FGV System Development Life Cycle Planning and Analysis Paper Assignment 1: System Development Life Cycle: Phases I & II – Planning and Analysis
Read the details of the Larson Property Management Company case scenario attached. The Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Larson, and the Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Johnson, would like to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the HR functions, as well as reduce overall HR costs. Mr. Larson and Ms. Johnson would like you, the HR Director, to serve as the change agent of the project. In this assignment, you will develop a plan and analysis (planning and analysis phases of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)) of the current business based on the details of the scenario.
Write a two to three-page proposal, in which you:
Introduction and Plan
1. Detail the current situation for the company, focusing on the issues that the organization is currently facing from using a legacy HRIS. Explain your plan for moving forward to address these issues.
2. Based on the issues the organization is currently facing, identify the new system needs. Identify change team members who will help identify system need and specify their role and responsibilities.
Interview, Questionnaire, Observation, or Focus Group
3. Determine how additional data will be collected regarding system needs. Determine how change management team will collect data during the exploration phase. Specify if team members will use interviews, questionnaires, observations and/or focus groups to collect data from end users. Provide at least five essential questions that will be asked of end users via interview, questionnaire, observation, or focus group.
4. Explain two to three reasons why the company would benefit from adopting an HRIS. Focus on how the HRIS would address the current HR needs of the organization.
5. Use at least two quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as academic resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
Typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, your professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required page length.
Include a reference page. Citations and references must follow APA format. The reference page is not included in the required page length.
Additional Information – This may be helpful
Industry Brief: Jeffrey D. Miller, Deloitte Consulting
The world of human resource information systems (HRIS) has shifted over the past decade. Now more than ever, organizations are driving changes in human resources (HR) and their associated system based on business needs. All industries are witnessing increased global competition, which is increasing the need to manage talent and costs of HR services. An increase in generational expansion in the workforce is driving the needs to increase focus on employee engagement. These challenges are disruptions. HR has a clear opportunity to lead through the disruptions by focusing its strategy on resolving these issues. Transitions in HR operating models, alignment of policies, and business processes are the key for HR to resolve the HR challenges facing its business.
Through all of the disruption, technology is HR’s enabler. Organizations must remember this principle. Whether the organization is investing in a custom portal and related technology, enhancing an existing infrastructure, or implementing a cloud-based solution, the same rule applies: Technology is the enabler, not the solution to the business challenges. Using new technology to drive a poorly designed policy or process will result in a bad process, employee experience, and unmet executive-level expectations.
Organizations are changing their HR service delivery model to enable a greater impact in all industries. The focus: Adapt the operating model to attend to business issues and movements in the market. This shift requires HR to look at how it operates across many facets including recruiting, career management, acquisition and divestiture management, and how its technology enables the business needs.
The same global competition in the market is propelling changes in talent management. To remain competitive, there is a dramatic shift in the focus on understanding their talent base and aligning the skill growth to expansions and shifts in the market. The right process changes driven by the right information to make decisions related to recruiting, succession planning, and learning are critical to this effort.
The generational shift cannot be ignored. Many organizations are seeing up to four distinct generations resident in their workforces. Each generation has different needs and ways of working professionally and personally. This creates a need for HR and management to be sensitive and adapt the methods of employee engagement in day to day work, performance, provisions for career trajectory and learning. This area is especially sensitive to being overly burdened with technology—relying on exchanges and messaging through technology rather than employing the technology to concentrate and foster conversations.
Selecting the right technical solution for the HR needs is significant. Most applications offered meet the majority of any organization’s requirements. The real difference is in how the applications fit in driving the HR objectives and business needs of the organization. The selection, and ongoing monitoring, is becoming more closely aligned with strategy in many organizations. The selection is not a one-time decision. It is something that has to be closely managed. Innovation in HR technology is moving at a staggering pace. This pace will continue. The world of HR technology offers multiple options and investments levels. For HR to lead through business disruptions, the monitoring and review of technology’s fit with HR business objectives must be an ongoing and formalized role in the organization structure.
In summary, to have the greatest impact, HR must focus on understanding the true business and market direction of its organization, adapt its processes and policies to contribute to meeting the business needs and then implement the model and technical solutions, which enables the right level of information to enable decisions, employee engagement, cost management, and ease of maintenance. Case Study: Vignette Continued
Larson Property Management Company is one of the largest property management companies
in California, with more than 1,000 employees. The company provides a full array of commercial
management and development services. These activities include complete management
services for commercial office and retail buildings and apartment complexes; construction,
repair, and maintenance of commercial properties; and financial management and billing
services for commercial real estate clients. The company has experienced significant expansion
over the past five years in response to the growth in apartment and commercial construction in
southern California, and this expansion has resulted in the need to hire a large number of
employees on an ongoing basis to staff its operations.
Larson Property Management has depended on a legacy HRIS to manage its applicant and
employee databases. The system runs on a client-server computer system. The system was
implemented approximately 10 years ago, prior to the company’s rapid growth and when it
employed fewer than 100 employees. The system’s functionality is limited to the storage and
retrieval of employee and applicant data. For recruiting purposes, the system requires a clerk to
manually enter basic applicant data, the results of the application test, and whether or not an
offer of employment has been made. Prior to this, applicants’ files were passed around to those
who reviewed the materials and were sometimes misplaced, so trying to locate a particular
applicant’s file was often a problem. The current HRIS has limited file storage capability for
applicant and employee records and currently has reached its storage capacity.
Larson Property Management has decided to replace its legacy HRIS. One application module
in the new HRIS that the company wants is a sophisticated applicant-tracking system (ATS).
The primary objective of the ATS will be to provide a paperless hiring process. The basic
functions of the new system will be managing the requisition and approval of job openings,
storing resumes and job applications and retrieving through query functions the names of
applicants who match job requirements, tracking a candidate’s progress through the recruiting
and selection process, and providing automated reporting functions. The company’s managers
also want an e-HR functionality that includes the Internet posting of job openings through the
company’s website and external job-posting services, application and resume submission
through the Web and through kiosks at various office locations, staff ability to access and use
the system remotely through a Web browser, and online resume- and application-scanning
Part of the design phase is modeling the processes that will be used in the system for applicant
tracking. For Larson Property Management, this modeling will allow the system analysts to
design an efficient paperless hiring process.
Larson Property Management is well aware that the design stage of the SDLC is critical for the
successful implementation of the new ATS. However, there is considerable confusion about
how to proceed with this phase. The HR and IT professionals assigned to the ATS committee
have been meeting to plan the new system. From their planning and needs analysis, it is clear
that a new HRIS application is needed, can save considerable time, and can result in more
accurate storage and retrieval of applicant data for cost-benefit and other management reports.
The company has had several vendors provide presentations, with each vendor outlining its
particular approach to the design of an ATS. But these presentations were primarily focused on
the physical design of the new ATS. The HR and IT committees must now begin the design
process, which must be completed in three months.
Case Study Questions
1. Based on the material in this chapter, design a three-month operational plan for the ATS.
a) In your plan, make certain you differentiate between the logical and physical design
of the ATS. Which one should be done first? Which one is more important?
b) Describe the importance of the data view versus the process view for the design of
the new ATS.
c) Who are the important stakeholders to be considered in the design of the ATS?
d) How will you determine whether these stakeholders need the information that the
new ATS will deliver?
e) Based on your personal knowledge of recruiting by companies, develop a DFD with
at least two levels.
2. Based on the work you have completed for Question 1, provide a brief outline of the RFP
that is to be sent to the HRIS vendors.
Key Terms & Additional Information
A process model describes and represents the key business processes or activities conducted by
the organization, such as applicant tracking. The specific type of process model typically used by
organizations is a data flow diagram (DFD). A DFD is a graphical representation of the key
business activities and processes in the HR system, the boundaries of this system, the data that
flow through the system, and any external individuals or departments that interact with the
The larger development process is called the systems development life cycle (SDLC). The five
generic phases of the SDLC are planning, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance.
The SDLC is a structured set of phases focused on the analysis and design of information
systems. The goal of the SDLC is to provide those organizations updating existing systems or
designing new ones with a stronger, more structured process to follow.
Although each phase in the life cycle is important, the goal of this chapter is to focus specifically
on the activities associated with designing the HRIS. The design of the HRIS can occur in two
phases: logical and physical design. The design phase is separated into two components because
each has a different aim and perspective. The logical design of a system focuses on the
translation of business requirements into improved business processes, irrespective of any
technological implementation. For example, a business requirement for organizations such as
Larson Property Management is the acquisition of new employees.
HR business processes typically include (1) identifying jobs requiring new employees and
approving those jobs; (2) analyzing the requirements of those jobs; (3) posting those positions
and recruiting applicants from the labor market; (4) tracking applicants through the recruiting
process; (5) selecting from the recruiting pool, through the use of selection tools such as
interviews, applicants that best fit the job requirements; and (6) bringing new hires on board and
placing them in their jobs. The HR programs associated with these processes are (1) HR
planning, (2) job analysis, (3) recruiting, (4) applicant tracking, (5) selection, (6) placement, and
(7) record keeping. Conversely, the focus and goal of physical design is determining the most
effective means of translating these business processes into a physical system that includes
hardware and software. To merge the phases together can invite the temptation to focus heavily
on the physical aspects of the new system (hardware and software) at the expense of improved
business processes. In addition, focusing on the physical aspects of a system can lead to
premature decisions and the selection of physical solutions that may not be the most effective
ones for the business processes identified.
Two Ways to View an HRIS: Data Versus Process
For any HRIS, the organization must look at the total HR system from two different
perspectives: the data perspective and the process perspective.
The data perspective focuses on an analysis of what data the organization captures and uses,
and on the definitions and relationships of the data, while ignoring how or where the data are
used by the organization. For example, a system whose aim is employee recruiting would need
data about the applicants and their knowledge, skills, and abilities (e.g., name, address, degrees
received, work experience). The data perspective would focus on the important data to be
captured, 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.
The process perspective, conversely, focuses on the business processes and activities in which
the organization engages and on how data flow through the HRIS. For example, a recruiting
module from this perspective would consider business activities, such as receiving applications,
sorting and scanning resumes to determine the interview pool, scheduling interviews, reporting
candidate information for legal purposes, and so on, but not the data definitions and
relationships. 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, but not
on precisely what data are captured and how they are best organized or stored. Essentially,
process modeling uses tools to describe the processes that are carried out by a system.
A key question that the reader might be asking is, “Why should I care about these distinctions?”
The reason the distinction between the process and data perspectives is important is that 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 (e.g., the project management team responsible for designing and implementing
the HRIS and any external consultants, vendors, or software developers). In addition, while
processes may change in the future, data generally represent the most permanent and stable part
of a system. For example, employee data from prior systems are often converted into the new
HRIS data format and transferred into the new system. This data conversion and migration
process is a critical step in the implementation phase, and it provides a bridge and
continuity between the legacy system and the new HRIS. This permanency of data and the more
dynamic aspect of processes suggest the importance of dealing with each separately.
Over the past three decades, a well-established procedure for modeling information systems has
been developed. The procedure is based on a process perspective that uses process mapping,
also called data flow diagramming. A common aspect of all design methodologies is the use of
diagrammatic modeling techniques. While the style of the charting symbols varies, the
fundamentals are well established. Our focus in this chapter is on the creation and use of process
Although building a new HRIS from scratch with internal resources may be a viable option for
some organizations, by far the most common decision is to work with an external vendor to
develop or acquire the system. To do this, the HR staff will need to work closely with both the
internal IT department and external vendors to ensure that the business process requirements and
all technical requirements are presented to the vendor. The first step in this process is to develop
a request for proposal (RFP).
An RFP is a document that solicits proposals and bids for proposed work from potential
consultants or vendors. An RFP defines the organization’s goals and requirements for the new
information system. It provides the details that define hardware, software, and services
requirements. For the organization, it provides a structured approach that minimizes the chance
of omitting important criteria. On return from vendors or consultants, it simplifies the vendor
comparison process by providing a format to elicit consistent and complete responses.
The RFP provides an opportunity for the HR department to record systematically what its staff
will need the system to do. As part of this process, any remaining implicit assumptions should be
made explicit. Basically, the RFP will define what is needed and what is not needed in the
system. In addition, the RFP begins the communication process and relationship building with
Although there are many different factors that will determine precisely what should be included
in the RFP, experts in the field have argued for the inclusion of a key set of components. Table
5.2 presents an example of these key factors, adapted from recommendations made by the
Society for Human Resource Management and the work of Hinojos and Miller (1998).
Table 5.2 is an excellent starting point for developing an RFP, but it should not be taken to
include all items that may be required. Those developing an RFP for an organization should keep
in mind their unique situation and add or subtract what is included as appropriate for their needs.
The information in this table is also very general in nature, and how it is developed will be
different for each organization.
When developing the RFP, organizations should keep several things in mind. The first
recommendation is to focus on the business requirements. Given that the system is being
considered in association with business process changes, an excellent place to begin the
development for the vendor is to review the requirements and logical redesign of the business
processes. These should then be communicated to each vendor.
Associated with this requirement, the second recommendation is to be specific. After all the
effort given to the needs analysis and the redesign of business processes, very specific
requirements will be available and should be included in the RFP. It is important to be specific as
to your organization’s needs because, if you are not specific, you risk allowing the vendors to
determine what is included in the final system. Although it is desirable to work with a vendor to
develop the final system, it is important that the system be developed to meet your specific
business needs, not just designed to match the system a vendor has available. Furthermore, an
RFP that is too general may not be screened in sufficient detail by the vendor, leading to a
product that has too much detail and is too complex and too expensive for the business’s needs.
The overall objective of the RFP is to have the vendors propose system hardware and software to
meet the specific requirements you have identified for your new system.
The third recommendation is to keep it simple. One of the temptations in developing an RFP is to
include all possible business and technical requirements in it. The problem with including many
technical details in the plan is that vendors may review the RFP and screen themselves out
because they think they cannot fill the needs outlined in the RFP. For example, it would be
important to ask whether a benefits system allows for benefits reports, benefits administration,
and so on. Conversely, the RFP would want to stay away from including requirements as to
length of fields, types of passwords used, and so on, which do not focus on business needs but
instead are focused on technical and physical design issues. Essentially, if something is not
important to the HR department and reflective of the business processes modeled in the DFDs, it
is best not to include it.
The fourth recommendation is that organizations need to be aware that some current HR
practices will likely differ from the best practice practices (e.g., workflow and processes)
embedded in the HRIS under consideration. Thus, organizations need to be open to redesigning
their HR functions to increase efficiency, match the workflow and processes provided in the new
HRIS, and be more consistent with product offerings. As more and more vendors are moving to
cloud-based deployment, the alternative of customizing the software to your organizational
processes may not be possible, or may be expensive and inefficient. For example, traditionally,
applicant tracking systems involved only applicants and HR staff in the data input, flow and
processes used in applying for and managing the recruitment process. In contrast, newer talent
acquisition approaches have adopted more of a shared approach that includes workflow to line
managers and other stakeholders who increasingly are involved in recruiting and staffing
responsibilities. Thus, during the design phase, the analysis of a vendor response to the RFP
provides an opportunity for the project team to rethink their HR processes and consider newer
approaches that are reflected in vendor offerings.
The fifth recommendation is to work closely with the HRIS and IT staff as the RFP is developed.
The professional staff will be responsible for working with the vendor to ensure the smooth
installation and maintenance of the HRIS. Therefore, it is important for the HR staff to work
closely with the information systems professional staff to make sure that any essential technical
considerations are included. For example, if there are existing systems that need to provide
information to or receive information from the system, then this should be included. In addition,
if there is a certain platform (e.g., UNIX, Windows) that the organization has experience with
and with which it would like the system to integrate, this too should be included.
TABLE 5.2 Recommended Components of a Request for Proposal
Data about you
Who you are as a business
Company name, size, scope, industry, annual sales, locations, etc.
Required business processes, functionality, and project scope
Does it need to work with a particular operating system, existing organization
Delivery time frame needed
Is there a desired target implementation date?
Requested data from vendor
Company name, size, scope, annual sales, experience, etc.
Number of implemented applications
May include license fees, maintenance charges, training costs, implementation
costs, and support costs
Functionality included in the system
If customization is necessary, how will this be addressed (timing, delivery, cost,
Supported technology now and in the near future
Customer support options
Find out user and organizational experiences with the system.
Ask these references for other companies they know using the system to broaden
your knowledge (after all, the vendor is likely to provide you with clients who have
had positive experiences).
Sample contract terms
TABLE 5.1 Software Acquisition Strategies
Business Need Unique
In-house skills Functional and
Project has skilled
management and experienced
Project has manager
to manage an
Project has a
Flexible or short
Source: Adapted from Dennis, Wixom, and Roth (2006).
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