You are required to produce a management report to deal with the issue described in
the following case study.
Imagine you are employed in a newly created Education Commission in Australia operating in the fictitious state of Gilliardania.1 Following the reorganisation of State and Commonwealth government powers, the Commission has merged a range of educational authorities. The Commissions mandate is to administer all levels of education from preschool to university.
This shake up is requiring the reformulation of administration as well supporting information systems.
You work as a business analyst in the Commissions newly formed Information Systems Division. The Division is responsible for IT services and communication systems for the Commissions officers as well as supplying support to the states government schools.
Commission budgets are under severe pressure. Government budget deficits and the on going Global Financial Crisis have prompted officials to consider how they might lower support costs. This is a challenging time because the government of the day still wishes to engender an education revolution that will help undergird efforts to transform the economy. Effective use of information systems and related information
technology are central to achieving this policy outcome.
The IT division has to consider what end-user training systems and support systems it should initiate. Part of this consideration also involves how IT help desk operations should be designed. Given the pressures on government outlays, the Commission wants to ensure that whatever is put in place is cost effective. The design exercise is to start from scratch. Rather than cobbling together a system from the training and
support systems from the merged organisations the Commission want to produce a state-of-the-art system from the ground up.
In this climate, several of the recently-appointed senior officers in the Commission have had their attention drawn to articles that conventional help desk operations can be replaced by social media.
Recently, a new CEO has been head hunted to lead this Commission. Early in her tenure, she has expressed interest in a reconsideration of the business potential of evidence-based practice. Such practice is becoming important in the heath sciences, education and social work. Furthermore, she is a hard-nosed individual. This stems from her earlier career as a research scientist. She, therefore, has a higher interest than usual in what research tells us about what works. Likewise, she also is tuned in
into detecting bad science.
Geoff James, the Director of the Information Systems Division, has assembled a team of business analysts to vet some recent research into aspects of information systems. Each analyst is to offer recommendations concerning how the Commission might
capitalize on the findings of the research that they have been asked to assess.
In your case you have been asked to report on the how end user training and support should designed and administered. There is particular interest in the hope that use of social media and use of Google might be able to lower IS end-user training and support outlays. The organization has no worthwhile experience with such an approach. Furthermore, appreciate that for the foreseeable future, the CEO has not
ruled out selected outsourcing as means of improving the IT Division.
Your investigation therefore needs to examine how end-user training and support should be best organized given recent developments in the WWW. Being mindful, of the CEOs interest in EBP, you will need review available evidence about how well your proposed approach is likely to work. Consideration will need to be given to examining how such systems might be implemented as well as the likely organisational changes that would result.
At present, the Commission uses Microsoft products for many its computing applications. The exceptions are Apache for file servers and SAP enterprise resource planning software that covers accounting, HR, sales and inventory management. The Commission supports both Apple and Microsofts operating systems. The Commission has implemented a BYOD scheme in its offices.
The Commission has its headquarters in the state capital. There are five regional offices spread throughout the state. The system supports 5,000 workstations. One thousand of these are located in the regions. The current IS support function is located in the central office. It is internally staffed. Recent creation of the Commission resulted in numerous support staff take voluntary departure packages resulting in an important loss of experience. The merged entities did not subscribe previously to a common IS governance framework.
The scope of your report excludes IS operations in the states government schools.
The assessment will be based on:
The clarity of the logical analysis used to describe the project or process
Readiness to offer a strong evidentiary basis to what is presented in the
The analysis of the probable change process from pre-change through the change to the impact of the change.
Tips from lecturer.
MANAGEMENT REPORT SEARCH CRITERIA Helpdesk Design / Web Based Help Desk
Evidence based practice MUST be used.
Work process procedure
What scope for simplification exists?
Placebo Effect and process change
Improvement in productivity needs to be sustainable
Make a positive difference
Look at relocation to improve productivity
Process change using evidence based practice.