Total System Approach in MIS Design
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, A management information system (MIS) is a system or process that provides the information necessary to manage an organization effectively. MIS can take many different forms, depending on the organization and the type of information that must be maintained. MIS design should be specific to an organization, respecting its age, structure, and operations.There six strategies for determining MIS design have been suggested by Blumenthal (1969) which are organisation chart approach, integrate later approach, data collection approach, database approach, Top down approach and Total system approach
NOTE: Our task need us to describe only Total-system approach
In Total System Approach (TSA) there is interrelationships ( that means the way in which each of two or more things is related to the other or others) where the basic information are defined prior to implementation. These basic 3 basic things are designed and done within the framework of the total system as are Data collection, Storage and Processing.
Modern management is based upon a systems approach to the organization. The systems approach views an organization as a set of interrelated sub-systems in which variables are mutually dependent. A system can be perceived as having:
some components, functions and the processes performed by these various components;
relationships among the components that uniquely bind them together into a conceptual assembly which is called a system; and
an organizing principle that gives it a purpose (Albrecht, 1983).
The organizing system has five basic parts, which are interdependent (Murdick and Ross, 1975). They are:
the formal and informal organization;
patterns of behavior arising out of role demands of the organization;
the role perception of the individuals; and
the physical environment in which individuals work.
The interrelationship of the sub-systems within an organization is fundamental to the systems approach. The different components of the organization have to operate in a coordinated manner to attain common organizational goals. This results in synergic effects. The term synergy means that when different sub-systems work together they tend to be more efficient than if they work in isolation (Murdick and Ross, 1975). Thus, the output of a system with well integrated sub-systems would be much more than the sum of the outputs of the independent sub-systems working in isolation.
The systems approach provides a total view of the organization. It enables analysis of an organization in a scientific manner, so that operating management systems can be developed and an appropriate MIS designed (Murdick and Ross, 1975).
By providing the required information, an MIS can help interrelate, coordinate and integrate different sub-systems within an organization, thus facilitating and increasing coordinated working of the sub-systems, with consequent synergism. The interaction between different components of the organization depends upon integration, communication and decision making. Together they create a linking process in the organization.
Integration ensures that different sub-systems work towards the common goal. Coordination and integration are useful controlling mechanisms which ensure smooth functioning in the organization, particularly as organizations become large and increasingly complex. As organizations face environmental complexity, diversity and change, they need more and more internal differentiation, and specialization becomes complex and diverse. The need for integration also increases as structural dimensions increase.
Communication integrates different sub-systems (specialized units) at different levels in an organization. It is thus a basic element of the organizational structure necessary for achieving the organization's goals.
There are 7 main activities that must be conducted. In the following paragraphs each process activity of Ttotal Ssystem Aapproach (TSA) processes is stated and then described as following:-
1.Stakeholders Analysis. First activity is to identify the stakeholders involved in the system and their respective objectives. For this purpose three questions must be proposed:-
Who are the people, groups of people or institutions who are interested in, affected by or who themselves affect the system being developed during its whole life cycle?
Who are the people, groups of people or organizations who have interests in the business of the organization which develops the system?
Which interests and objectives do each group of stakeholders have in the system?
Answering these questions, makes it easier to identify high level obstacles and opportunities for guaranteeing support to the system mission realization.
2.Identify and model the System Life Cycle Processes (System LCP).The system LCP corresponds to the processes and functions of the product itself. It is determined that the System LCP begins just after the integration, verification, qualification and acceptance activities and finishes either when the system is refurbished or when it is disposed. This task is done by defining the processes which the system will undergo and the functions it will be able to execute after it exists as product itself. The best way for accomplishing that is to organize meetings with a selected group of people where each one is expert on a process or function of the system life cycle
3 Define Mission Description. At TSA, the mission is composed of System Life Cycle Processes. Therefore, System Life Cycle is what establishes the structure for the Mission Description. It means that each process of the LCP is an item to be described and characterized. In each process description, the scope, scenarios and circumstances must be well determined, to avoid future consistency problems.
4.Define Mission Architecture. As previously mentioned, the set of System Life Cycle Processes is the base for all the work. With scope, scenarios and circumstances established in Mission Description the Architecture will be portrayed. The task is to put together similar scenarios and circumstances, then name and illustrate them in a representative way. This task would correspond to the physical architecture, and the functional architecture would be the System Life Cycle Processess.
5.Develop each Life Cycle Process: By model and present the System LCP in terms of functions and processes which allows the data flow but does not give the timeline sense. The input and output flows and also the mechanism and the control flows, at TSA are converted into mission requirements, mission organizations and mission assurance.
6.Writing Mission Required. At Total System Approach, A Mission Requirement Is Aphorise Which State What's Share Be Done in a Determined Mission Process. It includes how well the Propel Shall Be Executed And In Which Conditions It Shall Be Execute
7.Mission Assurance and Mission Organizations. As stated before, the mission assurance is determined from the control flows and the mission organizations issues are determined by the mechanisms flows.