Estimate of College Information Management System

Estimate of College Information Management System

  1. Multiple Stages of College Information Management System Estimate

To implement information systems is not simply to install software or to adopt a new technology, but to carry out a commercial project. According to Markus and Tanis, the implementation of information system starts since the planning stage of the system. After the planning is finished, the project team is formed, and a series of concrete projects are carried out. [3] When the system is finalized and begins to operate, it will go through the stabilizing and optimization stage. After that, system estimate will be implemented. Therefore, information system implementation is divided into three stages as planning, project and promotion, which happen to agree to the division of estimate stages as pre-event, in-event, post-event, proposed by Chinese scholars Wei xiang Xu et al.

1.1Planning Stage

Planning stage (pre-event estimate)–to establish guiding principles of system implementation and procedures for related decision making. The main activities include: selection of the information system, establishment of directing committee, deciding of project implementation scope and method, appointment of project team manager and resource distribution. At the planning stage, since the project has not been implemented, the estimate of information system can be seen as predictive validation. Therefore, the major content for estimate is the degree to which system implementation is prepared. Preparations must be made for management and awareness as well as technology and fund. Pre-event estimate of information system is often combined with the project feasibility study. The main contents for estimate include four aspects: management feasibility, economy feasibility, technology feasibility and operation feasibility.

1.2 Project Stage

Project stage (in-event estimate) -configuration of the information system and installation of it in the whole college, i.e. the process from configuration to installation of the system. The main activities include: software configuring, system integrating, testing, data transforming, training and installing. During project stage, system estimate is to ensure the progress and quality of system implementation and to direct it towards the goal set up. The expenditure being mainly concentrated at project stage and little profit earned the proper control of progress and cost is a premise for optimizing decision and performance in follow-up project stage. Hence the estimate of project stage mainly includes progress, quality and cost of the system. The estimate indexes mainly include: 1) Estimate index for system construction. System implementation progress, degree of user’s satisfaction, system development efficiency, resource utilization rate, degree of system construction normalization, degree of system integral advancement, etc. 2) Estimate index for system performance. Reliability, efficiency, adaptability, translatability, maintainability, expandability, safety and confidentiality of the system, etc. 3) Estimate index for system implementation cost: the project cost as compared with the budget.

1.3 Optimization Stage

Optimization stage (post-event)-from installation of system to normal operation until stable operation. At this stage, colleges begin to obtain commercial benefits from information system and plan to implement new technologies. The activities mainly include: system repair, upgrading IT infrastructure, modification of business practice and workflow, system function expansion and innovation, etc. At optimization stage, old system is replaced by new ones or optimized, and new system begins to function smoothly. Users are more familiar with the operation of new system. Administrators make decisions with the data from the system. Additional innovations are carried out on workflow and software configuration. Besides, colleges need to bear new extra cost, including labor cost of temporary work, consultation fee, additional IT resource investment, etc. Therefore, the focus of information system estimate is the fluctuations of Key Performance Index (KPI) and commercial benefits which colleges obtain via information system. The main estimate indexes include: time spent for KPI in achieving normal or expected level; commercial benefits obtained, such as lowering cost of operation, benefits gained by saving stock safekeeping fee; possibility of adopting new version, new technology and new innovation after the stable operation of the system.

2. Multiple Levels of College Information Management System Estimate

The benefit brought to colleges by information systems is multi-dimensional and will spread to different levels of colleges or of human resources. The different levels of human resources increase in value after the government put more investment in human resources. [6] Moreover, each level has its own unique characteristic in applying the system and selecting appropriate estimate indexes. The effect that information system brings to colleges is mainly reflected on four levels, namely, operation level, knowledge level, management level and strategy level.

2.1 Operation Level

The information system is mainly used to deal with routine business, to enhance work efficiency and benefits, such as stock management, sales amount calculating, etc. The implementation of information systems at operation level results in the improvement of production and working efficiency and the lowering of cost. Hence, one important function of system estimate is supporting daily, regular operation and control of colleges. The estimate indexes include: cost reduction, specifically that of labor cost, stock cost and management; productivity enhancement; shortening of turnover cycle, specifically that of order service for clients or suppliers and that of cash; improvement of service, specifically easy access to data and quick response to customer requirements.

2.2 Knowledge Level

Information system serves people who work with data, helping colleges detect, organize and integrate new information and knowledge, coordinating information transfer within colleges or between colleges and the outside to ensure smooth information flow. The effect of information system at knowledge level is reflected in helping relative staff with knowledge and data, managing and refining useful information and knowledge. Hence the focus of system estimate is whether the system supports staff working with knowledge. The main estimate indexes include: information quality of system, such as accuracy, timeliness, integrality, relativity, intelligibility, format, etc; improvement of knowledge staffs’ work quality, such as working efficiency, degree of automation, quick learning capability; amelioration of knowledge staffs’ working conditions, such as uniform working platform, integrated database and effective communications among staffs.

2.3Management Level

Information system is mainly used to assist information manager in planning and controlling the operation of colleges; to obtain information of the college and the outside in order to solve semi-structured problems; and to make decisions. System estimate here stresses the optimizing of college decisions to guarantee its smooth operation. The effect of information system implementation is reflected in the optimizing of college decisions to guarantee its smooth operation. Hence the focus of system estimate is the degree to which system supports decisions. [7] Estimate indexes include: optimization of decision-making, specifically optimization of decisions at operation level, strategic decisions and decisions for customer service etc.; performance control improvement such as finance performance control and production performance control; resource management optimizing, specifically stock management optimizing, production management optimizing and staff management optimizing.