Automating and Evaluating Processes in Organizations

DQ1: Best Environment

Is there a type of automation environment that is always best for a department? Why or why not?

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There is no type of automation environment that is always the best for a department. This is because of the complexity of IT systems in a department changes with time. However, end-users may have positive experiences with the automated system. The situation at the department may differ because management and integration of systems, platforms, and usages have become complex. Initially, automation processes such as cross-system integration, multiple layers, and others complicated the business environment of a department before changes could occur. In addition to these situations, compliance requirements with the department may also complicate the automation environment.

Organizations and their relevant departments may change to show dynamism in global business systems. As a result, departments struggle to meet such new challenges, particularly uptime needs. Departments may face challenges of constant needs so that they meet their obligations to the organization. This may also include updating information and data of the department. In all, these challenges can enhance the departmental automation environment, strategies, and goals. The department can formulate comprehensive strategies for the best environment based on the challenges and objectives of the automation process. This involves identifying automation needs by working with relevant staff. This is because the department can understand regular procedures, scheduled tasks, and functions that are repetitive or have predictable results after considerable amounts of learning periods. Such data enable the department to prioritize procedures for automation in order to create the best automation environment.

DQ2 IDE

What are the benefits of using IDE (integrated development environment) software across a department?

Using IDE across the department reduces the cost of ownership for the organization and enhances standardization through the use of a single application to manage several processes of development among users. This means users shall have high standards of productivity through the use of a single component with several applications (Microsoft, 2010). At the same time, users do not switch to other components but concentrate on productive processes. Successful implementation of IDE can provide consolidated insight to top management on the productivity of departments.

The deployment of IDE across the department ensures standardization of processes in the programming. This is because IDE can provide several features that can assist in authorization, modification, compilation, deployment, and correctional aspects. This is a cohesive manner of working in an organization as it reduces the time of learning new features and enhances users’ productivity.

IDE requires a great amount of planning, learning, coordination, and support so as to achieve its full benefits. This means accuracy in inputs so that IDE delivers the desired benefits. At the same time, users must also adopt best practices in the process of using IDE so that the department can realize its full benefits.

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The challenge goes to top management to explain how changes shall occur in work processes and how the software can benefit the department. Proper implementation of the software can provide opportunities for future development, enhance the productivity of the department, save costs, and make processes linear. However, the department must advance its processes so as to achieve excellence through IDE application.

What is the effect of IDE on geographically dispersed departments?

Application of IDE in geographically dispersed departments can bring similar up-to-date and accurate information for all locations. This process makes IDE a valuable system for departments. IDE eliminates all processes of following a long chain across different departments. Such processes subject productivity to delays and errors (Hegde, Dewan, and Rui, 2008).

IDE shall keep every department informed of project statuses at any particular moment. Users feed the information in a single point, and it becomes accessible to all relevant users across various departments. This process enables different departments to know what stage of development a product is and anticipate the next stage. This process reduces the overall time, costs and improves workflow across departments.

Users in various departments can see ongoing processes and available information. At the same time, they can also update relevant information at various ends. The system is reliable because once a department finishes its part, the IDE application moves it to the next department. This process creates a coordinated workflow in an organization. The system also provides easy access across geographical locations as any worker can access the system at any given point.

The system also ensures uniformity and best practices across various departments of an organization. This also contributes to an organizational reliable and complete environment of productivity and cost-cutting.

DQ3: Minimize Failure

When a department takes on automating processes as an objective, what are some conditions for minimizing failure?

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In automation processes, failure is inevitable at some points. However, a department should take the necessary steps so as to minimize failure (Kok, 2011). A department should focus on an automation process that offers flexibility. The system should be modular. This implies a failure in a single module should not hamper the whole system. Thus, any automation in a department should be about delivering value to all users. At the same time, the system should be easy to learn and integrate to avoid complications.

The automation process should avoid the idea of creating a complex system during integration processes. This process aims at avoidance of over-reliance on system developers. Many organizations do not have system engineers as they are expensive to maintain on a full-time basis. Thus, organizations depend on few engineers and outsourced partners for integration and maintenance of the automation system. Automation integrators in an organization should change its approaches from complex systems to developing solutions built for solving various problems.

Automation users must also learn that the department has new solutions for processes. Thus, they must learn modular systems of the process. This is necessary to avoid resistance and failure of the system from human errors. At the same time, the department should avoid processes that require highly specialized knowledge. Still, the process should rely on widely used standards for interoperability. Such systems have a number of supporting partners or vendors than custom-developed systems. This can facilitate rapid repair and maintenance in case of failure.

Systems Development

DQ4: Leading Departmental Change

Who should lead the migration plan from an existing process to an automated one for the department?

In the past, departments had to prove that they could afford the automated systems that they proposed. As a result, executives in those departments refrained from leading changes in seeking new solutions in their departments for efficient productivity and cost-cutting. However, as the conditions of the industry change, departments have realized the need for automated systems and IT departments that can facilitate changes and deliver the desired result through increased productivity (Eiras, 2010).

Today, departments have realized the relevance of automation through analyzing challenges, proposing possible solutions for accomplishing objectives. Still, they have noted that automation processes require working and collaborating together with leaders so as to implement automated solutions that provide value to the department. Thus, the IT department in an organization should be the first to lead a change in the system. However, they have a challenge of presenting solutions that should only focus on solving business problems and not on complex technological systems.

Therefore, departmental heads must take leadership responsibility and lead a change to automated solutions. Successful transformation requires leadership than the system itself. Leaders must take their responsibilities seriously and improve their leadership skills in order to realize a successful change in automation. At the same time, departmental leadership must realize that automation transformation is a continuous process that requires establishing and managing the relationship, involvement, and engagement with executives from other departments and the leadership of the entire organization.

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What are the qualities to look for in the leader, and why?

Scholars have stressed the qualities of transformational leaders that can operate in the new era of automation and technology (Muller, 2011). Such leaders must be visionaries and bold and are ready for challenges of advancement. Leadership for automation in a department must be able to take a firm position on the unpopular idea, act in the interest of the team, empower the team, and enhance the change process in the department. Such leaders must demonstrate enthusiasm for innovation, transformation, and act as models to the team.

Leadership scholars like Kotter noted that transformational leaders must be able to adapt and cope with dynamic and complex innovations of IT in the organization. However, automation and IT do not require normal leadership skills. Such leaders must demonstrate specific leadership skills related to technology. They must also demonstrate an understanding of the automation environment in terms of culture with regard to strategies, objectives, applications. Leaders must have the knowledge to use and apply automation tools, and they must know or have an insight into the possible impacts of the automation process on the department. At the same time, such leaders must have visions aligned with those of the organization and automation overall goals (High, 2009).

Leaders must also show the ability to learn in order to empower the department and conduct further research so as to identify capabilities of automation to the department. This enhances the innovation and growth of the department through leadership, direct involvement, and support.

Automation processes and IT leadership require the ability to listen and conduct thorough analyses in order to identify what shall work for the department. This involves exploring new methods and approaches without deterrence. This requires decisiveness for the identification of relevant technological solutions for the needs of the department.

Leaders must also demonstrate the desire to succeed despite the challenges of technology. This requires leaders to cooperate and adopt ideals that can work through a strong commitment to achievement. This implies that a leader must have all the necessary skills an IT leader needs to succeed.

DQ5: ERP and Departments

How do you adapt a corporate-wide system, such as ERP, for your department leaders?

Users of ERP know that such enterprise-wide solutions contain embedded solutions that can serve most areas of an organization, such as the financial department, human resource, and business units, among others. There are solutions that can aid the adaptation of ERP to a department to fit its business needs (Mullins, 2012).

The department can adapt ERP to meet its needs through the deployment of suitable architecture. This involves the evaluation of various applications in order to determine a suitable one. The process must focus on the performance and costs of available solutions with reference to the business environment (Focus Research, 2010).

The department can also implement an adaptive infrastructure to enable it to adapt to the changing needs of the business environment for both short and long-term requirements. Adaptive infrastructure must provide multiple compatibility modes to ensure standardization of other IT applications on a single platform. Thus, intelligent systems provide opportunities for clustering capabilities as methods of adapting automation to a department (Oon, 2010).

The design and management system should allow new applications to be introduced and adapt to the existing system. This requires the highest levels of infrastructure reliability. The system vendor must also provide technical solutions, information for implementation, and work with the department so as to provide support during design stages. Such design and management processes must favor the operation of the department and enhance productivity and save costs. This implies that the system should be reliable so that the department can realize the full benefits of automation and adaptation of ERP. At the same time, such processes must allow further expansion in the future.

Do you feel a department is more integrated with other departments through the application of ERP? Explain.

ERP application across departments should enhance integration. This is because ERP application enhances the overall benefits of an organization through various departments. Thus, the proper integration of a given department should result in considerable benefits for the department (Powell, 2009). A department may feel that it does not need integration because it has a smooth workflow system. However, an ERP application in a department can enhance productivity and cost-cutting.

A department can realize the need for integration if it has fragmented processes that hamper growth and productivity. A department should feel well integrated into the system if it can create a mindset that drives business, defines best practices, facilitates its activities, and streamlines operation across other departments. The department can realize such integration when there is coordination, information sharing, and collaboration.

ERP systems have the capabilities of developing aspects of major processes across the entire organization. These processes include planning, execution, management, and control. This process is only possible through integrating all fragmented and separated elements of departmental procedures and integrating them. Thus, a department should realize the benefits of integration from ERP through efficient task completion, elimination of redundant and overlapping processes that hinder efficiency and waste resources through provisions of standard processes. A well-integrated process should result in a single operation that provides accurate information. The department should realize the effective allocation of resources, reduce costs, improve planning, and measure its goals accurately in relation to outcomes.

DQ6: The System includes People

What should be included in the term “systems” as related to the department? Does the term include people? Explain.

Systems have several components depending on their functions. These components may include controlled devices, input and output components, controllers, and sensors, among others. All these aspects take into consideration the roles of people using the system. Thus, we have a user interface component.

This is a crucial component of every system as it allows users to interact with the system. This happens by sending or receiving information. However, the capabilities of systems differ in this regard. Users can input their instructions to the system and receive feedback. Systems have the capabilities of performing certain tasks automatically. Still, most systems have an integrated user interface or remote control through people (Duvall, 2008).

Departments want to achieve efficiency through the flow of information among them. Data that passes across the system is useful for business decision-making processes. However, the system should deliver the right data to people who need it. This implies that system components include people who rely on system outputs for decision-making.

Users or integrators rely on the behavior of a system in order to understand the meaning of the interface. Thus, users must understand methods of formal interface and various service applications in order to ensure that systems results are accurate. This is crucial for people as components of a system. This is ideal because users must understand the desired system behaviors in order to determine correct integration components. This is an indication that system integration accounts for user involvement during usages. We can also see people as components of a system in service models. These models can define components in relation to various functions they do, information necessary to conduct such activities, and information generated upon completion of a process. Service models are crucial in relation to people in the system because they perform activities based on explicit requests from people or other systems. This reinforces the idea that people are parts of system components.

Systems have different components as tools to support various functions. Thus, they depend on human users for inputs and user-defined methods. In this regard, such components may lack built-in capabilities, thus, promoting user interventions. In this regard, people understand how such systems work and willing to exploit intervention measures so as to perform their tasks (Baddeley, 2010). In all, systems developers and integrators consider human users as components of systems.

References

Baddeley, A. (2010). The Future of Command and Control. Military Technology, 34(4), 68-76.

Duvall, P. (2008). Automation for the people: Speed deployment with automation. Web.

Eiras, J. (2010). The Practical CIO: A Common Sense Guide for Successful IT Leadership. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Focus Research. (2010). Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Trends for 2011. New Orleans: Focus Research.

Hegde, R., Dewan, P. and Rui, Y. (2008). Collaborative integrated development environment using presence information. IDE , 1-3.

High, P. (2009). World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed when IT Triumphs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kok, R. (2011). How Do We Minimize Murphy Consequences in Automation? Control Global , 1-3.

Microsoft. (2010). 3M Streamlines Development, Accelerates Product Delivery with Integrated Tools: Case Study. Microsoft Case Studies, 1, 1-4.

Muller, H. (2011). The Transformational CIO: Leadership and Innovation Strategies for IT Executives in a Rapidly Changing World. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Mullins, K. (2012). Adapting ERP Solutions, via SOA, to the Business Needs of Government. Web.

Oon, R. D. (2010). Open Source ERP. Malaysia: Pearson Education.

Powell, J. E. (2009). Companies Maximize Enterprise Resource Planning by Integrating Business Intelligence. Aberdeen Report, 1, 1-3.

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