Technology 2 Essay, Research Paper
Since we live in the most advanced technological world, organizations world-wide are discovering ways to enhance internal and external communication, using Web technology in a new type of information system called the Intranet. By using this feature, with inexpensive software and minimal manning requirements, our organization can establish a secure and reliable Internet, a one-stop centralized system so that our aircrews can retrieve necessary data when they return from their extensive duty travels. All available information will be just mouse a click away, and no one can deny or complain that the files were missed along the way. To improve communications and work productivity, an organization s Internet is one of the most effective ways to improve our already existing local area network.
Identify Improvement Opportunity
A fast paced modern technological world has changed our work environment significantly. Our current generation receives and transmits information about seven years in advance of previous generations. This figure will be increased as we move toward the millennium. One of the most amazing things that happened for almost all organizations was gaining world wide web (WWW) access. Through this web, organizations world-wide are discovering ways to enhance internal and external communication using Web technology in a new type of information system called the Intranet/Inter-network (Recomputing, 1999).
Description of Which Process or Problem Area will be Selected or Improved
Since our nature of work requires that over 95 percent of our personnel are deployable aircrew members, at any given time, a minimum of about 30 to 60 percent of the organization s personnel travel about 3 to 6 months a year. In addition, our organization has three offices that are geographically located in different areas. Because of this reason, we often have a lack of communications among personnel, and this effected some of our work productivity in such areas as submitting suspense, feedback notification, training schedules, and mission planning notices. One way to resolve this problem in a timely manner is to establish an Internet with reliable personnel who are readily available to input data. To give you some solid information, the following article is provided:
Inter-network communication will become a common way to conduct business in the future. The Internet will be the main data highway carrying these communications (Strategies, 1999).
One of the biggest deficiencies in communication is getting information out to all personnel in a timely manner. By the time the aircrew members are back to the workstation, important meeting notes or other related documents have been misplaced, or crewmembers do not bother to review them, especially when things have piled up.
Because of high demanding travel, performance feedback, reports, and other suspenses have not been met. Also, a lack of timely information on high interest problems has resulted in ineffective, misdirected, or overcautious decisions that wasted resources, manpower, and time.
Training and Scheduling Appointment
The three sections of operations, life support, and maintenance must meet their training requirements in order to keep their validation to fly or to continue to function as a life support aide. As you know, we have three types of training requirements: quarterly, bi-annual, and annual. Although we have a very effective manual tracking system for this particular subject, too often, our members have failed to keep up their training requirements due to last minute mission changes. These members will be rescheduled eventually, however, the cause and effect is that we often had to spend over budget travel costs. One way to prevent this type of complication and to save money is to have the worker update the data everyday by simply reviewing the mission planning schedule and rescheduling any necessary training requirements at that time.
Maintenance Aircraft Schedule and Briefing
Although the maintenance personnel are not necessarily flying as often as the operations section, maintaining an aircraft is one of the most important tasks for our organization. Since it is unlikely the maintainers will follow the manual schedule, an automated aircraft repair or briefing schedule can be updated through Intranet. This method will be much more effective for maintainers since they can check their schedule on a daily basis instead of having to chase down printed copies. By checking the most up-to-date information through the Intranet, each section s personnel can check the other section s schedule. The cause and effect of this procedure will allow each worker to better coordinate or communicate among the organization.
Explain How the Problem will Relate to the Organization s Mission, Key Process, and Customer Requirement
Due to our organization s high level of absence due to duty travel requirements, whenever a problem occurs, higher headquarters management focuses on the situation and information becomes critical in making decisive decisions. Providing this information requires several lengthy telephone conversations and sometimes physical contact for inspections. Unlike organizations with normal working hours, our members travel anywhere between 5 to 14 days each month. As soon as one team returns from their travels, the next team is ready to get on the road. Naturally, this type of come-and-go working environment is one of the causes that the organization has a problem keeping up-to-date records and information.
What Criteria is Used in the Decision to Charter the Team?
Select three people whom seldom travel or non-travel personnel from each section: operations, maintenance, and the life support section to form a working group for this project. This way, each member can present their needs and the customer s requirements necessary to provide quality service. Since I work on our network system, I will be a team leader for this project.
What Would be the Customer s Requirements and How Would They be Determined?
Our office personnel section is charged with a tracking suspense system, notifying any late reports or feedback session. Based on customer feedback, high travel duty rates and a lack of standardized tools for tracking suspenses resulted in these suspenses not being met. The organization needed a means to disseminate information in a timely manner to all personnel with a need to know, regardless of their geographic location.
Evaluate and Analyze/Describe Methods to Identify Root Cause
Although the office personnel section is charged with maintaining a tracking system, it is each section supervisor or individual s responsibility to meet their suspenses. In addition, our training requirements must be met in order to keep up-to-date records to validate their positions as aircrew members. However, due to the high demand for travel, these issues were not met on time, and we often failed to meet our suspense to higher headquarters. Although we have written guidelines and regulations, each section tends to do things their own way and communicates among themselves. This causes miscommunication within the three offices and it often affects our mission.
How will the Process Improve or Problem Resolve?
Based on our findings, customer feedback, and our worker s requirements, a one stop centralized source of information should be developed. The Intranet will set up a WWW site, using hypertext markup language files, and it will be located on the organization s local area network (LAN).
Computer reports traditionally printed on paper are distributed on-line by simply printing them to an ASCII file somewhere on the network. The files are then hyper-lined to departmental menus where local employees or managers can view them. Project assignments are posted within an on-line information system for collaborative viewing by work groups (Evaluating, 1999. P. 2).
Thereafter, supervisors, regardless of their work shift or day of the week, will be provided all necessary information in a timely manner.
Organization s Intranet
Unlike the Internet, Intranet is one of the most reliable sources to retrieve information within the organization without too much concern with the security issue (Find, 1999). To maintain the Intranet, we do not need to make any extra hardware purchases, but we will need to purchase three software packages for each selected work group member s computer. The total cost is $375.00 (Making, 1998). Thereafter, information will be continuously available as long as our LAN is up and running. The information that will be provided includes: (1) suspenses, meeting minutes, significant events, and schedules will be updated and will be received by all unit members so that the latest information will be always at the fingertips of supervisors; (2) supervisors do not need an E-mail address to gain access, just access to the LAN; (3) training schedules, courses, and class dates are posted to allow supervisors the freedom to plan training; (4) operation instructions, policy letters, and messages are available for review whenever needed; (5) telephone directory of organization personnel and numbers frequently called within base agencies are a mouse click away; (6) organization photo album holds pictures of squadron personnel, events and promotions, award winners, or newer members of the unit, and places around the base it will serve as a morale builder; (7) contains hot links to important web pages (per diem, military pay, supply organization, Air Force forms, etc) as well as links to the organizations on its own web site. Please see the layout chart at the end of the page.
Improvement Remains in Place
Selected working group personnel will meet weekly to discuss changes that would improve our product and will continuously strive for improvement based on organizational needs.
Impact on the customer and organization
Returning aircrew members can quickly catch up with the latest organization information and react to updated suspenses, schedule changes, and high interest items contained in meeting minutes. The commander and the first sergeant will now have a forum to address the organization on topics of interest such as pay and supply information at one central location. This will increase the efficiency of preparing travel orders, flight plans, and budget plans. In addition, displaying photos on computer screens (wallpaper) of unit personnel receiving awards, working as a team, or playing as a team will have a positive effect on unit morale. Also, if members want to have any of these pictures for themselves, they can save them to a floppy disk and take them home.
To improve our daily operations and simplify procedures, establishing a secure and reliable Intranet over our already existing LAN system is one of the best solutions. To do this, a working group must be formed and will represent their section s need. Once the site is completely established, all personnel can retrieve the most up-to-date information at any time or any day of the week. All available information is just a click away, and no one can complain that they didn t get the information on time or the files were missing along the way, etc. Since all members have access to a computer, it is their responsibility to follow up any suspense, report, training, or feedback. This procedure will definitely improve our communications, work productivity, and increase the morale in a most efficient way. The technology is here and we should take advantage of it! We could hide our heads in the sand but that won t work .Intranet will.