Stage 1: Strategic Use of Technology
Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study on Maryland Technology Consultants (MTC). MTC is a fictional company created for IFSM 300’s Case Study. It is also recommended that you review the additional Stages (2, 3 and 4) as well as the vendor brochure provided for Stage 4. This will help you understand the overall report and potential solution.
As a business analyst in the Chief Information Officer’s (CIO’s) department of Maryland Technology Consulting (MTC), you have been assigned to conduct an analysis, develop a set of system requirements, evaluate a proposed solution, and develop an implementation plan for an IT solution (applicant tracking or hiring system) to improve the hiring process for MTC. This work will be completed in four stages, and each of these four stages will focus on one section of an overall Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) report to be delivered to the CIO.
Section I. Strategic Use of Technology (Stage 1) – The first step is to look at the organization and explain how an IT system could be used to support MTC’s strategies and objectives and support its decision-making processes.
Section II. Process Analysis (Stage 2) – Next you will evaluate current processes and workflow and explain how MTC can use IT to improve its processes and workflow.
Section III. Requirements (Stage 3) –Then you will identify key stakeholder expectations for the new technology solution to support MTC’s hiring process and develop a set of requirements.
Section IV. System Recommendation (Stage 4) – Finally, you will review the provided Vendor brochure for a proposed applicant tracking system and explain how it meets the requirements and what needs to be done to implement the system within MTC.
The sections of the BA&SR will be developed and submitted as four staged assignments. For stages 1, 2, and 3, only the material associated with that stage will be graded. The stage 2, 3, and 4 submissions will include the stage that is due, which will be graded according to the assignment requirements and rubric criteria, as well as include all previously submitted stages with any revisions made. It is recommended that when preparing stages 2, 3, and 4, you review any feedback from previous assignments to help improve the effectiveness of your overall report and increase the likelihood of a well-written final submission. For stage 4, the complete BA&SR submission includes grading criteria for evaluating if the document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted across all sections and flows smoothly from one section to the next.
Assignment – BA&SR: Introduction and Section I. Strategic Use of Technology
Write an appropriate Introduction to the entire BA&SR Report (guidelines are provided below). Section I of the BA&SR document contains an organizational analysis and identifies ways in which an information system to improve the hiring process can help MTC, the organization in the case study, meet its strategic goals and meet the information needs of various levels of management.
Using the case study, assignment instructions, Content readings, and external research, develop your Introduction and Section I. Strategic Use of Technology. To start, review the readings in Weeks 1 and 2. The case study tells you that the executives and employees at MTC have identified a need for an effective and efficient applicant tracking or hiring system. As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis.
Begin your report with a clear, concise, well organized introduction to explain why you are writing and what is to come in the complete BA&SR report (not just Stage 1). This should briefly set the context for MTC – business purpose, environment, and current challenges related to hiring. Then specifically provide what is to come in the full report. Keep your audience in mind – this is an internal report for the CIO of MTC. Provide an introduction in one paragraph that engages the reader’s interest in continuing to read your report.
1. Strategic Use of Technology
a. Business Strategy – In this section, you should clearly present – at a broad level – what MTC’s business strategy is (refer to case study information), then what issues the current manual hiring process may present that interfere with achieving that strategy, and how improving the hiring process will benefit MTC and support its business strategy. (Use two to three strong sentences that explain how the system would support the strategy and justify your position with specifics from the Case Study.)
b. Competitive Advantage – First, provide an overview of the competitive environment that MTC is currently operating in based on information from the case study. Then explain how and why MTC can use the new hiring system to increase its competitive advantage and help achieve its overall business strategy. Your explanation should demonstrate your understanding of what competitive advantage is as well as how improving the hiring process will help achieve MTC’s competitive advantage. Include how MTC can use the type of data or information that will be in the hiring system to improve its competitive advantage. (Paragraph of 4-5 sentences)
c. Strategic Objectives– Review the four Strategic Goals presented in the Strategic Business Plan section of the MTC Case Study. The CIO has asked you to come up with an example of an objective to help meet each goal and explain how a new hiring system would help achieve that objective. As you can see from the example provided in the table below, an objective is a statement that is clear (not vague) and is something that can be measured or evaluated to determine whether it has been met or not. An important part of setting objectives is that they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). In order to evaluate whether an objective has been achieved, it’s important to be able to measure it. Consider this difference – Student wants to get a degree (non-specific and not measurable) vs. Student wants to earn a degree in Information Systems Management by May 2020. (This objective provides specific what and when.) First, insert an introductory opening sentence for this table. Then, for each of the rows listed below, complete the table with the requested information. (Provide an introductory sentence and copy the table. Create an objective for each of the 3 remaining goals and explain using 2-3 complete sentences for each.)
d. Decision Making – In the reading, “How Information Supports Decision Making,” you were introduced to the information requirements of various levels of the organization. First, insert an introductory opening sentence for this section. Then, for each of the management roles listed below, complete the table with the appropriate level (as defined in the reading – one word is all that is required in this column), an example of a specific decision supported by the Hiring System to be made at that level, and what type of information from the hiring system would be needed to support that decision. Think about what information the hiring system could provide about applicants, etc., and then identify an example of a decision that might be made by each level of management. A decision is a choice or conclusion that the management might make about business operations or future planning. This is not about the decisions about implementing a new technology solution or about general responsibilities of each role. Example: A decision example could be stated as: CEO decides to expand MTC’s services to include cybersecurity. He can make this decision because the hiring system provides information that many applicants have the needed skills, certifications and experience to enable MTC to easily recruit IT consultants in this area.
Stage 2: Process Analysis
Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and reviewed the feedback received on your Stage 1 assignment.
As the business analyst in the CIO’s department of Maryland Technology Consulting (MTC), your next task in developing your Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) Report is to conduct a process analysis. This will identify how the current manual process is working and what improvements could be made to the process that would be supported by a technology solution.
Assignment – BA&SR: Section II. Process Analysis
The first step is to review any feedback from Stage 1 to help improve the effectiveness of your overall report and then add the new section to your report. Only content for Stage 2 will be graded for this submission. Part of the grading criteria for Stage 4 includes evaluating if the document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted and flows smoothly from one section to the next. For this assignment, you will add Section II of the Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) Report to Section I. You will conduct an analysis of the current hiring process and present information on expected business improvements. This analysis lays the ground work for Section III. Requirements of the BA&SR Report (Stage 3 assignment) which will identify MTC’s requirements for a system.
Using the case study, assignment instructions, Content readings, and external research, develop your Section II. Process Analysis. The case study tells you that the executives and employees at MTC have identified a need for an effective and efficient hiring system. As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis. As the stakeholders provide their needs and expectations to improve the process, identify steps that could be improved with the support of a hiring system. Also look for examples of issues and problems that can be improved with a technology solution.
Begin with your Section I (Stage 1 assignment) and add Section II. Apply specific information from the case study to address each area along with relevant supporting research.
2. Process Analysis
a. Hiring Process- At the beginning of this section, write an introductory opening sentence for this section that addresses what the complete table provides. Refer to Week 3 and 4 content on processes and analyzing process improvements. Additional research can expand your knowledge of these areas.
The first step in analyzing the process is to document what the current process steps are and who is responsible for doing them. Therefore, the table provides the current steps in the manual hiring process provided by the case study. Remember, a process is a series of steps to perform a task; therefore, think about what the users are doing as part of the hiring process. Retain the as-is process steps provided; do not remove or revise these. Complete the second column by identifying the stakeholder responsible for this step based on the interviews in the MTC Case.
The next step is to identify how a hiring or applicant tracking system could improve each step in the process and how the business will benefit from that improvement. For each of the as-is process steps provided, complete the To-Be Process column in the table. indicating how this step in the process will be done using the hiring or applicant tracking system. For each process step, the statement should be concise and include an action verb and align with improving or replacing the current manual, as-is process step provided. Then complete the Business Benefits of the Improved Process column by explaining how this part of the process can contribute to the overall business strategy – think at a higher level than the specific process step. Review the examples provided in the Hiring Process table. For each to-be process step, identify the result of using the system, as shown in the two examples. While it is true that the system will speed up each step of the process, think about how MTC would benefit more strategically from using an automated system to perform that step.
b. Expected Improvements – As noted in the case study, there are a lot of manual processes, overwhelming paperwork, difficulty scheduling interviews, etc. related to MTC’s current manual hiring process. A technology solution can address many of these issues. For each of the areas listed in the table below, provide an example of an issue from the case study and how a technology solution could be used to improve that area. Issues and improvements should be addressed in 1-2 clear, complete sentences with information incorporated from the case study. The first one is provided as an example. Note: This is not about the stakeholders’ wishes or expectations for the new system but identifying the current issues they have. Some may be explicitly stated in the interviews and for others you may need to apply some critical thinking. (Provide an introductory sentence and copy the table and insert information within.) For explanations of these areas, refer to Week 4 content on analyzing process improvements. Additional research can expand your knowledge of these areas.
Stage 3: Requirements
Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and reviewed the feedback received on your Stage 1 and 2 assignments.
As the business analyst in the CIO’s department of Maryland Technology Consulting (MTC), your next task in developing your Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) Report is to develop a set of requirements for the hiring system.
Assignment – BA&SR Section III. Requirements
The first step is to review any feedback from previous stages to help improve the effectiveness of your overall report and then add the new section to your report. Only content for Stage 3 will be graded for this submission. Part of the grading criteria for Stage 4 includes evaluating if the document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted and flows smoothly from one section to the next. For this assignment, you will add Section III of the Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) Report to your Sections I and II. In this section you will identify requirements for the new hiring system. This analysis leads into Section IV. System Recommendation of the BA&SR (Stage 4 assignment) that will analyze a proposed IT solution to ensure it meets MTC’s organizational strategy and fulfills its operational needs.
Using the case study, assignment instructions, Content readings, and external research, develop your Section III. Requirements. The case study tells you that the executives and employees at Maryland Technology Consultants (MTC) have identified a need for an effective and efficient applicant tracking or hiring system. As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis. In particular, look for information in the interviews to provide stakeholder interests and needs.
a. Stakeholder Interests – Review the interest or objectives for the new hiring system for each stakeholder listed below based on his or her organizational role and case study information. Consider how the technology will improve how his/her job is done; that is, identify what each of the stakeholders needs the hiring system to do. Then to complete the table below, use information from the stakeholder interviews and identify one significant challenge or problem for each stakeholder related to the current hiring process (not their future expectations). Then explain how a system could address their problems. Do not define what that position does in the organization.
b. Defining Requirements – The next step is to identify the essential requirements for the information system. In addition to the stakeholder interests identified above, review the Case Study, especially the interviews, highlighting any statements that tell what the person expects or needs the system to do. User requirements express specifically what the user needs the system to do. This can be in terms of tasks the users need to perform, data they need to input, what the system might do with that data input, and output required. System performance requirements express how the system will perform in several performance areas and security. As a member of the CIO’s organization, you will use your professional knowledge to Identify 5 User Requirements (including one specifically related to reporting) and 5 System Performance Requirements (including 2 security-related requirements). Refer to Week 5 content on requirements; security requirements are covered in Week 6. Additional research can expand your knowledge of these areas.
Once you have identified the 10 requirements, evaluate each one using the criteria below and create 10 well-written requirements statements for the new hiring system.
The requirement statement:
- Is a complete sentence, with a subject (system) and predicate (intended result, action or condition).
- Identifies only one requirement; does not include the words “and,” “also,” “with,” and “or.”
- For User Requirements, states what tasks the system will support or perform.
- For System Performance Requirements, states how the system will perform.
- Includes a measure or metric that can be used to determine whether the requirement is met (time or quantity), where appropriate.
- Is stated in positive terms and uses “must” (not “shall,” “may” or “should”); “the system must xxxx” not “the system must not xxx”.
- Avoids the use of terms that cannot be defined and measured, such as “approximately,” “robust,” “user friendly,” etc.
- Is achievable and realistic; avoids terms such as “100% uptime,” or “no failures”.
For a full requirements document, there will be many requirement statements; you only need to provide the number of requirements identified for each category. Do not provide generic statements but relate to the needs of MTC to improve its hiring process.
Stage 4: System Recommendation and Final BA&SR Report
Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and reviewed the feedback received on your Stage 1, 2 and 3 assignments.
As the business analyst in the CIO’s department of Maryland Technology Consulting (MTC), your next task in working towards an IT solution to improve the hiring process at MTC is to write a justification and implementation plan for a system that the CIO has decided will meet MTC’s needs. The system, EZ-ATS, is described in the vendor brochure provided with this assignment. The vendor, UMUC Hiring Solutions, Inc., and EZ-ATS are fictitious names created for use with this case study but based on real-world SaaS application information. In this Stage 4 assignment, you will explain how the selected system meets MTC’s requirements, and what needs to be done to implement the system within MTC. You will combine Stages 1-4 to provide a complete final BA&SR Report.
Assignment – BA&SR Section IV. System Recommendation and Summary & Conclusion
The first step is to review any feedback from previous stages to help improve the effectiveness of your overall report and then add the new section to your report. In addition to the Stage 4 content, part of the grading criteria for this final stage includes evaluating if the document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted and flows smoothly from one section to the next
Section IV of the Business Analysis and System Recommendation Report will explain how the selected system helps MTC achieve its strategy, improve its hiring process, and meet its system requirements, and you will explain how each implementation area might be addressed to help ensure a successful implementation of the technology solution.
Using the case study, assignment instructions, vendor brochure, Course readings (in particular, Implementing a SaaS Solution and Developing a System Proposal) and external research, develop your Section IV. System Recommendation. Approximate lengths for each section are provided as a guideline; be sure to provide all pertinent information.
As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis; in addition, review information provided in earlier stages of this report to identify where the proposed solution can address the needs and requirements.
4. System Recommendation
a. System Justification
Provided with the Stage 4 Assignment Instructions is a brochure that describes an IT solution that the CIO has selected, with the HR Director’s endorsement, to meet the needs of improving MTC’s hiring process. In Stage 1, you analyzed the strategy and objectives for MTC and how a technology solution to improve the hiring process would contribute. In Stage 2, you analyzed how to improve the hiring process with a technology solution, and in Stage 3 you identified specific requirements. After reviewing the EZ-ATS Brochure, briefly describe the recommended solution. Then, describe how that selected solution aligns with achieving the strategy, improves the process, and meets the requirements. Write two to three clear, concise, well-organized paragraphs to summarize this assessment. Don’t just repeat information from previous stages but synthesize this information and provide strong information and justification to explain why this proposed solution is a good fit for MTC. Don’t describe details of the functionality but address overall how this solution will address the current issues with the manual hiring process and benefit MTC. Remember you are writing a report to your boss, the CIO of MTC, that he can use to convince the leadership team why this is the best solution based on your analysis.
b. Implementation Areas
To successfully implement this technology solution, MTC will need to develop an Implementation Plan and below is a list of key implementation areas that should be included. First, provide a brief introduction to this section – what it contains and why an Implementation Plan is so important for MTC. Then address each of the seven (7) areas below to explain what MTC needs to do (with support by the vendor). Provide the numbered heading and then write one to two paragraphs to address the area. The sub-areas (a,b,c, etc.) contain questions and areas to help guide your thinking about what should be covered and should be incorporated within your response to the major category. For an explanation of the implementation areas, refer to the Week 7 Reading “Implementing a SaaS Solution” as well as conduct additional external research. The vendor brochure provides information for some of these areas, but you need to include what MTC must do as well. Remember you are writing this section to help MTC plan for a successful implementation. It is not sufficient to just indicate “Vendor provides” or “employees need to be trained.” In addition to incorporating course content, external research on implementation areas will strengthen your understanding and explanation. The goal for this section is to help MTC know what needs to happen in each area and who might be responsible for given activities to help support a successful implementation of EZ-ATS.
1. Vendor agreement (MTC must enter into a contractual agreement with the vendor before full implementation. This identifies responsibilities as well as costs.) Incorporate answers to the following questions in your paragraph – do not include the questions themselves.
- What does the vendor require from MTC to be able to start using the system?
- How much will it cost to get access to and configure the system for MTC’s use?
- How much will it cost per month to support 60 system users?
- What option is offered for MTC to just try out the system to see how it works?
2. Hardware and telecommunications (Although this is a SaaS solution, MTC must ensure that its IT infrastructure can support the use of the system and that its employees can correctly access the system.) Include the following:
- List the types of hardware MTC employees can use to access the system.
- Identify what kind of telecommunications will be used for the solution, including local connectivity inside MTC and Internet access from outside MTC.
- List any other considerations related to ensuring employees can access the applicant tracking system.
3. Configuration (Even SaaS solutions require a degree of configuration for each client. What needs to be done to implement the MTC job requisitions, workflow, reports, terminology and/or logo/graphics?) (Include the answers to the questions below, but not the questions themselves.)
- What options does the vendor offer for configuring the off-the-shelf system to MTC’s needs?
- How will the configuration be done and by whom?
- Once MTC has signed up and configured the system, how will it test the system to see if it is working properly for its needs? Describe how MTC will conduct User Acceptance Testing. (This would be a good area for you to research.)
- Choose one of the user requirements (listed in Section III of your BA&SR Report) and explain how that requirement will be specifically tested to ensure it is working properly and the requirement is met.
(Note: A free trial period does not suffice as software testing)
5. Employee preparation and support – Identify what MTC should do in each area below to prepare the employees (including the hiring managers in the various departments) for the introduction and use of the new applicant tracking system. Identify who (by their title or role) should do what in each area. (Incorporate information from Course readings on Leadership and Change Management.)
- Leadership (2-3 sentences)
- Change Management (2-3 sentences)
- Training (2-3 sentences)
- User Support (2-3 sentences)
6. Data Migration – Consider what existing data (applications in process with the manual process) would need to be entered into the system to get started and how this might be accomplished.
7. Maintenance – How will updates and enhancements to the EZ-ATS system be made? What will the vendor be responsible for and what should MTC address?
Summary and Conclusion: Close your Business Analysis and System Recommendation Report with a summary of the key points including the benefits MTC can expect to gain from this solution and the alignment with strategic objectives. (One well-written paragraph). Don’t just repeat information presented earlier but put it in context of a conclusion to provide a strong finish to this report. Just as your introduction informed your reader about why you’re writing and what’s to come, the conclusion should provide a clear and concise final paragraph to reinforce/emphasize key points and a compelling argument for the chosen solution – and it should urge the reader to take action.
Maryland Technology Consultants, Inc.
Maryland Technology Consultants (MTC) is a successful Information Technology consulting firm that utilizes proven IT and management methodologies to achieve measurable results for its customers. Its customer base includes small to mid-tier businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels. MTC feels strongly that its success is dependent on the combination of the talent of its IT consultants in the areas of, Business Process Consulting, IT Consulting and IT Outsourcing Consulting and their ability to deliver truly extraordinary results to their clients.
Corporate Profile Corporate Name:
Maryland Technology Consultants, Inc.
Herndon, Virginia; Bethesda, Maryland
Number of Employees:
Total Annual Gross Revenue: $95,000,000
Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Samuel Johnson
MTC provides consulting services in the following areas:
- Business Process Consulting – Business process redesign, process improvement, and best practices
- IT Consulting – IT strategy, analysis, planning, system development, implementation, and network support
- IT Outsourcing Consulting – Requirements analysis; vendor evaluation, due diligence, selection and performance management; Service Level Agreements
MTC’s business strategy is to provide extraordinary consulting services and recommendations to its customers by employing highly skilled consultants and staying abreast of new business concepts and technology and/or developing new business concepts and best practices of its own. Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study. MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 2
Excerpt from the MTC Strategic Business Plan
While the complete strategic plan touches on many areas, below is an excerpt from MTC’s latest Strategic Business Plan that identifies a few of MTC’s Goals.
Goal 1: Increase MTC Business Development by winning new contracts in the areas of IT consulting.
Goal 2: Build a cadre of consultants internationally to provide remote research and analysis support to MTC’s onsite teams in the U. S.
Goal 3: Continue to increase MTC’s ability to quickly provide high quality consultants to awarded contracts to best serve the clients’ needs.
Goal 4: Increase MTC’s competitive advantage in the IT consulting marketplace by increasing its reputation for having IT consultants who are highly skilled in leading edge technologies and innovative solutions for its clients.
Current Business Environment
MTC provides consultants on-site to work with its clients, delivering a wide variety of IT-related services. MTC obtains most of its business through competitively bidding on Requests for Proposals issued by business, government and non-profit organizations. A small but growing portion of its business is through referrals and follow-on contracts from satisfied clients. MTC anticipates it will win two large contracts in the near future and is preparing proposals for several other large projects.
MTC, as a consulting company, relies on the quality and expertise of its employees to provide the services needed by the clients. When it is awarded a contract, the customer expects MTC to quickly provide the consultants and begin work on the project. MTC, like other consulting companies, cannot afford to carry a significant e number of employees that are not assigned to contracts. Therefore, they need to determine the likelihood of winning a new contract and ensure the appropriately skilled consultants are ready to go to work within 60 days of signing the contract. MTC relies on its Human Resources (HR) Department to find, research, and assess applicants so that line managers can review and select their top candidates and hire appropriate consultants to meet their needs for current new contracts. It is very much a “just in time” hiring situation.
The Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, houses approximately 350 employees. Satellite offices have been opened in the last two years in both Herndon, Virginia and Bethesda, Maryland to provide close proximity to existing clients. It is anticipated that new pending contracts would add staff to all locations. The management team believes there is capacity at all locations, as much of the consultants’ work is done on-site at the clients’ locations.
As a small to mid-size business (SMB), MTC recognizes that it needs to carefully plan its future strategy. Considering the competitive environment that contains many very large IT consulting firms, such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), as well as numerous smaller companies with various skill sets, market niches, and established customer bases, MTC will be evaluating how best to position itself for the future and recognizes that its ability to identify its core competencies, move with agility and flexibility, and deliver consistent high quality service to its clients is critical for continued success. MTC’s plan for growth includes growing by 7% per year over the next five years. This would require an increase in consulting contract overall volume and an expanded workforce. One area that is critical to a consulting company is the ability to have employees who possess the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill current and future contracts. Given the intense competition in the IT consulting sector, MTC is planning to incorporate a few consultants in other countries to provide remote research and analysis support to the on-site U. S. teams. Since MTC has no experience in the global marketplace, the Director of HR has begun examining international labor laws to determine where MTC should recruit and hire employees.
Increased business creates a need to hire IT consultants more quickly. Overall, the Director of HR is concerned that the current manual process of recruiting and hiring employees will not allow his department to be responsive to the demands of future growth and increased hiring requirements. There are currently two contracts that MTC expects to win very soon will require the hiring of an additional 75 consultants very quickly. He is looking for a near-term solution that will automate many of the manual hiring process steps and reduce the time it takes to hire new staff. He is also looking for a solution that will allow MTC to hire employees located in other countries around the world.
The management team has been discussing how to ramp up to fill the requirements of the two new contracts and prepare the company to continue growing as additional contracts are awarded in the future. The company has been steadily growing and thus far hiring of new employees has been handled through a process that is largely manual. The HR Director reported that his staff will be unable to handle the expanded hiring projections as well as accommodate the hiring of the 75 new employees in the timeframe required. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) then recommended that the company look for a commercial off-the-shelf software product that can dramatically improve the hiring process and shorten the time it takes to hire new employees. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) wants to ensure that all investments are in line with the corporate mission and will achieve the desired return on investment. She will be looking for clear information that proposals have been well researched, provide a needed capability for the organization, and can be cost-effectively implemented in a relatively short period of time to reap the benefits. The CEO has asked HR to work with the CIO to recommend a solution.
As a business analyst assigned to HR, you have been assigned to conduct an analysis, develop a set of system requirements, evaluate a proposed solution, and develop an implementation plan for an IT solution (applicant tracking system hiring system) to improve the hiring process. You have begun your analysis by conducting a series of interviews with key stakeholders to collect information about the current hiring process and the requirements for a technology solution to improve the hiring process. Based on your analysis and in coordination with key users you will produce a Business Analysis and System Recommendation Report (BA&SR) as your final deliverable.
In the interviews you conducted with the organizational leaders, you hear the comments recorded below.
CEO: Samuel Johnson
“While I trust my HR staff to address the nuts and bolts of the staffing processes, what is critically important to me is that the right people can be in place to fulfill our current contracts and additional talented staff can be quickly hired to address needs of future contracts that we win. I can’t be out in the market soliciting new business if we can’t deliver on what we’re selling. Our reputation is largely dependent on having knowledgeable and capable staff to deliver the services our clients are paying for and expect from MTC.”
CFO: Evelyn Liu
“So glad we’re talking about this initiative. As CFO, obviously I’m focused on the bottom line. I also recognize it’s necessary to invest in certain areas to ensure our viability moving forward. I recognize that the current manual hiring process is inefficient and not cost-effective. Having technology solutions that improve current process and enable future functionality is very important to MTC’s success. We must consider the total cost of ownership of any technology we adopt. MTC is run as a lean-and-mean organization and support processes must be effective but not overbuilt. We do want to think towards the future and our strategic goals as well and don’t want to invest in technology with a short shelf-life. Along those lines, we currently have a timekeeping and payroll system that requires input from the hiring process to be entered to establish new employees; and to help support our bottom line financially, any new solution should effectively integrate with, but not replace, those systems.
CIO: Raj Patel
“As a member of the IT Department, you have a good understanding of our overall architecture and strategy; however, let me emphasize a few things I want to be sure we keep in mind for this project. Any solution needs to be compatible with our existing architecture and systems as appropriate. Obviously, we have chosen not to maintain a large software development staff so building a solution from the ground up does not fit our IT strategic plan. Our current strategy has been to adopt Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that can be deployed relatively quickly and leverage industry best practices at a low total cost. In addition, our distributed workforce means we are very dependent on mobile computing – this brings some challenges in term of portability, maintenance, and solutions that present well on mobile devices. We’ve been expanding at a rapid rate and are seeking to expand internationally so any solution will need to be viable globally. And last, but certainly not least, MTC’s success is largely dependent on our ability to satisfy the requirements of our clients and maintain a reputation of high credibility, reliability and security. Any security breach of our applicants’ data could have a devastating effect to our ability to compete for new business as well as maintain current clients. Any technology solution adopted by MTC must contain clear security measures to control access and protect data and allow us to use our current security for mobile links. I recognize that MTC can no longer rely on a manual hiring process to meet these needs.”
Director of HR: Joseph Cummings
“Thanks for talking with me today. I see this effort as very important to the success of
MTC. While the recruiting staff has done an excellent job of hiring top IT consultants, the rapid growth to date and future plans for expansion have pushed our recruiting staff, and we recognize we can no longer meet the hiring and staffing demands with manual processes. I’m also interested in solutions that are easy-to-use and can interface with our existing systems and enhance processes. I’m willing to consider a basic system that can grow as MTC grows and provide more capabilities in the future. I’m sure Sofia, our Manager of Recruiting, can provide more specifics.”
Manager of Recruiting: Sofia Perez
“You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to begin the process of finding a technology solution to support our recruiting processes. In addition to myself, there are 2-3 full-time recruiters who have been very busy keeping up with the increased hiring at MTC; and there are no plans to increase the recruiting staff. It goes without saying that a consulting company is dependent on having well-qualified employees to deliver to our customers. We’re in a competitive market for IT talent and want to be able to recruit efficiently, process applicants quickly, and move to making a job offer to the best candidate before the competition snaps him/her up. When I talk with my colleagues in other companies, they mention applicant tracking systems that have enabled them to reduce their hiring time by 15-20%. I’m so envious of them and look forward to having our new solution in place before the next set of contracts are won and we need to hire 75 (to as many as 150) staff in a 2-month period. I do not think my
team can handle such an increase in an efficient and effective manner. On-going growth at MTC will continue to increase the demands to hire more consultants quickly. It really seems like there would be a rapid return on investment in a technology solution to support and improve the hiring process.”
Recruiters: Peter O’Neil (along with Mike Thomas and Jennifer Blackwell)
“This project should have happened 2 years ago but glad it’s finally getting some attention. As a recruiter, I’m sort of the middleperson in this process. On one hand, we have the job applicant who is anxious to know the status of his/her application and fit for the advertised position. It’s important that the recruiters represent MTC well, as we want the best applicants to want to come to work for us. Then we have the actual hiring manager in one of our business areas who has issued the job requisition and wants to get the best applicant hired as quickly as possible. Obviously recruiting is not the hiring manager’s full-time job, so we’re always competing for time with other job responsibilities, so we can keep things moving as quickly as possible. They provide us with job descriptions to meet the needs of clients and look to us to screen resumes and only forward the best qualified applicants to them so they can quickly identify their top candidates. Working with Tom, our administrative assistant, we need interviews to be scheduled to accommodate everyone’s calendars. After the hiring managers make their final selections of who they would like to hire, it is our task to get the job offers presented to the candidates – hopefully for their acceptance. Everything is very time sensitive, and the current process is not nearly as efficient as it could be. Applications and resumes can get lost in interoffice mail or buried in email; and, when a hiring manager calls us, we often cannot immediately provide the status of where an applicant is in the process. This can be very frustrating all around. Speaking for myself and the other recruiters, I have high expectations for this solution. We need to really be able to deliver world-class service to MTC in the recruiting and hiring areas to meet the business goals.”
Administrative Assistant: Tom Arbuckle
“I support the recruiters in the hiring process. After the recruiters screen the resumes and select the best candidates for a position, my job is to route those applications and resumes via interoffice mail to the respective functional/hiring manager, receive his or her feedback on who to interview and who should be involved in the interviews, schedule the interviews based on availability of applicants and the interview team members, collect the feedback from the interview team and inform the assigned recruiter of the status of each candidate who was interviewed. In addition to preparing the job offer letter based on the recruiter’s direction, after a job offer has been made and accepted, I coordinate the paperwork for the new hire with HR and Payroll to ensure everything is ready to go on the first day. As you can imagine when hiring volume is up, I’m buried in paperwork and trying to keep all the applicants and their resumes straight, track their status in the process, and ensure everyone has what they need is very challenging. I love my job, but want to ensure I can continue to keep on top of the increased hiring demands and support the recruiting team effectively. Any tool that would help the workflow and enable many steps in the process to be done electronically would be wonderful.”
Hiring Manager (in functional area; this person would be the supervisor of the new employee and would likely issue the job requisition to fill a need in his/her department/team):
“While it’s a good problem to have – new business means new hires — the current method for screening applications, scheduling interviews, identifying the best qualified applicants, and getting a job offer to them is not working. My team is evaluated on the level of service we provide our clients, and it is very important that we have well-qualified staff members to fulfill our contracts. Turnover is common in the IT world and that along with new business development, makes the need for hiring new staff critical and time-sensitive. I confess that sometimes I’m not as responsive to HR as I should be; but although hiring new consultants for the contracts I manage is important to successfully meet the clients’ needs, this is only one of several areas for which I’m responsible. I look to the recruiters to stay on top of this for me. In the ideal world, I’d like an electronic dashboard from which I can see the status of any job openings in my area, information on all qualified candidates who have applied and where they are in the pipeline. Electronic scheduling of interviews on my calendar would be a real time saver. It’s important that we impress candidates with our technology and efficiency – after all we are an IT consulting company—and using manual processes makes us look bad. And, this system must be easy to use – I don’t have time for training or reading a 100-page user’s manual. Just need to get my job done.”