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Management decisions

Discuss about the Business Processes for Harvard Business.

Business decision management (BDM) is an emerging business discipline that is quickly taking over the business world because of the worldwide desire to automate most of the enterprise's important decisions. BDM is often implemented using rule-based systems i.e. Information systems and other sophisticated analytical models that predict future business outcomes (Layna, 2013). Most modern day organisations aim to improve the decisions they make by incorporating software solutions that make better and informed decisions based on the data they are provided. However, most of these soft wares and technologies capitalise on BRMS systems and predictive analytic concepts which may trade one business aspect for another.

An organisation such as the one considered in this case study (IS project Jordan) may generally need to trade-off between the following concepts; accuracy, precision, speed agility, cost, decision latency and consistency. However, these trade-offs will depend on the field of application. According to McLeod (2012), a successful information system that comprises of good management decisions tools will result in a successful project that leaves the customer satisfied. Nevertheless, considering these IS systems are made by expert professionals and are made within the confines of Information technology, what can lead to their failure? Or even better what business decision aspects can affect the functionality of IS systems within their mandated activities?

To answer these questions and to understand how IS and IT system affect business performance we must analyse the decisions that implement these systems. Moreover, we can assume that the success of a business model is determined by completion time, the expenditures of the business or project and the ability to fulfil the original set objectives (Garg, P 2010; Nasir & Sahibuddin, 2011; Chou, 2012; Ibrahim, R et al, 2013). These assumptions will guide this report in assessing the performance of business projects while highlighting BDM and IS/IT concepts and how they affect business performance.

Decisions are a reusable asset that can be mimicked over time, it’s because of this widely known assumption that business management decisions incorporate technology to automate the decision-making process. Therefore, even before one critiques the application used, one must analyse the management concepts used. Time, money and research scope are the three main pillars of business success. In fact, according to Halonen and Paavilainen (2005), the slightest change in any of these factors may offset the balance of an entire business venture.

Information systems and Information technology

In our case study, the IS Jordan project failed either because of managerial issues or technical issues. However, considering the Softwares used were designed to perform the roles instructed, the administrators are to blame. Furthermore, most projects fail because of poor technical designs that develop inappropriate Softwares. A management team may be overwhelmed with high volume decisions that they overlook some serious specifications in their IS systems (McManus & Harper, 2007).

Information systems are a set of items, elements or components networked and coordinated to analyse and produce highly processed information. When we consider computer-based IS systems we must define their precision characteristics, a characteristic unmatched by any other systems. Moreover, IS systems are defined based on their functionality, which classifies them into two; operations and management support systems (MSG, 2016). On the other hand, information technology is the general integration of information between computers and telecommunication. Furthermore, IT is a subset of IS that deals specifically with the technologies that deliver the systems applied (IT degrees, 2015).

In a market flooded with many competitors, information technologies and information systems can be the determining factors that give a company the competitive edge needed to succeed. IS systems will provide the right information to the right individual or company and even at the right time. Moreover, they are used to store, modify, track and distribute data to the appropriate recipients. Whenever issues arise with these systems the consequences on a business performance are usually profound (Muhsinzoda, 2015). Even though the IS systems and the technologies used to deliver them (IT) are determined by the management, a glitch in the technology, system design and the expertise of the implementation professional can fail a business.

First, let’s consider the choice of software and delivery systems, where a company as one considered chooses a wrong software or one incapable of meeting the project specifications. The said software would undermine the work of the management as it would have limited resources to meet the set objectives. Moreover, it may produce wrong result leading to erroneous conclusions/decisions. Similarly, when a weak technology (IT), such as a weak encryption algorithm is used, it can lead to leakage of information which could undermine a company’s business and expose it to legal liabilities (Raysman & Brown, 2008).

Secondly, incompetent IT professionals who fail to understand business objectives hence they deliver inaccurate systems designs. Similar to the wrong systems designs, incorrect analysis would result from the system irrespective of the data used (Sweis, G.,Sweis, R., Abu Hammad, A., & Shboul, A, 2008). Furthermore, with limited expertise the business performance would be based on luck and complex alteration would take ages to meet. These complexities would cost time and money, two major defining factors of the success of a business or project (Standing et al, 2006).

IS and IT issues and how they affect business performance

Finally, consider the IT/IS specifications where, wrong or incomplete specifications are given, designs are submitted late in time and professional underestimate the overall design of a project, hence its system. First, the business decision management system adopted would be overwhelmed with requirements having constant alterations and inconclusive results. Furthermore, the business management would develop substandard systems and technologies having underestimated the project. Furthermore, all final decisions would fall short of the minimal requirements because they would lack accurate specification and guidelines. Remember, IS systems are an integrated network of specifications used to make informed decisions if one element is compromised they all fail. In effect, a project such as the IS Jordan project fails or takes longer to complete, which in itself is a failure (Alter, 1976).

Big companies, corporations and organisations are continuously investing in innovation and technology practices. Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple have heavy investments in future technological systems that can help make better management decisions. These companies understand that the success of Management support systems (MSS), Executive information systems (EIS) and decision support systems depend on the information processing systems. This technological integration allows for a value based management chain that maximises profit while minimising the operational costs (Muhsinzoda, 2015). This technological integration is fulfilled by information systems that include simple Softwares such as office information systems (OIS). A good example of such a system is an enterprise resource application designed to track a company’s business operations (Dmaithan, 2016).

Such IS systems maintain accurate market intelligence, giving a business the competitive edge it deserves. IS systems will gather information online from corporate annual reports, dissertations and media reports to produce important competitive intelligence. Secondly, IS system will produce accurate product designs based on the current markets and with the accurate specifications. Moreover, all modern designs are done using computer-aided designs (CAD) which are another form of IS systems (Lalit, 2008). Finally, we have IS role in financial and accounting business decisions where a multitude of information systems are used to track and monitor the flow of assets. Go into any organisations and you will find applications used to account for goods, record payrolls, and balance ledgers among many others. In essence, information systems are the backbone of modern day business.

According to the conclusions of the case study considered, the failure of the IS project was due to poor management practices and late customization of the IS application. Poor management resulted in poor internal communication, lack of onset participation, incorrect assumptions and the underestimation of timelines. Furthermore, the management got incomplete system specifications which altered the IS specifications (Sweis, 2015). This project’s performance together with other business ventures could benefit from the following management and IS technological improvements.

Role of IS in supporting business processes and technology integration

Apply driver-based decision-making processes. Making management decisions concerning sponsorships, partnerships and even timelines can be difficult to accomplish. Moreover, finding the correct tools to support business analysis require information system supported by the right information technologies. These decisions are made even tougher when a competitive market is considered. In fact, according to a survey done by EY in 2012, more than 81 percent of worldwide executive find it difficult to make speedy and accurate decisions. Driver based approach prioritises decisions based on the demand which results in better outcomes.

Business planning, where the business categorises its components based on their efficiency, profitability, risk and innovation margins. Through concepts such as strategic planning, a business can identify its long-term projects as well as short terms projects. The IS project in Jordan would have had short term projects that dealt with system development based on the consumer requirements. From these objectives, the long-term (success of the project) would have fallen into place. However, for these planning strategies to work efficient IS management technologies would have to apply, for instance, ERP systems that monitor employees and the work they perform (CPA Australia, 2011).

Finally, from the strategic planning procedures, implement the controlling management solutions, while focusing on the objectives set by the driver based approach (PWC, 2016). Integrated enterprise management systems provide the best solutions to business problems which result in better business performance. ERP systems will facilitate a broad integration procedure of a company’s departments, from the sales, marketing, production and even the management department. Issues such as poor communication, employee involvement and inaccurate assumptions would be eliminated. In addition to this, projects are closely monitored and the progress made into records. Similarly, the IS project in Jordan would have benefited from an integrated system eliminating its communication problems, assumptions and the misinterpretation of information (Ibrahim et al, 2013).

Adopting the business/project management strategies highlighted above has many advantages which can later turn to be profitable business opportunities. For one, an elaborate project portfolio where all objectives are outlined can foster many business collaborations (Needs, 2014). Our case study saw the company lose key individuals in sponsorship, management and vendor management. These misfortunes were related to poor project objectives where the management styles changed too frequently thus altering the business priorities.

Strategic management decisions can also help manage risks to an avoidable level, moreover, risk management can be done at all levels of business be it finance, production, sales etc. This cross-platform risk management practices are made possible by the IS and IT concepts discussed. An ERP system can easily predict the consumption of resources and even offer alerts when they are substantially depleted (Dmaithan, 2016).

Finally, the image acquired by a business is outstanding as they are associated with efficient services highlighted by their completed projects. This commendable image helps to build a reputable brand that customers can easily associate with and as a result of this association, the profit margins increase as more customers are willing to buy a company’s products. If the IS Jordan project had worked, the company responsible would have had an extra archive of a customer to reference to when making future sales endeavours. Satisfied customers is an advertisement by itself and can results in more customers as compared to marketing or even direct company advertisements (Williams, 2007).

Conclusion

Decision management (DM) is a broad topic that incorporates much decision-making concepts. It's no wonders that 81 percent of worldwide executive find it difficult to make accurate and fast management decisions. However, the overall goal of DM irrespective of the approach adopted is to improve performance based on the decisions implemented. Furthermore, the available supporting information is critical to this objectives as it helps increase the accuracy, agility and consistency of the decisions. For this, we have information systems (IS) which are supported by different information technologies (IT). A toy selling company can easily determine its most valued toy by evaluating the data it has on past sales. A simple IS system can analyse this data in a matter of seconds which can then help a manager in the production department alter the numbers of the toys produced based on the IS numbers.

This example outlines why DM systems treat decisions as a reusable asset and why corporations integrate them with technology for fast automated decisions. Moreover, consider the front end of events, where customers expect fast services irrespective of time and prevailing conditions. Employees in supermarkets would be overwhelmed and even lost were it not for IS technologies. These technologies help them locate items more effectively and sell them to highly demanding customers. Similarly, the project considered (IS Project Jordan) could have implemented some of these decision management practices for better business outcomes. Instead, they relied on estimations and traditional management system, in return, they had a failed IS project.

Combining renowned business strategies with predictive analytics is the best way to optimise business performance. On one hand, the basic business objective such high profits with minimal costs are achieved while maintaining an accurate record of future outcomes. Furthermore, this predictive analytics will incorporate IS and IT systems that optimise and automate decision-making processes. This combination has the best probability of producing positive results that are determined by accurate and precise decisions. Moreover, predictive system analytics reduce the overall negative impacts of wrong/bad decisions.

So, a profit making company should invest in IS systems such as ERP, MSS, EIS and even CAD as discussed above. ERP systems will help collaborate a company’s workforce, while MSS system will maintain accurate management decision. The CAD system will produce accurate product designs determined by consumer’s specifications. Fundamentally, these systems will eliminate basic business issues such as poor communication and in its place produce efficient working environments. Furthermore, for the decision management solutions to be effective, the gap between the end user, technical support and the management must be eliminated. Now, for this to happen an accurate collaboration between decision makers and those affected by these decisions must exist. This collaboration is facilitated by tracking information and monitoring the responses to this information.

Modelling the decision is, therefore, the first step in developing an accurate DM, these models are guided by strategic procedures that weigh the business elements involved. Secondly, employ a wide range of business decision services where these services are constructed using IS and IT technologies. Moreover, these technologies must follow the rules of business and those of predictive analytics. Finally, employ a continuous and ongoing analytics, this will help maintain the objectives identified at the beginning of the decision-making process.

References

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