The three-sphere model of systems management

by Koree Monteloyola- Cañizares


three Sphere Model of systems management

(image source: IT Project Management, 5th Edition; Kathy Schwalbe; Cengage Learning)

The three-sphere model of systems management deals with the business, organizational and technological aspects and/or issues related to the project that should be defined and considered in order to select and manage projects effectively and successfully. In terms of addressing its advantage on the business side, a project should supplement or serve as an answer to the business goals; whereas, the technological sphere should state the proper hardware and software issues to be resolved. As for the organizational aspect, matters involving the stakeholders should be taken into full consideration. If the project manager would be able to point out as early as possible the aforementioned issues and integrate it to the project it would definitely aid in determining if an organization should invest and produce the project.

In my previous job wherein I worked as a web developer, I was given a task to convert a static website of a magazine into a dynamic PHP website; what prompt the management to engage into this project is the fact that the web has become more sophisticated and that there has been a major shift of “print” audience to the internet. You’ll find below the business, organizational and technological issues of the said project.

Business issues:

1.    Would the website be the medium in response to the impact of the internet in a publishing company?
2.    Would the website supplement the magazine in terms of advertising?
3.    What will the project cost the company?
4.    What would be the impact of the website to the sales of the magazine?
5.    What would be the cost of maintaining the whole system for the website?

Technological issues:

1.    What operating system, server platform, scripting language and database should be used?
2.    What will be the server and desktop specifications?
3.    Does our current network setup allow employees to develop this project, or do we need an upgrade?
4.    Do we have the right internet connection to support this project?

Organizational issues:

1.    Do we have the existing manpower to develop the project?
2.    What would be the impact of the website to the magazine’s print division?
3.    How will the website affect our print audience?

In my opinion the most important issues are from the business and organization spheres, since these two primarily follows the business philosophy – it would definitely be pointless if a project fails to meet the endeavors either on the business or organizational side – it’s doomed to fail if that is the case. Among the three, I guess the technological issues are the easiest to resolve.

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