Ten Guidelines for Strategic MIS Planning
Robert V. Head, a consultant on MIS planning, provided ten guidelines to help MIS executives who are on the threshold of experimenting with strategic MIS planning:
1. Make provisions in the systems plan for taking small steps rapidly. “Don’t have a plan with goals extending so far into the future that there is no way of tracking it.” 2. Develop alternative plans when significant contradictory trends are discerned in business objectives or technology. 3. Interface the systems plan with the corporate plan, modifying both appropriately. 4. Document the systems plan in a format intelligible to top management and arrange for personal presentation. 5. Establish a formal mechanism for review and reiteration of the systems plan. 6. Develop a system for tabulating and forecasting utilization of installed data processing (DP) equipment. 7. Fix the organizational responsibility for systems planning. 8. Rotate the assignment of technical personnel to the planning staff in order to avoid an “ivory tower aura.” 9. Budget for research and development.
10. Set up a comparative systems intelligence activity.
a. What can be the drawback of having a formal system as mentioned in point 5? b. Can transparency make organizational responsibility more effective?
Unraveling the Jargon
The consultant’s reply was: “In my investigation of your applications portfolios, I’ve applied … to the logical data structures and have discovered a very high frequency – approximately 93.286% - of data embedded in application program logic which is largely responsible for the integrity and synchronization problem currently being encountered. As a solution, I would recommend the design of a master database each of which would employ relational technology to reduce the database to third normal form. This would eliminate the possibility of semantic disintegrity upon querying the database.”
a. Try to guess...