Management information systems revision question and answer

CPA-Quantitative-Analysis-Section-4 BLOCK RELEASE

Farmquip Ltd. designs and manufactures irrigation equipment. The irrigation equipments are sold to flower nationality. The company regards customer service, that is the ability to respond effectively and properly to service calls as critical to its success.

Initially, field engineers inspect faulty irrigation equipment. Currently three quarters of the faulty irrigation equipment are referred to the repair centre, to be mended the repair centre.

Engineers, resulting in a turnaround time of up to 10 days. The company has decided to investigate the possibility of carrying out more field repairs with the aid of a portable expert system, in order to reduce the turnaround time.

The prototyping approach was used, and an evaluation of the final prototype made it clear that an expert system used in conjunction with 11.1ptop microcomputer would improve the situation to the extent that only 10% of irrigation equipment would need to be returned to the repair centre, with majority of repairs being carried out at the customers‘ premises the field engineers.

Required
(a) Define the term expert system and explain how it could be of use in this context.

(b) What is meant prototyping? Briefly comment on its advantages and disadvantages and explain how this approach is used.

(c) Discuss the changes that would take place if the expert system was implemented in terms of position, status; tasks and responsibilities of engineers at the company‘s repair centre and in the field.
ANSWER
An expert system is an intelligent computer system which uses knowledge and interface procedures to solve problems that are difficult enough to require significant human experts for their solution.
It is a computer-based system that simulates the human thought process or reasoning to solve problems which require human expertise. It enables non-experts in a given filed to achieve comparable results to human experts in that field.
In this context, the expert system will help in solving time in repairs and reduce cost drastically which would have incurred on the repair engineers.

Prototyping is a technique for quickly building a functioning, but incomplete model of the information system using rapid application development tools. Prototypes typically evolve into the final version of the system or application.

Advantages of prototyping
 It is useful for projects in which user requirements are uncertain or imprecise.
 It encourages active user and management participation (as opposed to a passive reaction to non-working system models). This increase end-user enthusiasm for the project.
 Projects have higher visibility and support because of extensive user involvement throughout the process.
 Users and management see working, software-based solutions more rapidly than in model-driven development.

Errors and omissions tend to be detected earlier in prototypes than in system models.
 Testing and training is a natural by-product of the underlying prototyping approach.
 The interactive approach is a more ―natural‖ fit because change is an expected factor
during development.
 It reduces risk because you test the technical solution iteratively instead of making a wholesale commitment to any solution.

Disadvantages of prototyping

There can be considerable pressure to implement an early prototype. Often users observing a working model cannot understand why the early prototype has to be refined further. The fact that the prototype has to be expanded to handle transaction volumes, terminal networks, back up and recovery procedures, as well as provide for audit ability and control is not often understood.

It often leads to functions or extras being added to the system that are not included in the initial requirements document. All major enhancements beyond the initial requirements document should be reviewed to ensure that they need the strategic needs of the organization and are cost effective otherwise, the final system can end up being functionally rich but inefficient.

The finished system will have poor controls. By focusing mainly on what the user wants and what the user uses, system developers may miss some of the controls that come out of the traditional system development approach, such a back up recovery, security and audit trails. Change control often becomes much more complicated with prototypes systems. Changes in designs and requirements happen so quickly that they are seldom documented or approved and can escalate to a point of being unmaintainable.

How this approach is used
Build the model to create the design. Then based on that model, develop the system with all the processing capabilities needed.
(c)
– Retrenchment of some engineers
– Some specialized positions would be faced out for instance some engineers may have acquired specialization due to many years of experience hence regarded special in position such positions may be faced out the new system, leading to loss of status in the organization
– The new system may lower morals of those affected negatively it.
– Repositioning of staff, some engineers may be assigned other responsibilities, which may be different from what they used to do and probably not in the engineering sector.

(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)
Share this on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *