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Information Gathering And Processing Capabilities Do My History Assignment

Accounting

Kaplan and Anderson (2005) notes that activity-based costing (ABC) systems are not as effective in practice as they are on paper. Among the grievances that Kaplan notes with respect to ABC, the system is not very scalable, losing power as the company gets larger. The textbook version is usually a very simple company with a handful of activities, but in the real world companies can have hundreds of products, thousands of activities and tens of thousands of customers. This presents a challenge, because activity-based costing requires a substantial amount of information in order to be effective. Past a certain scale of organization, activity-based costing does not deliver a good return on investment because of the costs associated with gathering and analyzing this information. Kaplan wrote this in 2005, mind you, when perhaps information gathering and processing capabilities were somewhat worse than they are today. Certainly doing ABC manually is likely to fail to yield a healthy return on investment. Similarly, Kaplan also notes that it is complex and difficult to implement ABC. Even if today’s processing capability was brought to ABC, it would be a challenge to set up the systems to gather the needed information and again there is a cost-benefit element to this.

2.

Kaplan prefers an adapted approach to activity-based costing that instead of assigning resource costs to activities and then to products or customer instead “managers directly estimate the resource demands imposed by each transaction, product or customer.” Two parameters are required: “the cost per time unit of supplying resource capacity and the unit times of consumption of resource capacity by products, services and customers.” He argues that this approach addresses several issues with ABC, including that it “provides more accurate cost-driver rates by allowing unit times to be estimated even for complex, specialized transactions.”

This approach is simpler, Kaplan argues, and it is an accurate reflection of costs. He argues the case that only two cost parameters are necessary, time or cubic meters, depending on the type of business. Where traditional activity-based costing may not be scalable, with appropriate software such as enterprise resource planning systems, this new approach to activity-based costing is scalable, removing one of the major issues with activity-based costing that Kaplan had identified.

3.

Time-driven ABC, Kaplan argues, it closely tied with enterprise resource planning. Intuitively, this makes sense because enterprise resource planning simply focuses on making the right resources available at the right times. In part, it does this by carefully measuring the enterprise’s resources. In TDABC, the key resources are either time or space, so an enterprise resource planning system that measures these things with respect to either product, customer or transaction will inevitably be more effective. The two therefore work together to allow the enterprise to understand the input resources for each activity and schedule activities accordingly, but also to ensure that the right resources are in place through the ERP. The latter can, for example, allow products or customers with a low return on investment to be dropped in favor of those with a higher ROI, in order to facilitate better organizational outcomes.

TDABC is something that Kaplan argues would not have been possible in the early 1980s when he was developing the original concept for activity-based costing. The information systems could not have supported it. Today, however, ERP systems gather a large amounts of sophisticated data and this allows for success of TDABC to now be possible.

4.

TDABC resolves a couple of issues of ABC. Well, ERP resolves to some extent the cost of acquiring information, though it must still be used and processed to implement in an activity-based costing system. The complexity of ABC as organizations increase in size is cited as a major drawback of the system, rather than any philosophical problem. TDABC does succeed in simplifying the measurement of data, if through no other mechanism than simply applying data that the organization already uses to the ABC concept, rather than seeking out new data. This lowers the cost and therefore should increase the return on investment from ABC to TDABC. Gilbert (2007) notes that Kaplan claims size does not matter in successfully implementing TDABC, in contrast to the more traditional form of ABC. It is interesting that Kaplan does not think a full-fledge ERP is necessary for the benefits of TDABC to be realized, since lower cost of information acquisition is one of the most obvious benefits.

TDABC does not change from ABC in that it seeks to provide managers with better information regarding costs so that managers can then make better decisions on how they run their companies, what products to produce, what customers and suppliers to work with and other such decisions. Both systems deliver similar outputs, though Kaplan prefers his newer idea to his old one.

Kaplan acknowledges that neither ABC nor TDABC takes into account what customers value. This can be a weakness of the system, because it might orient the enterprise’s managers to make decisions that do not play to the company’s strengths in the market. The company might actually make decisions that weaken its competitive position. So it is important to remember that the company needs to make decisions based not only on this internally-focused information but on external considerations as well, in order to be at its most effective, a fact that remains unchanged regardless of whether or not the enterprise has adopted TDABC.

References

Gilbert, S. (2007). Adding time to activity-based costing. Working Knowledge. Retrieved March 15, 2014 from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5657.html

Kaplan, R. & Anderson, S. (2005). Rethinking activity-based costing. Working Knowledge. Retrieved March 15, 2014 from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/4587.html

Accounting Theories and Business Decisions history assignment help australia: history assignment help australia

Accounting Theories and Business Decisions: The Business World

Case Facts

Application of theories

Other cases of stakeholder theory application

Accounting theories and business decisions: The business world

There are many theories that explain the complexity of relationship between different groups of people directly and indirectly related to an organization. Two of the most comprehensive and most discussed theories are stakeholder theory and agency theory. Both the theories describe what the main purpose of each group is and how these groups ought to manage these relationships. In agency theory, it identified that agency relationship takes place when one or more than one principal, acting as owners, delegate their power to make decisions, to a person acting as their agent or steward. Thus, agency theory principally revolves around the relationship of principal and agent. While the principal delegates the authority or decision making power to agent (managers) to act in the best interest of principal (owner and shareholders), there may be a conflict between interest of agent and that of principal. Thus, in case of non-alignment between interests of principal and agent, the latter may make decision contrary to the interests of principal and thus deviate from his/her responsibility (Walsham 2005, 153).

The stakeholder theory also addresses the issue of presence of multiple interest groups but in a different context. Stakeholder theory states that an organization has many groups having stake in the successful functioning of the firm, such as the owners, shareholders, employees, government, and societal groups, therefore it is management’s obligation to strike a balance between the interest of all stakeholders and maximize benefit of all, thereby making corporate decisions that does not compromise interest of one stakeholder for the sake of other (Jensen 2010, 32-42). This theory is fundamentally contrary to the traditional perspective regarding a firm having primary responsibility to its owner or shareholders only. This paper is concerned with business world scenarios where real organizational employees made some decisions and how best did these decisions serve the interest of all stakeholders. We selected 4 business journal articles and assessed how they have interpreted a decision when analyzed from the perspective of agency accounting theory and stakeholder theory of corporate governance.

Case Facts

In a real business world case, stakeholder theory of corporate governance propagates what Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface tried to achieve. In an article titled ‘Executive on a mission: Saving the planet’, Cornella Deans of ‘The New York Times’ reported that after reading a book regarding biosphere and how businesses are damaging planet Earth, Anderson decided that his company will become ‘restorative’ enterprise, a sustainable operation that takes nothing out of the earth that cannot be recycled or quickly regenerated, and that does no harm to the biosphere” (Dean 2007, F1). Ray Anderson as CEO of the company (an agent in context of agency theory and one stakeholder out of many in context of stakeholder theory) along with his executive management team of Interface set 2020 as a target year when the company would not taking out anything from Earth that could not be reproduced or regenerated quickly. From 1994 till 2007, use of fossil fuels at Interface has decreased 45% whereas sales increased by 49%. Use of water for carpet production has been cut by one third whereas contribution to landfill decreased by 80% (Dean 2007, F1).

On the contrary, another case in business decision making, while analyzing from agency theory perspective, was that of Morgan Stanley and Barclays bank. Douglas Keenan wrote for the Financial Times those banks such as Morgan Stanley and Barclays were found manipulating London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). It is a benchmark interest rate that British Association of Bankers (BAA) publishes daily based on which banks lend money to each other. A lower rate being reported by a bank represents that bank’s risk proneness is less whereas a higher LIBOR rate shows that a bank is risky to have been lent the money. This Morgan Stanley trader also revealed that (later confirmed by the U.S. Council of Foreign Affairs CFR as well) that many banks and their executive management has allowed for the manipulation of LIBOR rate. Keenan wrote that “There have been two distinct motivations for banks to misreport Libor rates. One motivation is discussed above: to directly increase profits. The other motivation arose during the 2008 financial crisis: to mask liquidity problems (Keenan 2012). Legal and regulatory proceedings against Barclays, UBS (Swiss banking giant), and RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) resulted in heavy fines. Barclays paid $453 million, UBS $1.5 billion, and RBS $780 million to U.S. And U.K regulators (Westervelt 2011). This shows that the agents (managers of Morgan Stanley, RBS, Barclays, and UBS) did not act responsibly and only served their own interest of earning bonuses by showing profits but compromised severely the interests of principals (shareholders and owners of these banks). Stock prices fell and consumer confidence in these banking giants faded as a result of this fraudulent activity on part of management of these banks.

Application of theories

The stakeholder theory of corporate governance supports the notion that sustainability of an organization lies in management serving interests of all stakeholders of the firm, rather than only that of owners or shareholders. Ray Anderson while deciding to quit using synthetic nylon in carpets and also minimizing water and petroleum use and thus becoming a restorative firm acted principally in the interest of all stakeholders. After taking this decision, it was ensured that shareholder is not compromised for an ‘only moral’ agenda. By eliminating waste of resources in production process and introducing other sustainable production procedures, Anderson safeguarded the long-term interests of society while also reducing the costs of production. Costs went down and profits went up, these results made commit for an optimistic of 2020 as the year when Interface would literally not be taking anything from Earth. This, according to agency theory, is also a best case scenario where the agents (CEO and managers of Interface) safeguarded the interests of principals (owners and shareholders). Motives of agents were synchronized with those of principals and that were profitability and sustainability of business as well as the society where Interface operates. Since simple agency theory models assert that agent is not trustworthy and they will act in their own interest rather than principal’s interest, we observe that this model was carried out at Morgan Stanley as well as other banks where management executives operated in their own interest and did not refrain from defrauding the whole of the financial services system just for their financial incentives. The agents in this case totally ignored the long-term impact that such management practices could have been on shareholder’s interest. When it came to punitive action against the said banks, regulators fined the organizations thereby depriving shareholders of their dividends and owners of their equity. The agents remained harm-free and thus, it was proved that a simple agency theory relationship existed within agents and principals.

Other cases of stakeholder theory application

In the previous section, two articles from leading business world sources were compared with each and it was opined that both the cases involved actions of agents, as permitted by the decision making authority delegated to them. However, in case of Interface, the exercise of authority of decision making was practiced in good-faith and resulted in serving the interest of all stakeholders. Stock prices of Interface increased over a period of time, profits and revenues got increased, wasteful production reduced, and consumer confidence in the firm increased. Interests of all stakeholders were served by the agents. The Financial Times article is a contrast to first article, whereby it is indicated that agents were distrustful and only acted to serve their own short-term gains while risking the credibility and financial worth of principals. Rosabeth M. Knter wrote an article titled ‘How Great Companies think differently’ in Harvard Business Review magazine in which it was mentioned that during 2011, IBM executives allowed 300000 employees of IBM to sign up for 2.6 million hours of service on ‘global service day’ (Kanter 2011). This represented that IBM cares for the society it operates in, thereby becoming social contributor. In another case, on 16th November 2011, Johnson & Johnson CEO announced that the firm has decided to remove quaternium-15 and other harmful preservatives from its baby products. The decision was taken as a result of a report published by an NGO called The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Had the firm not decided so, it was obvious that share price of J&J would have dropped thereby robbing the company and shareholders from their equity. It is evident from the these two additional articles that while IBM was proactive in promoting community service so as to enhance interests of other stakeholders, J&J CEO only intervened when an imminent threat of compromise on shareholders’ and owners financial standing was faced.

Conclusion

The two main articles being reviewed indicate that corporations are an essential composition of agents and principals. There are different stakeholders of an organization and corporate governance ethics as well as agency theory drawbacks require managers to act in good faith and ensure the sustainability of operations. Short-term gains, as reaped by MS or RBS executives and traders could not match the long-term and sustainable business growth of Interface. It is therefore imperative for decision makers in corporate settings to comply with stakeholder’s theory assertions thereby serving the maximum possible interests of all relevant stakeholder groups while not disregarding the company’s bottom line.

Bibliography

Alessi, Chirstopher. 2013. “Understanding the LIBOR Scandal.” Council on Foreign Relations, Feb 6. Accessed August 23, 2013. http://www.cfr.org/united-kingdom/understanding-libor-scandal/p28729

Dean, Cornelia. 2007. “Executive on a mission: saving the planet.” New York Times, May 22. Accessed August 23, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/science/earth/22ander.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Jensen, Michael C. 2010. “Value maximization, stakeholder theory, and the corporate objective function.” Journal of applied corporate finance 22: 32-42.

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. 2011. How great companies think differently. Harvard Business Review, November. Accessed August 24, 2013. http://hbr.org/2011/11/how-great-companies-think-differently/ar/2

Keenan, Douglas. 2012. “My thwarted attempt to tell of Libor shenanigans.” Financial Times, July 26. Accessed August 24, 2013. http://www.ft.com/international/cms/s/0/dc5f49c2-d67b-11e1-ba60-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2d6Dhqcz3

Walsham, Geoff. 2005. “Agency Theory: Integration or a Thousand Flowers.” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 17: 153-58.

Westervelt, Amy. 2011. “As Report Reveals Toxic Ingredients in Baby Shampoo, Johnson & Johnson Goes Public with Plans to Clean Up Products.” Forbes Jan 11. Accessed August 24, 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/amywestervelt/2011/11/01/as-report-reveals-toxic-ingredients-in-baby-shampoo-johnson-johnson-goes-public-with-plans-to-clean-up-products/

Computer Programs Payroll Administration Post history assignment help book

Accounting Computer Programs

Payroll Administration with Quicken

The intent of this paper is to analyze how Quicken, the computer software program, could be used by Payroll Administrators to make their task more automated, accurate and efficient. Intuit’s CEO Scott Cook has often stated that he strongly believes product designers of all the applications sold by his company need to accurately reflect the unmet needs of customers, even those in business (Cook, 2002). He created follow-me-home teams of developers who study how consumers and businesses use their software, so he can engrain into his company’s culture the insights and intelligence needed to make applications that are useful, meaningful and relevant (Singer, 2007). Part of these research studies indicated that both consumers and businesses were interested in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach to delivering applications over the Web (DeFelice, 2008). Since then SaaS as a delivery platform for applications has proven to be one of the most cost-effective there is, with CRM software Company Salesforce.com reaching over $1B in Sales (Katzan, Dowling, 2010). All of these market factors are changing the role of the payroll administrator significantly, freeing them up from drudgery of manual tasks to focus on how to create more value for the companies they work for. This paper evaluates how Quicken contributes to that productivity increase.

The Changing Role of the Payroll Administrator

The core functions that a Payroll Administrator performs include managing the basic payroll calculations and paycheck deductions for federal and state takes, defining how taxation will be reported and making sure the federal government gets their periodic reports of payroll taxes paid. In certain states including California, the payroll administrator must report how much unemployment insurance was paid, how much worker’s compensation was paid or put into an escrow account, and even must corroborate the claims for worker’s compensation. This is a critical issue for roofing companies in California, as roofers have the highest workers’ compensation rates paid, often costing companies in this business tens of thousands of dollars a year in payments to the state. Payroll Administrators are critically important for helping their companies to be in compliance to federal, state and local laws and regulations, and the accuracy of their work can literally make or break a company’s financial future.

In addition to these responsibilities, Payroll Administrators also are often required to manage tracking employee benefits, involuntary deductions, coordinate with finance, human resources, executive management and senior management across all functional areas of their companies to ensure accuracy of pay rates and also provide taxation guidance. They are also extremely important in the areas of outsourcing and offshoring jobs, where they are required to often manage how 1099 MISC Income is reported for subcontractors and contractors employed globally. In companies that have a high percentage of outsourced operations the Payroll Administrator often works with the Director of Payroll to calculate the relative tax advantages of taking work offshore or outsourcing it relative to keeping it in-house. Literally the work of a Payroll Administrator and the staff they are a member of can make the difference between people in the company having jobs or not, or if the decision is made to shift the jobs to outsourcers or offshore to lower priced countries. In small, rapidly growing companies the Payroll Administrator has an excellent chance for advancement as they are often requested to provide financial analysis of the payroll cost breakdowns by employee and department group. The advances in analytics applications is enabling Payroll Administrators to be more adept at presenting their analyses, and as a result they are getting asked to more and more in companies seeking to manage their greatest single cost, which is payroll.

How a Payroll Administrator Would Use Quicken

With an overview of the Payroll Administrator’s role, it’s easy to see why Quicken chose to move in the direction of SaaS as a delivery platform. Time is the most precious commodity a Payroll Administrator has. The flexibility of using Quicken Online Payroll (SaaS) system, the Desktop applications (QuickBooks Payroll Basic & Advanced) or the high-end Payroll Service is critical for getting time-sensitive tasks done quickly. A Payroll Administrator in a small business for example would use the Intuit Online Payroll to either printer paychecks or enable Direct Deposit into employee’s bank accounts (Arar, 2007). This SaaS-based edition of Intuit Online Payroll also integrates to Quicken and QuickBooks financial accounting applications which means the Payroll Administrator would not have to re-key all the payroll data; it could be transferred electronically in a format the Online Payroll could understand and use. As the Payroll Administrator is key to keeping any organization in compliance, Quicken has designed the Intuit Online Payroll to also support automatic preparation of the latest federal and state payroll tax forms and also electronically will pay taxes and file tax forms. This is all managed from a web browser session. The integration to Quicken and QuickBooks is also bidirectional, so the taxes paid can be reported back into a company’s financial statements too. The bottom line is that a Payroll Administrator using Quicken and the SaaS-based Online Payroll will be able to get more accomplished while saving their company money (Schulz, 2009). Payroll Administrators can then also use the analytics features of Quicken and the Online Payroll application to produce reports for senior management as well.

References

Yardena Arar. (2007, November). Quicken’s Business Tools Help it Edge Out Money Plus. PC World, 25(11), 72.

Scott Cook. (2002, October). Software by the numbers. FSB: Fortune Small Business, 12(8), 56-60.

DeFelice, a.. (2008, March). QuickBooks Creator Bets on the Net. Accounting Technology, 24(2), 40.

Katzan, H., & Dowling, W.. (2010). Software-as-a-Service Economics. The Review of Business Information Systems, 14(1), 27-37.

Lunt, Penny. (1995). Banking without leaving the office – Part 2. American Bankers Association. ABA Banking Journal, 87(7), 50.

O’Bannon, I.. (2009, September). Intuit – PayCycle 2008 for Accounting Professionals. CPA Technology Advisor, 19(6), 24.

Schulz, W.. (2009, April). Online Payroll Can Save You Money. Accounting Technology, 25(3), 18-22.

Michael Singer. (2007, February). Intuit Changes With the Times. InformationWeek,

(1124), 53.

System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Analysis history assignment example: history assignment example

System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Analysis

This report attempts to analyze a work-related project that uses a systems analysis tool for the implementation of a specific business or information system. The report will focus on the use of the System Development Life Cycle to implement a business or information technology need as well as the implications associated with the development of an internally used software package. The report will provide insights into International Lumberyards, Inc., implementation, information-gathering and other techniques used for various aspects of the reengineering project. The report will also attempt to analyze and evaluate if the System Development Life Cycle has been successful or if there were obvious failures in their efforts to institute the concepts of Business Process Re-engineering or Workflow Management.

Business Today

The true problem of almost all businesses today revolves around the fact that all aspects of industry have been put into a position of forced efficiency by technology such as B2B and other e-business advances. In addition, the ever increasing demands of the highly competitive global economy will continue to keep all businesses under this pressure.

The goal of the business community will need to be to always establish methods or processes that allow for more capitalization. “A new technology infrastructure, aligned with the business strategy, will allow for future growth as well as addressing the limitations of the current environment.” (Grabski, 2002)

The System Development Life Cycle is one such tool and it translates into greatly reduced costs being incurred during business and information technology development stages of a model-based system development.

International Lumberyards, Inc.

When an organization faces the problem of needing new software processes or their having to completely reengineer an existing system, they need a process that helps in the design of appropriate information systems architecture. The process should also help direct the process and may therefore lead to successful implementations. In the cases of International Lumberyards, Inc., the organization discovered it required both a new business strategy as well as a new information technology approach.

The information technology approach was supposed to support the new business strategy because the leadership and critical business executives all needed to be both well informed as well as to have their various business functions supported by the company’s information system. “A strategy that is not supported by the requisite infrastructure will fail. Likewise, implementing technology that is not aligned with the business strategy will result, at a minimum, in a waste of resources.” (Grabski, 2002)

International Lumberyards, Inc., was in a position where they were forced to improve the communications between multiple locations as well as improving their ability to reach customers through sources such as the internet. In the case of International Lumberyards, Inc., the company wanted to avoid a serious lack of technical planning which would lead to a very messy or constrained implementation process.

International Lumberyards, Inc., needed to address some long-term and short-term business needs and objectives. These needs entailed reassessing the entire business infrastructure. To survive, the company could not fail in their new information systems based approach to business so they attempted to utilize the System Development Life Cycle approach to address the short- and long-term business solutions and objectives.

System Development Life Cycle

International Lumberyards, Inc. needed an e-business solution that allowed for a new and more competitive environment. They implemented a new e-business system that was fast and flexible but still met the other business needs. The new technology needed the development of in-depth marketing and systems analysis and placed a heavy emphasis upon product branding. These characteristics defined the future business environment from traditional IT projects. To coordinate the process they utilized System Development Life Cycle philosophies. First, the nature of the business environment was considered and only after these needs were met did they focus on the relative strength and limitations of their existing hardware and software infrastructure and systems development methodologies.

To first define Business Systems Analysis and Design requires you to understand Information Systems. By most accounts, one can think of an information system as the grouping of either people, data, processes, interfaces, technology and networks so they can function to meet the needs of a business, organization of some other type of group.

For example, when a computer software application is used to solve some business problem there are still other systems or people needed to make that software work so one or more computer applications equate to an information system. International Lumberyards, Inc. was falling behind here. “First, the existing computer system did not have enough capacity to handle the increased volume of data, especially since several new plants (International Lumberyards, Inc. refers to its lumberyards as “plants”) were recently opened and the sales volume had increased significantly. Second, the main problem, based on his discussions with MaryBeth, was that corporate headquarters was having difficulty consolidating regional information from the different locations.” (Grabski, 2002)

The System Development Life Cycle is nothing more than a process for developing information systems either software or process by utilizing a system of through investigation, analysis, design, implementation and maintenance. Companies may expend a great deal of money in these pursuits. “Statement of Position No. 98-1 (SOP No. 98-1) requires expensing certain costs and capitalizing others. The quest for uniformity in accounting treatment in the form of a single rule for multiple economic phenomena (i.e., treating all systems acquisition and development methods the same) results in reduced ability to reflect economic differences between systems acquisition and development methods.” (Knight, 2001)

The System Development Life Cycle has also been known as information systems development or application development. No mattter what it is called, the process can be considered a very systematic approach to problem solving. The process utilizes several phases which is also comprised of multiple steps. The software concept identifies and defines the need for some new system. These needs of any new system or program are met by following specific System Development Life Cycle phase as described by Wikopedia as:

Preliminary Investigation

Systems Analysis

Systems Design

Systems Development

Systems Implementation

Systems Maintenance requirements analysis is used to analyze the needs of end users. The architectural design is used as a blueprint for later designs of needed hardware, software, human and data resources. Coding and debugging create the actual programs of the new system. System testing varifies that the process works and the intended needs are met.

Using System Development Life Cycle

The System Development Life Cycle philosophy helped International Lumberyards, Inc., first address its business structure needs as opposed to simply going out to get a new software or systems solution. In other words, by first conducting a thorough Preliminary Investigation they as an orgainzation addressed more pressing business related infrastructure concerns such as the lack of a clear business plan. “The recommendations that follow are based on the idea that International Lumberyards, Inc., should adopt as its singular mission an effort to “provide quality forest products with the highest level of customer service possible.” This proposed set of actions focuses on the main elements of this strategy, some of which are internal to International Lumberyards, Inc., and others that are visible to end customers.” (Grabski, 2002)

The company realized because of this initial step that it is critical for them to see the lumber and forest products industry as multiple market segments. “The lack of differentiation among the physical products offered by firms in this industry suggests that a company’s best chance to establish a competitive advantage lies in the level of customer service it can provide.” (Grabski, 2002)

Only after the business needs were addressed could the company address its IT strategy which would need database, hardware, and software solutions to support its newly discovered Business Strategy. The System Development Life Cycle helped the organization identify that the company should not develop software but should use existing industry software that handled single source enterprise software solutions. However, the company did feel it should develop its own Database infrastructure that would work with the new underlying database management system and would mesh with existing organizational skills and the selected enterprise software solution.

Because the company followed a standardized implementation process, they were able to successfully reengineer their existing business structure. The objective of the System Development Life Cycle is to help organizations define what an appropriate system development methodology should be in order for them to continue to meet the rapidly changing business environment. The specific research approach employed by International Lumberyards, Inc. was to follow the steps of the cycle and it helped them dramatically.

Conclusion

This report attempted to analyze a work-related project that used a systems analysis tool for a specific business system. The report focused on the use of the System Development Life Cycle to implement a business or information technology need as well as the implications associated with the development of an internally used software package. The report provided insights into International Lumberyards, Inc., implementation, information-gathering and other techniques used for various aspects of the reengineering project. The report also attempted to analyze and evaluate if the System Development Life Cycle had been successful or if there were obvious failures in their efforts to institute the concepts of Business Process Re-engineering or Workflow Management.

References

Grabski, Severin V. (2002). International Lumberyards, Inc.: An Information System Consulting Case. Journal of Information Systems, 9/22.

Knight, Ph.D., Linda V. (2001, November 1). System Development Methodologies for Web Enabled E-Business: A Customization Paradigm. Retrieved January 16, 2005, at http://www.kellen.net/SysDev.htm

Peacock, Eileen (2004). Accounting for the development costs of internal-use software. Journal of Information Systems, 3/22.

Wikopedia. (n.d.). System Development Life Cycle. Retrieved January 16, 2005, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Development_Life_Cycle

Project Management

An innovation projecting a failed project ap art history homework help

Systems Implementation

System Implementations

Describe the company, the business problem the company was addressing with the system implementation, the system chosen to implement, and the company’s rationale for selecting the system to solve the problem.

Wal-Mart, a company that enjoys a significant market share in the U.S. food industry, rolled out its multi-phased project. This marked the beginning of implementing the company’s long ditched in-house IT systems, which favored their operations with vendors. However, implementation of the SAP system is already raising red flags. This is because the system comes with costly financial works, which have strained the company (Scheck, 2010). While the project was aimed at leading the firm to growth, Wal-Mart recorded a significant sales decline. This was one of the company’s worst performance over three decades now, been beaten by new corporations from Germany and South Korea. As local competitors maintained the pace set by Wal-Mart, most customers became culturally alienated from the company choosing to opt for rival products. In fact, as winter approached, most faithful Wal-Mart clients have spent much on gasoline and natural gas. These people do not intend to become enthusiastic shoppers that queue at Wal-Mart stores (Jacobs, 2012).

Wal-Mart has been ranked as one of the biggest and vats companies than some nations. However, it appears to experience a fickle perpetual success and growth in overseas markets. Instead of making further expansions, the firm should design ways of dealing with the prevailing economic realities. This involves focusing on alternative priorities. For instance, one alternative priority would be to deliver the failed RFID promise. With great anticipation, the company blindly introduced the SAP project. Perhaps they should have developed new capacities of IT to maintain the complex logistics, be consistent with supplier systems and meticulous clients. The implementation of SAT as Wal-Mart’s corporate goal that lacks chances to succeed was an innovation projecting a failed project (Hellens, Nielsen, Beekhuyzen & Ebrary, 2008).

2. Evaluate the circumstance that leads to the failure indicating the factors that management failed to consider and how each impacted the failed implementation.

If managers are fast at implementing SAP, they are likely to realize the sustainable and significant business benefits from service deliveries that fulfill the company’s needs. The management should be free to concentrate on strategic work founded on value addition and access better talents and workforce. Better talents lead to improved ways of delivering services; a way that would have put Wal-Mart at a competitive advantage. In the interest of implementing SAP systems, Wal-Mart did not have a vision of SAP solutions that fit into the strategic objectives of the company. Therefore, they were incapacitated to apply fast SAP solutions at minimal costs, based on lower risks. This failed to facilitate the success of the solution because the management did not conduct a test drive on the new system and processes (Ramachandran, 2007).

The management failed to embrace the implementation of SAP fully because they lacked awareness of the high costs associated with the project. This led to lower earning that expected, particularly in the negative and short-term returns on investment. The huge investments in SAP have drawn massive criticism leading to plunging stock prices. The failure of the project can be attributed to poor management, which failed to structure Wal-Mart to adopt the system effectively. Therefore, planning was essential for the management to implement the system successfully. The management should not have lost sight of the fact that the primary objective was to achieve improved business performance. Because they did not increase productivity and performance, the firm wasted resources on adopting SAP and transforming a system based on legacy (Hellens, Nielsen, Beekhuyzen & Ebrary, 2008).

The management failed to conduct effective re-implementation and pre-planning activities; Wal-Mart was not prepared and did not have effective plans to adopt SAP implementation adequately. It takes time to enforce organizational practices and culture. The legacy system that employees had developed familiarity with had become a legacy and adopting a new system proved to be challenging. For employees to adapt to SAP system, they must demonstrate the need for the new system. This means that the management is charged with ensuring employees understand why the SAP system may be preferred to the legacy system. This involves explaining tot hem the benefits of implementing the change. Necessary training must accompany this for them to adapt to the system. In this regard, managers must ensure a smooth transition from the old version to the new model to prevent nay efforts of employee resistance (Ramachandran, 2007).

3. As an IT Auditor, propose recommendations to the company’s management team prior to the implementation indicating how each may have increased the chance for a successful systems implementation.

Most system implementations fail due to poor training. If an organization does not invest in training, then, chances are high that the new system will slow down business. Experts have noted that even the most successful implementations have recorded problems with end users in adapting to the change. Often, this has put many projects in jeopardy. Organizations need to squash training into the final phase of the implementation cycle. Most project managers focus on teaching users tactics of navigating through new systems; if the users do not grasp the significance of the system, they are expected to be reluctant to change. An organization must prioritize quality employee training. This must incorporate a training manager because this is fundamental in the outset of the implementation process and training of users should be tailored around the business processes. Employee education can be enhanced using Internet, newsletters, and workshops where regular updates on the importance of the project are provided (Ramachandran, 2007).

Similarly, creating a culture of communication and cooperation by co-locating external and internal teams can foster an attitude of can-do. Neither the management nor the workforce can deliver change independently. The performance of employees must be closely monitored and ensure the organizational commitments are met. Whenever successful milestones are reached, the management should incorporate the workforce and vendors in the celebrations. Risks are inevitable in any project implementation. Therefore, a project team must be successful in planning for success by concentrating on an in-depth possible risk assessment (Hellens, Nielsen, Beekhuyzen & Ebrary, 2008).

4. Assess whether or not the risk was worth it to the company, the ultimate outcome of the system implementation, and the resulting impact to the business.

Wal-Mart’s plan to implement SAP systems for improving financial reporting hit a snag. The company failed to assess how the project had failed in previous installations such as Asda. A close analysis reveals that SAP implementation did not give the company the ability to enhance their inventory valuing methodology under the inventory accounting retail method. The firm had failed to better its capacity of measuring stock at granular levels. In the long run, Wal-Mart failed to replace their ageing accounting models with innovative and flexible systems. The company had embraced this switch because of the need to standardize a single-based approach by gaining improved financial control. As they wished to enhance financial monitoring, they failed to increase capacity before implementing the SAP resource planning system. This would have provided a top down analysis of the accounting operations (Scheck, 2010).

With the failure of the Asda pilot installation, the retail giant was plunged in losses following a series of failed attempts. In connections to a series of implementations and coincidental failures in the financial systems, implementation of SAP did not give them the ability to enhance the methods for inventory valuing under the accounting inventory. It is clear that the firm experienced management challenges during the implementation of the project. These challenged were significant in preventing them from successful implementation in all phases of the project. The new system is not performing as designed because the management issues have not been addressed (Jacobs, 2012).

References

Hellens, L, Nielsen, S., Beekhuyzen, J., & Ebrary, Inc. (2008). Qualitative case studies on implementation of enterprise wide systems. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Pub.

Jacobs, A.J. (2012). Information system implementations: Using a leadership quality matrix for success. S.l.: Authorhouse.

Ramachandran, S. (2007). Digital VLSI systems design: A design manual for implementation of projects on FPGAs and ASICs using Verilog. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Scheck, D.E. (2010). Implementation project for traffic signal monitor/recorder and analysis system. Athens, Ohio: Dept. Of Industrial & Systems Engineering, Ohio University.