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Human Resource Information Systems Basics Applications and Future Directions 3rd Edition by Michael J. Kavanagh -Test Bank
Chapter 3: Systems Considerations in the Design of a Human Resource Information Systems: Planning for Implementation
- Careful planning, a dedicated team, top-management support, and an awareness of potential pitfalls will all help ensure ___________________.
*A. system implementation success.
- HRIS programs that are user friendly.
- the steering committee is able to reach consensus.
- the program manager is efficient .
- HRIS users are:
- employees only
- nonemployees only
*C. employees and nonemployees
- none of the above
- The __________ is perhaps the most demanding user of the HRIS.
- clerical employee
- technical expert
*D. analyst or power use
- Although the ___________ architecture is more complicated, the complexity is hidden from the user.
- A user-friendly and easy to navigate Web Site that clearly communicates the benefits of being a member of the organization will be particularly useful for:
- power users
- technical experts
- strategic partners
*D. job seekers
- Two of the different data categories for an HRIS database are:
*A. information about people and information about the organization,
- information about people and information about the competitive environment
- information about the organization and information about the competitive environment
- information about people and information about market trends
- The move from single tier to two-tier architecture was made possible by:
- the investment in faster mainframes
- programming that was more efficient
*C. the introduction of the personal computer
- the introduction of specialized programs
- _______ applications provide the infrastructure to avoid data duplication, reentry, or copying to multiple systems.
- A “Cloud” architecture most important feature is ______
- Delivers functionality over the internet, anytime any place
- Requires not software installation by an organization
- Places the responsibility for upgrades on the delivering vendor
*D. All of the above
- To help maintain the guidelines on how the project should function, it is important to have a:
- specification approval report
- steering committee
*C. project charter
- planning document
- __________ occurs when decisions are made to implement additional functionality beyond what was defined in the __________.
*A. project creep, project scope
- project planning, project charter
- project revisions, project charter
- project scope, project creep
- A good method to determine whether to customize or stay with the vanilla software version is to complete a:
- competitive analysis
*B. cost-benefit analysis
- needs assessment
- version assessment
- _____________________ is the systematic documentation of organizational processes that directly relate to the ongoing project.
*A. Process Mapping
- Change management
- System evaluation
- Project scope
- To facilitate decision making on complex issues, the manager usually relies on the _________ to complete some type of analysis before making a decision.
- systems analyst
- statistical software
- program evaluator
*D. analyst or power user
- Many HRIS products provide real-time reporting and even screen-based historical information about the employees and/or the functional unit that can provide the _______ with the information they need.
- clerical employee
- external consultant
- analyst/power user
- The ________ must take what the technical staff provides and interpret that into language HR users understand so as to indicate how processes and activities might change.
*B. HRIS expert
- external consultant
- analyst or power user
- Successful implementation is the central goal of every HRIS project, and it begins with a comprehensive design for the system.
- The implementation process does not provide opportunities to reengineer and systematically improve non-software processes to reflect best practices in HRM.
- The analyst is referred to as a power user because this person accesses more areas of the HRIS than almost any other user.
- HRIS experts ensure that appropriate HR staff have all the access, information, and tools necessary to do their jobs.
- The HRIS expert must understand the process required to enter information into the HRIS and may also need to start the process or generate periodic reports.
- The complexity associated with the two-tier architecture is not apparent to the end user.
- Security within an HRIS is only of concern at the column and row levels.
- BOB solutions reduce the complexity of the software architecture.
- Proper planning can guarantee successful system implementation.
- Project creep occurs when decisions are made to implement additional functionality beyond what was defined in the project scope.
- The technical expert is perhaps the most demanding user of the HRIS.
- Employees may interface with the HRIS through a Web portal.
- A good method to determine whether to customize or stay with the vanilla version of software is to complete a needs assessment.
- Process Mapping is the systematic documentation of organizational processes that directly relate to the ongoing project.
- The HRIS expert must take what the technical staff provides and interpret that into language HR users understand so as to indicate how processes and activities might change.
- Cloud computing refers to “hosting” and is a new very cost effective architecture that is changing the overall delivery and utilization of HRIS
- In what ways would you expect a manager to use a HRIS system?
*Answer: • Managers use the system to gain real-time access to accurate data that facilitate decision making with regard to their people (Miller, 1998).
- Managers use the HRIS data for performance management, recruiting and retention, team management, project management, and employee development (Fein, 2001).
- Managers use the HRIS for information necessary to help make decisions that will contribute to the achievement of the unit’s strategic goals and objectives (Hendrickson, 2003).
- Discuss what is meant by Cloud Computing
*Answer: Cloud computing is a computing architecture that uses the Internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. To achieve this, a “server cloud,” or group of computers, is operated off-site, and hosted services are then delivered over the Internet to the client organization.
Cloud computing technology allows businesses to use applications without actually having to own the hardware and software. The underlying goal of cloud computing is to reduce software and equipment capital outlays.
Cloud computing technology allows businesses to use applications without having to go through the complex installation process.
- Discuss the pros and cons of BOB solutions.
*Answer: BOB options can create a much more powerful solution than a stand-alone HRIS. The BOB alternative also creates system flexibility, as each application can be managed and upgraded independently.
BOBs introduce additional complexity into the software architecture and may be more costly to the IT department and the organization.
- When might Best of Breed not be “best”?
*Answer: When the cost of the additional software and development outweighs the benefit of the combined solution. Or when the core HRIS software provides “good enough” functionality.
- A colleague of yours just told you s/he will be the project manager on the implementation of the organization’s HRIS. What three pieces would you tell him/her that will be critical to the successful implementation. Please be sure to provide the rationale you would give him/her on why these three pieces are critical.
*Answer: The answer should include three items from the system implementation process.
- Why is a project charter important?
*Answer: The project charter that will help to maintain the guidelines about how the project will function. It explains the agreed upon decision making process, discusses the process by which customization requests will be reviewed and acted upon, project management methods used, reporting, deliverables, and political reporting relationships.
- Why is project creep not a good thing?
*Answer: Project creep occurs when decisions are made to implement additional functionality beyond what is defined in the project scope. The problem with project creep is that it may lead to huge cost overruns, a failure to complete the project, and then in the rush to meet final deadlines the delivery of a project that fails to meet the needs of the customers.
- Why do employees fear change?
*Answer: Employees fear change for a number of reasons, such as: (a) fear of new technology; (b) not willing to change – the current process is comfortable; (c) not willing to share information with other people as “owning” information is often power; (d) potential job uncertainty; (e) past experiences; and (f) the change itself.
- What is a direct conversion when you “Go Live”?
*Answer: A direct conversion is when the old software is turned off and the new software is turned on. As issues with the new software are identified, they are reported, and adjustments are made. The positive of an immediate change is that it is done. The potential negative of deciding to do a direct conversion is that, regardless of training and the change management process, there is an organization-wide learning curve while the users adjust to the new software. There may be a period when customers may be served at a level that is less than expected.
- What is a parallel conversion when you “Go Live”?
*Answer: In the parallel conversion, the new software is turned on for some period of time before the old software is to be turned off, and it incorporates final system testing into the changeover process. The positive of a parallel conversion is that there is enormous testing that goes on before the old software disappears. The negatives are that the users will hang on to the old software because it is comfortable and that there will have to be dual data entry performed for every task.
Chapter 5: System Design and Acquisition
- The ____________ of a system focuses on the translation of business requirements into improved business processes, irrespective of any technological implementation.
*A. logical design
- business case requirement
- physical design
- The focus and goal of ___________ is the determination of the most effective means of translating business processes into a physical system including hardware and software.
- logical design.
- a flowchart.
*C. physical design
- a workflow chart
- The strength of the _______model is that it focuses on how the hardware and software will actually operate.
- The strength of using _________ is that the HR staff and developers can focus specifically on business processes, policies, and procedures instead of on technology, leading to stronger solutions.
- gap analysis
- the needs analysis
- the physical model
*D. the logical model
- The _________ perspective of system modeling focuses on organizational data but is not be concerned with how the data are used within the organization
- In the ______________perspective, the designer focuses on the flow of data through the system.
- A ___________________ is a graphical representation of the key business activities and processes in the HR system, the system boundaries, any external individuals or departments that interact with the system.
*A. data flow diagram
- process model
- workflow process
- practical model
- You are working with a consultant on your HRIS. At your next meeting you expect to discuss the process model and data flows of the department. What should you expect the consultant to bring to the meeting?
- One overall data flow diagram
- Several context level data flow diagrams
- Listings of the data needs of your HR department
*D. Several data flow diagrams representing multiple levels of detail
- You are involved with your organization’s decision regarding the physical design of the HRIS. The most likely approach that your organization will use is to
- Make changes to only the HR business processes without new or upgraded technology
- Do nothing
*C. Buy prepackaged, commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS)
- Implement the business process changes along with new or upgraded technology
- A(n) ________________ solicits proposals and bids for proposed work from potential consultants or vendors and defines the organization’s goals and requirements for the new HRIS.
*A. Request for Proposals (RFP)
- vendor bid
- needs analysis
- work order
- After receiving the vendor responses, you have the opportunity to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each vendor. Which of the following would you consider in your assessment of the software options?
- IT Architecture and IT Integration
*D. All of the above
- _____________________ focuses on how well the proposed system fits in with the current and future organizational environment.
- Functional feasibility
- Legal feasibility
- Operational feasibility
*D. Political feasibility
- The goal of __________ feasibility analysis is to determine whether the costs of developing, implementing, and running the system are worth the benefits derived from its use.
- Pre-written or developed software or hardware products which already exist for purchase is called:
*A. Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Software
- Application Software
- Integration Software
- RFP Software
- The basic hardware, software and networking infrastructure of the organization is called:
- Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Software
*B. IT Architecture
- Integration Software
- Commerical Architecture
- The DFD level that outlines the major processes (functions) of the system, their basic sequence, the basic data stores, and the external entities which interact with the system is called a
- Basic Diagram
*B. Level 0 Diagram
- Level 1 Diagram
- Beginning Point
- Using an Application Service Provider (ASP) is a software acquisition strategy where ready-made software is purchased and installed on the organization’s local network.
- A context level diagram is used to represent the system, its boundary and the external entities which interact with the system.
- A Data Flow is pictorially depicted by circles with the name of the type of data.
- A Data Flow Diagram (DFD) is a statistical tool which can be used to manipulate or change the data.
- Economic Feasibility is a feasibility assessment tool that focuses on the financial and economic benefits and costs which a new system would bring to the organization.
- IT Architecture describes the basic hardware, software and networking infrastructure capabilities of the organization.
- Base design is a phase in the SDLC in which a new system is designed without regard to the technology (e.g. hardware, software, networking, etc.) in which it will be implemented.
- A logical model of the system graphically illustrates what the system does, independent of any technological architecture (e.g. hardware, software, networking, etc.).
- Operational Feasibility is a tool that focuses on how well the new system will fit within the organization, including issues such as development schedule, extent of organizational change, and user responses to the system.
- Logical design describes a phase in the SDLC in which a new system is designed with particular focus on how the hardware, software, networking, activities, users, etc. will be implemented.
- In a DFD, processes are the mechanism through which data is transformed, manipulated, created, etc. into output such as a report, a decision, etc.
- The Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document that solicits potential consultants or vendors to submit proposals and bids for proposed work.
- Logical feasibility is a system feasibility assessment tool that focuses on the technical capability of the organization and the availability of the technology necessary to implement a new system.
- In the context of HRIS, a vendor is a company which specializes in making or selling commercial software for purchase by other companies.
- A single data flow diagram typically is all that is typically needed when discussing data flow.
- What is meant by a data view of a system?
*Answer: The data perspective focuses on the data which the organization captures and uses, the definitions and relationships of the data, and on the most efficient and effective way to capture the data to ensure accuracy. It ignores how, where, and when the data is used by the organization. The data view would focus on the important data but would not be concerned with how the data are to be used within the organization.
- What is meant by a process view of a system?
*Answer: The process perspective focuses on the business processes and activities in which the organization engages and on how data flow through the system. The designer would focus on the specific business processes, including the input of the data into the system, the flow of data through the system, and the storage of the data, and not on precisely what data are captured and how they are best organized or stored.
- Why is the distinction between data and process views important when designing a new system?
*Answer: The distinction between process and data perspectives is important since each represents a portion of the total HRIS but neither provides the complete picture. By modeling each separately, the organization is better able to understand and communicate its needs to the technical staff. In addition, while processes may change in the future, data generally represent the most permanent and stable part of a system. This permanency of data and the more dynamic aspect of processes suggest the importance of dealing with each separately.
- What is a physical model of an HRIS?
*Answer: The physical model focuses on the computer technology for the HRIS, that is, the hardware, software, networking plans, and technical manuals. The strength of this type of model is that it focuses on how the system will actually operate. In turn, this strength also becomes its weakness because by focusing on the actual way the system will be implemented in terms of technology, analysts and HR staff may be constrained by the current, operational physical model.
- What is a logical model of an HRIS?
*Answer: A logical model of an HRIS focuses on how the final system will be operationalized in multiple ways in terms of the technology. The strength of using logical models is that the HR staff and developers can focus specifically on the business processes, policies, and procedures instead of on technology. By focusing on what the system does or needs to be able to do, the analyst and HR staff will be less likely to be distracted by or to focus on a single technology platform. In turn, they will be more likely to design a stronger solution.
- Which model – the physical or logical – is more useful in designing the HRIS?
*Answer: Both the physical and logical models should be applied to designing the HRIS. They are complementary and one is not better than the other since they serve different purposes. The logical model serves as a blueprint and provides the organization with an outline of the key business processes and goals for the system. Then, the physical model translates the processes and goals for the system into the hardware and software platforms that best fit the business’s needs.
- Explain what is meant by the data perspective.
*Answer: The data perspective focuses on an analysis of what data the organization captures and uses, the definitions and relationships of the data, while ignoring how or where the data are used by the organization. This perspective would focus on the important data but would not be concerned with how the data are to be used within the organization. In addition, the data perspective focuses on the most efficient and effective way to capture the data to ensure accuracy and uses tools that describe the data that the system uses.
- Explain what is meant by the process perspective.
*Answer: The process perspective focuses on the business processes and activities in which the organization engages and on how data flow through the HRIS. The designer would focus on the specific business processes, including the input of the data into the system, the flow of data through the system, and the storage of the data, and not on precisely what data are captured and how they are best organized or stored.
- Is one perspective, the data or the process perspective, more important than the other…why or why not?
*Answer: Both the process and data perspectives are equally important since each represents a portion of the total HRIS but neither provides the complete picture.
- You are responsible for putting together a request for proposal (RFP). What are some key recommendations to follow to ensure it is most successful?
*Answer: 1. Focus on the business requirements.
- Be specific. With all the effort placed into the needs analysis and the redesign of business processes, very specific requirements will be available and should be included in the RFP.
- Keep it simple. Essentially, this would mean that if it’s not something that is important to the HR department and reflective of the business processes modeled in the DFDs, it is best not to include it.
- Work closely with the HRIS and IT staff as the RFP is developed.