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FIT5102 IT strategy and governance - Semester 2 , 2008

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Unit leader :

Kerry Tanner

Lecturer(s) :


  • Kerry Tanner


Tutors(s) :


  • Malini Jayaganesh


Welcome to FIT5102 IT Strategy and Governance, for Semester 2, 2008.

This 6 point unit is core to the Corporate Information and Knowledge Management professional track of the Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) and the Master of Business Information Systems degrees (MBIS), and an elective unit in the Master of Business (IT Management), and in all Faculty of IT masters degrees.

The unit has been designed to provide you with an understanding of IT and information and knowledge management (IKM) governance frameworks and strategy perspectives. It builds on themes introduced in FIT9006 IT Management. The unit emphasises the relationship between theoretical knowledge and its practical application, using cases and real examples.

Unit synopsis

ASCED Discipline Group classification: 020399 Information systems not elsewhere classified

FIT5102 develops understanding of IT and information and knowledge management (IKM) governance frameworks and strategy perspectives, with particular emphasis on the regulatory environment, legislative and organisational controls, audits, standards, professional certifications, and issues associated with measuring performance, demonstrating value and minimising risk. The unit builds on intellectual capital theory, augmented by insights from social capital and emotional capital. It differentiates strategies focused primarily on people, business processes, and content, and considers the supporting technologies that can facilitate each approach. Case studies illustrate theory and develop skills in applying knowledge to particular situations and contexts.

Learning outcomes

At the conclusion of FIT5102 students will understand:

  • the characteristics and limitations of different IT and IKM governance frameworks and strategy perspectives, and how competing perspectives can be reconciled in practice;
  • the concepts underpinning the dominant intellectual capital perspective on IT and IKM strategy, the strengths and limitations of this approach, and how social capital and emotional capital insights can augment this view of strategy;
  • the distinct features, the functional/disciplinary origins, and the key drivers of IT and IKM strategies focused primarily on (1) people, (2) business processes, and (3) content and technology, and the supporting technologies that can facilitate each approach;
  • links between strategy, performance and measurement, and the issues associated with demonstrating the value and benefits of IT and IKM;
  • the nature of the IT and IKM regulatory environment and approaches to controlling risk; and
  • the importance of marketing, leading and championing IT and IKM within the organisation, and of reflective practice.

At the conclusion of FIT5102 students will have the skills to:

  • interact effectively with senior management and key functional areas in relation to IT and IKM strategy development and implementation;
  • develop sustainable organisational IT and IKM strategy with appropriate governance mechanisms/structures;
  • manage IT and IKM strategic change initiatives; and
  • develop and document policies and procedures relating to IT and IKM governance and risk management.


For on campus students, weekly workload commitments are:

  • a two-hour lecture
  • a one-hour tutorial (requiring preparation in advance)
  • nine hours of personal study (reading, assignment preparation, etc.)
Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however, you should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

Unit relationships


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed:

FIT9006, or 24 points of Graduate units from the Faculty of Information Technology, or equivalent.


FIT5102 is a core unit in the Corporate Information and Knowledge Management professional track of the Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS) and the Master of Business Information Systems (MBIS) degrees, and an elective unit in the Master of Business (IT Management), and in all Faculty of IT masters degrees.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT9006 IT Management, or 24 points of Graduate units from the Faculty of Information Technology, or equivalent.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Dr Kerry Tanner
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 32626

Contact hours : Monday 3-6 pm; Thursday 2-4 pm or email for an appointment

Lecturer(s) :

None provided

Dr Kerry Tanner
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 32626

Tutor(s) :

Mrs Malini Jayaganesh
PhD Student
Phone +61 3 990 55457

Teaching and learning method

Weekly class activities include a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. Tutorials explore issues and introduce case examples of topics introduced in lectures. Assessment tasks provide an opportunity to apply concepts to specific cases, and to investigate an information/IT strategy and governance topic in depth.   To maximise participation and to enhance learning opportunities, students are asked to undertake required reading tasks and activities prior to coming to class.

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes at all Australian campuses please refer to MUTTS, http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/

Lecture: Caulfield Campus, Thursdays, 6-8 pm

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using Allocate+.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Study guide References/Readings Key dates
1 Lecture: Overview of FIT5102. Introducing key concepts: Corporate governance and IT/ information governance; Strategy and strategic management frameworks; Aligning business strategy and IT/information strategy; Delivering business value and measuring performance; The regulatory environment and risk minimisation No tutorials. Tutorials commence in Week 2 Weill & Ross (2004), Chs. 1 & 6 (specific sections); Supplied readings  
2 Lecture: Strategic assets and value realisation; IT, information and knowledge as strategic assets Tutorial: Aligning business strategy and IT strategy Weill & Ross (2004), Ch. 1; Supplied readings Tutorials commence in Week 2
3 Lecture: What decisions must be made to ensure the strategic use and effective management of IT/information resources? [Weill & Ross's 5 key IT decision domains] Tutorial: Value chain analysis Weill & Ross (2004), Ch. 2  
4 Lecture: Who should make decisions relating to IT/information resources? How should these decisions be made? [Governance archetypes, roles and responsibilities, structures and mechanisms for implementing IT/ information governance] Tutorial: Value network analysis Weill & Ross (2004), Chs. 3 & 4  
5 Lecture: IT governance in practice [Case studies of particular organisations and how they link strategy, IT/information governance and performance] Tutorial: IT governance arrangements case studies Weill & Ross (2004), Chs. 5, 6 & 7  
6 Lecture: IT governance review. IT and human capital: a framework for understanding information, knowledge and IT strategy and strategic change initiatives Tutorial: Case studies on IT governance designs for different strategic and structural drivers Supplied readings Case studies & weekly reflections, Part I (Weeks 2-6) (10%), due Friday, 22 Aug., 5 pm
7 Lecture: IKM strategies I: Strategies with a primary focus on people, and supporting technologies Tutorial: Case studies on IT governance in government and not-for-profit organisations Supplied readings  
8 Lecture: IKM strategies II: Strategies with a primary focus on business processes, and supporting technologies Tutorial: IKM Strategies I: Communities of practice, Storytelling and Social network analysis Supplied readings  
9 Lecture: IKM strategies III: Strategies with a primary focus on content, and supporting technologies Tutorial: IKM Strategies II: Action/ After action reviews, Lessons learned and Peer assists Supplied readings Research paper (30%) due Friday, 12 Sept, 5 pm
10 Lecture: IT strategies: Sourcing, outsourcing, offshoring Tutorial: IKM Strategies III: Knowledge audits and Knowledge mapping Supplied readings  
11 Lecture: Demonstrating the value/ benefits of IT and IKM: performance measurement approaches and issues Tutorial: Case study on IT outsourcing Supplied readings Case studies & weekly reflections, Part II (Weeks 7-11), (10%), due Friday, 26 Sept, 5 pm
Mid semester break
12 Lecture: Controlling risk in IT and IKM [Legislative and organisational barriers and controls; audits; standards (de jure, de facto); professional certifications] Tutorial: Balanced Scorecard: From performance measurement to strategy implementation Supplied readings  
13 Lecture: Review session. Exam preparation Tutorial: Exam preparation    

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

  • Weill, Peter, & Ross, Jeanne W. (2004). IT governance: How top performers manage IT decision rights for superior results. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.  ISBN 978-1-59139-253-8.
  • Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.
  • Recommended text(s) and readings

    Reference will be made to a variety of sources, including the following books.

  • Broadbent, Marianne & Kitzis, Ellen S. (2005). The new CIO leader: Setting the agenda and delivering results. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Galliers, Robert D. & Leidner, Dorothy E. (2003). Strategic information management: Challenges and strategies in managing information systems. (3rd. ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Gottschalk, Petter. (2006). E-business strategy, sourcing and governance. Hershey, PA: Idea Group.
  • Van Grembergen, Wim. (2003). Strategies for information technology governance. Hershey, PA: Idea Group.
  • Weill, Peter, & Broadbent, Marianne. (1998). Leveraging the new infrastructure: How market leaders capitalize on information technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press
  • Ross, Jeanne W., Weill, Peter, & Robertson, David C. (2006). Enterprise architecture as strategy: Creating a foundation for business execution. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  • In addition, weekly lists of readings (journal articles, conference papers, web references, book chapters) will be provided.

    Equipment and consumables required or provided

    Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 6 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for discussion groups.

    Study resources

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

    • Weekly detailed lecture notes and slides outlining the learning objectives, discussion of the content, required readings and  exercises;
    • Weekly tutorial or tasks and exercises;
    • Assignment specifications and suggested approaches;
    • A sample examination and suggested solutions;
    • Access to past examination paper;
    • Discussion groups;
    • This Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
    • The unit web site on MUSO/Blackboard, where resources outlined above will be made available.

    Library access

    The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

    All unit and lecture materials are available through MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources. Some units will be piloted in Moodle. If your unit is piloted in Moodle, you will see a link from your Blackboard unit to Moodle (http://moodle.monash.edu.au) and can bookmark this link to access directly. In Moodle, from the Faculty of Information Technology category, click on the link for your unit.

    You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal: http://my.monash.edu.au

    Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

    In order for your Blackboard unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

    For example:

    • Blackboard supported browser
    • Supported Java runtime environment

    For more information, please visit: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/students/downloadables-student.html

    You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

    For further contact information including operational hours, please visit: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/students/contact.html

    Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site: http://www.monash.edu.au/muso/support/index.html


    Unit assessment policy

    This unit is assessed with two assignments (Note: Assignment 1 is submitted in two parts) and a three-hour closed book examination. 

    To pass the unit you must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination;
    • 40% or more in the unit's assignments; and
    • an overall mark of 50% or more.
    If you don't achieve 40% or more in the unit exam and the non-examination assessment, then a mark of no greater than 44% N will be recorded for the unit.

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 1: Case studies and weekly reflections

      Description :

      Assignment 1 requires you to complete a series of weekly exercises in the form of case studies or reflections related to the week's tutorial topic. Details of this assignment and its assessment criteria are provided in a separate handout.

      Assignment 1 is worth 20% of your overall mark in the unit. It is to be submitted in two parts (each worth 10%).  Part I, covering Weeks 2-6, is to be handed in on 22 August, and Part 2, covering Weeks 6-11, on 26 September. 

      Weighting : 20% (comprising 10% each for Part 1 and Part 2)

      Criteria for assessment :

      Due date : Part I, covering Weeks 2-6, is to be handed in on 22 August, and Part 2, covering Weeks 6-11, on 26 September.

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 2: Research paper

      Description :

      Assignment 2 requires you to study in depth one topic of interest within the field of information/IT strategy and governance, and to present your findings as a research paper/ research essay. Details of this assignment and its assessment criteria are provided in a separate handout.

      Weighting : 30%

      Criteria for assessment :

      Due date : Friday, 12 September


    • Examination

      Weighting : 50%

      Length : 3 hours

      Type ( open/closed book ) : Closed book

    Assignment submission

    For on campus students, assignments are to be submitted by paper submission by the due date. You may either hand your assignment to your tutor during tutorials, or place it in your tutor's pigeonhole/mailbox.

    Off campus students may either submit their assignments via the Blackboard submission facility, or post or email them to their tutor so that they are received by the due date.

    All students must ensure that the assignment cover sheet is correctly filled out/ signed and attached to the front of their assignment. 

    either in tutorials, on the specified date, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached.

    Assignment coversheets

    The relevant coversheet can be downloaded from:


    University and Faculty policy on assessment

    Due dates and extensions

    The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

    Requests for extensions must be made to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date.  You will be asked to provide an original medical certificate in the case of illness, and may be asked for other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

    Late assignment

    Assignments received after the due date, without a prior approved extension, will be subject to a penalty of 20% of possible marks per week overdue. 

    Return dates

    Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

    Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

    Assignments will be returned in tutorials for on campus students. If you will not be attending a tutorial, please contact your tutor to make other arrangements for assignment return.

    For off campus students, assignments will either be posted back or marked within the MUSO/Blackboard environment. 

    Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

    Register of counselling about plagiarism

    The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

    Non-discriminatory language

    The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

    Students with disabilities

    Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

    Deferred assessment and special consideration

    Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.