The state Department of Corrections (DOC) is currently upgrading their information system to interact with new federal government’s system. The DOC has hired Robin a senior consultant for a large consulting firm to perform such upgrades that cost $100 million and is partially being funded by the federal government (case). While many are opposed to the idea for various reasons the project is underway.
The single most important objective in this case is the concern for the system errors that may arise from such technology. Employees fear that possible system errors can lead to the release of inmates. Additionally, many employees, such as Donna for example, prefer to do work the old fashioned way and do not seem to accept the changes brought upon by technology. Moreover, the governor does not agree with the decision to continue spending more money on information systems for the DOC even though the decision was made prior to his election (case). Additionally, the senior consultant that was hired, Robin, has never worked for the state government and is not familiar with the legal system which is highly important given that vital information must be included in the new upgrades in order to have both systems linked.
Assess Current Situation
Currently the expectations and needs for the project are not being clearly understood by the hired consultant, Robin. While Robin has worked with such projects in the past, she has never worked for the government and knows very little about the state legal system. Developing software that will be linked to the federal government’s system can be challenging since certain legal ramifications need to be taken into consideration. Additionally, many employees are not keen with having to switch over to the new technology and prefer their traditional old fashioned ways which they are accustomed to. This may poses a problem to the DOC given that their software will now be updated and more technologically advanced and some workers may be against these changes.
Short Term Goals
• Have the information systems upgraded immediately.
• Interact with Robin and advise of all the needs and expectations of the DOC.
• Make sure that the DOC and the new federal system properly interact with one another.
• Make sure that there are no system errors that can cause to potential inmate releases due to system errors.
Long Term Goals
• Adequately train all personnel on the new software and the benefits of implementing technology to their work.
• Continue updates on software in order not to spend a lump sum of money for such outdated equipment.
• Compose an internal IT department that will provide the necessary updates to all software and answer all employee questions and problems regarding technology.
Identify Root Causes
The root cause for the Department of Corrections is the lack of information systems provided to employees. This has led to employees such as Donna to continue doing work the old fashioned way and not properly adapt to the emergence of technology. This has led to employees not trusting the new information systems project because of their lack of knowledge for technology which has also led them to fear this change. According to Richard Grimes, “very often it is hard for the more experienced members of a department to make a transition from the comfortable habits and success to which they have become accustomed to the new (and self-image threatening) tools and practices of change.”
Clearly the DOC could have turned to other options that could have improved the situation they were currently facing. For starters, DOC could have adequately trained their personnel on technology usage and implemented such technology in order to minimize the fear of system