• DOCUMENTATION• EVALUATING EFFICIENCY• STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING PROJECTS
DOCUMENTATION• A set of documents provided on paper, or online, or on digital or analog media, such as audio tape or CDs.• A synonym for the term document.• Is one of the system‟s which are used to communicate, instruct and record the information for any reference or operational purpose.
The designers of an information system provide internaldocumentation and external documentation.
INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION• The library staff are provided with documentation which explains how to navigate the system as a borrower and how to operate the system as a troubleshooter.
The documentation covers activities forlibrarians at the loans and enquiries counterand includes:• Starting up and shutting down the system• Troubleshooting student problems• Hotline contact procedures• Navigating the menu system
EXTERNAL DOCUMENTATION Explains how to access and use the wide range of online search facilities available. They can access the library catalogue from home and at terminals suited throughout the library. This means that the documentation has to explain two thing:
1. how to use the search facility2. how to connect to the system when working from home
ELECTRONIC PAPER BASEDHelp menus Quick reference cardsCue cards Telephone hotline listsInternet Comprehensive user manualE-mailTelephone
EVALUATING EFFICIENCYEfficiency is measured in savings. If, by doing something ina certain way, a task takes less effort then there is a saving inenergy. If a task takes less time there is a saving in the costassociated with time.
PROCESSING TECHNIQUESIs a series of steps carried out in order to perform anindividual task.Example:Loading paper into the printer correctly or giving a draftcopy of a document a file name which clearly identifies itsposition in the production sequence.
Common questions that can help to evaluate efficiency of a processing technique QUESTIONS ABOUT SENDING AND SAVING FILES KIND OF SAVING ELECTRONICALLYIs it quicker to send and save files electronically? Time savingYes, once the staff are skilled, both operations happen with the click of amouseIs it easier to send and save files electronically? Effort savingYes, once the staff are skilled, and understand the software, it is easier toclick a mouse button than walk to a filing cabinet or post a letterIs it cheaper for staff to send files electronically? Cost savingYes, if it takes less time and is easier.Is it cheaper to save files electronically?Yes, if the company uses less paper and less office space is devoted tofiling cabinets.
EQUIPMENT• Hardware and software are the two main categories of equipment. Important considerations are how well the chosen software runs on the available hardware and whether the varieties of hardware are compatible.
• As with efficiency, choosing the right equipment particularly the right combination of hardware and software – has a strong influence on the effectiveness of the information product.
FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE THE QUALITY OF INFORMATIONChecklist for equipment effectiveness CRITERIA QUESTIONS TO ASKTimeliness Can the new equipment access and manipulate the latest file types: Graphic, video, sound?Accuracy Does the new equipment have electronic procedures for validation and testing of data and information? Can it update its own virus-detecting software?Relevance Can the new equipment add new search categories to its thesauruses?Completeness Does the new equipment accept historical files/formats during changeover? Will old records be lost during transition?
EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS • Effectiveness is a measure of output‟s success. Questions for evaluating effectiveness are: • Does the information product meet the design specification? • Does the output communicate the message it is supposed to?
STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING PROJECTS• Managing a project requires planning to organanise people, equipment, procedures and time in such a way that the information produced meets users‟ needs.
Producing information involves the following steps: • Identifying the user‟s needs • Listing the resources needed • Designing a solution • Producing the information • Evaluating the effectiveness of the information
Strategies for planning and organising people • Top-down • Bottom-up • Middle-out
Top-down• It attempts to identify all the tasks to be performed and the resources needed.• In the planning stage, all tasks are broken down into sub- tasks that can be performed individually.• Its strategy allows very tight control is mindlessly applied.
Bottom-up• Focuses on the output required and then works upwards through the processes needed to produce the output.• Used in an oraganizations where the various department responsible for one stage in the production view the completion of their task as the end of their environment
Middle-out Unplanned process and might be characterized by four broad stages:• Indentifying the information needed and starting production• Bringing in equipment as it is needed• Checking the product and modifying where necessary• Calculating the cost at the end, if at all
• A middle-out planning strategy often operates without detailed costings and without a progressive timeline.• The strategy works small group of people working together in the same room.• Operates without the usual planning constraints and with little hierarchy of authority. It is sometimes called “muddle out”.
Producing information to meet user’s needs• Involves establishing procedures to cover all stages of the technology process, having access to suitable production equipment and following a timetable to meet established deadlines.
Research procedures include:• Interviewing potential users/audiences• Analyzing audience characteristics and users‟ needs• Preparing a checklist of information content that is to be output• Indentifying software to produce the output effectively• Identifying hardware to run the software efficiently• Checking availability of equipment• Costing tasks and resources associated which each stage of the project
Design procedures include:• Creating a template of output layout• Annotating a mock-up of output with suggested font styles and sizes• Creating a timeline with estimated dates for milestones• Preparing evaluation criteria
Production procedures include:• Establishing file names for identifying drafts• Validating accuracy of content against a checklist• Validating layout against design mock-up• Producing an evaluation checklist• Producing the information product
Evaluation procedures include: • Testing final product against evaluation criteria • Deciding on modifications arising from test survey
Time four important concepts related to the timing of tasks:• Duration• Predecessors• Lead• Lag
• The duration of each task is estimated and a timeline constructed. Some tasks have to be completed before others: these are called predecessors.
• Some tasks can be started while others are only partly completed. The overlap in their start to finish is called lead.• Some task need to have a “setting in” time before the next task is started. The delay time is called lag time.
Allocating task and responsibilities example: the task „scan images‟ would require the name of a person and the use of a scanner to be allocated.
Resources Name Category Cost per Cost hour outright People Jay Staff $25 Sally Staff $25 Materials Paper $400 Film $75Equipments Camera Hire $36 $550 Scanner Hire $45 $120 Space Darkroom Rent $75 Studio Rent $50 Editing In house $25
Monitoring progress Monitoring the progress of a project involves setting a detailed timeline, and this requires: • Identifying tasks and subtasks • Estimating subtasks duration • Selecting indicators to mark the completion of a major stage • Sequencing the task and setting predecessors
Setting timeline • All task are listed in the order in which they need to be executed. Determining indicators •When a stage in the process is completed, a milestone is reached.
• Milestones need to be identified to monitor the project timetable. Milestones have zero duration; they are markers of a task completed and are not tasks themselves.For example, party invitations and programs for sports carnivals must be ready some weeks before the event.Milestones help keep the production on schedule.
The selection of hardware and software to meet information processing needs is aided by completing details under the headings in the following checklist.Selecting hardware Selecting softwareRAM Application requiredScreen resolution Files typePrinter Graphics/text/soundModern speed Operating System compatibilityOperating System compatibility