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In this age of technological advancement, information technology managers know well enough that their field covers a vast area and influences people’s lives. Beginning with the individual person to an organization or an entire country, a technological system is being used. Gone are the days when “computer systems were only for engineers and programmers” (Grudin, 1994). These days, even small children are considered active users of the latest technology that is out in the public. It is ebbed in the lives of many. One can hardly function without technology. Many business establishments will definitely fail without the presence of a useful technological system, thus making it efficient and effective. Relationships are strengthened through the advanced technology of communicating with each other.
To further improve the systems development process, IT managers should minimize the influence that the clients have in creating designs and deciding for features in models of the system. While it is true that clients should come first in order to achieve success in project management, it is also vital to let them know the things that they can and can not do for the system (Ouellette and Associates (2010). Being mindful of clients’ wishes, desires, and needs, can help create a very efficient technological model that is useful for the socio-technical clients. Yet, by always being mindful of what the clients want and need, the system will not be able to stand on its own. It will constantly change according to how the clients are pleased. Developing a system is costly, and changing it every now and then will make the latest model expensive to compensate for the loss of the previous one. The clients will always choose what is new and will always try the latest offer of convenience from the technological world.
IT management should be able to see that “it’s not all about process” (Oullette and Associates, 2010). While it is necessary to design and build a system and be able to develop a product, the end users should always be kept in mind. It is very important to have a good relationship with the clients to know what their needs are and to meet such needs. Additionally, user-centered design must engage real users in order to be able to reconcile with the system (Dillon, 2000). System designs that are user-centered are meant for usability, thus enabling users to understand the concept of interaction using the system by thoroughly examining the details. These systems are not new to technology developers. In fact, it was known to have been around over the last two decades (Dillon, 2000).
Oullette and Associates (2010) listed “understand your clients” as one of the tenets of success in the art of project management, reiterating further that one cannot render a better service without knowing the clients and their needs. With such knowledge about the clients’ needs in mind, the manager can look for ways to win their trust and approval, thus providing them with a good service. In so doing, a relationship is built, and the client will certainly seek to re-experience the service because of being valued as a person. In the same way, IT must reach out to the people who are end users of their products/projects. With the fast movement of the system in the real world, it is very important to focus on the clients’ needs and what would be effective for the entire system, rather than creating a costly system without even knowing if it will be useful or not. There should be a criteria for effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction that must be derived from the social not the individual context of use (Dillon, 2000). An updated gadget model comes every now and then, providing a better service and giving more convenience to the users. It is intertwined with their daily life, making the person’s dealings more comfortable and effective. Active users can even get involved in the development process of the system. The benefits will be enormous, beginning with new ideas, new technology, new design or anything that is unique, since the clients have voiced out what they want and shared their talents and abilities regarding the product that they want to use. Once the relationship is harmonious, there is a free flowing of energy and people can think of various things. People’s talents and ideas are endless. Thus, creating such a bridge between the organization and the people will optimize the process of development, as both parties are able to interact with each other. When the clients are confident that they are being listened to and their words are highly valued, they will certainly share what is on their minds. Success comes by valuing the people around you, especially the clients. However, clients’ participation can also pose varied problems in designing and developing a technology system.
While it’s true that there is no need to become engineers or attend computer science courses to be able to use these technological products, usability is not enough to make technology acceptable to the socio-technical world. According to Dillon (2000), involving users in a process that is costly, politicized and management-driven is always going to have problems. Man’s insatiable thirst to acquire something new would lead to rapid changes of the models, making the earlier technology old and obsolete, and ultimately ready to be discarded. Obviously, giving the total reign to the clients would create confusion in the system’s development design. Due to being given a chance to voice out their ideas, opinions, and desires, they would feel part of the system, yet the ultimate decision of the model must rest with the developers themselves who will pay due consideration to what the users want and need.
In a large-scale business, clients’ ideas cannot be followed all the time. The organization needs to stand on its own, create its own product design, make necessary revisions and develop a system according to what suits the organization. The clients will be asked (through a survey, for example) about the system model’s effect on their lives as a whole or on their business. However, they cannot make any decisions on whether the product will be changed and thrown away. The point is that the clients, who should be the center of designing a system, can share their ideas, opinions, wants, and needs but cannot operate the system themselves. Therefore, if IT managers do not always think of pleasing the clients when developing a system, they can create something that is needed (since clients were asked about their needs, too) not only by an individual but by a larger number of users.
IT projects, such as more advanced system, wider degree of coverage, and other powerful tools, continue to evolve, and that proves that the system develops in due course. However, with its soaring success there still come the problems that have been tagging along for many years. In universities, for example, students who focus on learning how to manage and operate the system learn more about programming rather than the system itself (Sommerville, 2011). Sommerville (2011) further points out that many university professors cannot really keep up with the changes in the world. Their focus is on their career advancement. With their knowledge and experience, they conduct researches that show intellectual capacity, yet lack the value to be adapted in the real world. Sometimes, the teachers teach the students how to use the system but they themselves are not actually using it for some reason. A real-time example for this is one computer professor who used to teach in a university in Chicago. He was asked by a friend of mine for help in using Skype for his interview. Shockingly, this professor who seemed very advanced in the knowledge of researching anything that has to do with technology, the Internet, computer, and advanced software did not not know how to make Skype work. He ended up asking a couple of other instructors who did not hold a degree in computer science but were more up-to-date on the latest in new technology and using it in their daily life. Situations like this can be a slap in the face for the educators who do not take time to really use the system. They can teach the theory and methodology but not the actual usage. It also shows that people do not actually need a degree to be able to use technological advancement in computing, as long as they are surrounded with it, received either formal or informal instructions on how to use it, and had some hands-on experience using such systems. As teachers need to refocus themselves towards their goal of teaching their students, IT managers also need to re-evaluate their focus on the things that are crucial. Since it is very costly to design a software, is it not possible to create one with the users’ benefits in mind? In this way, the system will be effective and useful.