04-800-E-Carnegie Mellon University Africa - Carnegie Mellon University



E-Enabling Service Delivery in a Multi-Sector Environment (ESD)

Course discipline: Business
Units: 12
Semester/year offered : Spring / all years

Course description:             

I. Rationale: 

Fostering access to new technologies is indeed a laudable goal in itself, yet developing economies need at the same time to focus on the traditional and long-standing development gaps that still persist today. Moreover, new ICTs have the potential of providing innovative solutions to existing economic, social and political challenges, which can transform the way development assistance is delivered.


According to “The Africa Competitiveness Report 2013”, Rwanda ranked 4.62 (out of 7) in various trade-enabling economic pillars.  In order of importance, the following three pillars were ranked the weakest in Rwanda.

      i.         Efficiency of import export procedures 2.79

     ii.         Availability and quality of transport infrastructure         2.95; and

    iii.         Availability and use of ICTs          2.46 (compared to 2.45 overall in Sub Saharan Africa).

Nevertheless, it is estimated that “over 40 percent of the population [in Sub Saharan Africa] has access to a mobile device, dwarfing the 15 percent who use the Internet”.   


CMU students in the MSIT program can be trained to help improve trade in Rwanda and beyond by addressing eService Delivery across multiple industry sectors.  They need to understand clearly the importance of the Service industry in enabling African trade; and, they need to realize how IT is revolutionizing the Service industry.  For example, a Service Revolution is underway in terms of the availability of large amounts of data related to transactions with customers.  This data can be analyzed for its logic so that marketing can be re-invented from a customer-centric, service perspective across multiple industry sectors. As part of the learning process, the students need to work with organizations to help them recognize their value-propositions, which are driven by customers globally in the Network Era.  It is in this context that “eEnabling Service Delivery in a Multi-Sector Environment” has been crafted as an elective for MSIT students. 


II. Course Aims and Outcomes: 


Students will understand the critical importance of Customer Service Delivery, how to support it, and how to access and deploy electronic customer data that has the potential to transform and reposition organizations in terms of their competitive advantage.


Specific Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamentals of Service Delivery in ICT-related organizations

  • Explain how to effectively engage customers

  • Identify how service is analyzed for its ‘logic’

  • Investigate how value-propositions relate to customer-centric service delivery

  • Review the importance of quality eService

  • Explain the relationship between ‘online’ customer service and ‘offline’ fulfillment

  • Review the importance of reliability, efficiency, support, communication and incentives

·       Compare different global approaches to Intellectual Capital Management as it relates to eService Delivery

·       Investigate the role of future Mobile Value Add Services

  • Describe opportunities in the context of Sub Saharan Africa and beyond


III. Format and Procedures: 


Over the 16 - week period January 12 to April 30, 2015, the course will be delivered in the following Units.  Given one week away each for March Break and Genocide Memorial, there will be a total of 14 weeks of scheduled classes.




1.     Foundations of Service Delivery (Week 1)

2.     Managing Service (Weeks 2)

3.     Value-based service (Weeks 3)

4.     Role of eService quality (Weeks 4)

5.     Data Analytics (Weeks 5-6)

6.     Data Security Issues (Week 7)

7.     Review of strategic communication skills (Week 8)

8.     BPO’s, Call Centers and ROI (Weeks 9-10)

9.     Individual Summary Response papers (Weeks 11-12)

10.  Group Presentations on Industry segments (Weeks 12-13)

11.  Review for Final Exam (Week 14)

The course will consist of presentations by the lecturer and articles to be read before each class.  These will be accompanied by question and answer sessions.  Each student is required to participate in these sessions, which will contribute to his or her grade in class participation.  A graded assignment will be administered for each Unit to ensure that students keep pace with the course workload.  In addition to an Individual Summary Response paper on a unique course topic, groups will conduct a Final Project that will be conducted and presented to the class. The Final Exam will consist of a variety of multiple choice and short answer questions. 


Every effort will be made to include the opportunities for students to summarize their academic readings and reflect on what they are learning.  In addition, students will be given opportunities to share their knowledge in class so that everyone might build on what they bring to each lesson.  This will assist each student to validate his or her understanding.  Working in groups or teams, the students will be expected to explain concepts to other students in order to reinforce the learning process.  Students will receive feedback both from the lecturer and each other as a way for motivating each learner and to empower them as learners.

IV.  My Thoughts and Assumptions

Based on background and review of current topics involving the collection of big data and social media interfaces related to service delivery and customer care as the value-proposition offered by organizations, this course should allow for a lot of critical thinking and crafting of innovative ideas for a way forward.  As ICT professionals, the students must take into consideration not only the global trends and directions but also local (country specific)and regional conditions in the context of socio-economic development.

V. Course Requirements: 


It is anticipated that all students will attend each lecture on time and to submit assignments when they are due.  Exceptions will be accepted at the discretion of the lecturer.  Penalties will apply so that no student gains any advantage over the others.


Distractions caused by mobile cellular devices and/or Internet access during class will not be tolerated in line with the CMUR policy.  Students will able to use these devices only when it will be required in the context of reviewing readings in class by the lecturer.


V. Grading Procedures: Grades

Grades will be allocated as follows.


Class Participation

 15 %

Unit Assignments and Tests

 20 %

Individual Summary Response


Final Group Project & Presentation


Final Exam



100 %


The grades in this course will be assigned as follows.


Letter Grade


Quality of Performance



Exceptional Work (based on clear demonstration of lessons learned and well thought output consistently throughout the term).



Strong, excellent work and demonstration of above elements.



Good Demonstration of lessons learned and applying it to work produced. 



Good and competent work.



Good work



Satisfactory overall performance



Just making the pass grade with low overall performance.



Failed overall performance (no passing units)



Failed overall performance  (no passing units)



Failed overall performance  (no passing units)






Grading for Class Participation










Attends class regularly and always contributes to the discussion by raising thoughtful questions, analyzing relevant issues, building on others’ ideas, synthesizing across readings and discussions, expanding the class’ perspective, and appropriately challenging assumptions and perspectives

Attends class regularly and sometimes contributes to the discussion in the aforementioned ways.

Attends class regularly but rarely contributes to the discussion in the aforementioned ways.

Attends class regularly but never contributes to the discussion in the aforementioned ways.




VI. Academic Integrity


As per CMU codes of ethics and behavior, cheating and plagiarism are treated very seriously. It is recommended that each student review the recently revised policies (Ref.: http://www.cmu.edu/policies/documents/AcademicIntegrity.htm). Key areas of concern for students include the following.


·       Potential violations of cheating, plagiarism, and unauthorized assistance; and

·       Emphasis on unauthorized assistance as a growing concern i.e. students giving their work to other students or students taking the work of other students and collaborative production of work especially related individual assignments.


This means that while students are encouraged to work collaboratively, they must produce their own output for purposes of academic assessment e.g. cheating, plagiarism.  Please consult with the Lecturer and/or the Teaching Assistant if you have any questions.


Students caught cheating, plagiarizing and giving or receiving unauthorized assistance will receive a grade of zero.


VII. Accommodations for students with disabilities


In compliance with the CMU policy and equal access laws, appropriate academic accommodations that may be required for student with disabilities will be discussed and arrangements made based on their eligibility for appropriate accommodations.


VIII.  Inclusivity Statement


In the interest of equality, both students and staff are expected to share their unique experiences, values and beliefs in order to enrich the learning experience.


The Africa Competitiveness Report 2013, World Bank, World Economic Forum, 2013, pp.60-1. Available: http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/Africa/Report/africa-competitiveness-report-2013-main-report-web.pdf


Zambrano. 64.


Christian Grönroos , Johanna Gummerus , “The service revolution and its marketing implications: service logic vs service-dominant logic," Managing Service Quality, Vol. 24 Iss: 3, 2014, pp.206 – 229. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MSQ-03-2014-0042