Information Systems For End User Computing And Collaboration
Implementation is the process of putting a system into operation in an organization. The implementation process starts with the final product of the development phase, namely a set of computer programs.
The management of a firm is always interested in managing information technology. The managers are interested in the successful implementation of the IS function. The day the system is suggested, the implementation of the IS designs begins that very day. It is very important that the systems design team approaches its job.
CHANGE IN THE ORGANIZATION
If It is to transform the organization, the managers must be successful in implementing the IS function. Many of the Information Systems are not used to their full potential which produces a low return in spite of large investments. Managers and other users of the systems want to be certain that the systems work when installed. Some pitfalls that are taken into account while developing a system can be;
- The original design of the system.
- The interface of the system with the users.
- The process of design and complementation.
Original Design of the System
The design may be very unfamiliar in the organization. The original design of the system might be carrying incorrect and incomplete specifications due to which an important action was not included in the system. The system might not work correctly.
The interface of the system with the User
The interface of the system with the user refers to the process by which we come in contact with the system, through printed forms, terminals, PCs, and their associated input language.
Process of Design and Implementation
Successful implementation of IS Function Implementation refers to the entire change effort associated with a new system. Implementation is like introducing new concepts and techniques to the organization so that all the personnel is aware of the latest technological changes in the organization. A system is designed to improve information processing.
What is it? A part of the designing of the system, a component of the organizational change? Implementation is not merely conversion and installation of a new system, but the long-term nature of implementation is that part of the process which when applied will bring the desired changes. The implementation process ceases abruptly when the system is successfully integrated into the organization.
How To Conclude That Implementation Is A Success Or Failure
Researchers have not agreed on an absolute indicator of whether a system has been successfully implemented or not. A strategy that appealed was the cost/ benefit study – where one totals the cost of developing a new system and compares it with the benefits incurred in terms of dollars/rupees that result from the system.
In practical terms, it is difficult to provide meaningful estimates. For a system that aids a decision-maker or provides customer service, it is much more difficult to estimate the benefits and there are few instances of any such attempt since most of the strategic applications have defied the cost/profit analysis even after they have been installed and in work for some time.
As an alternate measure, in place of the cost/profit analysis, the manager can choose among several indicators of successful implementation, depending upon the requirement of the system involved. If the use of a particular system is voluntary, the managers shall adopt a high level of use as a sign of successful implementation. In a voluntary system, the manager or the other user receives a report but does not have to use the information on it or even read the report. The use of the voluntary system can be measured by interviews with the users through questionnaires, or in some instances, by building a monitor into the system to record actual use.
In a system where implementation is mandatory, such as an online production co-control system, the managers shall employ the users’ evaluation of the sure of success. One important criterion of evaluation can be that the managers can evaluate a system to be successful if it accomplishes its objectives. For that, a system has to be used. One of the main objectives of the system can be a higher degree of user satisfaction and extensive use. Finally, a major task is to find out the impact of the implementation of the system on individuals and organizations.
Research On Implementation Process
Certain guidelines have been prescribed for the systems designer for the successful implementation of the system. The system designers should:
- Not enquire above a limit the information need of the user;
- Keep in mind that his role is to offer a service and not to demand an explanation;
- Respect the demands of the user;
- Not to mix up technical needs with information needs recommendations for the modifications should not be there, unless technically infeasible;
- The global nature of the design of the system which is required to meet the present and prospective information needs should be impressed upon the user;
- Impress upon the user that he should concentrate on the quality of input which wi 1 I increase the quality of the output;
- Impress upon the user that he is a vital component of the organization, the information is a corporate source and he is expected to contribute to the development of the organization;
- Ensure that the user makes a commitment to all the requirements of the system design specifications;
- Ensure that the user appreciates the fact that his commitments contribute largely to the quality of the information and successful implementation of the system;
- Should make sure that the process of the overall system has the management’s acceptance;
- Systems designer should understand thoroughly that through serving the user, he is his best guide on the complex path of development;
- Impress upon the user that the change, which is easily possible in manual systems is not similar to that in the computer system as it requires a change in the programs;
- Impress upon the user that perfect information is non-existent, his role still has an importance in the organization;
- Take care of the point that before a system is taken for development the problems in the organization are solved;
- Conduct a periodical user meeting on the systems where you get the opportunity to know the ongoing difficulties of the user.
One school of thought stresses the process of implementation as being the most significant determinant of implementation success. The implementation process refers to the ongoing relationship among individuals involved in developing a system.
Model 1 – A Process Implementation Model
- Storage – Activity
- Initiation – Primary contact between user and designer.
- Exploration – Betting a feel for the problem
- Commitment – Making a decision to proceed with a system
- Design – Developing the logical design and the specifications of the system
- Testing – Verifying that the system works
- Installation – Converting to the new system
- Termination – The design team finished, and users must now own the system Operations – Routine operations plus enhancements and maintenance
Managers need an implementation strategy that takes into account the vital process issued in designing the information systems as well as planning the factors influencing success. Systems design is also viewed as a planned change in the activity of an organization. Dissatisfaction with the present situation stimulates the development of a new information system.
Research has shown that user participation in the design process is essential and a prerequisite for the planning of implementation strategy. It maintains that a changed approach based on user participation is likely to succeed.
Some reasons for user participation are:
- It helps increase self-esteem, which results in more favorable attitudes.
- Participation can build a positive attitude by increasingly satisfying intrinsic values.
- Participation usually results in the system being used more. Participating users become aware of the change and get to control the technical qualities of the system.
- Users retain much of the control over their activities and should therefore have more favorable attitudes.
For the participation strategy to Work effectively, the IS department should encourage it, while users should not feel reluctant to participate and devote a substantial effort to design work. As an effective participation strategy, users should go forward in designing their own system.
Role Of Design Teams
Many information systems today are designed by groups consisting of managers, end-users, and system professionals. An approach such as joint-application development (JAD) promoted by IBM, emphasizes the role of the design team. Let us have a look at how do the users and the professional systems analyst work together as a team?
The foremost task delineated by the analyst might be the specification of output. The user is asked to think about the information required and to make a rough analysis of figures showing the information desired from the system. The analyst advises the user to maintain the display for several weeks on thinking about how could it be used. The analyst then, from the knowledge of the capabilities of the computer systems, presents an alternative for the user to consider.
Users help conduct interviews to determine the requirements for the new system. They also contribute to review the design of the system as it unfolds. Users will have the final say in how the system will function. In this way, the users will develop ownership, one of the major objectives of the process model.
Our complete implementation strategy comes from merging the most important factors discussed in Model 1 previously. During initiation, one essential path to success is having a sponsor or champion for success. Without the active support of the senior-level person of an organization, the chances are greatly reduced. It is difficult to develop a boring system that is unlikely to have an impact on the firm. If users are expected to provide complex input but receive no benefits from the system because the data are used only by senior management. During Exploration one can sec the amount of organizational support the manager needs to encourage use. During the commitment stage, the sponsor has to prepare the organization for the design effort, by providing resources for the team.
During design, the manager needs the sponsor to help make the key policy decisions that will focus on urgent and important problems, which demand a high-quality design that will encourage use. The key policy decisions are
Extremely important in formulating the installation plan. Management along with the maximum number of users must be involved in designing and testing.
It is a bit of a hard task because any new system is designed with the motive to replace the existing system. The risk involved in this is very high. For installation is required a good testing plan, accompanied by a lot of help from the users to succeed in installation.
This stage signifies that the implementation process or the design team’s task has been completed: On the success of the implementation of the system, the users’ team will have a sense of ownership of the system. The system installed will enable the organization to provide adequate resources to support the system.
The operational status shows whether the system is an unfinished task. Users will come across ways to improve the system.
The aforesaid implementation process is based on successful research and experience. It will be very vital in developing systems that are successful and will be used. The best way to maximize the probability of a successful design project is by following a conscious implementation strategy.
Q.1 What is implementation and how is an IS function complemented?
Ans. Implementation in Information Systems (IS) involves the process of installing and putting a new system or software into use. The IS function complements implementation by planning, selecting, configuring, testing, training, providing support, ensuring security and compliance, monitoring, and continuously improving the system to align with an organization’s goals and needs.
Q.2 List the guidelines prescribed for the systems designer for the successful implementation of the IS function.
Guidelines for systems designers to ensure the successful implementation of the IS (Information Systems) function typically include:
- Understand User Requirements: The designer must thoroughly understand the specific needs and requirements of the end-users and stakeholders to ensure that the system is tailored to meet their needs effectively.
- Define Clear Objectives: Clearly define the objectives and goals of the system to provide a clear sense of direction throughout the implementation process.
- Involve Stakeholders: Involve all relevant stakeholders from the early stages of design and planning to gather input, address concerns, and gain their buy-in for the system.
- Adopt a Structured Approach: Follow a structured methodology for system development, such as the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), to ensure a systematic and organized approach to implementation.
- Consider Scalability: Design the system with scalability in mind to accommodate future growth and changing requirements.
- Ensure User-Friendly Interface: The system should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that minimizes the learning curve for users.
- Data Security and Privacy: Incorporate robust security measures to protect data and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.
- Testing and Quality Assurance: Develop and execute comprehensive testing plans to identify and rectify issues before deployment. Quality assurance is crucial for a successful implementation.
- Training and Documentation: Provide comprehensive training to end-users and prepare clear and concise documentation for reference.
- Change Management: Develop a change management plan to ease the transition for users and address resistance to change.
- Data Migration: Plan for the seamless migration of data from legacy systems to the new system while ensuring data integrity.
- Performance Monitoring: Implement mechanisms for monitoring system performance and user feedback to identify and address issues promptly.
- Compliance and Regulations: Ensure that the system complies with relevant industry standards and government regulations.
- Project Management: Utilize effective project management practices, including clear project plans, timelines, and communication strategies.
- Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Establish mechanisms to collect feedback from users and stakeholders and use it to continuously improve the system.
- Contingency Planning: Develop contingency plans to handle unexpected issues or system failures.
- Resource Management: Efficiently manage resources, including budget, personnel, and technology, throughout the implementation process.
- Risk Management: Identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate or address them during the implementation.
- Communication: Maintain transparent and regular communication with all stakeholders to keep them informed of progress and changes.
- Post-Implementation Support: Ensure that there is a plan in place for ongoing support and maintenance once the system is operational.
Q. 3 Explain the role of a manager in developing an Implementation strategy.
The role of a manager in developing an implementation strategy is pivotal in ensuring that the organization’s goals are effectively met during the deployment of new systems, processes, or initiatives. Here are key aspects of the manager’s role in this context:
- Strategic Planning: Managers play a significant role in setting the strategic direction for implementation. They work closely with upper management to align the implementation strategy with the organization’s overall objectives, mission, and vision.
- Goal Definition: Managers are responsible for defining clear and measurable goals for the implementation. They ensure that these goals are specific, realistic, and time-bound, which helps in tracking progress and success.
- Resource Allocation: Managers allocate the necessary resources, including budget, personnel, and technology, to support the implementation. They ensure that there are adequate resources to complete the project successfully.
- Stakeholder Engagement: Managers identify and engage relevant stakeholders, including employees, customers, and suppliers. They communicate the benefits of the implementation and address concerns to gain stakeholder buy-in.
- Risk Assessment: Managers assess potential risks and challenges associated with the implementation. They develop risk mitigation strategies and contingency plans to address unforeseen issues.
- Team Building: Managers assemble and lead a cross-functional team responsible for the implementation. They foster collaboration, provide clear roles and responsibilities, and promote a positive team culture.
- Project Management: Managers often take on the role of project managers or work closely with project managers. They establish project timelines, milestones, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.
- Change Management: Managers develop and implement change management strategies to help employees adapt to new processes or technologies. They address resistance to change and provide training and support.
- Communication: Effective communication is crucial. Managers ensure that there is open, transparent, and consistent communication throughout the implementation process, both within the team and with stakeholders.
- Quality Control: Managers oversee the quality of the implementation. They establish standards and procedures, conduct quality assurance testing, and ensure that the final product meets the required standards.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: Managers continuously monitor the progress of the implementation against predefined objectives. They use feedback and data to assess performance and make necessary adjustments.
- Decision-Making: Managers make critical decisions during the implementation process. They evaluate options, weigh risks and benefits, and make choices that align with the implementation strategy.
- Post-Implementation Assessment: After the implementation, managers assess the outcomes and gather feedback from stakeholders. They use this information to evaluate the success of the implementation and identify areas for improvement.
- Continuous Improvement: Managers foster a culture of continuous improvement. They take the lessons learned from each implementation and apply them to future projects, refining strategies and processes.
Q. 4 Briefly explain the role of the Design Team.
The role of a Design Team can vary depending on the context, such as in a business, an architecture firm, a software development company, or other creative fields. However, in a general sense, the Design Team plays a crucial role in the conceptualization and creation of products, systems, or solutions. Their responsibilities typically include:
- Conceptualization: Design teams are responsible for coming up with creative and innovative ideas for products, services, or projects. They brainstorm, research, and develop concepts that address specific needs or problems.
- Visual and Functional Design: Design teams work on the visual and functional aspects of a project. This involves creating aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly designs while considering factors like user experience and ergonomics.
- Prototyping: They often create prototypes or mock-ups to test and refine their designs before full-scale production. This helps identify and rectify issues early in the design process.
- Collaboration: Design teams collaborate with various stakeholders, such as engineers, marketers, and clients, to ensure that the design aligns with technical, budgetary, and strategic requirements.
- User-Centered Design: Prioritizing the needs and preferences of end-users is a core principle of design. Design teams conduct user research and usability testing to ensure that the final product meets user expectations.
- Innovation: Design teams are often responsible for pushing the boundaries of creativity and finding novel solutions to problems. They keep up with emerging trends and technologies to stay competitive.
- Communication: Design teams communicate their ideas and designs effectively through sketches, blueprints, mock-ups, and presentations. Clear communication is essential to ensure that everyone involved understands and can contribute to the design process.
- Adaptability: Design teams may need to adapt to changing project requirements, feedback, or unforeseen challenges. Flexibility is crucial to address evolving needs.
- Quality Control: They are responsible for maintaining design standards and quality throughout the project’s lifecycle, ensuring that the final product or solution meets or exceeds expectations.
- Documentation: Design teams often create and maintain documentation related to the design process, including design guidelines, style guides, and design specifications.