Group Decision Support Systems

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Group decision system, is a computerized based system that helps managers and employees to take better enhancing faster decisions, and also its main purpose to solve problems and help decision - making process.

Group decision supported system, is like a DSS but here we do it in group, we can say it is an electronic meeting for colleagues to discuss and take important decisions in business, and the result will be better than if one person took the decision and it will faster for sure.

Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS)were referred to as a Group Support System (GSS) or anelectronic meeting systemsince they shared similar foundations. However today's GDSS is characterised by being adapted for a group of people who collaborate to support integratedsystems thinkingfor complex decision making. Participants use a common computer or network to enable collaboration.

Computer software and hardware used to support group functions and processes.

Why is GDSS better to OTIS company...

• High level managers can spend 80% of their time making decisions in groups. Applied correctly, GDSS can reduce this time, arriving at a better decision faster.

• GDSS provides the hardware, software, databases and procedures for effective decision making.

Characteristics of GDSS ...

• Special Design

• Ease of use

• Specific and general support

• Suppressing negative group behavior

• Supporting positive group behavior

• Organizational commitment/support

• Trained facilitators or may be user driven

• User training

• Anonymity

• Appropriate tasks

Dedicated decision rooms

Advantages of GDSS:

• Anonymity - drive out fear leading to better decisions from a diverse hierarchy of decision makers

• Parallel Communication - eliminate monopolizing providing increased participation, better decisions

• Automated record keeping - no need to take notes, they're automatically recorded

• Ability for virtual meetings - only need hardware, software and people connected

• Portability - Can be set up to be portable… laptop

• Global Potential - People can be connected across the world

No need for a computer guru - although some basic experience is a must

Disadvantages of GDSS:

• Cost -infrastructure costs to provide the hardware and software/room/network connectivity can be very expensive

• Security - especially true when companies rent the facilities for GDSS; also, the facilitator may be a lower-level employee who may leak information to peers

• Technical Failure - power loss, loss of connectivity, relies heavily on bandwidth and LAN/WAN infrastructure - properly setup system should minimize this risk

• Keyboarding Skills - reduced participation may result due to frustration

• Training - learning curve is present for users, varies by situation

• Perception of messages - lack of verbal communication could lead to misinterpretation

• Examples of GDSS :

• 1) “One example of implementation of GDSS is at IBM. They, as well as many other corporations, initiated GDSS to improve group meetings. A specific case involved a plant manager not being able to identify the cause of problems with shop floor control. After having a meeting for two hours with plant personnel all that resulted were arguments and bad feelings.

• So after meeting with the company's GDSS facilitator, the manager decided to have ten plant employees, himself, and two junior analysts participate in a GDSS program. They would use electronic brainstorming and voting to resolve the shop floor control problem.

• The manager and the facilitator decided the topic would be "What are the key issues in improving shop floor control?"

• After brainstorming for 35 minutes and compiling 645 lines of suggestions, ideas and comments on how to improve shop floor control, the manager found that he had gotten useful information about the issue for the first time.

• A list was compiled of the comments and then the members of the group ranked them in order of importance. The results were displayed and a discussion occurred for ten minutes. The manager thanked the participants and was given a printout of all the discussion and results of the group vote (Aiken 3).”

• 2) “Another example is Hewlett-Packard. Their human-factors engineers work at locations all over the world. And they meet in person only once a year. The rest of the time, they have frequent, ongoing meetings to discuss professional and company issues. But they have these discussions through an electronic conference and final decision making is done with the aid of GDSS (Sproull 121).”

Best Uses Of GDSS:

• Complex decision making

• For Large Groups - a meeting of 2 or 3 people does not justify GDSS investment

Future Implications of GDSS:

• Integrating into existing corporate framework

- GDSS brings changes which must be managed

• GDSS will incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems - the software will “learn” and help the users make better decisions

• Decreasing cost will allow more organizations to use GDSS

• Increasing implementation of GDSS with the customer

- Customer voice their needs in non-threatening environment

• GDSS may play a large role in the future of the virtual companies

• GDSS can help the virtual companies do business in the global business environment

• GDSS can help promote a culturally diverse work environment

• Tele work seems to make a lot of sense using GDSS

Choosing The Right GDSS:

• Consider the following;

- Decision Task Type

- Group Size

- Location of members of the group

EIS :

Not a piece ofhardwareorsoftware, but aninfrastructure thatsuppliesto a firm'sexecutivesthe up-to-the-minute operationaldata, gathered and sifted from various databases. Thetypicalinformationmix presented to the executive may includefinancialinformation, work in process,inventoryfigures,salesfigures,markettrends,industrystatistics, andmarket priceof the firm'sshares. It may even suggest whatneedsto be done, but differs from adecision support system (DSS)in that it is targeted at executives and notmanagers.

Management Information Systems and Integrated information Systems helps the companies to streamline information in a proper manner and make it accessible to everybody. However there is no point in providing the required information to those who are not authorized to take crucial decisions with it. It should reach the hands of the persons who are supposed to act and decide upon it. This is what management Information Systems is all about.

They help the senior managers and executives to consolidate things. The role of these people is very important because they are the link between the boards of directors or otherwise referred as decision makers and the employees of the company. They will have to provide accurate information to them in order to facilitate the formulation and revision of rules policies procedures and guidelines.

The functioning of executive information system can said to fall after the management information system followed by information integrated systems. These functions will have no follow up without the proper working of executive information systems. The earlier function can help in circulation and processing. But when it comes to decision making or making important changes the formers neither have a say nor can afford a place because their results are not directly under the purview of top management. This is not to deny that they don't come under the purview of the higher management. It only aims to explain the fact that senior management will be informed of the progress. But the executive information system provides a scale for them to go further with the operations.

Characteristics of Executive information systems:

Executive information systems can be compared to that of a project planner for executives. While project planner helps to schedule the work to be done for a particular project eis help them to schedule them for the company as a whole. Moreover project planner is just for one project. The subsequent projects will have different project planners depending on the requirements and nature of the project. However when it comes to enterprise information systems they are fundamental to the enterprise operation not only in the current scenario but also in the future. The way they work may undergo change but the purpose and objectives will remain one and the same.

This is a system which is directly handled by the managers. They don't have to rely on the assistance of technical persons for every minute issue. It has been designed in such a way that the managers can operate it easily with some prior guidance. Whenever major functions have to be changed for operating the system they may have to approach the persons with technical expertise. Otherwise they will be able to handle small problems by themselves as the complexities are not much.

Another important feature of executive information systems is that they are customizable to the needs of the individual user. A manger may have own preferences in handling and making strategic decisions. They may not necessarily have to be akin with other managers of the same organization. This does not necessarily affect the performance of anyone. As said earlier management information systems are easier to handle and adjust. Therefore each manager can tune things to solely suit his convenience and working pattern.

So from this we can see which is more suitable for this company, and that will be GDSS, and the company will make more progress if it replaced it with the EIS that they are using now.

REFERENCING

Ø http://dssresources.com/history/dsshistory.html

Ø http://www.erpwire.com/erp-articles/executive-information-systems.htm

Ø http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/GDSS

Ø http://ww2.cis.temple.edu/isworld/vmc/April98/gray/GRAY.htm

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