Information Systems in the 21st century have helped in accelerating business activities. Client to business relationship and business to business relationships have been enhanced through the use of an up to date information system. The use of information systems within an organization play a critical role of internetworking all the departments within the organization hence increasing the efficiency in doing of office operations. Millennium Furniture company is in need for a change in the structure of the communication in the organization. The challenges in the processing of received orders, payment of employees and deliveries of orders has led to the public losing confidence in the supplier. There is a need for a restructuring of the companys operations and communication strategy through the introduction of an information system.
In this case scenario, the information systems project requires the use of a complex but functional system that would be able to serve all the departments (Bainey, 2004). The sales department, procurement, accounts and customer service department will be served by the proposed information system. In order to be able to capture all the parts of the proposed information system, there is a need to understand the demands of the various department. The critical part is to understand the information needs of the organization; the next phase is to find the location of the information sources. For instance, the accounts department will produce information on invoices and cheques received or issued by the company.
The proposed information system would then require a systematic format of collecting the information and the organization and storage of the information collected in a secure environment. Once the information is collected and stored, the analysis of the information collected is important as it would help the various departments comprehend the data available. All the information about the amount of wood, nails, paint and other necessities for manufacturing would be stored in a common repository that can be accessed by the designated individual in the procurement department. The next phase of the project is the implementation of the project in a systematic manner that would not interrupt the system that is already in place. The merging of the existing system and the new system would require an expert to be involved.
The project is expected to be executed in a systematic manner in a way that would correlate with the ongoing activities in the company (Wang, Chang, Jiang, & Klein, 2011). The merit of an information system is the availability of information on a single entity that can be accessed remotely from different departments.
Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
The proposed information system is a complex and wide system in that it covers all the functionalities of the business. Since Millennium Company has been using only two computers, one for procurement of commodities and the other for accounting purposes, this means that some of the functionalities of the system would not be put to use.
The functional requirements of the system is the accounting software. This part of the system would take care of all the accounting problems Millennium has been experiencing. The system is able to check for the cash at hand, cash at bank, operational expenses and other financial requirements of the system.
The Payroll and Human Resource management component are a critical apart of the proposed information system. Since Millennium has been experiencing a problem with payroll generation. The system would be able to cater for all the employee management activities and payments.
Procurement management software is part of the critical parts of the proposed information system. The company at all times should know the amount of inventory available and the number of pending orders (Wang, Chang, Jiang, & Klein, 2011).
The information system has to be able to store the information received in a secure server or a cloud backup facility. Information security is critical to the organization in the case of a loss of any type that the rogation may encounter.
Evaluation and analysis of the information available in the system are also important to the managing heads of the organization. The ability of the system to handle execution of analysis and presentation of reports to the management will be helpful to the management in order for them to make informed decisions.
This phase of the project would involve finding the information needs of the organization. This would look into the available information that would require digitization in order to enhance computation of the information.
This stage looks into the path towards the clear definition of what the organization needs, who needs it and when is it needed and how it will be delivered.
The organization requires an information system that can be used in the digitization of the available information; this system will be able to cater for all the departments in the organization. The information that requires sharing from one department to the other would be collected and stored in a common exchange pool.
The information system needs to be designed, and a prototype be presented in the organization for trial. In the case that the proposed system performance of all the functionalities required by the organization works smoothly then execution will be initiated. In any case, the project lifecycle would involve design stage, prototype stage, trial stage, evaluation and implementation of the proposed system.
The information system would be installed by the procuring company. The installation of the system can be conducted by a trained in-house team of experts. All the users of the information system will be trained on usage and security measures that need to be adhered to.
The budget of the organization towards the execution of the proposed information system will be calculated, and the budget can be laid out for approval by the directors of Millennium Furniture Company. Once all of the above requirements have been met. The next phase is execution and implementation of the project.
Estimated project cost and benefit
It is important that a cost-benefit analysis of the project to be rolled out should be carried out to determine whether the intended project is viable and if not, the necessary adjustments to be taken.
Some of the costs associated with the new project include holding costs which arise in the event when the customer does not clear their bills and the delivered merchandise have to be returned to the store. Follow-up costs associated with order inquiries also raise the cost of the new project. Calls have to be made to the customers to remind them of their unpaid dues; subsequent invoices have to be raised, and debt collection agencies have to be given a certain amount of fees should the customer fail to honor their obligations even after all due recovery processes have been followed. The new system to be implemented should address shortcomings of the manual wage system used by the firm. As it stands, the wage system can easily be manipulated and used as a basis for fraud in the firm.
The new project that seeks to automate the operations of the company has several benefits. To start with, the automation of the processes will ensure that employees records of hours worked will be accurate and the compensation due to them will also be accurately determined. The banking process will also be simplified to give a fair view of the operations of the firms by using a system that will keep track of all incomes and expenses incurred by the firm without giving a misleading picture of the firms operations. The new system will accurately keep track of incomes and expenses and make it easier for the clerical staff to perform their duties.
Assessment of project risk
The implementation of any project has inherent risks associated with it. There is the risk that the financial demands require for the successful implementation of the project that might be limited. The cash flows exhibited by the firm might not be able to sustain the firms new project of automating its operations. Sourcing for funds from external lenders to implement the project still carries borrowing cost and the risk of defaulting which can lead to the firms items be auctioned or taken over by another institution as security for the debt borrowed. There is also the possibility that inadequacy of resources might hamper the firms plan of changing its systems. Shortage of employees as well as the resources to sustain them might well be over the firms capacity to pay, stalling the implementation of the project.
Scheduling risks imply that the project might experience delays as a result of either vendor not supplying goods on time or customers not honoring their obligations on time. As the project needs these resources to be fully implemented, these delays can mean that the firm will have to take longer than expected to achieve its goal of changing its systems.
Technology risks associated with project implementation can stall the plans of the firm. There might not be an appropriate technology to meet the firms change processes in terms of software, hardware and personnel who are fully experienced to meet the technological demands of the project. The market might not have the appropriate technology to support the new plans which the firm needs to undertake.
Work breakdown structure
For easy assessment and implementation of the project, it is necessary that it is broken down into simpler phases to make the whole project a success.
This entails the setting up of an appropriate ordering structure where raw materials required for delivering a customers order can easily be assembled. Failure to have an appropriate ordering structure in place might cause migration of customers to other competing firms, making the firm incur losses.
This phase ensures that the firm pays the right cost to its employees for the services offered. It ensures that employees key in their details and the time they reported to and left work without any chance that it could be manipulated to present false information. This system ensures that the firm does not incur unnecessary extra costs due to wrong hourly information presented by employees.
Calculate Project Critical Path
No. Activity Code Activity name Activities directly preceding Duration
1 A Selection of staff - 2
2 B Realization of system Personnel - 4
3 C Staff allocation A 1
4 D Installation of system administrator A 4
5 E Advertising campaigns on the digitization of the companys systems B, D 2
6 F Awareness campaigns B, D 3
7 G Making a poll about new system efficiency E, F 3
8 H Installation of programmable softwares and Internet connection within the company D 4
9 I Installation of Computer to all departments C 5
10 J Launch H, I 5
Bainey, K. (2004). Integrated IT project management. Norwood, MA: Artech House.
Wang, E., Chang, J., Jiang, J., & Klein, G. (2011). User advocacy and information system project performance. International Journal Of Project Management, 29(2), 146-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2010.02.011
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