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One THE PROBLEM AND ITS SCOPE
Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
Operational Definition of Key Terms
Two REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Concepts, Ideas, Opinions from Authors/Experts
Validity and Reliability of the Instrument
Data Gathering Procedures
Limitations of the Study
Four PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA
Five FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS
Appendix I - Transmittal Letter
Appendix II - Research Instrument
Appendix III - Proposed Budget
Appendix IV - Time Frame
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Sample and population
Table 2: Sampling Procedure
Table 3: Age of respondent
Table 4: Sex distribution of sample respondents
Table 5: Occupation of respondents
Table 6: Marital status of respondent
Table 7: Education status of respondent
Table 8: Service delivered through TANROADS Information System
Table 9: Sources of data collected through TANROADS Information System
Table 10: Technologies used for processing data and its consumption
Table 11: Challenges against TANROADS Information System
List of Abbreviations
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This chapter introduces the historical background of the problem and organisation. It also includes the statement of the problem, objectives of the study, the reasons as to why the study was conducted, limitations as well as scope of the study.
The Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) is an Executive Agency under the Ministry of Works, established under section 3(1) of the Executive Agencies Act (Cap 245) and came into operation in July, 2000. The Agency is responsible for the maintenance and development of the trunk and regional road network in Tanzania Mainland. The Agency has 21 Regional Offices located in all Regions in Mainland Tanzania.
So, in order to meet the responsibilities given to the agency, computer based systems were introduced to be used to collect data, process them and disseminating information. Several types of software was introduced to the agency for the purpose of realizing effectiveness in the system. This explains why the TANROADS Information System have separate software for every specific task.
For instance, software 'e' by Epicor used for processing, management and reporting financial information within TANROADS. Other softwares are “e Horizon” for Payroll and Human resources, “MS Project” for project planning and monitoring, “Tan bridge man (BMMS)” for bridge plan and construction and “Road Mentor (RMMS)” for road maintenance. Although the TANROADS Information System have these various software systems in place, they lack coordination and integration as well as sharing information across. The existing systems do not allow information to flow from one department function to the other. Neither do they allow employees to access information from the various TANROADS departments for the purposed of participation, planning or enhanced agency responsiveness.
Despite the importance of using Information Systems for service delivery, TANROADS, similar to many organizations, especially the Public Organizations in developing countries in and outside Tanzania, have not adopted well this technology. This is due to the fact that, the challenges identified affect information systems implementation and utilization.
consequently, the gap realised between the developed world information systems differ from the ones available in developing countries. For instance, the Tanzanians Computerised Information Systems are experiencing inadequate resources such as physical components (hardware & communication channels) which involve the Information Systems construction and trained people in the field of computer science. The non physical components are also experiencing failures related to management skills, software development and systems analysis.
Besides, Most of Public Sectors in Tanzania have not adopted the Information Systems technology due to the inefficiency of expertise on computer related technologies. In Tanzania most of employees/Staff in the Public Sectors have limited knowledge in computers hardware and software. This has resulted in its inability to coordinate its programmes and other management skill inputs during implementation of TANROADS strategic plans. Most employees are not aware about the Information Systems and services available/used in the system.
Some Public Organization procedures hinder not only their employees but also the public to have access on some of their information. This is generally due to the government security regulations. In other cases data/information is made inaccessible due to the bureaucracy on disclosure and sharing of information. This problem affects almost 60 – 75 % of employees who use paper for their work. The ineffective use of IT operations and inadequate knowledge of employees affect performance of the system. This is in effect, denying the public the right to access information and proper utilization of available information resources in the systems. The problem has resulted in relatively the low performance of TANROADS tasks. ( field data, 2011)
Although TANROADS Information Systems is very important to TANROADS operation, the existing challenges make the system redundant. This is not only the employees involved but, the public/community as well. The available studies identified that, there is no simple answers when dealing with critical social issues like service delivery. So the effort made by this study is to attempt to address and improve the TANROADS information systems.
The purpose of, this study is therefore; 1. to contribute to effective use of TANROADS Information Systems in a wide scope. Apart from the current used different softwares, TANROADS can use one system to collect, process and disseminate information across its departments, partners and agencies. 2. Investigate the challenges related to cost, speed, awareness, availability, efficiency and coverage as well the consequences involved in the project.
1. To examine the range of TANROADS Information Systems services that are intended to collect, process and disseminate information
2. To asses the challenges against service delivered in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. delivered through TANROADS information systems
3. Carryout research studies into alternative options to improve the services delivered by the TANROADS information systems.
1. What are the range of information services delivered by the TANROADS Information Systems, in both Dar-es-salaam and Mwanza?
2. What are methods used byTANROADS Information Systems to collect, process and disseminate information?
3. What are the challenges against services offered by the TANROADS Information Systems in either Dar-es-salaam or Mwanza?
4. What are alternative options on how to improve the services offered through TANROADS Information Systems?
This study is hypothesis free.
This research was conducted at Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS)-Headquarters and Mwanza Regional office. The study covered several departments, including, Accounting, Stores, Administration, Maintenance, Planning, Procurement and Project Management. It covered also units like, Chief Executive Office, Audit and Regional sections. The assessment was based on how to make effective use of Information Systems in order to facilitate enhanced services delivery. Some variables that are related to this study, were critically investigated i.e. operation costs, speed, awareness, availability, efficiency and wide coverage of information systems in the study area.
To the researcher.
- The study enables the researcher(s) to understand the critical areas of ICT still challenging them. Therefore, they can come up with topics that will assist to minimize the gap available in both literature and effective information systems management.
To the TANROADS
- The study findings identify the critical areas of TANROADS Information Systems and the challenges arising there from. Hence, the study recommends that TANROADS will need to address alternative tools to manage the identified drawbacks against effective use of Information Systems to deliver service.
To the Academicians
- The research findings can be use to provide data for the related topics as reference. Also, the study intended to fill the gap realised and contribute to available ICT literatures.
Operational Definitions of Key Terms
Service delivery in ICT, the term Service Delivery usually refers to a set of components that provide a services delivery architecture (such as service creation, session control and protocols) for a type of service.
Service Delivery often require integration of telecom and IT capabilities and the creation of services that cross technology and network boundaries. Service Delivery are applicable to both consumer and business applications.
Information System is any combination of information technology and people's activities using that technology to support operations, management. In a very broad sense, the term information system is frequently used to refer to the interaction between people, algorithmic processes, data and technology. In this sense, the term is used to refer not only to the information and communication technology (ICT) an organization uses, but also to the way in which people interact with this technology in support of business processes.
Some make a clear distinction between information systems, and computer systems ICT, and business processes. Information systems are distinct from information technology in that an information system is typically seen as having an ICT component. It is mainly concerned with the purposeful utilization of information technology. Information systems are also different from business processes. Information systems help to control the performance of business processes.
This chapter is divided into two parts. Empirical literature review which include findings from other researchers done before and Theoretical literature review which include all books, journals and articles that were written on the topic of study.
The meaning of Information Systems
Scholars (2007) defines information system as a combination of different components includes hardware, software, telecommunication infrastructure and trained personnel organized to facilitate planning, control, coordination, and decision making in an organization.
TANROADS information systems and the stakeholders involved.
TANROADS Information systems (IS) are one of data processing and communication tools. The purpose of introducing these systems, were to produce accurate, reliable and timely information. The process meant to enhance accessibility and availability of data, which are collected from various sources related to TANROADS functions. Also, (IS) intended to meet the challenges happening on delivering quality services towards customers competitively. For example, at a broad level, (IS) expected to become one of key components in achieving the organisation’s mission (Drury & Farhoomand, 1998). But, in a narrow scope the (IS) concentrating on productivity and facilitate service delivery among stakeholders (Brown, 1999). Even though a cursory examination of the IS has a numerous challenges to meet individual organisations expectations towards the stakeholders. One of the available literatures suggesting critical examination on IS utilization against its success (Hwang, Windsor, & Pryor, 2000). Whereby, the organisations make fully utilization of its stakeholder’s idea and existing opportunities.
The Public Sector demand on services offered through TANROADS information systems.
The term public sector refers to “enterprises which the Government, State/Territory and local governments, separately or jointly have control over. It includes local government authorities and all government departments, agencies and authorities created by, or reporting to, the Government. It also includes public trading enterprises. The sector has a unique purpose since “government serves all citizens through the exercise of its powers, authorities and roles, including those who are direct recipients of its services. Hence, TANROADS information systems are among the Governments service channel. It’s therefore responsible to meet public demands, in association with other public actors. (Crawford, 1996; p5).
Although making profit and maximising shareholder value is not the main objectives of TANROADS agency nor do they depend upon outperforming its competitors (DeLoof, 1996). But, agency needs to become accountable of information System projects. Hence the team members’ awareness and coordination of systems are crucial within, for public sector to become smart and wider than the private sector (Briner, Hastings, Geddes, 1996). Furthermore, it’s evident that any changes within the stakeholders or partners is one of factors that can create turbulence or pressure related to political, legal as well as financial management issues. Other pressures are related to managerial and human factors to mention just few.
Therefore, Public sector organisations need to examine efficiency of services offered and its consequences (Dowse, 2003). For example, turbulence happening during election period due to communication failure is among the information systems challenges (Campbell, 2003). Hence, as a result of that turbulence IT staff members can find themselves working for two different agencies. It means different environment set up with different people. Or people who have different attitude towards TANROADS information systems experiences. As a result, a change within IS stakeholders, has both success and failure to deliver quality services on time.
The Stakeholder Perspective
From a ‘stakeholder’ perspective, each stakeholder is in the position to view the project outcome from various perspectives and arrive at different conclusions. To obtain a comprehensive perspective on IS success these views have to be considered. In the IS discipline, relevant stakeholders can readily be identified as those that ultimately use the system (end-users) and those charged with delivering those systems (IS professionals). From an end-user perspective, high usability of the system is logically linked to IS success. “If users cannot use the system effectively and efficiently then, it deemed not a success.” (Fisher, 2001, p. 25).
Information Systems and technologies used by TANROADS on service delivery.
An information system is a collection of hardware, software, data, people and procedures that are designed to generate information that supports the day-to-day, short-range, and long-range activities of users in an organization. Information systems generally are classified into five categories: office information systems, transaction processing systems, management information systems, decision support systems, and expert systems. The following sections present each of these information systems.
Office Information Systems
An office information system, or OIS (pronounced oh-eye-ess), is an information system that uses hardware, software and networks to enhance work flow and facilitate communications among employees. Win an office information system, also described as office automation; employees perform tasks electronically using computers and other electronic devices, instead of manually. With an office information system, for example, a registration department might post the class schedule on the Internet and e-mail students when the schedule is updated. In a manual system, the registration department would photocopy the schedule and mail it to each student’s house.
An office information system supports a range of business office activities such as creating and distributing graphics and/or documents, sending messages, scheduling, and accounting. All levels of users from executive management to staff members utilize and benefit from the features of an OIS.
The software an office information system uses to support these activities include word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation graphics, e-mail, Web browsers, Web page authoring, personal information management, and groupware. Office information systems use communications technology such as voice mail, facsimile (fax), videoconferencing, and electronic data interchange (EDI) for the electronic exchange of text, graphics, audio, and video. An office information system also uses a variety of hardware, including computers equipped with modems, video cameras, speakers, and microphones; scanners; and fax machines.
Transaction Processing Systems
A transaction processing system (TPS) is an information system that captures and processes data generated during an organization’s day-to-day transactions. A transaction is a business activity such as a deposit, payment, order or reservation.
Clerical staffs typically perform the activities associated with transaction processing, which include the following:
Recording social and economic activities or data related to TANROADS both staffs and constructions.
Making Confirmation as well as responding to queries: such as working schedule, sending and receiving invoice from across clients, sponsors and contractors.
Also, maintaining available data, adding new data, changing existing data, or removing unwanted data.
Transaction processing systems were among the first computerized systems developed to process business data – a function originally called data processing. Usually, the TPS computerized an existing manual system to allow for faster processing, reduced clerical costs and improved service delivery.
The first transaction processing systems usually used batch processing. With batch processing, transaction data is collected over a period of time and all transactions are processed later, as a group. As computers became more powerful, system developers built online transaction processing systems. With online transaction processing (OLTP) the computer processes transactions as they are entered. For instance when registering people/clients for compensation. The registration administrative assistant enters your desired schedule and the computer immediately prints your statement of classes. The invoices, however, often are printed using batch processing, meaning all student invoices are printed and mailed at a later date.
Today, most transaction processing systems use online transaction processing. Some routine processing tasks such as calculating pay checks or printing invoices, however, are performed more effectively on a batch basis. For these activities, many organizations still use batch processing techniques.
But, this particular service is not among services offered through available TANROADS information systems. This is due to poor internet connection and wide coverage among the stakeholders.
Management Information Systems
Meanwhile (Marion, 2002) disclosed that, computers are ideal for routine transaction processing; managers soon realized that the computers’ capability of performing rapid calculations and data comparisons could produce meaningful information for management. Management information systems thus evolved out of transaction processing systems. A management information system, or MIS ( pronounced em-eye-ess), is an information system that generates accurate, timely and organized information so managers and other users can make decisions, solve problems, supervise activities, and track progress. Because it generates reports on a regular basis, a management information system sometimes is called a management reporting system (MRS).
Management information systems often are integrated with transaction processing systems. To process a sales order, for example, the transaction processing system records the sale, updates the customer’s account balance, and makes a deduction from inventory. Using this information, the related management information system can produce reports that recap daily sales activities; list customers with past due account balances; graph slow or fast selling products; and highlight inventory items that need reordering. A management information system focuses on generating information that management and other users need to perform their jobs.
Either URT (2003) added that, MIS generates three basic types of information: detailed, summary and exception. Detailed information typically confirms transaction processing activities. A Detailed Order Report is an example of a detail report. Summary information consolidates data into a format that an individual can review quickly and easily. To help synopsize information, a summary report typically contains totals, tables, or graphs. An Inventory Summary Report is an example of a summary report.
Exception information filters data to report information that is outside of a normal condition. These conditions, called the exception criteria, define the range of what is considered normal activity or status. An example of an exception report is an Inventory Exception Report is an Inventory Exception Report that notifies the purchasing department of items it needs to reorder. Exception reports help managers save time because they do not have to search through a detailed report for exceptions. Instead, an exception report brings exceptions to the manager’s attention in an easily identifiable form. Exception reports thus help them focus on situations that require immediate decisions or actions.
But on the other hand (TANROADS reports, 2010) identified that, still TANROADS is falling short. This is due to the fact that, the agency can process and make inventories which are not shared among the stakeholders. Because, some individuals performed factions are done in isolation to each other in separate system. It means the systems are not complimenting to each other to offer a range of data available.
Decision Support Systems
Transaction processing and management information systems provide information on a regular basis. Frequently, however, users need information not provided in these reports to help them make decisions. A sales manager, for example, might need to determine how high to set yearly sales quotas based on increased sales and lowered product costs. Decision supports systems help provide information to support such decisions.
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