Riordan Manufacturing Company is an organization that manufactures plastic parts globally. With manufacturing plants in Georgia, Michigan, and China, Riordan employees well over 500 people and bring in projected annual revenues around $46 million. Riordan has a diverse customer base and services various industries such as automotive, aircraft manufacturers, the department of defense, beverage makers, and appliance manufacturers. The company’s research and development is done at the corporate headquarters in San Jose. A service request was recently issued by the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mr. Hugh McCauley to upgrade the Human Resources department’s information systems to a more sophisticated state of the art system. My goal is to define the business requirements for the development of an HR system and to support the objective of this request. I will create a detailed system design and a project implementation plan required to complete the project. Mr. McCauley would like the project to be completed in approximately six months, so the new system can be utilized in the second quarter of next year.
Key Riordan Stakeholders
To begin defining the business requirements for HR’s system I must first understand their current system and assess the growing needs and requirements of the department. Riordan’s current HRIS system was installed in 1992 and is part of the financial systems package that keeps track of their employee’s information such as personal information, pay rate, hire date, organizational information, and vacation hours. Riordan’s current system is time consuming and inefficient. Many departments keep their own records and there is no common sharing or cohesiveness between each department. The first step in designing a new more efficient system is to interview the key stakeholders involved in the decision making process and the users who will be using the new system. The first person that I would interview is the COO Mr. Hugh McCauley. Mr. McCauley is the person who placed the service request for the new HR system. His primary responsibility is to direct, administer and coordinate the activities of the organization in support of policies, goals and objectives established by the chief executive officer and the Board of Directors.
Mr. McCauley’s input will be valuable in determining the overall goal for the HR department as they relate to the objectives of the organization. The next person I would interview is the Director of Human Resources Ms. Yvonne McMillan. Ms. McMillan’s role is to develop departmental policies, direct and coordinate human resources activities, such as employment, compensation, labor relations, benefits, training, and employee services. Her input will be valuable as she works with all of the departments that will be incorporated into the new system and will have specific knowledge of each role under her command. The other key stakeholders that would need to be included in the interview process are the payroll manager Silvija Peterson and payroll clerk Ana Richlich, training and development specialist Mari Carillo, the recruiter Eric Myers, employee relations specialist manager Andrea Gamby and employee relations specialist Carl Green, compensation and benefits manager Terri Carranza, compensation analyst Anne Pham. These employees will have firsthand knowledge of the current system, will lend valuable advice for improvements and will be users of the new system.
Information gathering techniques and system analysis tools
The first type of interviewing technique that I would use is the face to face interview. The interview is considered the primary technique used for information gathering during the analysis phase of the developmental project. The goal of the interview is gather information on the company, the particular job function, processes or activities, to uncover problems, to conduct a needs determination, gather opinions and user viewpoints; provide certain information, and to obtain leads for further interviews. The three primary system analysis tools that an analyst uses are interviewing, observation, and research. Other information gathering techniques I would use is focus groups, site visits, and Joint Application Design (JAD). Focus groups allow the interviewer to obtain different viewpoints in a group setting on the same subject. The group interaction provides immediate validation of the data gathered. Site visits can be used to gain firsthand knowledge of the processes, activities, physical environment, and working conditions of the project.
Site visits can be used to not only improve the interviewers understanding of the current working environment, but the interviewer may obtain additional information that wasn’t shared during the initial interview. The last information gathering technique is JAD. JAD allows a group of key stakeholders to gather in one place for a session or multiple sessions to discuss the goals and objectives of the project. JAD sessions start with identifying the mission and goal statements, and proceed to identifying the business requirements. One of the primary differences between a focus group and a JAD session is typically the participants in the focus group share similar technical and organizational levels whereas JAD groups are comprised of various users and key stakeholders.
Key factors to help ensure the information gathering for project is gathered successfully Documentation is an extremely important part of information gathering and serves to clarify understanding for the interviewer. It also provides an audit trail or creates records which can be referred to at some later date which will serve as the basis for future decisions and projects. Making sure the information gathered is saved properly will allow the interviewer to retrieve the information when it is needed again.
Project scope and feasibility
The project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, tasks and deadlines. (Rouse, 2012). A project scope statement is a short document prepared primarily for the customer to clearly describe what the project will deliver and outline generally at a high level all the work required for completing the project. (Valacich, George, and Hoffer, 2012). A Feasibility Study needs to be completed as early in the Project Life Cycle as possible. When completing a feasibility study the best time to complete one is when a range of different alternative solutions have been identified, and one needs to know which solution is the most feasible to implement. The feasibility study analyzes and outlines and several alternatives or methods of achieving business success. The feasibility study helps to narrow the scope of the project to identify the best business scenario.
Hofstrand, D. (2013). What is a Feasibility Study? Ag Decision Maker. Retrieved from: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/wholefarm/pdf/c5-65.pdf on October 27, 2014.Modell, M. (2007). The Interview And Other Data Gathering Methods. Retrieved from: http://www.martymodell.com/pgsa2/pgsa07.html on October 27, 2014 Rouse. M (July, 2012). Project Scope. SearchCIO. Retrieved from: http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/project-scope on October, 27, 2014.Valacich, J. S., George, J. F., & Hoffer, J. A. (2012). Essentials of systems analysis and design (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education