*SIM Competition Paper:* Stabilizing an MIS
Technical managers of MIS appear to have only two problems: 1) End user requirements continually evolve; 2) Vendor product offerings are in constant flux. In other words, everything is subject to somewhat unpredictable change from all sides at once. This is the quintessence of unmanageability. This excitement and adventure of the situation are more than offset by the excessive costs of development and maintenance which accrue to those who are trying to provide an MIS of consistently high quality. One company which performs MIS and conventional data processing services more than 400 hospitals was able to design, implement and maintain a rather complete set of functional interface standards for all software run on its central processing facility. Seven primary functional types were identified and implemented over a five year period with expenditure of more than 50 person-years of effort. User profile management and user data distribution were the two best developed and most essential standard interfaces. The diversity of client characteristics and of output media which can be handled through the interfaces has made possible an extraordinary corporate growth rate in excess of 25% per year, wit ha corresponding expansion in client base and MIS services. The management ramifications and the technological outcomes of this MIS stabilizing project are the complementary subjects of this paper.
|Author||D. H. McNeil|
|Keywords||MIS management, standards, information systems, planning, design|