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Factors necessary for effective implementation of MIS

Category: Information Systems

MIS implementation projects sometimes fail even in companies where management is effective in other terms. Even in cases when implementation goes more or less smoothly, it often happens that budget and time limits for achieving live operation are exceeded.

Methodologies, described below, can minimize the risk of failure if correctly applied. Only with realistic planning and relevant management can one achieve both budget and time frames.

Effective organisation of the project

1. Ensure commitment to the project goals from key stakeholders. Ask key stakeholders to ensure commitment of other personnel involved.

2. Assign an official Project Manager, who will be in charge of implementation of the new system. The Project Manager should have the skills necessary to ensure successful implementation and (desirable) experience in implementation of information systems.

3. Define and formalize in a written document clear-cut functions, responsibilities and competencies for every team member involved in the project.

4. Ensure that all the personnel involved have the necessary skills. This is especially true for knowledge of Russian.

5. Develop a comprehensive work plan. Break it into phases and define time frames for each phase. Stick to it.

Organisational structure and business processes

Before you start implementation of a new system it is very important to elaborate in detail the organisational structure and business processes:

1. Ensure that accounting rules and procedures are defined in a specific document with an agreed format and that they are accepted by accounting personnel.

2. Describe your business activities and relevant specific operations which should be undertaken to perform your business activity.

3. If necessary, these activities can be adjusted to ensure more efficient operation and integration of the new system.

4. Describe your organisational structure and review whether it fits within business to the maximum possible extent.

5. Forget about popular cliches like «re-engineering» and «staff reduction». You don’t have to start everything from scratch, changes need not be drastic and you do not have to cut your staff.

6. Explore the most efficient methods used in your industry and try to implement those which are suitable for your business.

Technical infrastructure

Ensure that the necessary technical infrastructure is in place:

1. Ask relevant experts to evaluate your current infrastructure based on the requirements of the new system. Define the role of your IT Department and think of changes it should undergo in the new environment.

2. Make the necessary changes in the areas listed above before you put your new system into live operation. Take your time and think carefully. For example, new network equipment can play a key role in effective operation of the new system and can have relatively low cost, compared to the overall project expenditure.

Satisfaction of user needs

Make sure that the new system will satisfy the main needs of all future users:

1. Define business requirements in a special document giving that level of details which will be sufficient to compare one system with another.

2. Always define priorities.

3. Use the documents you have at your disposal to ensure that realised functionality corresponds to needs.

Effective change management

Manage change effectively- considering the needs of your staff:

1. Introduce changes progressively. Remember that the amount of information which people can learn at any one time is limited.

2. From the very beginning, ensure the involvement and commitment of all key stakeholders interested in a successful outcome. One good idea is to ask them to express their opinion during formalization of the business requirements.

3. Talk regularly to your staff- giving them the opportunity of being heard.

4. A training plan should be developed so that personnel will not only know how to enter data into the system but will understand what changes this new system will bring to their work. Help end users to see «the whole picture».

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