Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Purpose and Content

The purpose of the course is to provide frameworks, tools and skill and comfort in the understanding and use of IT in business from the point of view of a business manager, an IT manager and an employee like a new graduate from MIT.

The objectives and content areas are:

  • To understand and be able to use frameworks and tools relating to the strategic and operational use of IT in business. Topics include, for example, alignment of business strategy with the role and strategy for IT investments, digitization and transformation of business and organizational capability, design and implementation of IT architecture and IT governance, business process management, and supply and outsourcing relationships.
  • To instill skills and comfort in decision making around IT project management. Topics include the lifecycle of a project from initial need and justification through selection or development to installation and integration with existing systems to deployment and organizational changes necessary to get business value.
  • To cover the necessary basic concepts of business management in relation to IT. The business side includes business strategy and its execution, alternative forms of organizational structure, business processes, and business functions (particularly understanding the rudiments of financial statements).


Class Discussion (Especially Case Discussion) 35%
Three Short Papers 30%
Project Team Presentations and Paper 35%

Preparation and Class

The course is heavily case-and discussion-oriented. A business case study will typically be assigned, as well as one or more articles or chapters, for about half the classes, and a visitor will follow in the next who was either in the case or is an expert on the topic of the case. Rigorous preparation of cases and active participation in discussions is expected.

Each short paper will be based on the material and discussion in the class at the end of a module, and are to represent the student's extension of the case and topic. Papers will be in the form of a memorandum to an executive in the case or to a class visitor, and are to be no more than two pages in length.

The written take-home final exam will be based on a class near the end of the course.

Student teams will be formed early in the course. Teams are for the team project, and also to meet weekly on their own schedule to discuss the assigned case and articles as part of their preparation for the upcoming class.

The team project presentations will be based on projects assigned early in the course from opportunities generated by the professor and the TA. After the presentation the team will submit a written report, no more than 20 pages in length, based on the presentation and discussion of it.

Absences and Other Academic Standards

Students will be allowed three absences during the semester. Each absence must notify the TA in advance, unless an emergency. At the beginning of the class following the absence, a written analysis of the material assigned for the missed class is due. Absences beyond three will generally affect the grade in the course.