Management estimates that system implementation will be delayed for nine months to a year. Some systems changes are envisioned, but the major difference planned in the future rollout is the formulation and delivery of a training program that first will be tested with a small but representative group of portfolio analysts and then extended to the entire staff before declaring the system ready to be used by all.
The cost of additional system tuning and training is significant: it includes the redesign work to make the system more usable, the training design and delivery time on the part of the training group, the time the portfolio analyst group will spend in training, and the cost of hiring temporary help that may be required during the training period. Furthermore, although no specific monetary value has been assigned to it, the delay in obtaining a competitive portfolio analysis program could threaten the competitive position of the company. However, there is no question in the minds of developers that the benefits of the new system (i.e., increased level of business and the ability of the analysts to handle more accounts) will still more than justify the added training and conversion costs.
Although this scenario is only one example, it is typical of a real problem that is common in the development of management support systems — in both system design and system implementation, too little attention is given to the needs and perspectives of the end user.
For a good fit between an application and its intended users, designers must either create the system to fit the end user or develop a training and support program to make the end user fit the application. Attacking the problem both in design and in implementation ensures the highest probability of success. This chapter describes strategies that help companies ensure a good fit between an application and its intended users.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.