Information Technology: Management Decisions
An organization can still make good IT management decisions even under tough conditions; this is as far as the administration is capable of employing specific strategic plans that are relevant to an organization at that particular time. The challenge the management has to face is the knowledge of how to focus on project needs, and finish projects within the resources available to service the business in a cheaper way that will give the project an upper hand compared to other alternative projects.
The management’s opinion on Information Technology has an influence on the expectations of the management of the project in terms of performance. Some management personnel believe that IT can be used to realize a strategic advantage, while others believe that IT is a clerical function related to expenditure and should be strictly controlled by minimizing the expenses. This assumption may be true since to some companies, which do not know good IT management may understand lowering prices as an unwise decision in IT investment. The secret to excellence, however, is in understanding how to choose viable projects and how to manage them. According to Blouin, (2008), the test is to come up with systems that controls person output in an immense manner as to provide a remarkably new level of performance in the business (Blouin, 2008). These views may be true, on the basis of needs and capabilities of the organization.
Some management of human resource have an understanding that planning activities of IT have same issues of showing capabilities, functional support and cost effectiveness in the absence of consistency with strategic plans. However, another perception by Keith stated that an effective information technology project equips well-defined business objectives with quantified outcomes (Keith, 1995). The pace at which the implementation of an IT project can succeed varies depending on the prevailing conditions.
An IT project can be optimized by outlining objectives, which institutionalize strategic planning joined with project management. These objectives include; adaptation of an effective process of strategic planning, identification of an effective process of managing a project and adaptation of an effective consistent process for evaluation. Other objectives include; prioritizing, approving, and implementing projects that brings together strategic plans with project management, provision for managerial learning and uninterrupted enhancement of scheduling and processes of project management and finally, provision of organizational communication, which include; inputs on project requests and understanding the direction of management on the prioritization process (Keith, 1995).
Examples from the readings, which could be used to illustrate the political aspect of organizational decision making include; the view brought by Leonard Plachta, the president of Central Michigan University (CMU) that universities were to learn to operate more like businesses. Plachta repeated this statement, and always stressed the idea that a student is a customer and the gospel of efficiency and effectiveness. The other example is the mandate of the technology taskforce that was appointed by Plachta in January 1995, whose major responsibility was to recommend the structure of the organization for supporting technology. One potential structure that was to be put into operation was that of centralizing all technology property in one administrator. While the force overseeing approved the competence of the central form, they were interested by the chances of it not having the responsiveness to changing needs of both administrative and academic constituents (Salmela, 1993). A second decentralized technology model could reverse the merits and demerits of the essential formation and would be more alert, but was improbable to accomplish any of the efficiencies that were needed. Another concern was about how a completely distributed organization would plan and coordinate huge technology projects. The task force recommended a governance structure and matrix organization that blended features of centralized and decentralized models with local service providers in administrative offices and colleges, which would secondarily be associated with centralized university service centers.
The proposed model of matrix comprised of a formal Technology Planning Board led by a technology administrator who was to report directly to the Provost. This board was to consist of the Deans and Vice-Presidents from all the major sections of the university. The technology administrator would be in charge of various services that support technology and promote technology on campus. The planning board was given the responsibility of strategic planning for the technology at the university including funding proposal and scheduling of completion of major activities. A second layer of matrix proposed was the role of the coordinator of technology. As was the vision of the taskforce, coordinators of technology from each section would have a relationship that was more of a technical management with the technical directors of the centralized service centers for telecommunication, computing and instructional support (Keith, 1995). The matrix of coordinators and directors would form collaborative operational level teams of centralized and local service providers.
Salmela argued that the leading determiner of the success of a project is quality time investment in an organized planning in the initial phases of the projects (Salmela 1993). Project Management Office guarantees a steadiness approach to projects with eventual consistency in results (Salmela, 1993).
Blouin, D. & Neuhauser, C. (N.D.). Integration of Strategic Planning and Project Management. 2011. Web.
Keith R. & Richard W. (1995). Reorganization of the Information Technology in an Organization.