ASSIGNMENT ON PLANNING, IMPLEMENTATION
SHRI GURU RAM RAI INSTITUTE
TECHNOLOGY & SCIENCE
BY ANIRUDDHA SHENDE
PLANNING, IMPLEMENTATION & CONTROL OF Management Information System
- Management Information System(MIS)is a planned system of collecting, storing, and disseminating data in the form of information needed to carry out the functions of management.
- In MIS, the information is recognized as a major resource like capital and time. If this resource has to be managed well, it calls upon the management to plan for it and control it, so that the information becomes a vital resource for the system.
- The management information system needs good planning.
- This system should deal with the management information not with data processing alone.
- It should provide support for the management planning, decision-making and action.
- It should provide support to the changing needs of business management.
Planning for MIS
- Strategic planning for an organization involves long-term policy decisions, like location of a new plant, a new product, diversification etc. Strategic planning is mostly influenced by:
- Decision of diversification i.e., expansion or integration of business
- Market dynamics, demand and supply
- Technological changes
- Competitive forces
- Various other threats, challenges and opportunities
- Strategic planning sets targets for the workings and references for taking such long-term policy decisions and transforms the business objectives into functional and operational units. Strategic planning generally follows one of the four-way paths:
- Overall Company Strategy
- Growth orientation
- Product orientation
- Market orientation
- The Strategic Business Objectives of MIS with regards to the following aspects of a business can be:
- Operational Excellence. This relates to achieving excellence in business in operations to achieve higher profitability. For example, a consumer goods manufacturer may decide upon using a wide distribution network to get maximum reach to the customers and exposure. A manufacturing company may pursue a strategy of aggressive marketing and mass production.
- New Products, Services and Business Models. This is part of growth strategy of an organization. A new product or a new service introduced, with a very fast growth potential provides a mean for steady growth business turnover.With the help of information technology, a company might even opt for an entirely new business model, which will allow it to establish, consolidate and maintain a leadership in the existing market as well as provide a competitive edge in the industry.For example, a company selling low priced detergent may opt for producing higher range detergents for washing machines, washing soaps, and bath soaps.It involves market strategies also that includes planning for distribution, advertisement, market research and other related aspects.
- Customer and Supplier Intimacy. When a Business really knows their Customers and serves them well, ‘the way they want to be served’, the Customers generally respond by returning and buying more from the firm. It raises revenues and profits. Likewise with Suppliers, the more a Business engages its Suppliers, the better the Suppliers can provide vital information. This will lower the cost and bring huge improvements in the supply-chain management.
- Improved Decision-making. A very important pre-requisite of strategic planning is to provide the right information at the right time to the right person, for making an informed decision.Well planned Information Systems and technologies make it possible for the decision makers to use real-time data from the marketplace when making informed decisions
- Competitive Advantage, and Survival. The following list illustrates some of the strategic planning that provides competitive advantage and survival:
- Planning for an overall growth for the company.
- Thorough market research to understand the market dynamics involving demand-supply.
- Various policies that will dominate the course and movement of business.
- Expansion and diversification to conquer new markets.
- Choosing a perfect product strategy that involves either expanding a family of products or an associated product.
- Strategies for choosing the market, distribution, pricing, advertising, packing, and other market-oriented strategies.
- Strategies driven by industry-level changes or Government regulations.
- Strategies for change management.
- MIS design and development process has to address the following issues successfully:
- There should be effective communication between the developers and users of the system.
- There should be synchronization in understanding of management, processes and IT among the users as well as the developers.
- Understanding of the information needs of managers from different functional areas and combining these needs into a single integrated system.
- Creating a unified MIS covering the entire organization will lead to a more economical, faster and more integrated system, however it will increase in design complexity manifold.
- The MIS has to be interacting with the complex environment comprising all other sub-systems in the overall information system of the organization. So, it is extremely necessary to understand and define the requirements of MIS in the context of the organization.
- It should keep pace with changes in environment, changing demands of the customers and growing competition.
- It should utilize fast developing in IT capabilities in the best possible ways.
- Cost and time of installing such advanced IT-based systems is high, so there should not be a need for frequent and major modifications.
- It should take care of not only the users i.e., the managers but also other stakeholders like employees, customers and suppliers.
- Once the organizational planning stage is over, the designer of the system should take the following strategic decisions for the achievement of MIS goals and objectives:
- Development Strategy: Example – an online, real-time batch.
- System Development Strategy: Designer selects an approach to system development like operational verses functional, accounting verses analysis.
- Resources for the Development: Designer has to select resources. Resources can be in-house verses external, customized or use of package.
- Manpower Composition: The staffs should have analysts, and programmers.
- Information system planning essentially involves:
- Identification of the stage of information system in the organization.
- Identification of the application of organizational IS.
- Evolution of each of this application based on the established evolution criteria.
- Establishing a priority ranking for these applications.
- Determining the optimum architecture of IS for serving the top priority applications.
- Information System Requirements The following diagram illustrates a brief sketch of the process of information requirement analysis:
- The following three methodologies can be adopted to determine the requirements in developing a management information system for any organization:
- Business Systems Planning (BSP) – this methodology is developed by IBM.
- It identifies the IS priorities of the organization and focuses on the way data is maintained in the system.
- It uses data architecture supporting multiple applications.
- It defines data classes using different matrices to establish relationships among the organization, its processes and data requirements.
- Critical Success Factor (CSF) – this methodology is developed by John Rockart of MIT.
- It identifies the key business goals and strategies of each manager as well as that of the business.
- Next, it looks for the critical success factors underlying these goals.
- Measure of CSF effectiveness becomes an input for defining the information system requirements.
- End/Means (E/M) Analysis – this methodology is developed by Wetherbe and Davis at the University of Minnesota.
- It determines the effectiveness criteria for outputs and efficiency criteria for the processes generating the outputs.
- At first it identifies the outputs or services provided by the business processes.
- Then it describes the factors that make these outputs effective for the user.
- Finally it selects the information needed to evaluate the effectiveness of outputs
- Information System Analysis and Design
System Analysis and Design follows the typical System/Software Design Life Cycle (SDLC) as discussed in the previous chapter. It generally passes through the following phases:
- Problem Definition
- Feasibility Study
- Systems Analysis
- System Design
- Detailed System Design
- In the analysis phase, the following techniques are commonly used:
- Data flow diagrams (DFD)
- Logic Modeling
- Data Modeling
- Rapid Application Development (RAD)
- Object Oriented Analysis (OOA)
- Technology for Information Systems
The technology requirement for an information system can be categorized as:
- Data center systems – It is the environment that provides processing, storage, networking, management and the distribution of data within an enterprise.
- Enterprise software – These are software system like ERP, SCM, Human Resource Management, etc. that fulfill the needs and objectives of the organizations.
- IT services – It refers to the implementation and management of quality IT services by IT service providers through people, process and information technology. It often includes various process improvement frameworks and methodologies like six sigma, TQM, and so on.
- Telecom services.
- System Test Planning and Execution
The system should be fully tested for errors before being fully operational.The test plan should include for each test:
- test inputs
- detailed specification of test procedure
- details of expected outputs
Each sub-system and all their components should be tested using various test procedures and data to ensure that each component is working as it is intended.
The testing must include the users of the system to identify errors as well as get the feedback.
- System Operation
Before the system is in operation, the following issues should be taken care of:
- Data security, backup and recovery;
- Systems control;
- Testing of the system to ensure that it works bug-free in all expected business situations;
- The hardware and software used should be able to deliver the expected processing;
- The system capacity and expected response time should be maintained;
- The system should be well documented including;
- A user guide for inexperienced users,
- A user reference or operations manual for advanced users,
- A system reference manual describing system structures and architecture.
- Once the system is fully operational, it should be maintained throughout its working life to resolve any glitches or difficulties faced in operation and minor modifications might be made to overcome such situations.
Implementation, Evaluation and Maintenance of Information System
- Major challenges in MIS implementation are:
- Quantity, content and context of information – how much information and exactly what should it describe.
- Nature of analysis and presentation – comprehensibility of information.
- Availability of information – frequency, contemporariness, on-demand or routine, periodic or occasional, one-time info or repetitive in nature and so on
- Accuracy of information.
- Reliability of information.
- Security and Authentication of the system.
- The design of a management information system may seem to management to be an expensive project, the cost of getting the MIS on line satisfactorily may often be comparable to that of its design, and the implementation has been accomplished when the outputs of the MIS are continuously utilized by decision makers.
- Once the design has been completed, there are four basic methods for implementing the MIS. These are-
- Install the system in a new operation or organization.
- Cut off the old system and install the new.This produces a time gap during which no system is in operation. Practically, installation requires one or two days for small companies or small systems.
- Cut over by segments. This method is also referred as” phasing in” the new system. Small parts or subsystems are substituted for the old. In the case of upgrading old systems, this may be a very desirable method.
- Operate in parallel and cut over. The new system is installed and operated in parallel with the current system until it has been checked out, then only the current system is cut out. This method is expensive because of personal and related costs. Its big advantages are that the system is fairly well debugged when it becomes the essential information system.
- Implementation Tasks
- The three main phases in implementation take place in series. These are :-
- The initial installation
- The test of the system as a whole
- The evaluation, maintenance and control of the system.
- Many implementation activities should be undertaken in parallel to reduce implementation time. Training of personnel and preparation of software may be in parallel with each other and with other implementation activities.
- The first step in the implementation procedure is to plan the implementation. Some analyst includes the planning of the implementation with the design of the system, the planning and the action to implement the plan should be boun closely together. Planning is the first step of management, not the last. The MIS design and the urgent need for the system at the time the design is completed will weigh heavily on the plan for implementation.
21. Implementation Tasks
The major implementation tasks consists of-
– Planning the implementation activities
—–Establish Relationships among tasks
For small projects, the order of performance may simply be described in text form. A Gantt chart or network diagram makes visualization of the plan and schedule much clearer.
For large projects, many concurrent and sequential activities are interrelated so that a network diagram must be employed in any good plan.
—-Establish a Schedule
Schedule is prepared by having the system designers estimate the times between the events in the program network. The critical path (longest time through the network) can be calculated. After specifying the starting date, the end date is established.
—-Cost Schedule to Tasks and Time
The cost for completing each task required to complete is established as part of the plan; then the rate of expenditures should be budgeted.
Reporting and control of the work in progress may be obtained by weekly meetings. The financial personnel must make certain that report formats allow them to show cost and technical progress relationship as well as cost and time.
– Acquiring and laying out facilities and offices
For the installation of a new system to replace a current one may require a major revision of facilities as well as completely new office, computer room etc.
The MIS project manager must prepare rough layouts and estimates of particular floor areas that feel to be needed. The manager then prepares cost estimates.
Space planning must be done by the space to be occupied by people, the space occupied by equipment and the movement of people and equipment in the work progress. A large investment in good working conditions will repay its cost many times.
– Organizing the personnel for implementation
As the implementation tasks have been defined, management usually assigns a project manager to guide the implementation.
The purpose of the MIS is to increase the amount and quality of their contributions, the system is their system.
Top management must make the middle managers for their involvement in implementation, besides these, systems specialists, computer programmer; top management should make sure that each people who will operate the system should have active parts in the implementation.
– Developing procedures for installation and testing
After organizing the personnel for implementation the next task is to develop or prepare the procedures for implementation. As the project leader has the network plan for proceeding with the implementation, this leader calls the key people in the project to prepare more detailed procedures for system installation.
Procedures for evaluating and selecting hardware must be spelled out. Procedures for phasing in parts of the MIS or operating the MIS in parallel must be developed.
The major part of implementing the MIS is the testing of each segment of total system as it is installed.
– Developing the training program for operating personnel
A program is developed keeping in mind to impress management and support. After developing the program, it is necessary to train operating personnel in their new duties. They must have a thorough understanding of what the new MIS is like and what it is supposed to do. They must learn how it will operate. They are faced with many changes in their work and have to obtain acceptance of changes.
As there are various levels of personnel and these people will be working with only a small part of the MIS, the seminars should be designed to provide them with an understanding of the complete system.
– Completing the system’s software
As the software is developed internally or under contract, in both cases, the software development must take in mind the nature of the hardware required.
As the system designers and programmers provide the flow diagrams and the block diagrams during the detailed design state. Some modification may be required, as the implementation stage progresses.
– Acquiring required hardware
This acquisition is usually the limiting factor in getting am MIS implementation. These tasks should be started during the design stage.
The decision is to be needed, whether to buy or lease the hardware. Capital expenditure analysis is only one of many factors involved in this decision. Others are prestige, usage etc.
– Generating files
In the implementation stage, the actual data must be obtained and recorded for the initial testing and operation of the system. This requires format of the data, storage form and format and remarks to indicate when the data have been stored.
The collection of data used in routine operations is often called the master file.
Responsibility for file maintenance for each file item should also be assigned. The development of files or databases belongs to information system designers and storage and retrieval experts.
The translation of specifications for files into computer programs is a function of computer specialists.
– Designing forms
For controlling the marketing, a salesperson has to fill out the forms summarizing the day’s activities. The form ensures the right information to be supplied for computer storage.
Forms are required not just for input and output but also for transmitting data at intermediate stages.
– Testing the entire system
As the total system is installed, tests should be performed with the test specifications and procedure. A test during installation stage consists of component tests, subsystem tests and total system acceptance tests.
Components may be equipment (that can be new or old), new software programs, new data collection methods, work procedures, reporting formats. Difficulties that occur during component tests may lead to design changes.
As more components are installed, subsystems may be tested. There is a difference between the testing of component and the testing of a system.
System tests require verification of multiple inputs, complex logic systems, and timing aspects of many parts.
– Completing cutover to the new system
Cutover is a point at which the new component replaces the old component to the new system replaces the old system. This involves old forms, old files and old equipment being retried.
The debugging proves associated with the cutover to the new system may extend for several months.
– Documenting the system
Documentation of the MIS means preparation of written descriptions of the scope, purpose, information flow components, and operating procedures of the system.
Documentation is a necessity for troubleshooting, for replacement of subsystems, for interfacing with other systems, for training new operating personnel and also for evaluating and upgrading the system.
Control of MIS
- Evaluating the systemAfter the MIS has been operating smoothly for a short period of time, an evaluation of each step in the design and of the final system performance should be made.
Evaluation should not be delayed beyond the time when the system’s analysts have completed most of the debugging. The longer the delay, the more difficult it will be for designer to remember important details.
The evaluation should be made by the customer as well as by the designers.
- Providing System MaintenanceControl and maintenance of the system are the responsibilities of the line managers.
Control of the systems means the operation of the system as it was designed to operate. Sometimes, well-intentioned people or operators may make unauthorized changes to improve the system, changes that are not approved or documented.
Maintenance is closely related to control. Maintenance is that ongoing activity that keeps the MIS at the highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency within cost constraints.Maintenance is directed towards reducing errors due to design, reducing errors due to environmental changes and improving the system’s scope and services.
- MIS development projects are high-risk, high-return projects. Following could be stated as critical factors for success and failure in MIS development:
- It should cater to a specific, well-perceived business.
- The top management should be completely convinced, able and willing to such a system. Ideally there should be a patron or a sponsor for the system in the top management.
- All users including managers and other employees should be made an integral part of the development, implementation, and use of the system.
- There should be an operational prototype of the system released as soon as possible, to create interest among the users.
- There should be good support staff with necessary technical, business, and interpersonal skills.
- The system should be simple, easy to understand without adding much complexity. It is a best practice, not to add up an entity unless there is both a use and user for it.
- It should be easy to use and navigate with high response time.
- The implementation process should follow a definite goal and time.
- All the users including the top management should be given proper training, so that they have a good knowledge of the content and function of the system, and can use it fully for various managerial activities such as reporting, budgeting, controlling, planning, monitoring, etc.
- It must produce useful outputs to be used by all managers.
- The system should be well integrated into the management processes of planning, decision-making, and monitoring.