements. Assesses each project’s proposed purpose, constraints, and milestones in order to make suggestions to improve overall project success.
  • Acts as liaison between CEBA and MIS department to help allocate resources and identify additional projects. Initially responsible for finding lab space and starting the process of building the initial infrastructure of the lab.
  • Helps CEBA Program Manager with identifying potential students that might be specifically invited to participate in CEBA.
  • Works directly with CEBA Advisory Board to collect ideas about potential stakeholders, new projects, potential students, emerging technologies and standards, and securing additional resources.
  • Reports to MIS Department head on how well CEBA is accomplishing its mission and meeting department, school and stakeholder expectations.
  • Identifies when CEBA employees are not fulfilling responsibilities, acts as disciplinary decision maker (change of personnel, withholding of stipend, or cancellation of internship/assistantship).

CEBA Advisory Board – MIS/MBA/HSB Faculty Members (Additional Members may come from business professionals outside the school)

  • Acts as a source of technical/professional information for CEBA Advisor – recommends technologies, methodologies and standards in their fields of study or experience.
  • May act as project auditors and professional Beta testers for a limited time (CEBA will not expect many hours outside of faculty duties for any purpose, unless a board member requests to help in additional ways).
  • May act as advisors to CEBA teams on specific technologies and standards (i.e. Should we normalize this table in the database to a greater degree? Should we use stored procedures or LINQ? etc.).
  • Helps identify outstanding students for CEBA recruitment.
  • Helps identify potential projects and stakeholders.
  • Helps allocate additional resources to help accomplish CEBA mission.

Stakeholder – USU, HSB, MIS and External Agencies

  • Identifies and proposes a project for CEBA.
  • Works directly with CEBA Program Manager/Project Manager to develop the project’s scope, constraints, technologies, and milestones.
  • Provides regular feedback on the project by meeting with CEBA Program Manager and the Project Manager in charge.
  • Provides all content required for project, including text, media and business logic.
  • Identifies branding and presentation requirements for application.
  • Grades project managers and their teams based on the CEBA project rubric (see table 1.1).

Marketing and Branding Liason – Graduate Student (President of AIS)

  • Works with CEBA Program Manager to identify ways in which CEBA might be used to recruit students to HSB and MIS
  • Identifies projects that CEBA might accomplish that help accomplish recruitment goals (custom web pages, Facebook apps, iPhone/Windows 7 Phone/Droid apps)
  • Helps market CEBA to students as the premier information systems lab
  • Understands CEBA mission well enough to market CEBA on MIS recruiting trips

Project Manager – Graduate Student/Advanced Undergrad

  • Helps recruit and build reliable team of MIS students that will work at ground level to complete a project from start to finish
  • Works with Program Manager to understand stakeholder requirements
  • Communicates to team project details, receives feedback from team about best technologies and approaches, makes decisions about implementation strategy
  • Sets milestones reportable to Program Manager
  • Assigns team members to accomplish distinct parts of the project, complete with expectations of deliverables and completion dates
  • Works with other project managers in order to accomplish larger scope projects
  • Identifies potential students to become project managers

Developers – Graduate/Undergraduate Students

  • Works with project manager to understand project details, gives feedback about project implementation
  • Accepts assignments from project manager
  • Works with other team members to plan out how to best accomplish the project
  • Designs database structure, page layout, using industry standard design techniques i.e. Entity-Relational Diagram for databases, page flow chart for web pages, etc.
  • Tests deliverables and reports to project manager when a milestone has been achieved
  • Accepts feedback from project manager as well as team members to make corrections
  • Researches and learns newest technologies and methodologies to keep CEBA at the forefront of modern information systems design
  • Identifies potential students for CEBA

Funding Model

CEBA is considered a nonprofit organization within the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. Spending of funds is authorized by the MIS Department Head. It is funded through the following ways:

  • Department allocated funds
  • Beneficiary Fees
  • Donations and Grants
  • Department Allocated Funds

MIS Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide for the success of the college, university, and community through exemplary teaching, research, and service by:

  • Offering interrelated undergraduate and graduate degrees of national and international distinction in management information systems.
  • Recruiting high-quality students from diverse backgrounds with strong potential for program completion.
  • Providing student-friendly instruction.
  • Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies into course subject matter and teaching methods.
  • Creating new knowledge through basic and applied research.
  • Promoting the college, university, and State of Utah through service in university committees, national professional organizations, civic groups, and local and national businesses.
  • Capitalizing on research projects through entrepreneurial efforts and consulting opportunities.
  • CEBA seeks to help the MIS department accomplish two parts of this mission statement:
  • Creating new knowledge through basic and applied research
  • Capitalizing on research projects through entrepreneurial efforts and consulting opportunities.
  • CEBA acts as the applied research arm of the MIS department. As such, the department allocates funding to allow CEBA to operate and accomplish its internal mission.

Beneficiary Fees

It is projected that department funding will not be enough to sustain CEBA’s operation and promote its growth. Because of this, beneficiaries’ of CEBA’s services will be asked to pay certain fees. These fees will be assessed based on a case-by-case basis and be decided by the MIS department head. The fees may include paying for one of more student internship or assistantship or a flat/percentage based fee for ongoing services, including development and maintenance of information systems provided to the beneficiary. This source of funding will most-likely not pay directly for the services rendered, but will allow the MIS department to allocate funding to CEBA in order to not only sustain operations but grow the organization.

Donations and Grants

As CEBA grows and builds relationships with a variety of beneficiaries, there is hope that past beneficiaries and CEBA alumnus’s will want to make donations and provide grants for CEBA to continue to grow and develop. The solicitation of these donations and grants will be considered a higher priority in coming years as the program gains a successful reputation.

Policy of Non-Competition

CEBA is designed as a student-run information systems development center, funded, as mentioned above, primarily through department funds. As such, the center maintains a policy of non-competition. This policy means that CEBA will not bid for projects in the public sector along-side for-profit companies. The reason for this policy is to keep within Utah State University’s policy of non-competition. Interested stakeholders should understand that participation in the CEBA program should be based on a desire to further the mission of CEBA, by allowing students to develop real-world applications. Stakeholders must also be aware service level agreements entered into through the CEBA program will be held to standards that are appropriate to a student-run organization. Although the center will make every possible effort to mirror real-world standards, due to its student-based nature, service level agreements will normally be lower than their real-world equivalents. The primary motivation for a stakeholder to be involved in the CEBA program should not be to get cheap services. The motivation should be to promote student development and information systems research.

CEBA also seeks to support Utah State University’s internal IT department, not compete with it. USU entities should first see if USU’s IT department already has products or services that meet their requirements. CEBA should always be aware of USU’s IT department’s core capabilities and utilize, supplement or complement their services before completely constructing similar systems. For example, if a USU department wants an internal IT tool created, CEBA should first find out if one can be created using USU’s current system. As of this draft, this might mean creating a module for USU’s proprietary content management system Easy-Plug. CEBA should work with the IT department to create or help create such a module. In this way CEBA’s work can be used USU-wide.