Business Processes, Information and Information systems (Chapter 2) Flashcards Preview

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What is a business processes?

A business process is a structured network of activities, resources, facilities and information that interact to accomplish some business function.

Can also be called business systems.

Input -> 'adding value' -> output

Blank form -> fill out the form -> form with information

[Business processes transform information]


When studying business processes what questions should we ask ourselves?

- What is working well?
- What is not working well?
- Can anything be simplified? Inefficiencies?
- Can we re-order/re-organise or eliminate any tasks to increase efficiency?
- Can we reduce any costs by implementing information technology?


When is an information system likely to fail?

If the processes haven't been correctly understood and optimised before the system is implemented.


How do you describe the nature of business processes?

Business systems or processes are INTEGRATED.
They all rely on one another.


What features do good business processes have?

Good business processes are flexible and adaptable in nature.


Give examples of common business processes.

Inventory management processes.
Manufacturing processes.
Sales and support services/processes.
Accounting systems
Human Resource Management (HRM)


Describe the relationship between IT and business processes.

Hardware supports Software which supports the business processes.
The IT does not determine the process.
The IT and data are presented in a way through IS to enable us to achieve our business goals.


Describe a simple inventory management business process from database to inventory.

1. Inventory database, allows us to know the quantity we need for ordering.
2. We order products from the supplier.
3. We send that order to our stocking/receiving department.
4. We record items received, and cross check with supplier invoice.
5. We pay our supplier.
6. We move products to our inventory.


What are the 7 components of a business process.
Give examples.

1. Facility
E.g. Inventory

2. Activities.
They transform information.
E.g. Purchasing payment, receiving stock etc.

3. Decisions.
Questions that can be answered with a 'yes or a 'no'. Branch in a business process diagram. E.g. Do we need to order stock?

4. Roles.
Sets of procedures we follow.
E.g. Get stock, place it over here, once accounted for put stock in appropriate storage.

5. Resources.
People. facilities or computer programs that are assigned roles.
E.g. Supplier, Payment (Money), Customer, Shipped goods/product.

6. Repositories
Collection of business records.
E.g. Inventory database.

7. Data flow
Movement of data from one activity to another.
E.g. Shipping invoice, order, quantity received.


What is information?

Knowledge derived from data.
Data is just (1,1,1,0,1).
Information is data that is processed and presented in a meaningful context.

E.g. summing, ordering, averaging, grouping, comparing etc.
You can make sense of information.


What are the characteristics of good information?
Describe them.

1. Accurate
- Correct and complete
- Crucial for management
- We can cross-check information to ensure accuracy

2. Timely
- Produced in time for its intended use

3. Relevant to both
- Context
- Subject

4. Just barely sufficient
- Sufficient for the purpose for which it is generated
- Doesn't contain extraneous information

5. Worth its cost
- Relationship between the cost and value
- Must be worth both time and money
(IS use resources to develop maintain and use)


How do IS support business processes?

What is the realtionship between activities and IS?

Who determines their relationship, and when do they do it?

IS supports business activities through the functions that they perform.
Activities could have either;
- one/it's own Information System
- use several information systems

System designers determine the realtionship between activities and systems during development.


What does automation do?

Automation moves work from the human side (people/process) to the computer side.

Hardware replaces the people, software replaces the procedures. Data is always the glue.


What are the actors, instructions and bridge in IS?

Actors = Hardware & People
Instructions = Software & Procedures
Bridge = Data


What is an example of a processes that has moved to automation?

Booking with a person.
Actor = Receptionist
Instructions = Booking the table.
Data = Time, Date, people

Online booking
Actor = Computer
Software = Website and it's software
Data = Time, Date, people


What are things that effect the chances of system being automated?

Increased likelihood of automation:
- low skill
- high turnover
- system already has a large amount of automation
- repetitive

Decrease likelihood of automation:
- high skill
- manual work
- little existing automation
- complicated