Unit 19: Business Administration Systems F/506/4140

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  1 Understand administrative systems

1.1 Explain the features of administrative systems used in different types and sizes of organisation
1.2 Explain how organisations manage the flow of information
1.3 Evaluate the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in supporting administration
2 Understand how systems thinking affects the administrative performance of organisations
2.1 Explain the stages of systems development
2.2 Explain the contribution of systems thinking to efficient administrative performance
2.3 Analyse the drawbacks to systems thinking in an organisational context
2.4 Evaluate the benefits of implementing systems change
3 Understand the role of policies and procedures in meeting customer requirements
3.1 Explain the difference between administrative policies and procedures
3.2 Analyse the purpose of formal and informal administrative policies and procedures
3.3 Analyse methods for evaluating the effectiveness of procedures
3.4 Analyse the relationship between formulating policy and preparing procedures
3.5 Analyse how to ensure the procedures meet customer requirements
1 Understand administrative systems
Administrative systems: size of organisation; type of organisation; purposes, e.g. support business activity, provide back office services; functional areas, e.g. personnel, payroll, purchasing, sales, accounting, client management; methods, e.g. paper based, computer based
Managing information flow: information flows between information generators and information users; information flows across functional areas; internal flows; external flows; types of information, e.g. text, numbers, graphics, audio, video; content; level of detail; volume of information; timing; intelligibility; differentiating between essential and useful information; frequency; storage; retrieval; recording information flows; confirming receipt of information; acting on information
Role of information and communication technology (ICT) in supporting administration: hardware; software, e.g. databases; local area networks; wide area networks; world wide web; supporting administration; storing data; manipulating data; retrieving information; formatting information for users to provide intelligibility and clarity; speed of information flows; consistent information; information integration; information analysis
2 Understand how systems thinking affects the administrative performance of organisations
Stages of systems development: investigation; analysis; design; testing; documenting; implementation; operation; maintenance
Systems thinking: organisation systems; organisation sub-systems; interaction of system components on a system; hard systems; soft systems; contribution to efficient administrative performance; problem solving; performance analysis; dealing with recurring problems; action affecting environment; unobvious problem solving; drawbacks to systems thinking; unplanned consequences; time requirement; unclear system boundaries; failure to see ‘the big picture’
Benefits of implementing systems change: efficiency; cost reduction; revenue generation; integration of processes both internal and external; fewer staff; immediacy of response; responsiveness to user needs; closeness to the customer (internal, external); competitive advantage; supporting achievement of organisation goals
3 Understand the role of policies and procedures in meeting customer requirements
Administrative policy and procedures: policies (formal and informal); formal administrative policies and procedures; broad philosophy; principles; rules to guide decisions, e.g. equality policy, health and safety policy; achievement of specified outcomes; regulation of actions and conduct; procedures (formal and informal); specific rules, e.g. procedure for dealing with late payers; relationship between formulating policy and producing procedures; support the implementation of a policy; establish accountability, e.g. who, what, where, when, why; characteristics, e.g. specific, factual, succinct, to the point; content, e.g. descriptions of processes, timelines, forms, templates; standard operating procedures; methods of procedure; informal administrative policies and procedures; custom and practice; undocumented; short circuit established policies and procedures to achieve desired outcomes; update and amend formal policies and procedures; provide advice or ideas; provide specific guidance
Procedures meeting customer requirements: customer needs; match product and/or service to customer requirements; provide product and/or service to customer; provide information; provide support; customer relationship management; customer views; feedback; customer tracking
Methods for evaluating the effectiveness of procedures: monitor; gather data from interested parties; review against best practice and/or desired outcomes; evaluate; propose improvements and/or changes

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