The institute employs several thousand employees. It is the home of museums, research centers, and offices. Millions of people each year, ranging from visitors to scientists, visit the sites. Like most institutes, it has grown over the years and has outgrown its information technology infrastructure. The aging application systems were based on technology that had become very difficult to change and adapt to the increasing needs of the institute. To address the need for change, the institute developed a vision and plan to update the IT environment. The vision included all areas of the institute. This case study will focus on the governance structure and the implementation of a human resources management system.

At the institute, an IT governance structure was put in place to address the modernization. This included the following:

The Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) advises and assists the CIO in establishing and implementing IT management policies, procedures, and practices.

The Change Control Board (CCB) for hardware and software changes to the IT infrastructure. The CCB addresses the impact of changes to the infrastructure and ensures minimal disruption in services and operations.

The primary objectives of IT Management Review Board (IMRB) are to address project success factors and ensure that risk is managed by completing assessments at key project milestones.

This structure ensures consistency throughout the institution by standardizing hardware, software, and data. The following four governing strategies represent fundamental principles for managing IT resources and meeting the information needs of the institute:

Project management, including a proven implementation methodology and support process, baselined project plans in order to evaluate project progress and ensure the proper mix of functional and technical resources are available and working together on the project.

Application software and business process reengineering, thereby minimizing modifications.

Data management standards to ensure the interoperability across systems.

IT infrastructure: hardware, network, and system software that is current, secure, scalable and consistent across applications. Resources Management

Human resources provide recruiting, compensation and recognition, planning and consulting, employee and labor relations, and training services.

The legacy system did not have the ability to capture data at the source and use it for multiple purposes, resulting in errors and delays.

The integrated HR management system (HRMS) that replaced the legacy system provided information, immediately delivering the services required, and it replaced current labor-intensive paperbound processes.

The project to implement the PeopleSoft HRMS took three years and was delivered in phases.

The system was in full production and stable in a relatively short time frame.nefits

The HRMS ERP investment supports and modernized the institute’s HR management systems. In addition, the IT infrastructure was state of the art.

The approach had three critical success factors:

  • Implementation team was involved in all aspects of the implementation from the hardware configuration to the “fit-gap” analysis.
  • All changes were evaluated based on the original set of requirements.
  • This involved the functional users from the beginning all the way through testing and stabilization.

This is a good example of setting up an ERP system implementation effectively from the beginning: It had the support of senior management, the reason for change was developed and conveyed to the organization, and an overall vision for the institution was incorporated into the IT strategic plan. The organization developed measurable goals for the HRMS project with actual results documented as each component was implemented to determine the level of success.

Case Questions

  1. What were the key strategies or success factors for HRMS ERP implementation?
  2. Why was the governance so important to the project?
  3. In setting up goals for each system component, what did the institute do that many businesses or institutions do not with an ERP implementation?

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