DrugCureAll (DCA) is a pharmaceutical company whose business strategy is based on high quality and customer responsiveness. To remain competitive, the organization expects the highest quality of output from its labour force, while making its products vastly available to consumers. To make this possible, DCA recruits talent directly from college campuses, and offers job rotations as a means of employee development.

The organization’s culture values the diverse perspectives of its employees and believes intelligent people will become successful regardless of training. The HR department has recently received complaints from management regarding the inconsistencies in the skill sets of new accounting analysts. There have been recent trends in the slow acclimation to the organization by the new hires, varied levels of expertise among the new hires, and performance deficiencies relating to key skills necessary for proficiency in the role.

A training analyst by the name of Ellen Ahmad had been tasked with conducting a needs assessment of the situation, in preparation for creating a training program designed to onboard new hires faster. Ellen approached the needs assessment process from a diagnostic perspective. The purpose of diagnosis, as it relates to training, needs assessment is to identify performance standards, as well as rank inconsistencies by priority.

She researched the issue at hand, collected information to validate or dispel assumptions proposed by management, and attempted to identify gaps between actual and desired performance. Based on Swanson’s (2007) description of a sound performance diagnosis, one could argue that Ellen is on the right track to arrive at the root cause of the performance deficiencies that are negatively impacting organizational workflow and productivity.

Furthermore, Ellen employed additional analyses including a job/task analysis and goal analysis to further assess the problems within the DCA accounting department. Ellen also consulted master performers to document expertise and she ensured that she had stakeholder and management support. Lastly, she expressed that she would summarize and share her findings with the organization in an attempt to promote the consideration of tools and methods for performance improvement.

Specific Actions

1. Probed for Additional Information: Barbazette (2006) states “Although a client may think a needs assessment is not required, asking questions (why, who, how, what, and when) to confirm your understanding of the training request and making suggestions about how to customize and tailor the existing training and best meet the needs of the client.
2. Took Appropriate Measures to Verify Information Received: “Information can validate or dispel assumptions” (Barbazette, 2006) by reviewing organizational documents, and interviewing organization members to reconcile results with initial reports, Ellen took appropriate measures to verify the accuracy of the information given to her by management.

3. Assessed the current “buy-in” state of stakeholders: Barbazette (2006) and Swanson (2007) both draw considerable attention to the importance of gaining stakeholder support. While one refers to this as obtaining client agreement (Swanson) and the other as gaining stakeholder buy-in (Barbazette), both authors place emphasis on the importance of having organizational members, especially management, agree on the interpretation of initial findings and proposed training solutions or other non-training remedies.
4. Collected and Reviewed Relevant Data: Ellen made good use of many of the tools found in traditional needs assessment. Swanson (2007) states “organizations keep records of many everyday occurrences” and adds that such records can be valuable sources of information that provide insight into performance deficiencies within the organization.
5. Researched the Needs Assessment Process: Although her research methods were questionable, Ellen made an effort to increase her knowledge and understanding of the needs assessment process.
6. Conducted a Task/Job Analysis: Barbazette (2006) lists a job/task analysis as a critical component of the needs assessment process. The author identifies the purpose of this analysis as identifying the best and correct way to do the task and to determine how the job can be broken down into teachable parts.
7. Conducted Goals Analysis: In addition to the previously mentioned strategies, Ellen also conducted a goal analysis, which Barbazette (2006) defines as the identification of what the “specific behaviour improvement is behind a vague desire.
8. Documented Workplace Expertise: Swanson (2007) proposes that documenting workplace expertise is essential to conducting a sound needs assessment. Ellen documented workplace expertise by consulting with “master performers”.


Analyse specific actions taken by Ellen to assess the root cause of inconsistencies in the skill sets of new accounting analysts and apply key principles and stages that are critical in the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) needs analysis phase to ensure that the needs analysis phase is conducted systematically.

As part of the needs analysis stage Ellen also invested in the collection and reviewing of relevant data. Propose to Ellen specific information gathering tools and techniques that can be applied during the needs analysis phase to provide a solid foundation for the goals the organisation intends to achieve.

‘Project attributes can be defined according to their purpose; time frame, ownership, resources, roles, independent tasks, or organizational change. The time frame is the most important to be defined because it sets up the beginning and end of the project. Every project is an attempt to accomplish something, a goal to produce something tangible and to add value for the organisation’.

In reference to the provided abstract, critically analyse some of the key fundamental predefined flow of tasks in project management that are critical during the planning and implementation phase of the HRIS.

Investigate the impact of recession on the investment of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) particularly in economically developing countries.

Answers to Above Questions on HRM

Answer 1: An analysis of the given case of Ellen indicates that there are several actions undertaken by Ellen in order to identify inconsistencies with respect to the skill sets of new accounting analysts. These are in line with systems development life cycle, and the ways in which they are interrelated are discuss as follows:
1) Asking for additional information: The decision of Ellen to ask for additional information can be considered as the initial phase of as the SDLC and this decision is generally undertaken in order to identify the issues associated with inconsistencies.


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