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|Penn State-Great Valley|
Master of Management
Copyright 1997 by
Eric W. Stein, Ph.D.
Table of Contents
Decision Support and Expert Systems (MIS 538) 3
1.1 Identifying opportunities for expert systems 5
1.2 Justifying expert systems 9
1.3 How to Develop Expert Systems in Organizations 15
2.1 Mapping a classification type of problem 19
2.2 Methods of inference and problem solving 24
2.3 Identifying Sources of knowledge in organizations 30
2.4 dealing with uncertainty in expert systems 32
3.1 Validation of Expert Systems 37
3.2 Maintaining expert systems 41
To identify opportunities for expert system development using different methods.
Read "Core Competence of Firm" (HBR).
Review material on competitive strategy and advantage (e.g., by Michael Porter).
Groups of 5-7 people.
Selecting an area for expert systems development is a critical and difficult process. There are at several ways to approach this task: (i) Search for problems in the organization and identify ways expert systems can solve those problems; (ii) Use a strategic framework such as Porter's and identify opportunities for expert systems; (iii) use a core competence approach as given in the HBR article by Prahalad and Hamel. The purpose of this exercise is to gain experience with each one of these approaches, and then to evaluate the potential applications using a checklist.
Step 1 (10 minutes)
Discuss major ideas competitive strategy, core competence, and other frameworks. When ready, break into groups.
Step 2 (15 minutes)
For one member of the group, discuss problems the firm is having and suggest ways expert systems might be applied to solve the problems.
Competitive Advantage Approach (optional)
Step 3 (15 minutes)
For the same member (or another member of the group), apply the ideas of Porter's framework to identify areas that an expert system might provide competitive advantage.
Core Competence Approach
Step 4 (15 minutes)
For the same member (or another member of the group), articulate the core competencies of the organization. What role can an expert system serve in preserving these core competencies? What are the advantages of doing so?
Step 5 (10 minutes)
Review the Hazardous Waste problem being done in groups. Use the checklist (see attached) to evaluate it.
Step 6 (10 minutes)
Select the most promising projects identified above (steps 1-4) by using a checklist (see attached). What are the top 2-3 projects? Why?
What do you think of the approaches? What have you learned?
Expert System Checklist 1
Expert System Checklist 2
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