Analyzing Riordan Manufacturing's HR System
A description of the information – gathering techniques and design methods have been provided in an effort to present a general idea of what steps are required to complete the project in order to ensure that required information is gathered successfully key factors have been identified, along with an explanation of the scope and feasibility of the project.
Gathering Techniques and Design Methods
Riordan Manufacturing’s IT department has received information requesting that the HR system be Analyzed. This will require the use of information – gathering techniques and designing methods. However in order to describe information - gathering techniques and design methods that will be used for the project one must first define the business needs and current technical resources. Riordan Manufacturing’s current system was installed in 1992 and independent of its branch offices. Riordan Manufacturing’s ERP system is an integral part of the finance and accounting system. With over 550 employees and offices located in California, Michigan, Georgia and China, each branch office has its own independent finance and accounting system; which is consolidated at corporate headquarters in San Jose, California. COO Hugh McCauley is seeking a single integrated application that uses today’s existing tools in the HR system. HR is seeking the opportunity of having the benefits that a more sophisticated, information technology system can offer. Requirements modeling will be used to gather information needed to begin developing the system, and fact – finding techniques will be used in the process of gathering development requirements (Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003 p. 96).
To further describe the information – gathering technique the use of Rapid Application Development (RAD) techniques will be incorporated, along with interviews with key employees, document reviews, observations, future growth, and a cost and benefits analysis. Once fact – finding techniques have been concluded and findings have been assessed, we can complete enterprise modeling by constructing data and process and object models with all focus on producing a systems requirements document (Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003, p. 96). In order to analyze future growth, costs and benefits, we will need to consider two main points; which is the scalability and the total costs of ownership. Scalability has to do with the company’s ability to handle an increased load on the system through increased volume transactions (Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003, p. 102). Evaluating the scalability of the system will require the evaluation of future growth projections in volume for all input and output processes (Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003, p. 102). Data storage will need to be considered as well as a determination on how much data storage is currently needed, and will be needed for future activity and growth (Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003, p. 102). The total cost of ownership will encompasses both direct and indirect cost associated with the project; after all costs have been documented, we can then determine whether or not the project will be too costly to complete and began to consider alternative solutions for completing the project. In order to ensure that requirement findings include end users expectations, a systems requirement checklist will be created that includes the following: Output Data, which is produced for the users and will return the Data in a layman readable format, Expected Outcomes will display to the end users inputs. Information that will be put into the Systems Design is, Time Clock Data for Employees with E-Cards, Data Inputs from HR Web Browser Application, and Direct Input into the HR System by Employee Processes. The System Design will anticipate who will be accessing the application, how the application will be accessed, and any system automation. Behind the scenes the System Design will be processing Interfacing with other systems, and Performance Concurrent user ability, Operational time frames will be 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. The System Design will also have the ability to conduct Business intelligence processing, reminders of timed events in specified time frames and Control Built-in System Security (logons) Role and or user base permissions to access information The interview process will consist of key people, such as managers, and staff that use the current application in the HR department, they will be asked questions such as, what their current system tools are used for in HR and how they are used. They will also be asked why the tools currently used are important to the current HR system. Other interview questions will be open-ended questions in order to stimulate spontaneous and structured responses, along with closed-ended questions, to get a limited or restricted response. The use of questions that generate a range-of-responses will also aid in determining what is needed for the new HR system, some employees will be asked to evaluate a specific item. Adequate question preparation time will also be used to prepare for the interviews, which will aid in ensuring that clear, concise and precise communication was used during each interview, this will also ensure that time and dates are recorded accurately. Reminder emails will be sent out before the interview is to take place. Interviews will be conducted in the employee’s office in order to ensure that they are comfortable. Finally document the interview with as many notes as possible to make sure that all information is captured (Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003, p.106). The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is the process that will be used to design a new HR system for Riordan Manufacturing. When designing a new system application, time is generally crucial and development of a new system is limited to about 6 months most often. Therefore A complete rewrite of the HR application tools and/or replacement of the existing applications with new ones may not be cost effective when offering a solution to Riordan Manufacturing.
Gathering information for the purpose of creating a system design plays an important role assessing the needs of a company. Riordan Manufacturing ERP System is an integral part of its finance and accounting system which has branch offices in States such as Michigan, Georgia and even China, it is important that outlying branches be able to communicate with one another through consolidation at a central headquarters. The Systems Design should have the ability to conduct Business intelligence processing, with reminders of timed events in specified time frames. Therefore a rewrite of the HR application tools and or replacement of existing applications may not be cost effective.
Shelly, Cashman, Rosenblatt, 2003, p. 96, 102, 106
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Course Technology. Satzinger, J., & Jackson, R., & Burd, S. Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World (2004).
Course Technology. Riordan Manufacturing (2008). Riordan Manufacturing Intranet.