1. Identify all key problems in Clinical Healthcare Inc. (for each problem identified, you are required to provide a brief explanation).
2. Prioritise all key problems and pick up 2 problems from one or more stakeholders which you consider are most problematic and discuss in detail why the problems need to be addressed and how they should be treated and why? For discussing the treatment for the problem, you are required to apply Russel Ackoff (2011) framework
‘The 4 Different Ways of Solving a Problem’ by clicking on the following link: http://results2match.com/ackoff-again-4-different-ways-of-solving-a-problem
3. Designate whether the key problems you have identified (in task 1) are hard or soft system problems. You need to explain why you have made your decision.
4. Identify key stakeholders and problem owners.
5. List possible models, tools and techniques that can be used to analyse the current system. Critique each of these models, tools and technique in addressing the problems in the case study. (Note: the emphasis is on critiquing the methods and not to give examples of the methods). As part of this section, consider both object oriented and structured approaches as covered in previous units (e.g. Requirement Analysis Modelling INF60010. For those who are a bit rusty (or have not studied these techniques in detail) here are some resources to look at: structured approaches: https://www.visual-paradigm.com/tutorials/data-flow-diagram-dfd.jsp ; comparison between object oriented and structured approaches: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/object_oriented_analysis_design/index.htm , object oriented approaches:
https://www.tutorialspoint.com/object_oriented_analysis_design/ooad_object_oriente d_analysis.htm )
6. Draw a Rich picture bringing all the components identified together as in 1 – 4.
7. Using Blum’s paper evaluate and place SSM on the Matrix of method categories (figure 2). You need to carefully outline why you have placed SSM in a specific quadrant. (Blum, BI 1994, ‘A Taxonomy of Software Development Methods’, Communications of the ACM, vol. 37, no. 11, pp. 82-94)
Identification of the Problems
One of the major problems of the company is that the information system of the company is too old. The information system of the company does well until or unless data is extracted from the system. The information system of the company does not work well when there is a need to extract data from the system.
Another problem is that the company has no automated or up to date information system. The absence of information system is one of the biggest problems for the company. The company provides infusion therapy in which it uses the intravenous technique to administer to medication or subcutaneous technique to administer the medication. This is very expensive as well as complicated. In the absence of information technology, it is also very difficult to manage the logistics for the whole ecosystem which also include the delivery of treatments (Modernizing Legacy Systems at Clinical Healthcare INC, 2018). The nurses use to visit the home of the patients to deliver the treatment or medication. Due to this the healthcare losses touch with the nurse and data can be obtained only after returning of nurses from the visit. All these can be managed with the help of up to date information technology. Information technology can ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the business.
Mr. Brett Michalak and the management of the company have decided to change the information technology of the company. It is also one of the major problems. It is very difficult to change the information technology of a company because it is expensive as well as difficult in operating. The attitude of the staffs of the organization also matters a lot. It has been found from the research the employees are reluctant to change due to complexity and difficulty of the updated information technology. They do not accept change readily (Giauque, 2015).
Prioritizing the Problems
The two problems for this study are a change of information technology of the company and attitude of the staff towards technological change in the organization. Changing the information technology of the company is more problematic from my point of view because it is very expensive and organization needs to provide training to all the employees of the organization to use and operate the technology effectively. Up to date technology is tough to operate. Without proper training, the effectiveness, as well as the efficiency of the employees, would be less (Giauque, 2015). If the technology were not installed successfully, there would be another problem on the part of the organization. And organization may suffer a huge loss.
The attitude of the employees towards technological change in the organization is also very problematic. It has been found that the employees are reluctant to change. They do not accept change in organization readily (Giauque, 2015). If the employee would not accept the change the organization again suffer a lot. If the organization is going for change without considering the attitude of the employee the organization may also suffer from high rate of employee turnover. This is also very expensive for the organization, and the company would suffer a lot.
Both the problem needs to be treated in order to improve the efficiency as well as the effectiveness of the organization in delivering the medication to the patient (Moilanen et al., 2014). This is also necessary to provide on time and up to date information to the patients regarding their health status. The problems of the organization can be treated with the help of Russel Ackoff framework. According to the framework of Russel Ackoff, there are four ways to treat a problem such as (Ackoff, 2018);
• Absolution: absolution states that if the problem could be ignored it should be ignored or the problem would be solved automatically. The problems of Clinical Healthcare Inc. which have been identified cannot be ignored because such problems are very important to deal to improve the efficiency as well as the effectiveness of the organization. Therefore, absolution is not applicable to treat the problems of Clinical Healthcare Inc.
• Resolution: this is the second option to solve the problem which states that to solve the problem the previous methods can be used which has been used in a similar situation before. It is based on experience as well as qualitative judgment. This approach is also not effective in eliminating the cause of a problem. Therefore, it is also not applicable to solving the problems of Clinical Healthcare Inc. because the organization has not faced similar situation before and this approach also cannot eliminate the cause of the problem.
• Solution: the third option of solving a problem is the solution. It states that to solve the problem, there is a need for creating or discovering a behavior which can yield the best or near to best. It also emphasizes that problem-solving includes quantitative research or experimental research. This approach applies to solve the problems of Clinical Healthcare Inc. To solve the problem of installing effectively information technology the company should research that how to install new and up to date information technology in the organization in order to avoid losses. The company should research the new and up to date information technology and how to install it effectively in the organization. The company should provide an appropriate training program to the staffs of the organization. There are various benefits of providing an appropriate training program to the staffs. The reluctant behavior of employees could be mitigated. Training helps in molding the attitude of the employees as well as makes it easy to operate new and up to date technology. The appropriate training program also helps in increasing the level of morale and motivation of the employees, and they can accept the change readily in the organization. Therefore, the company should go for solution approach of Russel Ackoff problem-solving approach.
• Dissolution: the fourth approach of Russel Ackoff of problem-solving is dissolution. It states that to solve the problem the organization or the society should be redesigned in order to eliminate the issues or the situation which caused it. So, it focuses on enabling the society to involve for doing better in the future than the best it could do now. Therefore, it also cannot be applied to solve the problem of Clinical Healthcare Inc.
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Designation of the Problem (Hard system problem or Soft system problem)
Key stakeholders and problem owners
Possible Models, Tools, and Techniques
Data flow diagram: a data flow diagram is a visual representation of the information which flows within an organization. This is a traditional method of representing the flow of information. It is more useful than describing the flow of information in words because it is easier to understand. But sometimes it takes times a lot to create a data flow diagram. Sometimes it is also a bit of confusion if the diagram is complex one (Li and Chen, 2009). It is also hard to create a data flow diagram of a complex system.
Object-oriented analysis: it is one of the popular methods to analyze as well as design an application, business, or system through applying object-oriented programming. It can be defined as the usage of modeling for analyzing and defining the necessities required for the success of a system. But there are some shortcomings of object-oriented analysis such as the limitation of functionality within the objects. It is also tough to recognize that which object can generate the optimal system design as well as the entire interfaces cannot be embodied in a sole diagram of the objects (DML55, 2017).
Structured oriented analysis: the structured oriented analysis is based on functionality. This approach follows the top-down approach instead of a bottom-up approach to object-oriented analysis. It is used to recognize the overall purpose and then functional decomposition is done. But the start-up cost of constructing the system is much higher. The first phase of the structured oriented analysis should be completed before the second phase. The major demerit of this approach is that it does not support the reusability of the code (Moilanen et al., 2014).
Placing SSM in the Matrix
Goos, M., Manning, A., & Salomons, A. (2014). Explaining job polarization: Routine-biased technological change and offshoring. American Economic Review, 104(8), 2509-26.
Giauque, D. (2015). Attitudes toward organizational change among public middle managers. Public Personnel Management, 44(1), 70-98.
Ackoff Again: 4 Different Ways of Solving a Problem | Results2Match. (2018). Results2match.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018, from http://results2match.com/ackoff-again-4-different-ways-of-solving-a-problem
Sepehrirad, R., Rajabzadeh, A., Azar, A., & Zarei, B. (2015). A Soft System Methodology Approach for Structuring Surveillance against Occupational Carcinogenic Exposures Problem (Case Study: Petroleum Industries). Management Research in Iran, 19(3), 167-190.
What is the Hard Systems Approach to problem-solving?. (2018). Twi-global.com. Retrieved 3 April 2018, from https://www.twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/faqs/what-is-the-hard-systems-approach-to-problem-solving/
DML55, D. D. (2017). OBJECT ORIENTED ANALYSIS AND DESIGN.
Moilanen, A., Laitila, J., Vaahtoranta, T., Dicks, L. V., & Sutherland, W. J. (2014). Structured analysis of conservation strategies applied to temporary conservation. Biological Conservation, 170, 188-197.
Blum, B. I. (1994). A taxonomy of software development methods. Communications of the ACM, 37(11), 82-94.
Li, Q., & Chen, Y. L. (2009). Data flow diagram. In Modeling and Analysis of Enterprise and Information Systems (pp. 85-97). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.