IMPLEMENTATION PHASE 7
ServiceRequest SR-rm-022 Part 3: Implementation Operation Phase
ServiceRequest SR-rm-022 Part 3: Implementation Operation Phase
Theimplementation stage is a critical phase of the project that shouldbe carefully planned. This stage consumes the largest portion of theentire project’s resources mainly due to high input requirements interms of people and time. An important concept underlyingimplementation and operation is viewing the stage as a changemanagement process (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2012). This paperdescribes the implementation stage with respect to the proposed HRsystem for Riordan Manufacturing. The discussion revolves aroundseven major activities for the phase described by Valacich, Georgeand Hoffer (2012) that include coding, testing, installation,documentation, training and support.
Inthis activity, the system architecture blueprint is converted toprograms through programming. This activity is also widely referredto as programming because of the nature of activities involved. Aprogramming team is tasked with and responsible for turning thephysical specifications from the design phase into program code. Theproject can adopt a development standard such as the Unified Processto ensure the best governance practices are in place (IBM, 2011). TheUnified Process is agile and provides the programming team withproven and widely accepted standards for managing the programmingteam and the process at large. This approach is iterative in natureand has many benefits that will be addressed later in this paper. Program code and documentation are the two expected deliverables ofthe coding activity. Note that the approach taken to documentation inthis and other activities implies that the process is undertakenthroughout the project. The approach is in line with the growing needto adopt iterative processes (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2012).The documentation produced will be more precise and of high quality.
Thetesting activity will be done in parallel with coding to enhance theoutput of the process. A test plan involves testing scenarios andtest data and will address the efficiency and effectiveness of theresulting code in terms of functionality, accuracy andinteroperability. Specific areas of testing include acceptancetesting, end-to-end testing, interoperability testing and integrationtesting (Kendall & Kendall, 2011). Testing provides the projectmanager with an opportunity to manage the social component of thesystem, as well as organizational needs. Testing will be done withuser involvement to help manage user expectations and resistance.Other parties to be involved in testing include the system analyst,system builders and system owners. As user expectations are shapedthrough early experience with the system, Kendall and Kendall (2011)noted that the likelihood of acceptance of the end product alsoincreases. Accordingly, the testing activity is focused on addressingboth the needs of the organization and the social component. Thedeliverables for this activity will be the results of program andtesting as well as their documentation.
Aftermost of the errors and problems have been addressed via the testingactivity, an installation and conversion plan is developed andexecuted. During this activity, the three important areas addressedinclude installation and conversion plan, user guide and usertraining (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2012). Installation andconversion plans for this activity might specify the installation andpopulation of databases with data, training users and mattersrelating to conversion. According to Valacich, George and Hoffer(2012), the process of training users on the system can takedifferent forms but organizations are increasingly adoptingtechnology-based user training practices. The Internet provides anopportunity for Riordan Manufacturing to employ a cost-effective usertraining strategy. Conversion to the new system may take any of thefour approaches namely direct, parallel, single location or phasedinstallation (Kendall & Kendall, 2011).
RiordanManufacturing HR project should undertake documentation throughoutthe life cycle. Valacich, George and Hoffer (2012), however, notedthat the documentation activity of the implementation phase providesan equally important formal attention. Two types of documentationwill be necessary for the project namely a system and a userdocumentation (Kendall & Kendall, 2011). Once the project teamhas completed its job, issues related to the system are most likelyto be handled through other means besides the team, which may beworking on other projects by then. Documentation is therefore animportant activity that will help Riordan Manufacturing to continueusing the new system smoothly even after the project team hasdispersed. User documentation is the final output of the activity andis aimed at the users of the system, while system documentation istailored towards the needs of the information system or technicalpersonnel (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2012). The systemdocumentation might detail out system design specifications andarchitecture, internal workings and functionality. The userdocumentation can include information that will help the userunderstand the system including how it works and how to use it. TheRiordan Manufacturing HR project will produce a highly structureduser documentation to ensure it is user-friendly.
Users,who will likely be HR personnel with limited IT skills, need to betrained besides being provided with documentation on the new system.In this activity, different stakeholders are tasked with differentroles. According to Kendall and Kendall (2011), the roles of thesystem analyst may include developing training plans, conductingtrainings, writing documentation and aiding users in the learningperiod. System owners may be responsible for approving the time fortraining. This activity presents an opportunity to cultivate systemacceptance among the users (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2012). Theuser training modules may involve training materials andcomputer-based learning aids and may involve physical classes ordigital tutorials. Effective techniques for this activity includeproviding early training, training manuals and use ofstraightforward, simple teaching methods.
Enduser support activity helps users cope with issues arising from theirinteraction with the system. Support may address or provide thingslike information center, automated support and resident experts(Kendall & Kendall, 2011). Support is therefore an ongoingprocess that lasts through the life of the system.
Likethe support activity, maintenance is an ongoing process that laststhrough the life of the system. The four major activities that occurduring maintenance include obtaining maintenance requests, turningsuch requests into system changes, designing changes and implementingthem (Valacich, George & Hoffer, 2012p. 323). Maintenance of thenew Riordan Manufacturing HR system should be undertaken until thetime when management will establish that the processes is no longereconomical. A maintenance plan may involve specific maintenancetasks, frequency and duration and human capital requirements.
Planningand repeatable processes have many benefits that increase the odds ofsuccess of the project. This approach offers greater flexibility inscaling systems since modules can be added iteratively, enhanced riskmitigation and collaboration (IBM 2011). Planning and repeatableprocesses provide project managers with an opportunity to adapt thesystem to changes occurring in the dynamic business or organizationalenvironment. The approach can also lead to increased productivityamong project members because it allows for easy allocation andmonitoring of tasks.
IBM(2011).Introduction to Software Development Governance [PowerPointslides]. IBMCorporation.
Kendall,E. K. & Kendall, E. J. (2011) SystemAnalysis and Design. NewYork. Prentice Hall.
Valacich,S. J., George, F. J. & Hoffer, A. J. (5thEd.). (2012). Essentialsof System Analysis and Design.Boston: Pearson.