Carnegie Mellon University

Project Course Overview

Background and Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give the reader an overview of the Master of Information Technology Strategy (MITS) project course and to describe what we are looking for in potential MITS projects.

MITS Project Course Goals

The MITS project course provides students with an opportunity to apply concepts learned in the program’s core and concentration area courses. Projects may be sponsored by industry, academia, or government organizations. While projects may vary in domain and concentration area, they provide MITS students the opportunity to "learn-by-doing" by applying program materials.

Projects should focus on MITS concentration topic areas and provide an opportunity for students to apply the program content materials to address some strategic or policy concern, issue, or challenge.  This is important: regardless of the concentration topic area, MITS projects should ultimately be about strategy and policy. Projects may cut across one or more concentration areas. This provides opportunities for students to work in teams with diverse interests and expertise.

Concentration Areas and Project Topic Guidelines

Each MITS concentration area is described below as well as guidance for project topics:

Politics and Strategy - This concentration focuses on developing a sound reasoning framework and the critical thinking skills necessary to develop effective policies and strategies for those decision makers who will shape the future their technology intensive organizations.

Politics and Strategy projects should broadly focus on:

  • Analysis of micro/macro socio-political-organization policies and strategies with the intent to understand the history, current circumstances, and consequences of existing policies and strategies.
  • Determine and evaluate the future impact and socio-political-organization consequences of existing or proposed policies and strategies.
  • Proposing alternative policies and strategies and provide an analysis of their socio-political-organization impact.

Data Analytics – This concentration focuses on the mastery of techniques such as: machine learning, social network analysis, large-scale data reduction and filtering and the application of these techniques to the development of strategies to advance the organizational mission.

Data Analytics projects should broadly focus on:

  • Collection of data in some organizational context.
  • Analysis of data and identification of trends in the data.
  • Strategic analysis utilizing data and trends to identify opportunities to explore alternative strategies, identifying future strategic direction, evaluate the fitness of existing strategies, and so forth. 

Information Security – This concentration focuses on developing an understanding of cyber-attacks and equipping students to address the threats and consequences of cyber-attacks through sound information security strategies and policies.

Information Security projects should broadly focus on:

  • Evaluation of security policies, practices, and technologies.
  • Threat analysis of organizational application and data assets.
  • Formulation of strategies to address current and emerging threats to data and application security within the organization/enterprise to include: proposing alternative strategies, strategic direction, evaluate the fitness of existing strategies and technology suites, and so forth.

Software and Networked Systems – This concentration focuses on developing an understanding of systems and software comprising organizational information infrastructure asset to better manage their design, development, and procurement of systems and service, through sound strategies and policies.

Software and Networked Systems projects should broadly focus on:

  • Current network systems and software technology trends and the various ecosystems prevalent today.
  • Risks and challenges associated with managing, designing, developing, and procuring systems hardware, software, infrastructures.
  • The role systems and software have in the strategies utilized to support and advance an organization’s business goals and/or mission objectives.