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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Software management represents a meaningful and advantageous new direction for traditional Information Systems curricula. The prevailing circumstance for I.S. education lends credence to the ancient curse ... "may you live in interesting times." Change has become a stern task master. Hosts of fashionable ideas and newfangled innovations compete to influence the tenor and composition of I.S. training. Software management, as distinguished from software engineering and traditional l.S. study, offers a practical stratagem focused on a pivotal issue in I.S. practice, cost-effective software production. A complete set of principles and methods for efficient manufacture of software has never been studied as such. It isn't that "current best practices" don't exist. It is just that they are not cardinal elements in traditional studies of computing, which quite appropriately center on the technology itself. The University of Detroit Mercy's graduate curriculum establishes a consistent architecture for an academic program to prepare executive leaders expressly for the software industry. Pragmatically, the challenge was to adopt a reliable point of reference to identify and consolidate a valid course array. Buttressed by a review of the literature, we adopted the thesis that the conceptual framework currently employed to depict the rational management of software is incomplete. Instead, technology-centered approaches have been introduced piecemeal. This has begotten the "silver bullet" mentality. Consequently, we organized our model curriculum from a higher level of abstraction. This yielded six thematic areas that we believe encompass the entire problem. Taken together these comprise the attributes that differentiate software management from general business management and the other computer disciplines. We present a pragmatic model that details our successful graduate program.

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