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There's no excuse for failure: tips on how businesses can develop effective information systems.

It is a distributing reality that more than 70 percent of all information systems developed within Canadian companies today are never implemented.

It is a disturbing reality that more than 70 percent of all information systems developed within Canadian companies today are never implemented.

This means that the computer system which was originally intended to make a company more efficient, productive and cost-effective, is in the end doing the exact opposite -- namely, wasting time, money and valuable manpower.

Companies blame their unfinished systems projects on such factors as poor technology, excessive budgets, and lack of employee interest.

Yet, all these factors can be easily avoided. All that is needed to develop and implement successful systems is a strong corporate commitment and a basic formula which has proven effective time after time. By following the 10 guidelines below, any company can install and implement a successful, efficient system quickly and with minimal disruption to the workplace.

1. UNDERSTAND YOUR WORKPLACE

Every company must fully understand its existing environment in order to successfully change it. That means objectively seeing the big picture -- how your business functions and why, the individual roles of your employees and how each fits together, your company's channels of communication, its policies and procedures, etc.

2. DEFINE A VISION FOR THE FUTURE

This objective view will help your company develop a clear vision of the future. To assist in creating this vision and assessing its effectiveness without the influence of biases, an outside specialist can be consulted. Whatever automation decision is made, it should always represent a process of painting the big picture of your business.

3. SHARE THE VISION

In order for the system to be successful, all those who are involved in its development must fully buy into the process and end-product. This will also help further define specific goals and expectations.

4. ORGANIZE A STEERING COMMITTEE

This committee, which must be headed by the executive who is most affected by the success or failure of the project, has to be committed and involved throughout all stages. The goal is for the executive to keep this group informed of developments on a regular basis (once a week is ideal for major projects), get their input, and have them help ensure a smooth transition to the through the CCALW, will initiate on-going research projects at the national levels. As well, the committee will conduct case studies, examining selected companies and their different approaches to workplace active living. The creation of a comprehensive list of criteria used to gauge successful workplace active living programs will result from this research.

In an effort to broaden its network base, the CCALW, in co-operation with forum participants, hope to identify partners from national networks that include labour, the corporate community and the media. As well, plans to expand upon resource development and related services include making use of existing and new networks for material distribution.

Companies will be asked to play a lead role in promoting the benefits of active living to other interested organizations within business and labour. To support this action, the CCALW is inviting companies, labour unions, related organizations from fitness, recreation and sport, health promotion, occupational safety, health care and others to join with them in making workplace active living opportunities available to all Canadian workers.

Finally, in outlining several key decisions that resulted from the forum, the CCALW points out that Canadian business, labour and government must be proactive. They must recognize that an important step in minimizing the drain of change in today's work environment starts with their employees. In coping with the challenges of managing work and homelife, in attempting to keep pace with rapid technological change, in trying to find balance between personal and professional responsibilities, employees are looking to employers for help. Active living programs represent an effective, cost-efficient and fun way to answer this call.

Active living programs can help Carol to take charge of her life, contribute to her personal energy, discover her potential, enjoy the rewards of an enhanced quality of life, and increase her ability to cope with the challenges of daily living. They can help Carol to approach her job with a sense of value and worth--knowing that her employer cares for her well-being, and looks to her ability to remain productive, both at work and at home, as being important.

GETTING INVOLVED

To become part of the CCALW network, which includes over 3,000 professionals from fitness and health organizations, corporations, national associations, unions and governments in Canada, contact Steve Grundy, CCALW Director, 1600 James Naismith Drive, Suite 312, Gloucester, Ontario, K1B 5N4, telephone (613) 748-5738, or fax (613) 748-5734.

Organizations will receive access to helpful resources and publications, promotional videos, research and other timely information to help develop and promote workplace active living.

Joe Doiron is a consultant in communications servicing the fitness and recreation community in Canada.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Canadian Institute of Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:El Raheb, Selim
Publication:Canadian Manager
Date:Sep 22, 1992
Words:813
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