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ADMINISTERING OFFICE SYSTEMS
Transcript of ADMINISTERING OFFICE SYSTEMS
The adminstrative office system function
In systems terms, this requires making decisions on:
- what work is to be done
- how it is to done
- who will do the work
- when the work will be done
- after the work has been completed, determining
how well the work has be done
* Each department manager is also an information manager
System - refers to a set of related elements that are linked together according to a plan for achieving a specific objective.
Figure 4-1 Key Element in Administrative Office Systems
Major Administrative Office Systems
Figure 4-2 Major Systems and Subsystems in a Business Firm
Objectives of Administrative Office Systems
Procedure - is a planned sequence of operations for handling recurring transactions uniformly and consistently.
Method - represents a manual, mechanical, or automated means by which each procedural step is performed.
The nature of the system’s needs, the skills and preferences of the workers, and the cost and availability of the equipment determine the various methods used in each system.
As organizations grow larger and more complex, so does their need for considering “Where they are going”; that is deciding on the objectives of their administrative office systems.
The personnel responsible for the AOS function are expected to achieve this broad organizational goal to:
-Control systems that result in the highest levels of productivity at the lowest possible cost.
Administrative Office Systems (AOS)
- is a specialized system that is responsible for planning, organizing, operating and controlling all phases of the information cycle in order to meet the main systems objective - to provide appropriate information and service for management’s use in making decisions.
In turn, the office manager or the head of the AOS unit is responsible for achieving more specific objectives that include all of the important phases of the system. Typically, the following tangible objectives are identified:
1. Furnish the best information, the right format, to the right people at and appropriate time, at the least cost, and in the right amount so improved decision making results.
2. Eliminate unnecessary work or the duplication of work.
3. Design systems that ensure safer, less fatiguin work.
4. Automate repetitive, routine tasks where possible when automatic equipment will do the work more quickly, more accurately, more economically, and more reliably. Such a system should be as flexible as possible to meet the user’s present requirements and still be able to accommodate changes in future requirements without the need for major systems revisions.
5. Establish and efficient, unifrom procedure to follow for each similar transaction.
6. Determine responsibility for satifactory work performance.
7. Provide adequate training for employees and supervisors to ensure top-level work performance.
8. Gain the acceptance and support of all systems users.
*Feasibility Study - a planning method that seeks to find out whether specific systems operations can be improved and if the addition of new resources (machines, equipment, personnel) is economically justified for making these improvements.
It is important that the principal systems problems be identified so that the office staff can take steps toward achieving their solution.
Each of these problems is typical of the difficulties encountered by office managers as well as many other managers in general. Such problems can be solved or reduced in intensity if the proper problem-solving attitude- positive thinking-is present.
BASIC SYSTEMS CONCEPTS
1. The general systems model that explains the overall operation of any system.
2. The organization of systems within the firm.
3. The various systems levels that we find in operation, ranging from the manual to the automated and expert types of systems.
Figure 4-4 Administrative Office Systems Problems and Examples
The General System Model
are used to an increasing degree in problem solving and management planning. In one sense, a model represents an ideal form of operation, such as a model office or a model worker.
- General system model
is used to represents a broad explanation of the system (or any of its subsystems) to which more concrete details can be added.
are usually divided into two classes: open and closed.
interacts with its environment in order to attain goals. A business firm is an open system, because it is affected by many factors, such as tax laws, its completion and the quality of its workers.
on the other hand an interaction business environment such as this shopping mall is an example of an closed system. This farm, because it produces its own food and is self-sustaining, is an example of a closed system.
System Phase 1: Input
Input is the first phase of any system in which data, labor and other energy, materials, equipment, and money are received from another system. Example of input are raw materials into a manufacturing operation, the arrival of the morning mail, the skill needed by a word processing operator to produce a letter or telephone calls.
- System phase 2: Transformation Process
That phase of the system that changes or transforms into a desired form is called transformation process often shortened to process. It is also called processor because a worker or a machine combined with an efficient procedure is involved. An example of this phase are classifying, sorting, storing and etc.
- System phase 3: Output
Output is the ultimate goal of a system that which results after the input has been changed in some way during the second phase— the transformation process— to a desired form.
- System phase 4: feedback
In the AOS, feedback is the regulating force that compares the system’s output (what was produced) with the standards of performance set for the system (what should have been produced)
- System Phase 5: Control
While the previous four system phase usually function 1,2,3,4 sequential order, the control phase operates in a different manner. Control is the systems phase that dictates what can and cannot be done in each of the other phases of the AOS.
SYSTEM PHASE PROCESS
- System Structure:
a systems structure, or system hierarchy, somewhat related to the structure appearing on an organization chart, evolves as the form of organization for providing a wide variety of systems services to the firm.
- Total system-
subsystem relationships: they form a company-wide information network. In this respect, we note that the physician regards the human body as a total system make up of many major systems. Each of these main systems is, in turn divided into a number of subsystems.
- Information systems: a system that controls the many activities making up the information cycle, (Collecting, processing, storing, retrieving and distributing information.)
A database is a central master file containing company-wide information form the major systems of the firm.
- System Levels:
System may be classified in terms of processing power and thus in terms of the degree of automation involved. In this section, we note 3 levels of system.
2. Mechanical (sometimes called electromechanical)
- Manual system:
the earliest and still commonplace type of system, the human being is the data processor.
- Mechanical system:
for most of the past century, simple machines have assisted in the operation of the manual system.
- Computer systems
The computer system: familiar by name to most of us, is made up of a group interconnected machines, including the computer, the process data at the speed of light and that perform many other information-handling functions.
- the process of improving systems
- also called systems analysis, systems engineering or work simplification
- closely related to the processes of management and problem solving
Steps in the Systems Study Cycle
Systems Study Activity
1 Department Request for a Systems Study
2 Systems Survey
3 Systems Analysis
4 Systems Design
5 Systems Installation and Operation
6 Systems Evaluation
3. Equipment Use
4. Personnel Use
5. Systems Costs
Typical Areas for Systems Studies
Organizing the Systems Function
The most common approaches for organizing the systems functions are:
1. Employing a firm of management consultants or systems analysts to make special studies of AOS, procedures and methods.
2. Developing in the large firm an internal staff of systems analysts whose services are available to the entire organization.
3. Assigning the responsibility for systems improvement in the small firm to the office manager.
Use of Outside Consultants
Many firms specialize in general systems analysis, which involves layout, equipment, furniture, personnel use and interdepartmental information flows.
Other specialize in the study of office automation, word processing and communications.
Consultants are hired in much the same way a company hires auditors or lawyers to provide expert advice.
Outside consultants bring certain advantages to a firm. Such consultants:
1. Provide special counsel and offer new ideas because of their experience with other firms.
2. Are outsiders and thus can study the client's systems with an objectivity that the internal consultant does not possess.
3. Often carry more weight than an internal consultant who may have become a part of the firm's political work.
Disadvantages of outside consultant:
1. The consultant's lack of familiarity with the firm, especially is strong informal organization.
2. The relatively high cost of consultant's services.
3. The negative reaction of many workers to the so-called efficiency expert, as a person who may eliminate many jobs within the firm and who not care about the best interests of individual workers.
The Systems Function in Large Firms
Large firms with highly specialized staffs find the use of an internal systems staff a necessary as the systems become more complex.
On the other hand, firms that are served by corporate staff in one central location view the organization as an entity and maintain adequate systems service for each of the individual departments.
There are no set rule that dictates the size of an internal staff. Some corporate managers estimate that an adequate systems staff is 1% of the office personnel employed by the firm.
The Systems Function in Small Firms
In the typical small firm, we find that the office man is the specialist in information management. Thus, OM is responsible for systems work since the main goal of systems work is the improvement of information flow.
For the enterprising office manager who handles the bulk of the firm's systems duties, considerable assistance is available at little or no cost.
To ensure that a company-wide perspective is maintained, most firs the systems staff reports to a high-level administrator, such as the president, the controller or the treasurer.
The office manager must possess these attributes of an effective systems analyst; a logical, probing, perceptive mind; an inventive, imaginative, creative nature; sound judgment; and a thorough understanding of the firm and its information needs.
As a part time analyst, the office manager offers an inexpensive means of systems improvement that can be used by small as well as large offices and also usually more familiar with the work than anyone else.
For the enterprising office manager who handles bulk of the firm's systems duties, considerable assistance is available at little or no cost.
Through contact with such firms, many office managers are able to adapt the systems used by other firms and thereby improve their own office productivity.
THE HUMAN SYSTEM IN THE OFFICE
One overriding thought we must never forget:
"People and their needs must receive first and last consideration in any systems study."
The success of an AOS program is closely tied to the effective participation and harmonious work relationships that exist between department personnel and the systems staff.
The most important element in the office is the human system, that is, the expectations, behavior and performance of the people responsible for the system.
The office manager and the office staff represent the key input to any office job; accordingly, this group has the greatest impact on the output of the office.
Managers and their employees bring individual inputs, such as their skills, knowledge, motives, needs, attitudes and values to any task. Similarly, collections of individuals bring group norms and ideas and group conduct regarding what is acceptable behavior to their work.
By understanding and applying the philosophies of the behavioral and the systems schools of management thought, effective managers consider employee goals and company goals in systems planning.
Ms. Josephine Sessa, director of the International School of Naples, realized the importance of the interrelationships involved in the total system. In the Dialog from the Workplace, she comments on some of her responsibilities and shows how the individual and group inputs work together to solve problems in this international organization.
CONDUCTING SYSTEMS STUDIES
The System Approach
- we still use widely the scientific method for solving problems
- this technique centers on the careful definition of a problem and the
development of reasonable solutions to the problem.
Steps in Systems Approach
1.Identify the work problem and all its complainants, nothing the interrelationships of all part and how each contributes to the total work system.
2. Clarify the objectives for which the system is designed.
3. Note the effect of synergism in the system.
4. Consider all problems from a system point of view.
The Systems Study Cycle
- A set of sequential, problem-solving steps to improve the systems function.
In fact, senior managers, looking back on long, successful business careers, describe success in management in terms of satisfactory problem solving and the ability to make sound decisions.
We can conclude that effective office management is solving problems that occur in the systems and procedures of the office.
The staff in charge of AOS must be alert to internal problems throughout the systems, as well as to those problems that involve the external environment (the business community
A well-planned program of systems studies should be developed by the staff unit that specializes in systems work.
Systems studies require of the analyst a keen, analytical skill and an objective viewpoint that sets aside preconceived ideas about the area of study and that places personal considerations in the background