TQM MIS Questions
Questions for Information Systems
Introducing information systems may alter the already established structure and procedures of doing things. This alteration may affect all departments within an organization. For this reason, organizations may resist the introduction of information systems which may change already established procedures. Another reason for organizational resistance is insecurity within an organization. Employees may perceive the information system as a threat to their jobs. Its introduction may be deemed as a plan by the management to reduce employees through a more efficient information system. Consequently, they are likely to oppose to its introduction. Resistance may also come from lack of knowledge of employees about how the system works. They fear that they may not be able to work using the new system. As such, they may resist its introduction.
Adopting enterprise application is both a technological decision and major business decision. The decision to adopt enterprise application cannot be separated as either technological or business, but rather a decision that comprises both aspects. Enterprise applications include supply chain management, customer relations management, and knowledge management. All these applications are meant to help an organization to improve its efficiency. These applications integrate business processes within an organization to form one software system that improves the flow of information. Consequently, decision making, coordination, and efficiency are improved. Such improvement makes a huge impact on business, thereby justifying that adopting enterprise application is a business decision as well as a technological one. The decision to adopt these applications is made by senior level managers who make strategic decisions for an organization.
Management factors that are very important in creation and maintenance of electronic data include the ability of managers to prevent misuse of information. Medical data may be used for profiling patients, which would be very unethical. Moreover, manager’s ability to ensure that the medical information stored electronically is not used to deny patients any medical procedures is a critical factor in creation and development of electronic medical records. The electronic system allows ease of retrieval and good organization of information. One critical organizational factor in creating medical records is the prevention of unauthorized data analysis such as non-obvious relationship awareness. Organizations such as governments and private firms must adopt laws that protect patients’ data so that they may be willing to use electronic data storage. Technological factors include compatibility with other record keeping methods, security against unauthorized access, and universality of the system for easy implementation.
Companies that create information systems do so with good motives of increasing efficiency and performance in organizations. Creation of such systems is driven by changes that take place in the world where improvements are constantly taking place. These companies create systems in response to organizational needs that they did not contribute to create. Therefore, these organizations should not be responsible in case the outcome of their products negatively affects other people such as employees. Unemployment that may result from information system implementation is circumstantial and never intended. Companies that create information systems should be free from any blame resulting from a consequence of their products’ usage.
Organizations have the option of getting its software from a service provider or can decide to have its in-house software manufacturing. The decision on whether to entirely use service providers or have its own software depends on many factors such as costs, availability, and reliability. The specific needs of an organization may also influence the decision on whether to use service providers or own software. Given the diverse and varied needs of organizations, one may not exclusively use software providers, but rather may have its own software that would serve its needs better. When the cost of the general purpose application software is lower than the one created by the organization intending to use it, service providers may be used. However, when an organization requires more specific software that may not be available from service providers, then an organization may decide to create more specific software application using its internal capabilities.
Computer hardware and software constitute technological aspects of an organization. Therefore, their selection is a very important business decision for various reasons. First of all, the software used by different organizations differs depending on the type of business processes within an organization. This means that selection of the appropriate software that is relevant to a particular organization will determine the efficiency of that organization. Second, the type of hardware selected by a particular organization must satisfy the demand of users. As such, selecting hardware that meets these demands enables an organization to achieve its goals. When selecting software and hardware, it is important to consider the ability of people in an organization to use these assets. Organizational issues to be considered include storage capabilities required by the business and processing arrangements. Technologically, issues such as how to manage the software and hardware as well as available technology that could be relevant to the business should be considered.
Outsourcing is a very important business practice because it enables an organization to utilize services from another organization or people outside the organization at an affordable rate. The management of the organization deciding to outsource must determine the ability of managers to use and interact with the software being outsources. If a company outsources for supply chain management the software that managers have no skills to use, then it will decrease efficiency rather than improve it. Organizational factors to be considered during software outsourcing include the cost of the software and its affordability for an organization. Depending on an organization’s resources, outsourcing particular software might be unaffordable. Technological factors that should be considered when making the decision of outsourcing software includes choosing between the available technology in the market and the one being offered by the chosen firm. The technology should be the latest, otherwise it might become outdated and soon rendered as not cost-effective.
Questions for Total Quality Management
Provision of unsafe and unhealthy work environment is a practice that can impede high quality service delivery. Such an environment makes employees feel uncomfortable at their workplaces. Providing safe and health working environment makes employees feel homely, thereby extending the feeling to customers. Performance without reward de-motivates employees. To ensure they are highly motivated to deliver quality service, exemplary performance should always be rewarded. Unfair evaluation procedures kill the morale of employees, which prevents them from doing their best at work. Establishing a clear and transparent evaluation procedure is a sure way of modifying this practice to ensure employees deliver quality service to employees.
The purchasing department in a manufacturing firm plays a vital role in ensuring that the final product is of high quality. This department is in charge of purchasing the raw materials used in the manufacturing process. If the materials purchased are of low quality, then the final product will bear characteristics of low quality. On the other hand, when materials purchased meet the required quality standards, products manufactured from such material will bear high quality characteristics.
Theory describes a relationship between causes and effects. Experience, on the other hand, cannot be validated, nor can it be tested. This means that it cannot be used to create a cause and effect relationship if it cannot be tested or validated. When managers of a given organization make decisions, they should not entirely rely on experience to base their rationale, but rather should combine theory and experience. This is because experience of a past decision can be inappropriate in a current situation since conditions may be different. This is a warning to decision makers to be cautious about benchmarking as it may not produce the expected results in all organizations and situations.
ISO 9000 registration is a proof that an organization follows good standard procedures such as inspecting products for defects and striving to correct them, maintaining records, constantly aiming for improvement, and regular self-assessment. Such company attracts customers and is highly valued as a trustworthy organization. Therefore, being ISO certified means a good public image and better prospects for the company.
Top management faces many challenges as far as implementing organization’s guiding principles, mission, and vision are concerned. First, resources are usually limited. Despite this challenge, the management is expected to steer the organization to success through achieving its objectives. Second, prevailing economic conditions are not predictable. Changes in economic conditions may hinder a company from following its course forcing it to make changes in its mission and vision. These constant changes may delay the company in its quest for achieving its mission.
A customer relations management department that is able to manage complaints appropriately helps the organization in retaining its customers. Customers’ complaints are a sign of dissatisfaction and should be addressed seriously to ensure that the customers are assured of better services and products in the future. Moreover, a good customer relations management ensures that customers’ complaints that are genuine are compensated accordingly. Consequently, customers feel valued and become loyal to the organization providing it with repeat business.
Moments of truth are the points of interaction between a client and a service provider. This takes place during actual service delivery and may either lead to satisfaction or dissatisfaction of a client. Communication, attitudes, and grooming of the service provider may influence the client’s experience leading to his/her satisfaction. I once experienced a moment of truth in a restaurant. The restaurant’s décor and warmth exhibited by the service staff made my experience at the restaurant memorable. The speed of service was commendable and food quality was better than I expected. This experience left a lasting impression on me and led me to make a decision to frequent the restaurant in the future.