Pitfalls in MIS Development
What are Pitfalls in MIS Development?
Ans.: Following are the pitfalls of the MIS development :
(A) Fundamental Weaknesses : Following are the fundamental weaknesses of the MIS development :
(a) No Management System to Build Upon : The MIS must be built on top of a management system that includes the organizational arrangements, the structure and procedures for adequate planning and control, the clear establishment of objectives, and all the other manifestations of good organization and management. The lack managerial and operational application is serious because it implies that the process not being performed well. if we can say that the information is the raw material of decision making , and if information is not generated, disseminated and used for management, then no system-manual or computer-is going to solve the problem.
(b) What business are we in? : Not having the crispy stated mission and purpose for the company is a common weakness. Since if it is not terrible clear what business we are in, each major challenge the company must face is a completely new challenge and must be analyzed from the ground up. If there was a mission statement, some of these problem could be dealt with routinely as opposed to their being major crises.
(c) Company Objectives : written objective are also often missing in the company. A firm without objectives is much like a company without a statement of mission and purpose –it is a ship without rudder. Without the business objectives, the chances of the MIS satisfying management needs are slight.
(d) Managerial Participation : MIS development has been viewed as responsibility of management. This includes both top level management and operating line management. The reasonable conclusion that manager must reach is that MIS is too to be left to the computer technician.
(e) Organization of the MIS Functions : Another significant cause of computer failure is the lack of proper organization of the EDP and MIS. The exact location in the organization and the authority granted to the MIS manager is, of course , a function of the type business the firm is in and how important the information resource is to its operation.
(f) Reliance on Consultant of Manufacturer : Some computer manufacturer and some consultant will try to sell the system, one that is designed and debugged and ready to push the button or turn on the key. Consultant and the manufacturer is concerned more with the machine than with the management solutions. Before buying the a ‗solution‘ from a consultant or manufacturer , be sure that it is the whole solution , that you understand it thoroughly, and that you understand you legal resources when things do not work the way your expected.
(g) Communication Gap : It is unlikely that for the foreseeable future the computer technician will be able to speak the language of management, and managers for the most part are not prepared to speak the languages of the computer. The result is a communication gap that some times causes a design stand off.
(h) The People Involved : There is no substitute for competence. Good performers of people will worth the price.
(B) Soft Spots in Planning :
(a) MIS Response to the Business Plans : The purpose of MIS group is to support line management in the company‘s main business. As business plans are made and modified , the corresponding MIS plans must be made and changed. Each MIS plan must be a proper response to a business plan.
(b) A System View : A Master Plan : Another cause of computer failure is the lack of a master plan to which hardware development and individual MIS design can be related. The reasons for MIS planning are the same as for planning in general : A system.
(c) Setting Project and System Objectives : setting objectives for projects and systems is not itself a planning activity. However not meaningful plans can made until these objectives have at least been roughed in. These two activities are co-requisite.
(d) Facing Constraints : Freedom from constraints on financial definition, system performance, system cost, development schedule will leads to enormous MIS problems. It is essential that both managers and technician recognize the reality of those constraints and plan accordingly.
(e) Plan to Sale the MIS : Most system designers admit to the unpleasant reality that the toughest part of the designing and implementation an MIS is gaining acceptance of the user for whom the system is designed. So the system should be designed in the manner that it can easily sale or accepted by the users.
(f) Detail Planning : It is only method that permits one successful MIS project to follow another. All veteran MIS development managers know this and plan in detail for every phase of the project.
(C) Design Problems :
(a) Consider Alternatives Designs : This is essential for the Manager to require the key designer to lay out the several alternative designs and explain the positive and negative features of each. Then he can select one
(b) Beware the User Interface : It is a technical problem. The user interface should be according to user. User should be comfortable with the design or interface of the system.
(c) The Real World the acid Test : Business organizations are not research institutes. The MIS is being implemented to support the firm‘s main line of business, not to extend the state of art in MIS design.
(d) If It Moves Automate It : Some things could be automated but not all. Like designer can easily design the computerized system for visitor. But people want and expect human interaction to at least immediately available when they enter the lobby of place of business.
(e) The Computer Obsession : Computer should not be obsession in system. It is a tools and used as a tools only.
(f) Documentation : Documentation should include: All plans, Project and system objective, specifications of functions and performance, user interface specifications, user instruction and reference manuals and maintenance guideline. These items are necessary to manage and use MIS over time. Not documenting these things in detail is a guarantee of failure in some part of the operation of MIS.
(D) Implementation Problems : Test It and Test It Again : The most common error made with regards to testing is not planning to do enough of it. A good rule of thumb to use in project estimating and planning is 1/3 planning and design, 1/3 implementation, 1/3 testing. For an MIS project of any reasonable size, this figure for testing is by no means too much. Testing must be done at the fictional level, the component level, and the system level. Controlling the MIS Project : although controlling is the one of the four basic management functions, it remains one of the preeminent cause of MIS development project failure.