December 22, 2011

MB0047 [MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS] Set1 Q3

Q3. Write a detailed note on the planning and development of Management Information Systems?


Ans:
Information is a corporate resource, as important as the capital, labour, know-how etc. and is being used for decision-making. Its quality, therefore, is required to be very high. Low quality information would adversely affect the organizational performance as it affects decision-making. The quality of information is the result of the quality of the input data, processing design, system design, system and procedures which generate such a data, and the management of the data processing function. Quality, unlike any other product, is not an absolute concept. Its level is determined with reference to the context and its use, and the user. Perfect quality just as perfect information is non-achievable and has cost-benefit implications.

However, it is possible to measure the quality of information on certain parameters. All these parameters need not have a very high value. Some parameters may have lesser importance in the total value on account of their relevance in the information and its use.

The quality parameters which are generally considered are shown in the table
Individual differences
Explanation
Effect on information processing
Examples
Locus of control internal or external to the situation.
The degree of perception in assessing the control which is internal to the organization or external to the organization.
More information gathering and analysis, if internal.
The production decisions, selection of tools and materials etc.
Personal dogmatism.
The degree of faith in beliefs, opinions and past experience.
Low dogmatism, then more information collection and processing.
The pricing, advertising in a Competitive environment.
Risk propensity.
The ability to take the risk.
Higher, then more
Information gathering and analysis.
The top management decision-making in a strategic planning.
Tolerance for ambiguity.
Level of clarity required in the information. The ability to read through the information.
Tight tolerance then more information collection and analysis.
Manager Constantly asking for more information.
Manipulative intelligence.
The ability to manipulate the data and information vis-à-vis the stored information and knowledge.
High ability, then less information and more self analysis.
Experienced and skillful managers rely on the manipulative intelligence.
Experience in decision-making.
Extent of experience at particular level of decision making.
High, then correct filtering of data and appropriate choice of decision making-process.
The managers with a wide experience in the different fields of management call for precise and less but pertinent information.
Knowledge of the task, tools and technology.
The extent of knowledge in the application of the tools and technology.
Higher, then less information relevant to and tools correct analysis.
The Technocrat scientists and managers of technology have definite information.

The quality of these important parameters is ensured by conducting a proper systems analysis, designing a suitable information system and ensuring its maintenance from time to time, and also subjecting it to audit checks to ensure the system integrity.

The quality of the parameters is assured if the following steps are taken.
  1. All the input is processed and controlled, as input and process design.
  2. All updating and corrections are completed before the data processing begins.
  3. Inputs (transactions, documents, fields and records) are subject to validity checks.
  4. The access to the data files is protected and secured through an authorization scheme.
  5. Intermediate processing checks are introduced to ensure that the complete data is processed right through, i.e. run to run controls.
  6. Due attention is given to the proper file selection in terms of data, periods and so on.
  7. Backup of the data and files are taken to safeguard corruption or loss of data.
  8. The system audit is conducted from time to time to ensure that the information system specifications are not violated.
  9. The system modifications are approved by following a set procedure which begins with authorization of a change to its implementation followed by an audit.
  10. Systems are developed with a standard specification of design and development.
  11. Information system processing is controlled through programme control, process control and access control.
  12. Ensure MIS model confirms consistency to business plan satisfying information needs to achieve business goals.

The assurance of quality is a continuing function and needs to be evolved over a period and requires to be monitored properly. It cannot be assessed in physical units of measure. The user of the information is the best judge of the quality.

Planning of information systems: 
Many organizations have purchased computers for data processing and for meeting the statutory requirements of filling the returns and reports to the government. Computers are used mainly for computing and accounting the business transactions and have not been considered as tool for information processing.

The organizations have invested on computers and expanded its use by adding more or bigger computers to take care of the numerous transactions in the business. In this approach, the information processing function of the computers in the organization never got its due regard as an important asset to the organization. In fact, this function is misinterpreted as data processing for expeditious generation of reports and returns, and not as information processing for management action and decisions.

However, the scene has been changing since late eighties when the computers become more versatile, in the function of storage, communication, intelligence and language. The computer technology is so advanced that the barriers of storage, distance understanding of language and speed are broken.

In short, we need a management information system flexible enough to deal with the changing information needs of the organization. It should be conceived as an open system continuously interacting with the business environment with a built-in mechanism to provide the desired information as per the new requirements of the management. The designing as such in open system is a complex task. It can be achieved only if the MIS is planned, keeping in view, the plan of the business management of the organization.

Development of information systems:
Once the plan of MIS is made, the development of the MIS calls for determining for the strategy of development. As discussed earlier, the plan consists of various systems and sub systems. The development strategy determines where to begin and what sequence the development can take place with the sole objective of assuring the information support.

The choice of the system or the sub-system depends on its position in the total MIS plan, the size of the system, the user understands of the systems and the complexity and its interface with other systems. The designer first develops systems independently and starts integrating them with other systems, enlarging the system scope and meeting the varying information needs.

Determining the position of the position of the system in the MIS is easy. The real problem is the degree of structure, and formalization in the system and procedures which determine the timing and duration of development of the system.

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