Queensland Health Information System Implementation
Instructions: you are a system accountant working i an organisation that is looking to upgrade its ERP system.the management of the organisation are concerned about system implementation and failure an its impact to the organisation.you have suggested that the organisation use the system development lifecycle approach to provide a framework for systems development.
you have been asked by management for more information about this framework in relation to implementation failure.
Queensland Health Information System Implementation
In order to effectively implement an information system such as an ERP, a System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) should be performed so as to come up with the best suitable options. This will involve some well-structured stages and activities that have to be carried out comprehensively and conclusively if the best results are to be achieved at the completion of the project.
The information system at Queensland Health is one such example of a project. It, however, faced some challenges in the various stages thus causing a massive failure of the whole system. This paper examines the explanations for such failures and the stages these issues came up.
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the Initiation stage
Majorly, the initial stage involves the identification of the need and opportunity for a given system.As Queensland Health initiated the Information System in question, they failed to foresee the various eventualities that come with the implementation of such projects. Their failure to ask for the possible areas of challenges that the department of housing faced created room for new issues and problems that they were prepared for in the first place.
Had the institution asked the department of housing for a list of the challenges that they faced during the implementation of their system, they would have been ready to face them as they arose. This failure in the initiation stage caused uncertainty in the kind of challenges to expect and how to possibly deal with them (Walsham, G. (1993).
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the Planning stage
This phase involves the development of a project management plan which therefore provides for the acquisition of the documents needed for the project or the system. This plan cats a complete guide to direct all the project participants and actors in the activities that they are supposed to undertake at the various stages of the project.
The Queensland Health Information System was planned by IBM poorly thus leading to delays in the delivery of the intended service and pushing the budget way above the expected funding allocated to the whole project. The extensive planning by IBM led to the discovery of certain wrong assumptions in the scope and the various project tools and requirements of the exercise. This ultimately resulted in a stretch in the overall project cost and the time to be taken to complete the project (Castro, J., Kolp, M., & Mylopoulos, J. (2002).
It also became very vivid that all the project requirements and tools were not well documented and put in order during the planning process of the whole project thus leading to creeping of the scope. This is a situation that arises when the boundaries of a project are not well defined thus leading to the inclusion of these aspects later on in the project.
Some quarters within the implementing bodies also felt dissatisfied with the way in which the tendering process was carried out. They raised concerns that Corp Tech must have given IBM an upper hand thus making easy for them to bag this tender compared to the other companies that had applied for the same (Kerzner, H. R. (2013).
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the Design stage
In this phase, the detailed requirements are transformed to a complete detailed system thereby coming with an established and interactive system user interface and also how the system will deliver on the required functionalities.
The design of most projects is usually very straightforward and well-coordinated in nature. It involves the participation of the client organization or the recipient of the intended service and the consulting team or teams as it is deemed fit. This design is very clear and easy to manage because the roles and responsibilities of each of the players are clearly defined and can be pinpointed. It also makes it very easy to accomplish tasks as each consultant is aware of what is expected of them (Meredith, J. R., & Mantel Jr, S. J. (2011).
The project design structure at Queensland Health is very complex in nature and difficult to manage. This is because there was the involvement of three participants in the engagement with the client in question. This therefore led to the creation of two customers and one contractor to carry out the whole project. As a result of this nature of project design, there were conflicts in the roles that each of the players was supposed to play and the levels of involvement in the project.
The complex nature of the design of the project by Queensland also led to the mix up in the objectives and goals of the project as each of the three parties in this engagement had their goals to accomplish without necessarily matching them with the overall project goals and objectives (Gething, P. W et al., 2006).
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the Development stage
Here a complete information system is achieved through the creation of databases and testing them, coding and compiling of the system, and also refining of the project.
The Information technology officers also carried out poor coding of the whole system thus feeding wrong data about the employees. This wrong data included issues to do with the salary range and rank in the organization. This issue also led to the wrong payments made by the institution and a subsequent failure of the project (Lopez, A. D., Mathers, C. D., Ezzati, M., Jamison, D. T., & Murray, C. J. (2006).
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the Testing stage
Once the system is up and running a test to detect any form of hacking is performed so as to reassure security of the system from intruders, firewalls are also installed for purposes of keeping malware at bay which is achieved by quality assurance staff and end users.
The Information System at Queensland also failed and went to the drains because they did not carry out an autonomous test of the whole system so as to come up with the possible points of correction. Subsequently, it led to the sprouting of issues related integrity and conversion of the employees’ information (Atkinson, P. M. (2006).
Just after the completion of the project, some employees reported having not been paid or being paid wrongly as a result of the defect mentioned above in the whole system. Lack of test of the new system led to all the issues mentioned above thus causing a massive failure of the project
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the Implementation stage
This phase is only achieved if the system succeeds the testing phase. This will, therefore, mean implementation of the system into a production environment for the end users. In the case of Queensland Health, CorpTech is responsible for the management of the prime contractor, IBM and also acts as a representative of the government in this whole project management structure.
It was also charged with the responsibility of managing the implementation of such projects within all government departments and also the sole owner of the Work brain solution. IBM, on the other hand, was charged with some responsibilities of its own and the same applied to the management of Queensland Healthcare as an institution (Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2004).
The above-highlighted roles and responsibilities are clearly not vivid enough to fully understand even amongst the stakeholders themselves. The three most important parties had their roles conflicting. A good example is a situation where Corp Tech has to oversee the whole implementation process and also manage the main contractor of the project. The two parties in the project, IBM and Corp Tech had difficulties in the kind of relationship with Queensland Health due to the mix up in the roles that they each had to play in the project (Productivity Commission. (2006).
Reasons for failure of the Information System at the System Maintenance Stage
Constant system updates will be required, and also up to date antivirus also installed for the system’s continuous use by the clients. And in the case of Queensland Health, it is very clear that the various Parties or individuals charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all project departments receive updates failed in doing this as they never gave any updates regarding the progress of the whole project (Cleland, D. L., & Ireland, L. R. (2006).
Poor communication within the project led to some unwanted tension between IBM and CorpTech causing a failure of the project since nothing could be done effectively.
Recommendations for the management of the above mentioned deficiencies
It is imperative always to carry out research on the information system to be implemented and being aware of the challenges and risks involved in the implementation of the project at hand thus being prepared to deal with such issues effectively. Queensland Health should have asked the housing department about the challenges they faced and how they dealt with them so as to be well equipped for such eventualities.
There should also be proper planning and setting of the timelines for each activity thus being able to stay on schedule. Proper planning also involves the setting of the right and achievable goals and objectives to be achieved. Clear and precise budgeting of the whole project should also be done in the planning stage so as to be able to utilize the allocated resources effectively and deliver results (Burke, R. (2013).
There should also be the existence of a clear and well-defined user-friendly project design so that the presence of any difficulties is eliminated. The complex project design as exhibited by Queensland Health is usually tough to understand and deal with because of the client engagement difficulties.
Proper communication between all the parties involved in the project implementation should also be given a priority so that frequent updates on the project progress are given at all times. All conflicts that may arise within the project should also be solved in an amicable manner without creating any tension whatsoever.
Before the implementation of any project, it is also advisable that a parallel testing exercise be carried out so as to see how the whole system performs and also identify any possible issues of concern before it is finally deployed to the intended end client. Therefore, it is a paramount aspect that should not have been ignored by Queensland Health.
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