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Knowledge and Information Management

Assessment 1

Assessment 1. Case Study. Task 1.

Obtain and analyse information & knowledge relevant to business issues

1. Prepare a report and describe the identified business issue, and explain how you will review staff and customer feedback and various performance control systems, in analysing the identified issue. (10 Marks)

One of the employees of the company sued the company, claiming financial compensation for having been affected by a long-term illness after the continuous chemical exposure caused in the development of their job functions. After this initial problem the company, after suffering pressure from several stakeholders, decided to open an economic fund for prevention and compensation for victims who have been affected by the aforementioned chemical. The problem is in calculating how much money should be saved for a long-term fund and in founding the way to disseminate the information through the company.

 Staff and consumers feedback and business performance data provide the basis for assessing the effectiveness of organisational processes and outputs and for deciding future directions. It is important to review and take staff feedback in identifying the possible business issues in the organisation as staff can provide valuable feedback to an organisation because they are responsible for the day to day implementation of the organisation’s systems and processes. An efficient way to gather feedback from employees is through an interview. Its main objective is to inform the employee of significant information about his performance.

The interview is the main activity that has to consolidate and give value to the daily contact of managers with their staff to review what happens and what should happen between the employee and the company.

On the other hand, the process of analysing this kind of data consists of a series of elements that are: establishment of the measurement criteria, both of the actual and desired performance, this goes through the determination of what the objectives are and the quantification, to determine the critical areas of the organization's activity related to the actions necessary for the achievement of the objectives and the establishment of quantitative criteria to evaluate the actions in these areas and their impact on the established objectives; Fixation of the procedures to compare the results achieved with respect to the desired ones; Analysis of the causes of deviations and subsequent proposal of corrective actions.

The evaluation of performance must be done with a multidimensional approach, and measured through criteria such as stability, efficiency, effectiveness and value improvement, for which, if standardized or planned standards are taken as reference, they will express the level of effectiveness and if take as a starting point the competition, then express the level of competitiveness of the organization.[1]

2. Explain what type of information would be required to reach the decision of compensation and mention a few sources to gather reliable information. (10 Marks)

To make a decision in response to a problem or issue, accurate and up-to-date information, especially about key issues, is required. To obtain reliable and up-to-date information an ongoing basis it will be necessary to set up an information system. This means there are some key things to consider in the design of an information system: the type of information required its source, the form or how it is organised and how it is to ne presented.

The information necessary to make the compensation decision is: financial, legal and labour. It is necessary to know first what are the limits and legal obligations imposed on companies to prevent occupational risks and compensation in case of damage. On the other hand, it is important to know the financial limits of the company to face the possible compensation system, it is consistent to know the opinion of both workers, investors, customers and professionals related to the problem. It is also important to know how often or what is the possibility that damages may be caused, statistical data, and what are the red lines of the company's managers about the issue. In order to gather all the necessary information to reach a decision regarding the compensation system, it is important to turn to legal, economic and human resources professionals, or other sources of reliable information such as newspapers, trade journals, business journals, reports by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Publications by professional associations, library indexes, internal searches.

3. Describe how you will test the gathered information on the basis of reliability and validity and reject it where appropriate. (10 Marks)

Where contradictory or ambiguous? Managers will only be able to make good decisions if they are able to obtain quality information and they need to be confident that the information they receive is both valid and reliable.

 These are the two important factors on the basis of which every piece of information should be tested.

  • Valid information: Information is valid if it accurately represents that which it was intended to represent. For example, sales statistics would be considered to be valid if they accurately represented actual sales; information provided from a set of scales would be valid if the scales gave an accurate weight measurement.
  • Reliable information: Information is reliable if consistent results are provided over time. Reliability refers to the extent to which information is free from random error and therefore yields consistent results. However, information which is reliable is not necessarily valid.

On the other hand, there are a range of questions that we may ask ourselves to ensure that the information we are supplying is relevant and can be relied on. The questions we should consider are:

Who:

This question applies especially to the reputation of the agency collecting the data. Can we be assured that their work will be entirely honest? A related question we might ask yourself is whether the agency collecting the data has the: resources necessary to do a proper job.

Why:

Examine why a particular piece of data was being collected. This can sometimes reveal the intentions behind a piece of information being created. Often this can reveal motives that may make a piece of data biased in one group’s particular favour.

How:

What research methods were adopted? If the information sources we are using do not explicitly state the manner in which such data was gathered, be suspicious. It is important that we can be entirely happy with the way that the information was gathered before we should consider using it.

What:

Even if the information that we have gathered is of a good quality, it is important to determine whether it is likely to be difficult to use, or inadequate for our needs.

4. Check through various formal and informal networks about any work practices/corporate knowledge that has not formalised in the company’s procedures and review appropriately. (10 Marks)

In established organisations there are likely to be many work practices that have developed over time but are not formally documented. For example, workers or supervisors may from time to time introduce changes that are not part of established procedures but are passed on to other workers. Such changes may result in real efficiencies, but they may also create potential hazards, particularly where they involve shortcuts. Managers need to be alert to these situations and make use of both formal and informal networks to keep in touch with changes that escape formal organisation procedures.

Assessment 1. Case Study. Task 2.

In the above report also include:

1. What trends and patterns are to be identified in the company to define the cause and effect related to the business issue? (10 Marks)

If the company has to deal with cases of diseases caused by exposure in the workplace to chemicals and other risky products, the patterns and trends that must be identified are: how often diseases can arise in people who work with certain chemicals , how dangerous are the products that workers work with, what is the maximum daily or life exposure time that workers can face before contact with the chemical poses a risk to health or life of the worker, what quantity of chemical can be handled before it entails a risk to the life or health of the worker, periodicity of sanitary controls and health of the workplace, work materials and workers, what is the compensatory amount that average is forced on companies to pay the worker affected by this type of problem, what is the demand rate of this type from cases to the courts, what is the amount usually demanded by the workers.

2. Name a few statistical analysis methods that can be used to analyse the gathered information data. (10 Marks)

  • Control Charts are graphic presentations of data over time that show upper and lower limits for the process we want to control. Control charts are constructed in such a way that new data can be quickly compared to past performance data. We take samples of the process output and plot the average of these samples on a chart that has the limits on it. The upper and lower limits in a control chart can be in units of temperature, pressure, weight, length, and so on.
  • Flow Charts graphically present a process or system using annotated boxes and interconnected lines. They are a simple, but great tool for trying to make sense of a process or explain a process.
  • Histograms show the range of values of a measurement and the frequency with which each value occurs. They show the most frequently occurring readings as well as the variations in the measurements. Descriptive statistics, such as the average and standard deviation, may be calculated to describe the distribution. However, the data should always be plotted so the shape of the distribution can be ‘seen’. A visual presentation of the distribution may also provide insight into the cause of the variation.
  • Pareto Charts are a method of organising errors, problems, or defects to help focus on problems solving efforts.
  • Check Sheets is any kind of a form that is designed for recording data. In many cases, the recording is done so the patterns are easily seen while the data are being taken.

3. Explain how you will ensure that the information gathered or evidence and conclusion drawn from it is through logical approach and error free system. (10 Marks)

Documentation will be provided by means of a data management system which will address the logic of data storage and retrieval data management system will usually consist of a database, a data management system, a data directory and a query facility. The manipulation of the system will allow managers to call up the data require for strategic or operational control. Data required for operational management will need to be current and accurate. In the case of strategic management the data is likely to be more generalised and less specific due to the degree of uncertainty involved.

4. How you will ensure that the management information system/decision support system is meeting the company’s information processing requirements. (10 Marks)

We believe that the most appropriate information system for the maintenance and review of information is the Management information system (MIS). Management information systems (MIS) are a type of information systems that collect and process information from different sources to assist in making decisions regarding the management of the organization. Management information systems provide information in the form of reports and statistics. The next level in the organizational hierarchy is occupied by low-level managers and supervisors. This level contains computer systems that are intended to assist operational management in the supervision and control of transaction processing activities that occur at the administrative level. The management information systems use the data collected by the TPS to provide the supervisors with the necessary control reports. Management information systems are the types of information systems that take internal data from the system and summarize them in useful formats such as management reports to be used to support management activities and decision making. MIS output should be designed to ensure that appropriate information is provided to the people who need it and in a timely manner. The degree of complexity of the system will vary with the size and nature of the organisation and can range from the simple face-to-face system that might exist in a small business to the complex computer-based systems that are necessary in large organisations.[2]

Assessment 1. Case Study. Task 3.

Take decisions on business issues identified

1. Describe how you will develop a risk management plan to determine the acceptable courses of action. (10 Marks)

At every level manager has to manage risk, for which a plan has to be created called as risk management plan. Risk management is the process of identification of potential events and the development of plans to mitigate or minimise the likelihood or consequences of negative event if it occurs below flow chare figure, provides a representation of the risk management process.

When developing a risk management plan firstly the risk has to be defined. Risk is defined as the chance of something happening that will have impact on objectives or goals being achieved. It is measured in terms of consequence. Risk is inevitable and a natural part of our physical, social, financial and competitive environments. After the risk has been defined, it has to be analysed and treated. The Australian standard categories risk identification into 2 categories:

  • What, where and when? This aim at generating a comprehensive list of risks that may impact the objectives.
  • Why and how? Identify the circumstances in which this risk may be realised.

One the risks are identified; risks must be analysed to determine the probability of occurrence and expected impact. Risk analysis: is about developing an understanding of the risk. It provides an input to decisions on whether risks need to be treated and the most appropriate and cost effective risk treatment strategies.

The first step in risk analysis is to determine the likelihood refers to the probability that a risk will occur. It also assessing the probability of harm actually occurring. There are many hazards in the workplace but only a fraction of them will pose a significant risk of occurring on a regular basis. Therefore, a manager should attempt to determine how often a hazard is likely to cause harm and concentrate on those that are most likely to cause harm on regularly if not controlled. Control those hazards firm which are frequent and cause major harm in the workplace rather than others which are less likely to happen. That is why risk assessment is important.

Determine likelihood of risk- It’s also called as probability criteria and the risk probability can be measured in the following scale:

  • Rare / Remote: May occur only in exceptional circumstances/ unlikely to happen (1- 10%) eg. Death of an employee at work.
  • Unlikely: Event is unlikely to occur but is possible, e.g. an employee crashing a company car (11-20%).
  • Possible: Event could occur e.g. rain on the day of an outdoor event (21%- 50%).
  • Probable / Likely: Event likely to occur once or more during the life of the project, e.g. first and injury (51-80%).
  • Frequent / Very probable: Event will occur many times during the life of the project e.g. small machines damages.

On the other hand, monitoring and review are integral to the risk management process. It’s important to review and monitor the risk management process on timely basis to ensure that the risk management goals have been achieved. Besides, monitoring and evaluation of risk management process is integral to the risk management process. Evaluation and monitoring activities include risk reviews, team meetings and progress reports, which should be conducted regularly. Evaluation ensures that mistakes made and lesson learned throughout the implementation of the risk management process.

Finally, the risk has to been treated. There are several ways/options that organisation uses to manage/treat risk. The Australian standards outline the following:

  • Avoid the risk- This may be done by ending the activity that gives rise to the risk.
  • Reduce the likelihood of the risk: i.e. reduce the likelihood of a negative impact on objectives.
  • Reduce the consequences: i.e. decrease the extent of damage by reducing the inventory or making continuity plans.
  • Share the risk with third parties: This involves other parties baring a portion of the risk. For e.g. Insurance arrangement, joint ventures, partnerships.
  • Retain the risk: After the altering or sharing of a risk, there exist residual risks which are retained.

2. Mention various quantitative methods that you would use to make a decision related to victim compensation. (10 Marks)

Quantitative techniques form part of the management science approach to decision making that grew out of the operational research (OR). It includes practices like: Linear programming, Dynamic programming, Queuing theory, and Simulation and Transportation Methodology.

  • Linear programming (LP) is a widely used mathematical technique designed to help operations managers plan and make the decisions necessary to allocate resources.
  • Simulation is the attempt to duplicate the features, appearance, and characteristics of a real system, usually via a computerised model. The model will then be used to estimate the effects of various actions. The idea behind simulation is threefold: to imitate a real-world situation mathematically, then to study its properties and operating characteristics, and finally to draw conclusions and make action decisions based on the results of the simulation.

3. Describe the consultation from other specialist and relevant groups and individuals from the organisation, ensuring decisions are taken by all delegated authorities and in accordance with ‘true home dream’ guidelines and procedures. (10 Marks)

When individuals or groups within an organisation make decisions, this occurs under delegated authority. Such decisions must therefore be consistent with the delegated authority. Managers have to ensure that while taking the decision on any identified business issue, the above three factors need to be taken care of. We know that teams make better decisions than even the brightest individual in the group, provided the group is harmonious and cohesive and focused on its purpose and goals. Remember that people are more committed to a decision they helped make because their involvement gives them a better understanding of it. This greater understanding also helps them to make it work better.

Any decision that will be made in the organisation should be in accordance with policies, procedures and guidelines. These guidelines (plans, policies, procedures) are made to ensure that decisions will be in line with organisational objectives. Decision making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives. This decision is generally based on the value and preferences of the decision maker. By making a decision, we are implying that there are at least two alternatives strategies that could be adopted. Because of this, we want to try and identify as many of these alternatives as we possibly can. By identifying the possibilities, we are placing ourselves in the best possible position for making an information decision.

4. How will you ensure that decisions taken on the victim’s compensation are consistent with the organisational values, objectives and standards and is timely taken? (10 Marks)

The objectives, values and standards of most organisations are contained within their planning documents and should form the basis of all decisions.

These plans can be conveniently divided into the three broad categories of organisational aims, standing plans and single use plans.

It is the responsibility of management to ensure that the right decisions are made at the right time. In consulting the importance of time in decision making it is useful to differentiate between strategic decisions and operational decisions. Whatever time is allocated in taking decisions, managers should ensure that they are taking decisions in designated time frames.

Total Marks Assessment 1 – 120

[1] https://www.monografias.com/trabajos15/sistemas-control/sistemas-control.shtml

[2] https://smarterworkspaces.kyocera.es/blog/los-6-principales-tipos-sistemas-informacion/

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