Thursday, October 24, 2019

A study of existing disciplines in an organization Essay

There exists a situation that is a bit difficult to understand that is usually faced by information system management professionals. Since they are always specialized in the areas their clients seek professional advice, it becomes difficult for them to design prescriptions unlike some other professionals like doctors. Another major reason for difficulties experienced is that professionals fail to distinguish the actual needs of users from their wishes and desires. Therefore these professionals have to get prepared such that they create confidence in users in relationship to their capabilities. There is high need that there is achieved success during the period of investigating information needs. And therefore the person assigned the duties of a system identifier must be acceptable at all levels of users. They are also required to have credibility. An information system identifier has to adopt a procedural guideline for identification of needs. (Malcolm Pettu. Information resources management, 1989, Blackwell NCC) A study of existing disciplines in an organization. It is the duty of information needs identifier to find out the various departments in an organization and establish a relationship with the users. He is eligible to identify the major supporting areas within an organization’s handbook will be the output of this study that will offer guidance to further works of identifying the information needs. (E. Joel Ross. management by information system, 1970, Prentice hall. ) A study of the organization and its environment. After this exercise the identifier should be able to prepare a profile for the organization. He should be able to identify of what type the organization is in order to identify the different forms of management system and decision making processes that pose a bearing on the information needs. There is also need to analyze the environment in which the organization works. A study of the environment of the user. It is vital to identify in an orderly manner, the category of users and their respective information needs. The work of the identifier is to get a wide study of the users department before engaging in any interviews with the users. This helps him/her easily identify the needs. Several sources that need to be studied in the users department include; annual reports on the departments and their respective functions, Minutes of meetings, project reports, progress reports, and investigative reports est. It is necessary that the information identifier fully acquaints him/her of the full working of the department. This will make him fully understand the situations in which the user operates in. True needs however are identified from wide understanding of the user since they tend to place their wants and needs in fragments. Users are individuals, so the identifier should try as much as possible to address holistically perceive these needs. A user however might be playing a different role in an organization. An example is a wide variety of roles assumed by managers. It may include being. †¢ A disseminator spokesman †¢ A team leader †¢ A liaison †¢ A controller †¢ A decision maker. Resource allocator Broadly a user may form a node that pertains the following three different perspective of information flow in an organization: Communicating in a bird’s eye view perspective: †¢ Includes giving job instructions and directives to specific tasks. †¢ The basis information of the job information designated for production of good understanding of relative tasks in an organization. †¢ Organizational practices and procedures providing timely feedbacks about performance to the subordinate. †¢ Communicating upwardly: †¢ People will talk about; †¢ Their problems and their performance. †¢ Their organizational policies and practices. †¢ Others and their problems. †¢ The needs to be done. Communicating in a horizontal manner with colleagues in the same level of hierarchy. A user may interact with: his culture which sets for him policies and other influences and attitude, formal organizations such as employing organization invisible colleges, gate keepers etc, his work team which is a distinguished subsystem in an organization because of interpersonal characteristics. Users caught up in complex situations need to be studied from two different perspectives: Including direct methods which include Direct methods of user study include: A close observation of the users during discussions with their colleagues. Engagement in a dialogue with the user when offering information services to them performing a detailed survey by use of questionnaires. Visiting the various departments where the users work and observing them. Some of the indirect methods are listed below: †¢ Studying the events maintained by users which are included in diaries. †¢ Having a thorough analysis of the reference queries received from users. †¢ Analyzing responses from users after rendering services to them. †¢ Taking users designs and analyzing them. †¢ Studying the user’s job description. †¢ Taking the publications of users and studying them. †¢ Studying the documents used by users. †¢ Scanning reports and correspondences received and prepared by users. An advantage of the direct observation is that there is personal contact of the identifier with the users. This provides an excellent opportunity for observation of users in their normal environment. A downfall of the method of direct observation is that there is overdependence on the observers’ capability. It is necessary to note that there may result incidence of subjective element of the observer as a result of the observations made. The records of users’ are adequate in providing a reliable indication of the users subjects of interest. It is them subjected to extrapolation to a dynamic changing situation. Since users are developing human beings, and work in a system that is also subjected to constant change, it calls for keen study of the users. Some of the few methods of studying users are as below: Studying the work diary of users; In an organization users are always encouraged to maintain work related diaries. Recorded in the diary includes critical events and incidents, filed license applications, comments in regards to how improvement could be achieved in an organization, meetings and discussions held and their solutions etc. the consultants/ consultancy organizations preferred To some organizations it is a must for its employees to keep and maintain such diaries. It is also necessary for them to record the events in their order of occurrence such that it may act as a vital source of information to address the specific needs of the users. Sometimes it may give information about who associates with them both inside and outside the organization. Surveying the information sources used The objective here is to bring frequency and relevance of the different types of sources, their availability and accessibility and the different priorities assigned to them. There is emphasis on keeping records for respective departments. Formal interview The information need identifier after carefully analyzing the above steps should be able to design questions, set up the clarifications to be made and similar points for discussion with the users. He is to design this depending on the user’s environment, category, and specific roles he plays in performing his responsibilities among other things. An information need identifier has to design a specific document for each user before carrying out a formal interview. The document should have. Available sources and services that are not in use Required types of information and services. Present sources of information and services in the organization. A draft estimate of needs anticipated by users. The intention of the gathered information is of a greater bearing on the real information required. And therefore the information need identifier is supposed to find out by appropriate questioning the following aspects: What information is needed, in what form, for what need, when needed and to perform which role. In what digestible form, table, original document, and executive summary etc. In what media print visual presentation or audio? The kind of information facts, is it technical detailed, opinions? To what coverage extent, is it exhaustive or selective? The identifier should be able to identify favorable products of information services to the users to enable them extensively express their needs. He/she should have the capability of identifying true needs. In relation to specific functions the user should identify specific functions related to the value needs. A need has values attached to act as determinants of priorities to be assigned. For satisfaction of the need, its information cost could be correlated to its consequences Also it maybe a necessity to attend meetings in areas under areas where the functions and responsibilities of users are addressed. Occasionally it is good to invite users for group discussions to shade light on future changes and even the changes that are taking place. This ensures free exchange of ideas within a system and therefore is preferred that there is an arrangement to having appointments with the users at those times they are free from important work. When conducting interviews it is important to ensure efficiency by: providing several examples with relevant information services and aided in how he can meet his information needs. The examples should be relevant in the sense that they must be from the subject field of the user. It includes using the following criteria; By presenting the actual problems that are likely to be faced by users in their daily activities. Providing appropriate communication language that can be easily understood by users so that they will express their needs unambiguously. Help the users pinpoint his subjects precisely by using the subject profile of the organization that has been prepared by the information need identifier. Illustration of a few services that the user has already contemplated and seeking their own ideas as to which services they prefer. A show off of the different information so as to gather more sources and identify new users. Acquainting the users of present communication channels used in the organization. Refining the information needs It is an important idea of an information need identifier to periodically invite small groups of persons of the same composition e. g. all technicians for discussions. End users are also members of the information system therefore they should be asked to mention their current activities and whatever problems they are facing. They should be able to talk about the information interests of their likes. They should talk of how the current system may be improved to match their respective information needs. It may occur that if the discussion is properly done then some details from the survey could be combined. This will help in updating and modification of information needs that are of best use to the members and end users Conclusion To identify a thing is one thing and to satisfy it is another. It is my hope that the above study will be easily translated into practice. It implies that identification of information needs in this way will render the best services that will be able to satisfy the users’ needs. In the end the, users will be able to have a better outlook of the company. The creation of an information and communication technology within an organization will not only be an effective tool for communication but also ensures that an organization realizes higher productivity with low input costs. If a company is undergoing re-engineering process then it may need to employ a systems manager to work with the changed management. It calls for a well picture of the constraints and capabilities of technology. (P. R Sundarray, Joseph Sams. Implementation management of an E-commerce enabled enterprise information, 2002. ) .

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