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2nd Edition

Plan or review
administrative systems
BSBADM504B

Student Workbook

Student Workbook

BSBADM504B Plan or review


administrative systems
2nd Edition 2010

Part of a suite of support materials for the

BSB07 Business Services Training Package

Acknowledgment
Innovation and Business Industry Skills Council (IBSA) would like to acknowledge
HASCOM Pty Ltd for their assistance with the development of this resource.
Writer: Kensington Budgewater
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2010 Innovation and Business Industry Skills Council Ltd
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Published by: Innovation and Business


Industry Skills Council Ltd
Level 11
176 Wellington Parade
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Phone: +61 3 9815 7000
Fax: +61 3 9815 7001
e-mail: reception@ibsa.org.au
www.ibsa.org.au
ISBN: 978-1-921788-38-3
Stock code: BSBADM504B2CL

Originally published: November 2009


2nd edition version: 1.0
Release date: June 2010
Printed by: Fineline Printing
130 Browns Road
Noble Park VIC 3174

Table of Contents
Getting Started ........................................................................................................ 1
Features of the training program ..................................................................... 1
Structure of the training program .................................................................... 1
Recommended reading .................................................................................... 2
Introduction to Administrative Systems................................................................. 3
Some background ............................................................................................. 3
What are administrative systems? .................................................................. 5
Causes of change .............................................................................................. 7
What is your role as manager? ........................................................................ 9
A final word of caution .................................................................................... 10
Section 1 Plan or Review Systems ................................................................... 12
What skills will you need?............................................................................... 12
Identifying requirements................................................................................. 12
Obtaining quotations....................................................................................... 24
Selecting suppliers or developers .................................................................. 27
Section summary ............................................................................................ 29
Section 2 Implement Systems .......................................................................... 30
What skills will you need?............................................................................... 30
Developing implementation strategies .......................................................... 31
Obtaining staff participation ........................................................................... 33
Defining and communicating procedures ..................................................... 37
Providing training and support ....................................................................... 39
Dealing with contingencies............................................................................. 42
Section summary ............................................................................................ 45
Section 3 Monitor Systems ............................................................................... 46
What skills will you need?............................................................................... 46
Monitoring the system .................................................................................... 46
Continually improving the system .................................................................. 49
Monitoring and addressing training needs ................................................... 55
Section summary ............................................................................................ 60
Glossary ................................................................................................................. 61
Appendices ............................................................................................................ 63
Appendix 1: Implementation plan template .................................................. 64
Appendix 2: Standard operating procedure (SOP) template ........................ 65
Appendix 3: Specification template ............................................................... 66

Appendix 4: Case study .................................................................................. 67


Appendix 5: Stakeholder mapping template ................................................. 68
Appendix 6: Skills matrix template ................................................................ 69
Appendix 7: Purchasing policy........................................................................ 70
Appendix 8: Reframing matrix template ........................................................ 72
Appendix 9: Answers to selected learning activities ..................................... 73

Student Workbook

Getting Started

Getting Started
Features of the training program
The key features of this program are:

Student Workbook (SW) Self paced learning activities to help you to


understand key concepts and terms. The Student Workbook is broken
down into several sections.

Facilitator-led sessions (FLS) Challenging and interesting learning


activities that can be completed in the classroom or by distance learning
that will help you consolidate and apply what you have learned in the
Student Workbook.

Assessment tasks Summative assessments where you can apply your


new skills and knowledge to solve authentic workplace tasks and
problems.

Innovation & Business Skills Australia has licensed the use of over 200 video
vignettes from the Channel 9 television program, Your Business Success. The
videos have been carefully selected and embedded into relevant learning and
assessment resources in order to assist education providers and students in the
learning process.
Each video is accompanied by a learning activity. Videos can be found on IBSAs
YouTube channel at <http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.

Structure of the training program


This training program introduces you to current practices in business
administration. Specifically, you will develop the skills and knowledge in the
following three topic areas:
1. Planning /reviewing administrative systems
2. Implementing administrative systems
3. Monitoring administrative systems
Note: the Student Workbook sections and Session numbers are listed next to the
topics above.
You facilitator may choose to combine or split sessions. For example, in some
cases, this Training Program may be delivered in 2 or 3 sessions, or in others, as
many as 8 sessions.

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Getting Started

Student Workbook

Recommended reading
Some recommended reading for this unit includes:

Hammer, M., and Champy, J., 2003, Reengineering the corporation: a


manifesto for business revolution, HarperCollins, New York.

Project Management Institute Inc. 2008, A guide to the project


management body of knowledge: (PMBOK guide), 4th edn, Project
Management Institute, Newtown.

American Society for Quality, 2010, ASQ, viewed June 2010,


<http://www.asq.org>.

Lean Enterprise Australia, 2010, Lean Enterprise Australia, viewed June


2010, <http://www.lean.org.au>.

Learn Sigma, 2010, Lean, quality and six sigma, viewed June 2010,
<http://learnsigma.com>.

Alexander, M., 2008, Excel 2007 Dashboards and Report for Dummies,
Wiley Publishing , Indianapolis.

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Introduction to Administrative Systems

Introduction to Administrative Systems


The goal of this unit is for you to be able to effectively plan and review
administrative systems. You will learn about:
1. planning /reviewing administrative systems
2. implementing administrative systems
3. monitoring administrative systems.
However, before you begin, you may want to take some time to reacquaint
yourself to some of the details of administrative systems.

Some background
What are systems?
The word system comes from the Greek word systma () which means a
set of interacting or interdependent entities that make up a structure. The word
system can also refer to the set of rules that explain how the structure operates.
Systems occur naturally, for example:

physical systems such as the solar system

biological systems such as the circulatory system

ecosystems such as the Great Barrier reef.

The system concept has been applied to a number of areas of human endeavour,
for example:

engineering

computer science

business.

Search for: Systems definitions


To further develop your understanding of systems, search the
internet for definitions of:

system

Business Process Management

brocess.

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Introduction to Administrative Systems

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Features of systems
Whether man-made or natural, systems have a number of features in common.
These are:

Systems have structure, defined by parts and their composition.

Systems have behaviour, which involves inputs; processing; and outputs of


material, energy or information.

Systems have interconnectivity; the various parts of a system have


functional as well as structural relationships between each other.1

Systems have processes, inputs and outputs

Example: Consider your place of study


Your place of study is a system. How well do you think the system works?
Consider its:

structure (its parts)

relationships between parts (internal communication, reporting)

behaviours (inputs, processes, outputs).

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Wikipedia, 2010, System, viewed June 2010 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System>.

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Introduction to Administrative Systems

What are administrative systems?


Administrative systems can be defined as internal office and accounting
functions.2 When you reflect on this definition and on the definition of systems
provided above, an administrative system could include such varied systems as:

operational rules, e.g. those governing use of vehicles

physical systems, e.g. a computer network

electronic systems, e.g. a payroll system in MYOB or Quicken

paper based systems, e.g. a document filing system.

Search for: Administrative systems


To further develop your understanding of systems, search the
internet for definitions of administrative systems. You may want to
try searching for:

office systems

administrative systems

financial systems

operational systems

IT systems.

Try to find 5 or 6 examples that you can use for a group discussion with your
peers.
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Elements of administrative systems
Administrative systems, regardless of whether they are big or small, electronic or
paper based, simple or complex, all have these common elements:

people

processes (activities or tasks)

equipment

rules.

2Investor

words, Administrative Systems, viewed November 2009


<http://www.investorwords.com/117/administrative_systems.html>

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Introduction to Administrative Systems

Student Workbook

Example: Student records system


At your place of study, there is a student records system that has all of the
elements outlined above:

People there is a Student Administration Officer (or similar role).

Equipment There are computers and software for recording student


details such as grades, personal details, and so on.

Processes There are also processes for carrying out key tasks and
activities such as entering grades and producing certificates.

Rules Finally, there are rules that govern the system. Some of these
rules come from standards (AQTF or ISO) or from industry best practice.
Rules govern things like backing up data, releasing information to 3rd
parties, timeframes to complete processes and so on.

The human element


Administrative systems require a degree of human intervention to work properly.
Some require quite a bit of intervention to work properly.
Intervention in systems can take many forms such as following:

management procedures

operational procedures

system maintenance procedures

data recording procedures.

Just to name a few. In brief, if the system isnt managed properly, it breaks down.
Learning activity: Computer systems
A common workplace complaint is that the computer network
doesnt function the way it should.
From the IT departments perspective, if people didnt use the
computers, everything would work just fine!
Consider the things that need to be done to ensure that a computer network
works properly. Try to name at least 6. If you are like most of us, you shouldnt
find it too difficult!
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Introduction to Administrative Systems

Causes of change
The need for new or improved administrative systems can occur at any time in an
organisations lifecycle. There can be many reasons to implement new, or review
existing, administrative systems:

organisational change

system is outmoded/outdated/not working

ongoing commitment to quality

continuous improvement

to meet customer expectations

to comply with standards.

New systems
An organisation will require a new administrative system when it is starting up or
establishing a new office.
Case Study: Setting up a training company
Virgil is working as a project manager in a small firm. The firm is launching a
new division and Virgil has the job of planning and implementing the
administrative systems for the new division including:

Accounting System

Customer Relation Management System

Student Administration System

Document Management System.

Virgil is surprised by how many systems are needed. He has found


implementing the administrative systems to be quite a challenge since he has
had to scope and plan the systems, develop specifications, source suppliers, get
quotes, evaluate quotes and so forth.
He has done some internet searches for different systems. He has also
communicated with his contacts and networks to find out what systems they
use and to get some feedback and advice.

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Introduction to Administrative Systems

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Modified systems
On the other hand, an administrative system may be outmoded or outdated
requiring a review. The outcomes of this could range from a modification/upgrade
to complete replacement of the system.
Learning activity: Filing system modification Part 1
Olivia works in an administrative role in a real estate agency. She was becoming
frustrated with the sales agents lack of housekeeping. A common occurrence
was that the agents would remove files and leave them piled up on their desks
rather than return them to the centralised filing system.
As a result, Olivia would often have to spend time searching for files only to find
them sitting on an agents desk. Olivia was responsible for the filing system but
these sloppy housekeeping behaviours meant that she was doing a lot of
unnecessary cleaning up.
Finally, she held a review of the filing system with the agents. It seemed that the
agents felt that walking back and forth to the centralised filing system several
times a day was a waste of time, so they were keeping their active files on their
desk because they had nowhere else to store them.
The outcomes were:

Agents were given filing cabinets next to their desks for active clients.

Agents would keep their active files in their cabinets.

When the account was closed or no longer active, it would be submitted


to Olivia to place in the centralised filing system.

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Introduction to Administrative Systems

What is your role as manager?


As a manager or as a person responsible for planning or reviewing an
administrative system, you will have roles and responsibilities that you will need to
fulfil. For example:

managing change

communicating

providing leadership

budgeting

project managing

evaluating options

training and coaching

promoting team involvement.

Learning activity: Project management


Project management skills are essential for planning or reviewing
administrative systems.
Imagine that you are responsible for upgrading the reception
procedures in a workplace. This includes phone answering procedures as well
as receiving visiting customers.
Review the project management life cycle below and record some the tasks that
you would be carrying out at each stage of this project.

Compare and contrast your thoughts with your fellow learners.


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Introduction to Administrative Systems

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A final word of caution


Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when
you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
Douglas Hofstadter
Remember, when planning for new administrative systems in particular, you
should be aware of some of the common pitfalls of project management. Namely:

Communication, or lack thereof.

Resources people, equipment, office space, funding.

Scope creep define the scope agree and record changes.

Risk identification and management, or lack thereof.

Time and cost estimates (usually under-estimated).

Skill/experience of the project manager and team, or lack thereof.

Monitoring performance and meeting milestones, or lack thereof.

Further reading: Cognitive biases


No doubt, you will have heard from friends or colleagues of projects
that havent succeeded.
Remember, it is human nature to overlook or disregard problems
with projects that you are leading, so you need to be aware of some
cognitive biases:

optimism bias

benefit shortfall

planning fallacy.

Do some online research about these topics and make notes on the meanings
and implications of each.
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Introduction to Administrative Systems

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Student Workbook

Section 1 Plan or Review Systems


This section deals with the knowledge and skills that you will need to plan or
review administrative systems in your workplace.
Scenario: Where to begin?
Sally works in a small firm that makes and sells camping equipment in Australia
and abroad. The firm employs approximately 25 office staff in roles such as
administration, purchasing, sales, marketing, accounting, production and
engineering.
Sally is the administration manager and has recently been asked to manage the
update of the computer systems for all employees. This includes updating the
operating systems and desktop applications to the same standard desktop
which includes Windows 7 and Office 2007.
This is a big task. To make things more complicated, the organisation uses a
number of different operating systems and applications which will need to run
on the same standard desktop.
It is going to be difficult, given the range of software and hardware that is used
in the organisation, not to mention resistance to change from some of the
employees.

What skills will you need?


In order to plan or review administrative systems, you must be able to:
identify requirements
obtain quotations
select suppliers or developers.

Identifying requirements
Effective planning and reviewing allows you to identify what has to be done, by
whom, at what cost and when. This involves:

Complying with organisational systems, standards and processes.

Reviewing organisational goals and objectives.

Defining the problems.

Stakeholder analysis and involvement.

Financial analysis of costs and benefits, including a budget.

Preparing the project plans.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Some of the biggest problems encountered with new and modified administrative
systems derive from inadequate definition and poor planning.
Complying with organisational systems, standards and processes
Before you do anything, identify the relevant systems and processes for planning
and reviewing that your organisation currently has in place. Systems and
processes can include:

project management

change management

continuous improvement

professional development

human resources

quality

occupational health and safety.

Standards can include:

internal standards such as using Office 2007

external standards such as ISO, and Australian Standards

legal requirements.

Learning activity: Managing continuous improvement


Watch the video BSBADM504B: Managing continuous improvement on IBSAs
YouTube channel at <http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.
1. How have Jeff and Alana managed continuous improvement within their
Platinum Electrics business?
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2. What has been Alanas role in the business?
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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

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Learning activity: IT Scenario


Consider the IT scenario above. What might be some of the systems
standards and processes that need to be considered by Sally?
List as many as you can think of below.
What might be the consequences if some of these were not complied with in the
project?
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Policy and procedures ensure that the organisation can meet legislative, quality,
or other requirements that relate to the operations of the company. These can
often been found in a manual or on a corporate intranet.
Tip: Business rules
When working with administrative systems, you may encounter the term
business rules. These are the rules that explain how processes operate. For
example:

when to reorder inventory

what events require disciplinary action

terms of payment for accounts.

Business rules create an unambiguous statement of what a business does with


information. They can be used by people or electronic systems alike to aid in
decision making.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Review organisational goals and objectives


A goal or objective is the aim, or end, towards which effort is directed.3 An
objective is a level of performance or achievement and can be monitored and
graphed, e.g.
We will increase sales by 10% by the EOY 2009.
Strategic goals and objectives are set at the top management level of the
organisation and are implemented at the departmental level.

A review of an administrative system may be triggered by a strategic goal of the


organisation.
In other words, the goal of the improvement may be part of a larger organisational
goal, such as lowering costs, improving efficiency or improving customer
satisfaction.
Learning activity: Where do goals and objectives come from?
Familiarise yourself with some of these strategic management
terms on the internet to gain a better understanding of how goal
and objectives set at the management level impact on operational
levels. Look for:

quality function deployment

strategic planning

strategic management

Hoshin Kanri.

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Macquarie, 1998, Macquarie Concise Dictionary, 3rd edn, The Macquarie Library, Macquarie.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

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Any improvement to administrative systems needs to be explained in terms of the


organisations strategic goals. This ensures that that the improvement can be
justified to managers and operators alike.
For example, if the organisation has set a goal of reducing operational costs and
your administrative improvement increases these costs, then it is out of step with
the organisations strategic goals and should be reconsidered.
Learning activity: IT Scenario
Consider the IT scenario from the beginning of this section. If the
organisation had a goal of improving customer service, what kind of
goals might the administration team need to consider? How might
this goal impact on:

communication procedures (phone and email)

processing complaints

record keeping?

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Define and analyse the problem
Once you have established the goals for the administrative system, you need to
conduct a review of current operations to scope out and define the problem and
requirements.
Taking time to define the problem will, in most cases, flush out whether we are
concentrating on symptoms or problems.
Example: IT Scenario
Prior to the commencement of the new IT project, there was some discussion in
Sallys department about problems with IT. There were complaints about:

sending incompatible files

keeping critical information in spreadsheets on their own machines

not being able to access some company information from certain


machines.

Information was being lost, ignored or misplaced. These were initially identified
as training or motivational issues. Some of the supervisors thought that some of
the employees just needed to step it up.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

However, after a consultant was brought in to advise on the problem, they


pointed out that Sallys company was looking at the problem in the wrong way.
The problem wasnt with the people, it was with the system. It was outmoded
and not integrated.
By telling employees to step it up, they were only treating the symptom, not the
problem.
Ask questions about the problem to identify key behaviours and the people
involved and their consequences:
1. How are people affected by the problem?
a. How often does the problem occur?
b. For what amount of time are people affected?
c. How significant is the effect?
d. How important is the problem perceived to be?
2. Who is affected by the problem?
a. What types of people are affected?
b. How many people are affected?
3. What behaviours (of whom) contribute to the problem?
a. Whose behaviour needs to change?
b. Which specific behaviours need to change to address the problem?
c. How does this identification of target behaviours influence how we
would address the problem?
At this stage you may find that you do not have enough information to define the
problem.
Tip: Problem definition
To further define the problem and decide whether to continue the process,
consider these questions:

Is it my problem?

Can I solve it? Is it worth solving?

Is this the real problem, or merely a symptom of a larger one?

If this is an old problem, what's wrong with the previous solution?

Does it need an immediate solution, or can it wait?

Is it likely to go away by itself?

Can I risk ignoring it?

Does the problem have ethical dimensions?

What conditions must the solution satisfy?

Will the solution affect something that must remain unchanged?

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Student Workbook

Problem solving tools


Now that you have a better idea of what the problem is, you need the tools and
techniques for coming up with a solution.
Some techniques for defining and analysing the problem and identifying
requirements include:

brainstorming

Seven Wastes/waste walks

current state/future state

process mapping

workflow diagrams

value stream mapping

SIPOC Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers

cause and effect diagrams

5 whys

spaghetti charts (as in the case study above)

analysing usage statistics

analysing procedures

work shadowing.

It is imperative that you collect data on how processes are currently done. The
decisions on the best solutions should be made on facts, not on gut feelings.
Case Study: Filing system modification Part 2
Do you remember the example from the introduction where the filing system
was modified?
In that example, a simple floor plan was used by the agents to record how often
they currently moved files, or should move files, around the office. Each time
they moved a file, they drew a line on the floor plan.
The most movement was happening where the lines were thickest on the floor
plans. When these were then submitted to Olivia for review, it was easy to
determine how much unnecessary movement was occurring.
This information made it easy to see that there was unnecessary and wasteful
transport of files around the office, and led to the solution of providing the
agents with their own filing cabinets.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Learning activity: Problem solving tools


The problem solving tools listed above are very simple and effective
tools for measuring and analysing problems.
Research some of these tools and consider how you could use them
in analysing workplace processes and systems.
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Involve the key stakeholders
Stakeholders are people with a vested interest in the outcome of the project.
Individuals and organisations that are involved in, or may be affected by, project
activities. This can include:

users

decision makers

customers

suppliers.

Remember that with administrative systems, as with any system, there are inputs,
processes and outputs.

It is standard practice to consult with people involved with the system at all of
these stages, namely:

People involved with system processes users, managers, contractors.

People who are affected by outputs customers, decision makers.

People influencing inputs suppliers.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

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Search for: Stakeholder mapping


Mapping of stakeholders is a tool to:

Understand the support and opposition to a planned change


such as implementing a continuous improvement program.

Determine who to communicate what to and how often as part of


implementing continuous improvement.

Determine the composition of a continuous improvement project team or


a steering committee.

The stakeholder map is a simple table consisting of a rating of the level of


support or opposition of identified stakeholder groups and individuals ranked by
their level of power and influence over the project method or outcome.
Search the internet for examples of stakeholder mapping from different
projects. Record them to review and discuss with fellow learners.
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Determining requirements with stakeholders
In the previous section, we looked at how to collect data to define the problem.
This may tell you how things are currently done and where the problems are, but it
wont tell you what people want. For that, youll need to talk to them.
Communication strategies include:

holding meetings

interviewing

surveying.

Tip: Questioning techniques


When interviewing stakeholders, use open questions to encourage exploration
of ideas and feelings about a proposed change.
Open questions start with:

What?

Who?

Where?

How?

When?

Why?

Open questions encourage people to talk more and open up. In contrast, you
can use closed questions (questions that elicit a yes/no response) to clarify and
verify what you think.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Learning activity: Create a survey


Create a simple questionnaire (five to ten questions) that can be
given to employees to find out about their usage of a workplace
system.
Tell them why you are asking (i.e. you have been given the task of reviewing
usage) and when you need a response by (i.e. we need a response by the end of
the week so we can review and place an order by Tuesday of the following
week).
In the questionnaire, you may want to ask people:

How frequently do they use the system?

What do they use it for?

What features do they use?

What features do they like/dislike?

What features would they want in a new photocopier?

What problems do they experience?

What general comments would they like to make?

(Note the use of open questioning techniques in this sample)


Review plans and budgets
You are probably familiar with plans. We make plans all of the time for a range of
purposes. You plan holidays, home renovations, and family events.
All plans should contain information about:

goals

responsibilities

tasks

timelines.

In a business environment, every project must have a budget. Budgets are the
quantification of plans into monetary terms4.

Every plan has a budget

Anandarajah, Aseervatham and Reid 2004, Managing finance: prepare & manage budgets & financial
plans, Pearson, Sydney p. 68.

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Another definition of a budget is an estimate of costs, revenues, and resources


over a specified period, reflecting a management's reading of future financial
conditions. 5
Businesses need budgets
Budgets are essential for the planning and control of business operations.
Without budgets, a businesss costs could not be controlled and this could result
in you and your colleagues being out of a job.
Some key features of budgets are:

they are related to the organisations plans

they refer to a future period

they have a defined period

they have a scope or area of responsibility.6

Learning activity: IT budget


Capital Budget for IT (Current financial year)
Product (including specifications)

Unit price

Units

Value ($)

Printer

$15,000

$15,000

$1,500

$9,000

$4,500

$9,000

Black and white only

40 pages per minute (minimum)

A4, A3

Mid-range desktop computers

17 monitors

3 year warranty

Servers
Network equipment

$10,000

Backup system

$3,000

$3,000

Review the budget shown above and consider:

When would this budget need to be reviewed?

Who would need to be involved in the review of this budget?

What you would do if the 6 desktop computers cost $1700 each

Business Dictionary, Budget, viewed August 2009, <http://www.businessdictionary.com/>

6 Anandarajah, Aseervatham and Reid 2004, Prepare Managing finance: prepare & manage budgets &
financial plans, Pearson, Sydney pp. 69-70

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Budgets are a key method of control in a business. Businesses:

set goals

create plans

budget for the plans, and then

monitor the budgets

Learning activity: How would you monitor your budget?


Budgets are a key method of control in the workplace and ensuring
that a new or modified system falls within budget is critical. For a
new or modified administrative system, consider:

How you would review the budget?

How often would you review?

Who would need to be involved?

Make notes in the space provided.


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Some common problems
When planning and reviewing administration systems, you will always encounter
some resistance. The reasons for this can be numerous, including;

fear of change

lack of capability

poor management support

resistance to change.

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Obtaining quotations
Before you begin contacting suppliers for quotes on the new or revised system,
you need to ensure that you have a clear definition of what you require. This is
usually summarised in a specification or a statement of requirements.
Develop a system specification
Administrative system requirements often need to be summarised in a
specification.
Many administrative systems upgrades or replacements require products/
services that cannot have a standard upfront price, because the costs involved
can vary.
The specification should provide enough information about your administrative
system requirements so that a supplier or developer can quote for a proposed
solution. At a minimum, a specification should include:

Problem definition.

Proposed solution for new or modified administrative system.

Goals and objectives of the new or modified administrative system.

User requirements/expectations, including features and benefits.

Performance standards what performance are you expecting?

Internal and external standards what other standards are relevant?

Processes/procedures which ones will require revision?

Budget what is your price range?

Learning activity: Develop specifications


Appendix 3 of this document contains a specification template to assist you in
recording specifications. Work with your fellow learners to develop a
specification for a new administrative system. Any type of system can be used,
such as:

a new photocopier

a change in mail procedure

a change in record keeping procedure

implementation of an electronic CRM (customer relationship


management) system.

Discuss with your fellow learners:

Were the specifications sufficient?

What other things might you record?

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

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Engaging suppliers or developers
Once you have written your requirements into a specification, you can then
engage someone to get it done for you!
Depending on what you need done, you may be seeking out a supplier or a
developer. These can be found in a variety of ways including:

existing suppliers

networks

media

call for tenders.

word of mouth

Suppliers or developers can be engaged by:

working at set rate

providing a quotation

responding to a tender.

Quotations
A quotation is a fixed price for a fixed amount of products/ services carried out to
a specification.
You may need to consider/request options such as:

maintenance contracts

help desk support

supply contracts for consumables

other specific items related to the administrative system.

Tenders
The term tender can refer to both a document and a process.
A tender process is a competitive process where the client advertises/calls for
tenders. Interested suppliers or developers then respond to the tender document
(formal document which is prepared by a client) and submit a bid (offer) to the
client.
The client may or may not accept the suppliers or developers tender bid.

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Tenders are more common in public sector organisations.


Learning activity: Consumer protection
What protection do you have if the contractor doesnt deliver what
you asked for? Identify what organisations can advise you in your
state or territory. Search for:

consumer affairs

fair trading

contracts.

Discuss your findings with your fellow learners and facilitator.


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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Complying with organisational policy and procedure


When obtaining quotes, be sure to review your organisational purchasing policy.
This may be a written policy or in some organisations, you may need to seek
advice from a person responsible for the purchasing function, i.e. the purchasing
officer.
Learning activity: Purchasing policy
Imagine that you work in a small business and your department needs to
purchase a new photocopier that can be assumed to cost approximately $3000.
Review the purchasing procedure in Appendix 7and answer the following.
a) Are you making a material expenditure or a capital expenditure?
b) How many separate quotes must be obtained?
c) Who must approve the purchase and what information must you provide
to them?
d) Once the purchase has been approved, what happens next?
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Selecting suppliers or developers


Your organisation may have policy and procedures that must be followed for
selecting suppliers or developers. As a result, you may be required to:

form a selection panel

complete a report

submit findings to a decision maker.

It is rare (and dangerous) for the decision on successful quotes to be up to one


person.

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Example: Follow workplace policy and procedures!


Wayne worked in the IT department of an educational institution. The IT
department needed to create a new online database and had decided to
contract this work out as a project. Wayne was in charge of the budget for the
project and he did casual work with a firm (unrelated to his educational work)
that he thought could do the job.
He asked them to do the job and when he reported this back to his manager,
Wayne was asked why he hadnt followed organisational procedure. It turned
out that his educational institution had policy and procedures for:

engagement of contractors

conflict of interest.

Wayne had not complied with them. Wayne should have understood and
followed these policy and procedures before organising a contract.

Learning activity: Source policy documents


Imagine that you are working for an organisation that has recently
had some disputes with contractors. The cause of this has been a
poor tendering process. You must develop a policy and procedure
for engaging contractors that will reduce the risk of these types of
disputes re-occurring.
Use some of the ideas you have been introduced to in this section. You may also
want to search the internet for examples.
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Evaluating suppliers
When evaluating quotes, it is recommended that you:

involve the key stakeholders

use selection criteria

evaluate the supplier as well as the product

use the internet or technical experts as needed.

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Section 1 Plan or Review Systems

Websites: Whirlpool
A number of websites are available to help you evaluate suppliers.
For example, the Whirlpool knowledge base is an Australian website
<http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/> that is devoted to keeping the
public informed about the state of internet access in Australia.
Search the internet for websites that evaluate and compare other
administrative systems. Compare your findings with your fellow learners.
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Section summary
You should now understand how to plan or review administrative systems
including:
identify requirements
obtain quotations
select suppliers or developers.

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Section 2 Implement Systems

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Section 2 Implement Systems


This section deals with the next step after planning and reviewing administrative
systems, implementing the changes.
Scenario: IT system
A supplier was chosen to provide and install the new computer systems and
software.
However, it was clear to Sally that a number of other things needed to be
addressed if the administrative change was going to work smoothly. Sally chose
to do a number of things to make the process go more smoothly:

develop an implementation plan

communicate the plan to all stakeholders

pilot new systems with early adopters (enthusiastic people)

obtain their feedback and then implement across the organisation

update procedures

anticipate training needs.

It was a bigger job than she even imagined!

What skills will you need?


In order to implement new or modified administrative systems, you must be able
to:
develop implementation strategies
obtain staff participation
define and communicate procedures
provide training and support
deal with contingencies.

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Section 2 Implement Systems

Developing implementation strategies


In the scenario above, Sally chose to implement the administrative changes on a
small scale and evaluate them. Then, and only then, did she implement the
changes across the board. Some recommendations for implementing new or
modified administrative systems include:

develop and communicate a plan

follow a methodology like PDCA Plan, Do, Check, Act

test with early adopters.

Develop and communicate the plan


An implementation plan is a list of tasks that you have to carry out in order to
achieve an objective. It differs from a To Do list in that it focuses on the
achievement of a single goal.
Wherever you want to achieve something, draw up an implementation plan. This
allows you to concentrate on the stages of that achievement, and monitor your
progress towards it.
To draw up an implementation plan, simply list the tasks that you need to carry
out to achieve your goal; when you will complete the task; and where necessary,
the additional resources required to complete the task.
Learning activity: Develop an implementation plan
Use the template in Appendix 1 to develop an implementation plan
for a proposed change.
Compare your plan with your fellow learners. Consider:

Why would it be important to review plans with key stakeholders?

How would you communicate the final plan?

Write your thoughts about these points below.


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The implementation plan should be communicated to all stakeholders.


Plan, Do, Check, Act
The PDCA cycle provides a simple
methodology for continuous
improvement.

Plan plan the improvement

Do on a small scale

Check evaluate the results

Act implement the


improvement.
PDCA is a continuous cycle

The cycle was later popularised by W. Edwards Deming and is now often referred
to as the Deming Cycle. The Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle has specific objectives for
each stage of the cycle.
Learning activity: PDCA
Consider how you would implement PDCA for:

A change in the filing system in your department.

The implementing of a new CRM across the entire


organisation.

A change in record keeping for petty cash.

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Section 2 Implement Systems

Obtaining staff participation


For employees to participate in any workplace improvement there are three
imperatives:
1. They must have the attitude that the change is good for them as an
individual, the team they work in, and the organisation as a whole
2. The subjective norm they experience must be positive towards the
improvement. They must believe that their friends and colleagues who they
respect believe that improvement is a good thing to engage in. Further,
they must believe that the people who influence them the most in their
work environment have respect for, and encourage their participation in,
the improvement.
3. They must believe that they have the necessary skills, authority and data
available for them to actually participate in the improvement. They must
perceive that they have control in execution of the improvement.
Creating the right attitude
Creating the right attitude towards a new or modified system requires an
understanding of what motivates an employee.
Generally, it is the working environment that motivates employees. Environmental
considerations may include but is not limited to:

mutual respect frontline manager to employee

a clean and tidy workplace

the right tools for the job

future employment security

satisfied customers

mutual respect amongst team members

a clear goal, consistently, persistently and insistently followed.

Understanding what motivates your employees can be determined by observing,


conducting focus groups, undertaking a quantitative survey, or a combination of
all of these.
Once you have determined what working environment aspects create the right
attitude amongst a large majority of employees, it is your role as frontline
manager with support of your one-up manager to create that environment.
A word of caution
Not all employees are affected positively by the working environment you
create. There will always be some cynics and people who believe that their
notoriety is more important to them than being a team member. Your role is to
manage for the large majority, not the noisy minority.

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Learning activity: What working environment works for me?


Reflect on your attitudes to work. What elements of a working
environment create a positive attitude from you in relation to your
work? What elements do you think would create a positive attitude
for others that you work with?
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Creating the right subjective norm
Altering peoples subjective norm to one which supports improvement requires
frontline managers to be consistent, insistent and persistent!
Consistent in:

their communication about the goal

their approach to all employees

their application of standards

their reaction to errors as something to be eliminated

the manner in which they reward and recognise employees and the reason
for rewarding employees

making sure all voices are heard when discussing the nature of and
solutions to problems.

Insistent about:

employees participation in improvement

errors being reduced

two-way communication

the provision of appropriate tools and availability of data for employees


trying to implement improvements.

Persistent in:

their communications about the benefits of improvements

their encouragement of employees to bring forward ideas to improve


processes

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Section 2 Implement Systems

the need for continuous improvement despite setbacks which occur from
time to time

the application of a rewards and recognition scheme for people actively


participating in improvement.

Learning activity: Subjective norms


Think about a bad habit you or a family member or friend has that
they want to but do not seem to be able to break. Smoking is a
common example.

Who influences them most in respect to the issues


surrounding this habit? This may be individuals or groups of people (rank
the top three).

What is the attitude of those people about the habit?

Of the groups which are against smoking, how persistent, insistent and
consistent are they about the helping (not nagging) the individual give up
the habit.

What would you expect the result of your family member or friend to be
when given insistence, persistence and consistence of support amongst
those people that influence the individual?

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Creating the perception of control
For employees to perceive they have control over their involvement in and
application of continuous improvement, they require:

Information the right data available to make effective decisions.

Training behaviour, skills and knowledge to execute continuous


improvement processes and use continuous improvement tools.

Empowerment Authority to make decisions and make improvements.

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Learning activity: What is your perceived level of control over your key job
deliverables?
Reflect on your job and jobs you have had. Think of ones you really
enjoyed and ones you did not. Contrast the level of data,
competence and authority you had between the ones you enjoyed
and the ones you did not, and fill out the following table.

Jobs I enjoyed

Jobs I disliked

Data availability

Behaviour

Skills

Knowledge

Authority

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Section 2 Implement Systems

Defining and communicating procedures


Changes in processes that are a consequence of new or modified administrative
systems must be documented in policy and procedures.
A policy is a statement about an issue that says what the organisation plans to do
about the issue.
Some examples include:

privacy policy

record management policy

security policy

purchasing policy.

A procedure is the sequence of actions or instructions to be followed in solving a


problem or accomplishing a task. Some examples include:

filing procedure

telephone answering procedure

document version control procedure

website updating procedure.

When systems are updated or modified, the related procedures must be updated.
Example: A record management procedure
Educational institutions often have well designed record
management policies and procedures. Imagine if they didnt.you
might not get the correct grades! Search the internet for record
management policy. An example is provided below:

<http://policies.curtin.edu.au/policies/az_index.cfm>.

While the policy gives an indication of the expected outcome, there is some scope
for variation in how this achieved.
The best procedures:

reflect how people actually work

comply with organisational policies

are simple and effective

are developed in collaboration with the people performing the related task.

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Learning activity: Develop a standard procedure


Use the standard operating procedure template in Appendix 2 to
develop a procedure.
1. Work with a group or team of people (people you live with is
fine).
2. Select a task that everyone does, e.g. taking out the garbage,
composting, doing the dishes.
3. Work with the group to develop an standard approach to this task.
4. Record it on the template.
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Communicate procedures
Ensure that revised and updated procedures are circulated to all stakeholders. In
most workplaces there is a procedure for doing this. Note: In many large
organisations, there is a job role such as a Quality Manager that is responsible for
communicating procedural changes.
Information is often circulated by:

presentations

distribution lists

noticeboards

corporate intranets

email

staff meetings.

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Section 2 Implement Systems

Learning activity: Communication strategy


Consider an organisation that you work for, or would like to work for.
Imagine that you have introduced a change in the filing system that
affects everyone in the organisation. How would you communicate
this?
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Providing training and support


Once procedures are revised, updated and circulated, system users must be
retrained in the new procedures.
Depending on the change, you may be able to do the retraining in-house, or you
may need to use outside contractors.
Start with the procedures
Small scale and simple changes in administrative systems can be addressed by
some basic coaching techniques that are based around the revised procedures.
Anticipating training needs
Complex and large scale changes may require greater planning and effort. For
example, you may need to:

conduct training needs assessments

conduct skills audits

prepare multi-level training programs.

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Learning activity: Training staff


Watch the video BSBADM504B: Training staff on IBSAs YouTube channel at
<http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.
1. Explain how Jeff supports his sales staff to be more self reliant in his
business.
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2. What is Alana explaining in the video?
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Section 2 Implement Systems

Example: Skills audit


It is essential to have a skills matrix for your employees. You need to be able
identify, at a glance, who has been retrained in the revised procedures.
This information is often presented in a table or matrix. In the example shown
below, procedures are listed down the rows and the employees appear across
the columns.
Each employee is given a rating for their level of competence in each skill.

The skills gaps can be easily identified and then addressed through training,
recruiting or outsourcing.
Settling in period
Regardless of the size or complexity of the change, one thing is certain. Extra
effort is required from the introduction of the change to address both expected
and unexpected problems.

provide extra training sessions

follow up with users

provide a help desk

actively seek feedback.

Tip: The bathtub curve


A useful analogy is the bathtub curve that states that products tend to fail
during the start or end of their life. The stages are characterised by:

Early failures during the infant mortality phase of the product.

Random failures during the useful life of the product.

Wear out failures at the end of the useful life of the product.

In order to avoid failures during startup, you need to provide additional support
during this period.

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Useful life
Once the administrative system has entered into this stage, you need to ensure
that training is provided as required. This may include educating colleagues about
the system through:

induction training

refresher training.

Tip: Add training program to induction


Your human resource department may have developed an induction program.
Inductions are a good opportunity to introduce new staff to administrative
systems.

Dealing with contingencies


Taking precautions is an important part of implementation. After all, things do go
wrong with suppliers, equipment, materials, and so on, and this can affect your
business.

Reliable systems = happy customers

What can go wrong?


There are a lot of things that you can do to safeguard against things going wrong,
such as:

obtaining insurances and warranties

organising maintenance contracts and supply contracts

sourcing new or alternative suppliers

providing training for employees

staying informed about your industry trends and happenings.

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Section 2 Implement Systems

Have a risk management strategy


Your organisation will probably have a method for managing risks to key
resources. It may include things as obvious as those listed above.
Risk management plans can be quite detailed, and at times, confusing. However,
your organisation should have a plan in place that outlines what to do if you have
problems with your key suppliers.
You should have a basic understanding of risk management from your OHS
training, and risk management for other areas (supply, equipment failure) follows
a similar process as assessing health and safety risks.
Typically, risk management processes involve:
1. identifying threats or hazards
2. Assessing the vulnerability of resources to specific threats how serious is
it?
3. Determining the risk/probability of these occurring
4. Prioritising risk management measures
5. Identifying ways to reduce those risks.
As you may guess, you dont have to control every risk, just the high priority ones
that would have serious impacts on your business.
Example: IT problems
Reliable on-site technicians are hard to come by but anyone can sell you a
new keyboard.
Rate the level of risk of the following on a scale of one to five (one being
inconvenient, five being disastrous) and what you could do to manage the risk.
Compare and discuss your conclusions with your fellow learners.
Rating

Risk Management

Hard disk failure

Keyboard is broken

Photocopier breakdown

Toner needs changing

Running out of printer paper

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Assessing your resources


It is important that your resources and their suppliers are reputable and reliable.
Some factors to assist you in assessing suppliers are:

How long have they been in the industry?

Who are their customers/clients?

Do they comply with industry standards?

Further reading: Look for standards


It is always a good sign if your supplier can publish that they comply with
relevant industry standards.
ISO 9000 is a family of standards for qualtiy management systems.
ISO stands for the International Organisation for Standardisation.
ISO 9001 is part of this family and concentrates on the following in
a business:

monitoring processes to ensure they are effective

keeping adequate records

checking output for defects, with appropriate and corrective action where
necessary

regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for
effectiveness

facilitating continual improvement.

For more information go to <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9000>.

Learning activity: Risk management


Develop a risk management strategy for the IT equipment of an
organisation of your choice.
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Student Workbook

Section 2 Implement Systems

Section summary
You should now understand how to implement new or modified administrative
systems:
develop implementation strategies
obtain staff participation
define and communicate procedures
provide training and support
deal with contingencies.

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Section 3 Monitor Systems


Finally, once new or revised administrative systems have been implemented, they
need to be monitored and continually improved.
Scenario: IT system
Remember Sally from the earlier scenario? The new administrative system has
been implemented and seems to be working well.
The company are now past the settling in stage and people are using the system
effectively.
However, there are still opportunities to improve the system and it is important
to monitor the system and keep making improvements.
Sallys role is now more focused on monitoring and making incremental
improvements.

What skills will you need?


In order to monitor administrative systems, you must be able to:
monitor system
continually improve
address training needs.

Monitoring the system


Monitoring administrative systems is not a static process. The purpose is to
continually improve processes and systems.
Monitoring progress
Monitoring of progress is completed to achieve one or more of three aims:
1. To determine the gap between existing and desired performance.
2. To review the progress of implementation and maintenance of a system.
3. To ensure procurement, production, and delivery of your products/
services are not moving outside performance standards.
Performance and progress over time may be monitored by a wide range of
methods including:

paper continuous improvement records, for example, check sheets

templates including excel templates for check sheets, histograms and


process control charts

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Section 3 Monitor Systems

databases of information cross referenced against people, equipment,


time of day and source of inputs

computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) systems including wireless


remote data collection devices automatically uplinked to the system an
data recorded directly from robotics, scales, process logic controllers etc.

feedback from service users/families

performance indicators
o cascaded down from the organisation goal
o cascaded down from customer requirements
o created from benchmarking against internal or external competition

audits of the continuous improvement process

workplace health and safety audits

incident/accident reports

service user surveys

complaints systems

suggestion boxes

third party quality assessments/audits

staff performance appraisals

evaluations of staff in-service training.

To improve progress in the implementation of a system or in closing gaps in


performance within current system, the factors which inhibit performance must be
identified and addressed.

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Tip: Dashboards
Digital dashboards are management tools that provide
constantly updated visual information about the
performance of an organisation.
Benefits of using digital dashboards include:

visual presentation of performance measures

ability to identify and correct negative trends

measure efficiencies/inefficiencies

ability to generate detailed reports showing


new trends

ability to make more informed decisions based on collected business


intelligence

align strategies and organisational goals

save time over running multiple reports

gain total visibility of all systems instantly.

technical monitoring.7

Audits of systems
Audits of implementation of administrative systems require some form of
standard upon which to base the audit.
One of the most commonly used quality management standards is AS/NZS ISO
9001: 2000 Quality management systems Requirements.
This is an international system for recognising organisations that have appropriate
quality management systems in place.
AS/NZS ISO 9001: 2000 Quality management systems Requirements -based
management systems focus on putting in place quality controls to ensure
consistency and improvement of key processes, which in turn provide products
and services that better meet customers' requirements.
The specific requirements under ISO 9001 cover:

management system

management responsibility

resource management

product realisation

measurement analysis and improvement.

7 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboards_(management_information_systems)> , viewed November


2009

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Section 3 Monitor Systems

To audit a continuous improvement system against standards such as ISO 9001


requires audit teams to be assembled.
Internal audit teams should be drawn from a pool of people experienced in quality
systems and continuous improvement systems.
External audit teams can be procured from registered firms who have certified
auditors in the particular continuous improvement systems.
Conducting an audit begins with understanding the goal of the audit and what
specifically is to be assessed. For example, the goal may be to analyse the
effectiveness of monitoring. The specific areas to be assessed may then include
but not be limited to:

training of new staff in monitoring processes

training of existing staff when monitoring processes change

effectiveness and consistency of monitoring

effectiveness of the communication of the results of monitoring

use of appropriate tools to monitor

timeliness of monitoring

appropriateness of monitoring in delivering against customer


requirements.

Internal audits can be conducted on a cyclical basis so that the entire operation
and the entire continuous improvement system are analysed on a regular basis.

Continually improving the system


What is continuous improvement?
Continuous improvement is a systematic approach to making things better. It can
be referred to as process improvement, or Kaizen.
Continuous improvement is the programmed, and an almost unbroken, flow of
improvements realised under a scheme such as Kaizen, lean production, or
total quality management (TQM).8
Three streams of conceptual thinking and philosophies have emerged which
relate directly to continuous improvement. These are:

Total Quality Management

Lean Manufacturing

Six Sigma.

8Business Dictionary, Continuous Improvement, Viewed November 2009,


<http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/continuous-improvement.html>.

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Research: Continuous improvement systems


Conduct some internet research on the continuous systems listed
above. Identify some of the common features of all of these
systems.
List at least five similarities below and compare with your fellow
learners.
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There are many methods for analysing the factors which inhibit performance.
Five of the more commonly used techniques are:

value stream mapping

brainstorming

5 whys

cause and effect analysis

force field analysis.

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Value stream mapping


Use value stream mapping to get the big picture of your end-to-end processes.
When you are unsure of what the problem area is or when you want to unearth
where issues exist in a set of processes you know is not performing to customer
expectations, or against benchmarks.
Use a cross-functional team with all stakeholders represented. Your organisation
may have software which helps in the generation of the value stream, however,
pencil and paper are just as useful and often more engaging for the team as all
team members can be involved. Consider purchasing value stream mapping pads
which come with defined icons you many use to establish a common visual
language.

A Value stream map

Brainstorming
Use brainstorming to access the creative sides of employees brains, to get broad
stakeholder input and to be able to build on each others ideas.
Brainstorming can be used to both identify and to solve factors which inhibit
performance.
A mode of brainstorming which is particularly good at identifying factors which
inhibit performance is negative brainstorming. In negative brainstorming the
question to be asked is why we can not improve our performance. Human nature
is such that we find it easier to think of why not, rather than How can we?
Utilising this negative aspect of our nature in brainstorming quickly creates a list
of factors inhibiting performance.

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Example: Filing system modification Part 3


Do you remember the example from the Introduction where Olivia introduced a
new filing system because people werent doing their filing?
In order to identify possible causes of the problem, Olivia held a brainstorm and
the participants came up with a number of issues which were recorded on
sticking notes.

Disorganised sticky notes following a brainstorm

Brainstorming the elements that may contribute to performance inhibition and


creating an affinity diagram can be used as a precursor to building the fishbone
(Ishikawa) diagram.
Example: Filing system modification Part 4
Following the brainstorm, Olivia and the participants organised the possible
causes under headings. This is an affinity diagram.

Sticky notes rearranged into an affinity diagram

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Cause and affect analysis


Use cause and effect analysis to drill down on particular problems. You may want
to use some of the often-used categories:

Human resources, methods, materials, measurements, and equipment.

Clients, workers, supplies, environment, and procedures.

What, how, when, where, who?

Example: Fishbones
The fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram does not establish root cause. It creates a
visual record of one or more hypotheses about root cause. Each hypothesis still
needs to be tested.

A cause and effect diagram

5 whys
Use the 5 whys alone or in conjunction with a fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram to try to
drive to the root cause.
Five whys may be conducted subjectively using the experience of employees and
other stakeholders involved in the process in question. However, if quantitative
data is available, the 5 whys technique becomes much more powerful.

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Force Field Analysis


Use force field analysis to analyse the impact of physical processes, employees
skills and knowledge, and the psychological aspects of employees and other
stakeholders behaviour on performance.
It is often more instructive in a force-field analysis to think about ways of reducing
the forces against performance than redoubling the forces pushing performance.

Force field chart

Learning activity: Research improvement techniques


Research the improvement techniques above and indentify how
each could be used to identify administrative system improvements.
You may want to discuss your findings with your facilitator or fellow
learners.
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Section 3 Monitor Systems

Monitoring and addressing training needs


Training needs must constantly be monitored to ensure that skills and abilities are
updated with changes in administrative systems. This may involve tasks such as:

induction training

refresher training

performance management

meetings

training matrix/skills matrix.

Work coaching
Workplace coaching is a collection of methods and techniques used by managers
and supervisors to help them to maintain or improve their employees work
performance.
What do we coach?
When we are talking about coaching peoples work performance, we are usually
talking about:

Task goals include bottom line targets that are measured by KPIs
production goals, deadlines, quality standards.

Non-task goals include targets such as housekeeping, attendance at


important meetings, and participation in continuous improvement.

Behaviours include things like attitude towards workmates, personal


attire.

Who do we coach?
Traditionally, managing has involved controlling and directing the work of other
people. As a coach, however, the manager works with the employees to guide
them towards solving problems for themselves, rather than directing them to the
solution.
Generally, most performance problems can be resolved through effective
communication between managers and employees. Most employees can benefit
from coaching in some way. Coaching applies to any skill at any time. It is a simple
way to set, discuss, and monitor goals in a collaborative way.
How do we coach?
Good coaches challenge employees and ask questions that help the employee to
discover how to improve.

Coach when you wish to focus attention on any specific aspect of the
employee's performance.

A coaching meeting should focus on just one or two aspects of


performance. Any more than that and employees wont remember the
main impact of your meeting.

Keep coaching conversations brief; between five and ten minutes.

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Being an effective coach requires an understanding of what motivates the


members of your team. Remember that people are motivated in different
ways. Be sensitive to the things that drive your people to perform.

When things are performing well, take the time to understand what is
working and why.

Good coaching is guiding, not telling or doing.

Allow the employee to own the problem and its solutions. Ask them: How
do you think we should handle this?

When do we coach?
Coaching is different to formal training. But how do you know when you should
step in, or let employees work through the problems for themselves?

Observe the employee's work and be alert for certain triggers or signs. For
example, you may notice an attitude or behaviour creeping in, or you
discover a slump in the weekly KPIs.

Coach when you want to focus attention on any specific aspect of the
employee's performance.

Dont hesitate do it now. Coaching is a process that is most effective


when it happens daily.

Be sure you document any key elements that come out of your coaching
sessions and store them in the employees file.

Characteristics of good coaches


Good coaches:

understand employees jobs

make decisions on facts not feelings

are visible

dont procrastinate

lead by example

listen more than talk.

practice what they preach

seek assistance when necessary.

are sincere and honest

Learning activity: Benefits of coaching


Watch the video BSBADM504B: Benefits of coaching on IBSAs YouTube
channel at <http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.
1. Why did Josh Nicholls feel he needed a coach?
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2. What did the coaching enable Josh to do?


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3. After successful coaching, and having a successful system to manage,
what was Joshs next step for the business?
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Example: The life of a workplace coach


Steve is a Department manager with a team of eight employees. He notices that
one of his staff members, Alex, seems to lack direction, displays low selfesteem, and has a number of performance issues regularly showing up late
for work and taking more sick days than the other employees. Steve has tried a
number of things, but has had little or no success.
Steve spoke to Jill in HR who suggested he might try coaching Alex. Steve
approached Alex and asked if he wanted to try coaching. They both agreed it
was worth trying and they agreed to work together once a week over three
months.
The first thing Steve asked was for Alex to write a list of the things he was good
at and the things he wasn't good at. This gave them both a focus on the areas
they could work on to help him improve over the coaching and monitoring
period.
Six months later the improvements were noticeable. Alex is now the first one at
work every day and is being recognised as a motivated team member. Instead
of potentially losing a staff member, Steve has gained a valuable asset and is
now looking at more training to help Alex develop his career.

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The GROW Model


In the world of performance management, a number of different workplace
coaching models exist.
GROW is a simple but effective model for running coaching sessions. GROW is an
acronym that stands for: Goal Current Reality Options Will.

Goal
Things can change, and the employees goals may need to be revisited and
reviewed.
Current reality
Getting to the root cause of problems means asking the team member about what
is happening and how the problem is affecting them. Often managers can leap to
a conclusion about solving a performance problem. Important information that
can help to solve the problem is often missed.
Some useful coaching questions include:

How is this change affecting your work?

If things changed do we need to revisit how we planned to approach this?

Options
Once you and your team member have explored the Current Reality, it's time to
start exploring the alternatives for solving the problem. It should be a two-way
process, so encourage the team member for their ideas and views about what
might be done.
Ask questions like:

What other options have you considered for how we might handle this?

What are the alternatives?

How else could we approach this? What risks are involved?

What are the possible risks involved in these other options?

What constraints exist?

Will
By this stage you will have examined the Current Reality and canvassed the
options for what could be done. The team member should now have a clear idea
of how to deal with the situation. The final step for you as a coach is to get them
to commit to taking action.

So how will you take this forward?

How are you going to achieve this?

What obstacles could prevent this happening?

What else will you do?

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Learning activity: Skills audit


Consider the skills required in the filing system modification
example and create a skills matrix. Use the skills matrix in Appendix
6 to list the key procedures/tasks and monitor the teams level of
skills in the procedures/tasks.
Compare and contrast your tasks with your fellow learners.
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Section summary
You should now understand how to monitor administrative systems and
continually improve them:
monitor system
continually improve
address training needs.

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Glossary

Glossary9
Term

Definition

Acquisition

Taking possession of an asset by purchase.

Business Process
Management

Activity undertaken by businesses to identify, evaluate, and


improve business processes. With the advancement of
technology, BPM can now be effectively managed with
software that is customised based on the metrics and
policies specified by a company.

Business Process
Reengineering

Thorough rethinking of all business processes, job


definitions, management systems, organisational
structure, work flow, and underlying assumptions and
beliefs. BPR's main objective is to break away from old
ways of working, and effect radical (not incremental)
redesign of processes to achieve dramatic improvements
in critical areas (such as cost, quality, service, and
response time) through the in-depth use of information
technology. Also called business process redesign.

Change
Management

Minimising resistance to organisational change through


involvement of key players and stakeholders.

Coaching

Extending traditional training methods to include focus on


(1) an individual's needs and accomplishments, (2) close
observation, and (3) impartial and non-judgmental
feedback on performance.

Consultants

Experienced professional who provides expert knowledge


(often packaged under a catchy name) for a fee. He or she
works in an advisory capacity only and is usually not
accountable for the outcome of a consulting exercise.

KPI

Key business statistics such as number of new orders,


cash collection efficiency, and return on investment (ROI),
which measure a firm's performance in critical areas. KPIs
show the progress (or lack of it) toward realising the firm's
objectives or strategic plans by monitoring activities which
(if not properly performed) would likely cause severe losses
or outright failure.

Mentoring

Employee training system under which a senior or more


experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned to act as
an advisor, counsellor, or guide to a junior or trainee. The
mentor is responsible for providing support to, and
feedback on, the individual in his or her charge.

9Business

Dictionary, viewed Novemeber 2009 <http://www.businessdictionary.com/>

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Glossary

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Term

Definition

Outsourcing

Contracting, sub-contracting, or 'externalising' non-core


activities to free up cash, personnel, time, and facilities for
activities where the firm holds competitive advantage.

Process

Sequence of interdependent and linked procedures which,


at every stage, consume one or more resources (employee
time, energy, machines, money) to convert inputs (data,
material, parts, etc.) into outputs. These outputs then
serve as inputs for the next stage until a known goal or end
result is reached.

Suppliers

External entity that supplies relatively common, off the


shelf, or standard goods or services, as opposed to a
contractor or subcontractor who commonly adds
specialised input to deliverables. Also called vendor.

System

Set of detailed methods, procedures, and routines


established or formulated to carry out a specific activity,
perform a duty, or solve a problem.

Training

Organised activity aimed at imparting information and/or


instructions to improve the recipient's performance or to
help him or her attain a required level of knowledge or
skill.

Vendors

Manufacturer, producer, or seller.

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Appendices

Appendices
Appendix 1 Implementation plan template
Appendix 2 Standard operating procedure template
Appendix 3 Specification template
Appendix 4 Case study
Appendix 5 Stakeholder mapping template
Appendix 6 Skills matrix
Appendix 7 Purchasing policy
Appendix 8 Reframing matrix template
Appendix 9 Answers to selected learning activities.

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Appendix 1: Implementation plan template


Goal:

Priority

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Task/Action

Who

Due Date

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Appendices

Appendix 2: Standard operating procedure (SOP) template


SOP NAME:
TASK
DESCRIPTION:
DEPARTMENT:

SOP#:

APPROVED BY:

Date:

Procedure:
#

Action

Description

Standard Required

Who

If successful, sign and date:


Job title

Name

Signature

Date

Employee/Candidate
Supervisor/Assessor

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Appendix 3: Specification template


Problem definition

Proposed solution (for new or modified administrative system)

Goals and objectives (of the new or modified administrative system)

User requirements/expectations (including features and benefits)

Performance standards (what performance are you expecting?)

Internal and external standards (what other standards are relevant?)

Processes/procedures (which ones will require revision?)

Budget (what is your price range?)

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Appendices

Appendix 4: Case study


You are working for a large insurance company with offices located throughout
Australia. The organisation is rather old-fashioned in that most business is
done by phone or by agents who travel to see customers.
The strategic plan states that the organisation will reduce carbon emissions by
20% over the next two years. The goal is:
To reduce carbon emissions by 20% over the next two years without impacting
negatively on sales.
Each business unit is required to develop strategies and plans for their unit to
meet this goal. Your business unit is responsible for administrative systems.

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Appendix 5: Stakeholder mapping template

Opposition
Active
opponents

Passive
opponents

Support
Fence-sitters

Passive
supporters

Active
supporters

Stakeholder
power

High

Medium

Low

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Appendix 6: Skills matrix template


Team member

Work task

Legend:
Untrained
Team member has no training
Learner
Team member cannot perform task independently
Practitioner
Team member can perform task independently with supervision
Operator
Team member can perform task independently
Coach
Team member can train others to perform task

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Appendix 7: Purchasing policy


Purpose
To establish a process and framework for contracts and purchases of resources
that ensures:

our purchases are budgeted for or are subject to financial controls

all purchases are cost effective

purchasing activities complies with legislation.

Policy

organisation funds are only used for work-related purposes

purchases are cost effective

purchasing procedures must comply with relevant legislation

failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will result in
disciplinary measures.

Procedure
Definitions

Material expenditures expenditures for normal day to day operations.

Capital expenditures expenditures to new equipment or administrative


systems.

Authorities:

General Manager final decision on purchasing.

Department Managers are responsible for operational budgets


(including supply/purchase of material resources).

Purchasing Committee is responsible for decisions on capital


expenditures.

Purchasing Officer responsible for documentation and process.

Approving Material Expenditure

Material expenditures are the responsibility of the departmental


manager, namely: Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager, Office
Manager.

All material expenditures must be accounted for within the departments


operational budget.

Any material expenditure that exceeds departmental operational budgets


must be raised immediately with the General Manager.

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Appendices

Approving Capital Expenditure

A purchasing committee has been established and meets monthly to


review and approve major purchases (over $1000).

Membership includes the General Manager, Manufacturing Manager,


Warehouse Manager, Office Manager, Accountant and Purchasing
Officer.

Preferred suppliers are to be asked to quote for relevant contracts. The


purchasing officer maintains the list of preferred suppliers on the
purchasing committees behalf.

Copies of documents relating to purchases must be provided to the


committee for review (see table below).

The purchasing committee must review the proposed expenditure


against the relevant budgets.

Monetary limit

Requirement

Documentation

Decision

Up to $1000

Direct
purchase

Tax invoice

Department
Manager

$1001$10000

3 written
quotes

Copies of 3 quotes
Comparisons table
Project budget

Purchasing
Committee

$10,001unlimited

3 written
quotes

Suppliers must
present to purchasing
committee

Purchasing
Committee

Contract, Order and Payment

Expenditures, once approved, should be forwarded to the purchasing


officer for review and finalisation of contract (if applicable).

All contracts must be reviewed and signed by the General Manager.

Purchase orders are to be raised electronically through the


organisational accounting system.

Payment on 30 day terms is customary.

Purchase orders must be checked approved by person with budget


responsibility (Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager, Office Manager).

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Appendix 8: Reframing matrix template

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Appendices

Appendix 9: Answers to selected learning activities


Learning activity: Managing continuous improvement
Watch the video BSBADM504B: Managing continuous improvement on IBSAs
YouTube channel at <http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.
1. How have Jeff and Alana managed continuous improvement within their
Platinum Electrics business?
Example answer:
Jeff and Alana have managed continuous improvement very well. Jeff
started the business when he was 22 and at the time he had no idea
how to run a business. He successfully separated work from home,
bought a workshop, started turning over a large amount of money and
hired 30 staff.
2. What has been Alanas role in the business?
Example answer:
Alana has taken an active role within the business to the point where
she and Jeff run the business as a successful team. Alana loves working
on systems, developing the business and fixing inadequacies within the
business.

Learning activity: Benefits of coaching


Watch the video BSBADM504B: Benefits of coaching on IBSAs YouTube
channel at <http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.
1. Why did Josh Nicholls feel he needed a coach?
Example answer:
Josh felt he needed a coach to regain control of his life and business.
2. What did the coaching enable Josh to do?
Example answer:
The coaching enabled Josh to make sure that once he had built the role
up to a certain level and built systems and procedures, he could then
employ someone else to go into that role or position. The coaching goal
was to make sure he could work himself out of each area of the
business.
3. After successful coaching, and having a successful system to manage,
what was Joshs next step for the business?
Example answer:
Build up franchising opportunities within the business.

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Learning activity: Training staff


Watch the video BSBADM504B: Training staff on IBSAs YouTube channel at
<http://www.youtube.com/ibsachannel>.
1. Explain how Jeff supports his sales staff to be more self reliant in his
business.
Example answer:
Jeff goes out on the road with sales staff and does the talking for the
first two appointments while his sales staff listen. For the next two
appointments, the staff will listen and speak a little to the customer.
Then the last two appointments will be done by the sales staff
themselves, without Jeffs support or help.
2. What is Alana explaining in the video?
Example answer:
Alana is asking how do I train the staff to be good at a role, and how
can I improve myself as a leader to let go, and let other people move
on?" She is talking about effective staff delegation.

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