Project Objectives and Justification
Company X is a consulting firm whose business and services involve hiring and deployment of IT professionals to clients. Basically, company X assists clients to find applicants who may fit their employment needs.
The current operational procedures of Company X involve traditional methods of data access and storage, in that most of the essential information they need are basically paper-based. Because we are already in the age of information, automated by technological developments, this paper finds it essential that Company X should improve its operational methods and processes.
The objective of this paper is to provide a proposal for automation of Company X’s information access and storage. The application is to be called as Applicant MIS/DSS. By studying Company X’s current operational flow, specifically in phases that involve access and storage of information, this paper aims to provide the company with a solution that, aside from being automated, will be Internet accessible. This Internet-based application will have the capability of allowing clients to view the comprehensive resumes of Company X’s IT applicants.
The speed in today’s technological progress makes it imperative for businesses and industries to deliver competent service. E-commerce is among the solutions that allow a company to satisfy this need. For Company X, since its business is in the line of delivering services in information technology, it is important that they present and demonstrate a technological level that can gain client trust. Implementing an e-commerce system will benefit Company X’s operational processes by facilitating and organizing their information management, controlling and securing applicants’ information, supporting the company’s decision-making process, and becoming accessible to clients.
Description of the Need for the Application
The current operational procedures of Company X involve traditional methods of data access and storage. For instance, applicants’ records are stored as paper-based information. Hence, access of such records is also done manually. Although the company maintains computers as among their office tools, the machine’s function is not maximized. Company X only uses computers for basic presentations, such keying of an applicant’s information into a Microsoft Word document and printing it for presentation to clients.
One disadvantage in Company X’s method of storing paper-based information is that immediate access to vital records is not satisfied. Paper-based storage of information always requires manual searching, an aged and time-consuming method that is not ideal in today’s industries.
Another disadvantage in paper-based method is that it prevents Company X from having effective and efficient results to decision-making process. For instance, during a process of selecting applicants who can be qualified for a job position a client requires, due to manual search that Company X carries out on applicants’ information, it is possible that they would miss to consider a number of qualified applicants.
The third drawback that this study has found in the current operational flow of Company X is that information is not readily and easily accessible to anyone within the company, and to the Clients as well, who may need it. This problem is, however, rational to the present inefficient information-storage method of Company X.
Because of the manual process in most of the information-related phases in Company X’s operational structure, its performance in delivering services to clients is affected. Thus, similarly affecting the company’s growth in terms of competency and number of clients.
Description of Business Strategies and Processes that the Proposed Application can Affect
Since the proposed application will generally focus on automation of storage and access of applicants’ information, and automation of other information related to hiring and deployment of IT professionals, the main business processes that will be affected are information management and decision-making process.
At present, information management in Company X is based on manual method of processing paper-based information. Applicants’ records are kept in filing cabinets, arranged in alphabetical order and categorized according to technical qualifications. From this sorting scheme, the process of searching for job candidates is based. In the proposed Applicant MIS/DSS, the manual method of storing and accessing information will be eliminated and shall be replaced with automated methods of an e-commerce application. This includes automated storage and retrieval of applicant information, automated search of possible candidates from all applicant records, and online accessibility of applicant information to clients. Other tasks in Company X’s information management that the proposed application will have effect are editing, updating, and deleting of records. Moreover, an automated distribution of information and simultaneous access of records by multiple users will be made possible by Applicant MIS/DSS.
Another business process that the proposed application will have effect is the decision-making process. Compared to the current manual search method of Company X, where some records can be possibly overlooked, Applicant MIS/DSS automated processing of records can provide more accurate results. This, in turn, can allow Company X to make better decisions.
Data flow Diagram
Capture Applicant’s Information to Applicant MIS/DSS System
Applicant MIS/DIS Database Server
Description of the Functions of the Proposed Application
To provide an overview of the proposed system’s functionalities, the following are definitions of the different functions it will include.
New Applicant Record
This function is basically for appending new applicant records in the system’s database of IT applicants.
Edit/Update Applicant Record
This function is for modification and update of existing records.
Delete Applicant Record
This function is for deleting records.
This function is for searching a specific record. For instance, Company X may want to view a particular applicant’s record without the need to browse through other records.
This function is for viewing filtered, grouped, or categorized records of IT applicants. For instance, Company X may want to view records of applicants with 5 years of work experience using UNIX operating system; or, records of applicants with a combination of particular skills.
This function is capable of sorting filtered records based on the sort conditions a manager specifies. For instance, after filtering records of applicants with 5 or more years of work experience using UNIX and 2 or more years of experience in C++, a manager can sort the filtered records based on seniority as an IT professional. This function is useful for decision-making wherein a manager can select and decide which applicants can be considered for an available job position.
This function is for creation of report of the current record selection (i.e. searched record, filtered records, etc.), or queries.
Managers often need to make decisions about how to acquire the technology used in information systems. Hardware needs to be purchased; software has to be developed or bought; networks must be acquired; and data management systems need to be selected. (Information Systems and Management Decision Making).
The following are the least suitable hardware, software, and network requirements for the proposed application.
Intel Pentium III or higher
1024 MB RAM
1 GB Free Disk Storage
Standard or Enterprise Version of SSA B2B Integration Platform
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Web Server IIS
ODBC Compliant Database (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, etc.)
The operational processes of Company X are presently manual in type. In view of this, it is important to anticipate that future users of the proposed application may need time to adjust to new technology. Before the implementation process starts, an implementation plan must be prepared to facilitate Company X’s familiarization with the new application. The following are suggested phases of implementation process.
Ideally, implementing an application must not obstruct the activities and operation of a company. It is important that implementation timing be observed, in that the application must be implemented during times when Company X is not busy. In this way, the company’s operation will not be affected should a system problem occur. It is best recommended that installation Applicant MIS/DSS be carried out on non-working days.
User training and impact
Before the implementation of Applicant MIS/DSS, training the user on every details of how to use the application must be carried out first. Otherwise, instead of serving as a solution, Applicant MIS/DSS may cause problems to Company X. Along with user training, orienting the application’s users of the purpose and advantages of the application is essential.
Business/Organizational/Procedural training and impact
This phase is perhaps the implementation stage that can run all throughout the implementation process. In this phase, the purpose and function of Applicant MIS/DSS in business, organizational, and procedural aspects of the company is familiarized.
Integration Risk Analysis and Appropriate Strategies to Maximize Successful Integration
As with the implementation plan, this section proposes the study and analysis of possible risks to Applicant MIS/DSS, and preparation of strategies against possible risks, before carrying out the integration of the new application in Company X. The risk analysis should include the following aspects that may affect the success and failure of Applicant MIS/DSS.
Hardware technology that will be utilized in the new application