Interview question for manufacturing or service, Business Management

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Company background information:

  • which sector and industry (manufacturing or service, public or private)
  • organizational characteristics (large versus small, average age of employees, average tenure of employment, continuing education and training policies)
    etc.

System background information:

  • informational versus transactional
  • complement to or substitution for other investments such as labor
  • standalone or heavily interacting with other systems within the organization,
    etc.

In the initiation stage

  • What was the problem/opportunity that prompted the development of the system? For instance, cost reduction or business opportunity.
  • Was the system initiated by the bottom, the middle, or the top layer of the user side or the IT side?
  • What was the initial response from functional users (i.e., the rank and file in the user group) to the decision? What were their main concerns? Typically did they
    1. Fear to learn new things
    2. Fear to lose control
    3. Fear to lose jobs or positions
    4. Lack confidence in the IT group (either internal or external), and/or
      Lack trust in the decision maker (either the user or the IT side)?
    5. When did functional users have clear expectations for the system (in the initial, development, or system acceptance phase, or never did)
    6. Did functional users believe the management has hidden objectives and incentives?
    7. In which phase ((initial, development, system acceptance, or never) had a formal channel been established for functional users to express their concerns?
    8. Was such a channel leveraged by people?
    9. Was the potential impact to the user side communicated to functional users in the initial stage?
    10. Had their concerns been addressed adequately? If yes, did that happen in the initial, development, or system acceptance stage?
    11. Did functional users play a significant role in the planning process? Did functional users and/or functional managers understand the benefits that would result from the proposed IS?

Did the project run into any significant technical difficulties? If did, which kind? (hardware, software, data integration, etc.)

Did the project require changes to business processes? If did, explain briefly.

In the post-adoption stage,

Has the system met the expectations, measurable in four aspects (respond to each of four)?

      ..scope (some of the features planned initially but dropped afterward)

      ..quality (frequent runtime errors, hard to maintain, hard to expand, hard to exchange data with other systems, etc.)

      ..cost (significantly over budget)

       ..schedule (significantly behind the initial schedule)

-    Do the four different groups (users, functional managers, IT professionals, IT managers) think differently about the successfulness of the system?

-    Does the system improve the productivity?

-    Does the system result in significant reduction in labor?

-    Does the system help materialize business opportunities?

-    Does the system make jobs easier for functional users?

-    Does the system make the organization more competitive?

-    Are functional users better off financially? Are they working harder but being paid the same or less?

-    Is the ROI quantitatively calculable? If so, is the ROI satisfactory?


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