Explaining System Performance Requirements

Refer to the readings Requirements and Developing Requirements for an IT System provided in Week 5, where the types of requirements are defined and examples are given.  System performance requirements address quality (how the system must perform) and security.  The areas listed are:

· Usability

· Scalability

· Availability

· Reliability

· Maintainability

· Performance

· Portability

· Interoperability

· Security

· Protection of data as it is transmitted and when it is stored

· User authentication

· Authorization of user to perform specific functions

· Data backup and recovery

Group 2:  For this week’s discussion, Group 2 will post an initial response with:

1. Choose one of the system performance or security areas listed above

2. Put the area you selected into the Subject/Title of your posting

3. Explain what this area means in terms of system performance.  Use the definitions provided in the Week 5 Requirements reading.  If you need additional clarification, you can search for other sources, but be aware that these terms are defined and used differently for other purposes; be sure you find explanations that support the definition provided in the Requirements reading.

4. Explain why it will be important to the MTC Hiring System.

Remember – the Group 2 initial posting is due by Friday midnight; it should be about two short paragraphs in length, supported by external research, and should be posted by clicking on “Start a New Thread”.  These postings need to thoroughly respond to the questions and incorporate relevant research correctly.  Please look at what has been posted by your classmates before choosing your examples, and then select something that has not yet been discussed, if possible. Let’s try to spread the discussion across as many examples as possible. 

Then members of Groups 1, 3, and 4 should reply to at least three different postings by other classmates before Tuesday midnight.  Responses to initial postings should be specific and assess whether the posting accurately and sufficiently addresses the questions asked in the discussion topic, and should incorporate relevant research correctly.  Explain your assessment as to why the information is or is not correct and/or complete, providing correct information to enhance the discussion.


Respond to the post and include citation

Reliability is the ability of the system to create and maintain the data correctly (UMGC, n.d). The reliability of a system is how consistent and how well the system performs in various tasks. While performance is obviously its own category it slightly falls under reliability as well. When the system operates reliably the organization can worry less about how the system is operating and as long as the system is considered reliable then the performance of the systems can be considered accurate as well. 

For the MTC hiring system reliability will be extremely important. When winning new contracts the company will need their system to work reliably in order to hire new employees, create designated teams as well as keep prospects in the system. Since one of MTC’s goals each year is to grow in size and contracts a reliable system will be necessary to keep hiring in working order and be effective. As already stated in MTC case the HR department is small and can not handle a heavy load of applicants and even the hiring process put in front of them, the systems reliability will also determine the companies effectiveness and performance for hiring and the companies ability to pick up newer contracts. A new system that has high reliability will inevitably help MTC reach several of their goals they look forward to reaching.


Requirements. Learn.umgc. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

Respond to the post and include citation


User Authentication

For the discussion, the area selected is security, and the topic chosen under the area is user authentication.

User authentication is the identity verification of users accessing a computing resource or network. User authentication limits unauthorized access in system performance, thereby providing system security (Lyastani et al., 2020). User authentication is also a strategy for character management using computer software to monitor users. It gives the users advanced individual identifications for admittance to their unified frameworks leading to framework advantages. It is important to note that user authentication is the system’s capacity to determine an individual’s profiles (Lyastani et al., 2020). It allows the users to use their unique passwords or set up passwords and share only with the individual users. The basis of the requirement is that inadequately selected and shared passwords provide leeway for security breaches. Systems currently use advanced authentications such as tokens, smart cards, facial recognition, and biometrics. If authentication is executed properly, it allows business frameworks to run smoothly without system compromises. However, it is critical to indicate that it may delay the speed of technology utilization. In worse scenarios, the systems may fail, leading to helplessness, loss of time, and clients trying to restore. The configurations could lead to further system weaknesses lowering efficiencies. Organizations can control the disadvantages by closely monitoring the upgrading trends and factoring in the security challenges before they happen.

Overall, user authentication is critical for system performance and security in various ways. First, it provides the required security to the system by allowing access to only authorized individuals. Thus, it boosts the accountability and responsibility of the users. With the increasing cases of cybercrimes, technology systems need to restrict their access only to trusted individuals to limit access by malicious people (Lyastani et al., 2020). Importantly, user authentication boosts the monitoring of human resources. It records the time of login and logs out, which is critical for cyber trail and boosting productivity. Lastly, user authentication is used for cyber auditing of the system as it shows how people accessed the system.

MTC hiring system, like other hiring processes, encompasses the steps taken to identify and recruit the most suitable candidates for job requirements. The human resource managers review the applications, interview, and test the candidates according to the set standards. Thus, the system handles large volumes of data. MTC hiring system can use legitimized user authentication to perform various tasks on the data. The first role of user authentication to the firm regarding its hiring system would be to secure classified information. The hiring system collects candidates’ personal information that could be sensitive. The company can use user authentication to secure such information from malicious individuals and leave access only to authorized individuals (Lyastani et al., 2020). Limiting access is critical as it avoids data compromise by malicious individuals who can change the data. On the same note, the hiring process can use technology to verify the identity of the candidates. The verification of the recruits’ identity through user authentication ensures no chances of impersonation and faking. In the case of recruitment, the recruits are assigned access to the company computer resources using user authentication. The recruits are identified through user authentication before they can access the company computing resources to boost accountability and responsibility. It also helps to seal loopholes for security breaches. In this way, the hiring system can use user authentication to avoid reputational hazards, security breaks, and renouncement.


Lyastani, S. G., Schilling, M., Neumayr, M., Backes, M., & Bugiel, S. (2020, May). Is FIDO2 the Kingslayer of User Authentication? A Comparative Usability Study of FIDO2 Passwordless Authentication. In IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (pp. 268-285).


Usability is defined as the ability for new users to quickly adapt to the software, including how easy the system is to use and how help is provided for the users (“Requirements”, n.d.). For any online system, it is an extremely important aspect for users to be able to learn and integrate any IT system into regular use. If software usability is poor, this could refrain users from using the system for their own personal use or benefit. From a company’s standpoint, poor usability could deter users away from actually utilizing it to improve their company, which will automatically result in little to no improvement with a new IT solution. 

In the case of MTC, usability is an imperative aspect for the company’s new IT solution, especially considering it is an IT consulting company. Because the company is rapidly expanding, which is why a more efficient hiring system is being considered, current employees at MTC do not have the time for extensive user training, or reading through 100-page manuals. As employees have mentioned, it needs to be simple to learn and use. Poor usability would slow the hiring process down entirely, which is the opposite outcome desired of implementing a new hiring system in the first place. To ensure MTC employees are receiving the benefits they expect from the new hiring system, this new system should include something like a System Usability Scale on the new software. This tool consists of a 10 item questionnaire with five response options for respondents, and it is a reliable tool for measuring system usability (Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, 2013). Having this scale will ensure that the new hiring system is a user-friendly IT solution that MTC could continue using, thus accomplishing the goal of having a more efficient hiring process. 


Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. (2013, September 6). System usability scale (SUS). Usability.gov. 

Requirements (n.d.) Retrieved from 

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Developing a System Proposal

This course has taken you from analyzing a business strategy to identifying opportunities

for strategic advantages and ways to increase the organization’s competitive position;

identifying process improvement opportunities where a technology solution can increase

efficiency and effectiveness; defining stakeholder system requirements; evaluating

solutions, and steps to effectively implementing an IT solution.

This is a lot of information, and often the role of a business analyst is to create or help

create a proposal or presentation to inform key stakeholders of the findings above and

“sell” the potential solution. Presenting the information in a clear, logical sequence to your

audience is important.

Different organizations use their own formats and components in system proposals, but

there are several common areas that a business analyst will address:

1. Strategic Analysis—What are the key strategic goals and objectives of the

organization, and what is the current business problem or opportunity being

addressed? How might a technology solution help the organization achieve its

strategy and where can a technology solution help?

2. Process Analysis—A process is a series of steps to perform a task. Many

organizational processes can be very complex and include many sub-processes and

steps. It is important to know what work needs to be done, how it is currently being

done, where opportunities for improvements exist, and how technology can support

the improved process.

3. Requirements—The requirements identification is critical to defining exactly what

key stakeholders need the system to do; what tasks they expect the system to

complete or support; what overall performance is required and what processes need

improvement; how a technology solution can help achieve the organizational

strategy and improve processes; and what specific requirements the system needs

to meet based on stakeholder information. Defining these requirements enables

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potential solutions to be clearly evaluated to ascertain whether they will fulfill the

organization’s needs.

4. Solution Building—A critical part of any proposals is identifying the specific system

that will effectively support and/or improve the business process and clearly meet

the stated user and system performance requirements. This may include “build vs.

buy” analysis to determine whether the best solution should be developed internally

or purchased as a COTS or SaaS solution. An organization’s IT Plan and architecture

may help inform those decisions. Also the degree of specialty of the software is a

factor: Is this a common business process used by multiple companies, such as

Human Resources, Logistics, Accounting and Finance, or something very unique to

the organization that may not be commercially available? Sometimes, alternative

solutions may be presented along with the pros and cons of each option.

5. Implementation Planning—Equally important to identifying the best fit solution is

implementation planning. What has to happen (how and when) to help ensure a

successful installation of the technology solution? What supporting activities are

required to ensure users are prepared to be successful using the new system

including communication, training, and ongoing support? The data to be migrated to

the new system must be identified and any data integrity or compatibility issues

noted. Also it is important to ensure appropriate maintenance and technical support

are in place: Is the IT staff trained to provide Help Desk Support? Do users have a

point of contact for issues? Should a website be established with frequently asked

questions (FAQs) to help users especially in the early days of implementation?

Without getting into the details of writing the proposal, understand it is important to

convey the information clearly and concisely. At this point, significant work has been done

to identify the information above, and you want to present it as effectively as possible.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Identify if there is a specific format or template that the organization uses.

Is there a preference for a written report, oral presentation, PowerPoint slides, etc.?

Who is your audience and what information do they already know?

What is the key information that you need your audience to pay attention to?

Identify specific next steps to keep the initiative moving forward.

© 2022 University of Maryland Global Campus

All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMGC is not responsible for the validity or integrity

of information located at external sites.

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Change Management

Effective strategies can help organizations and individuals adapt more readily to the

changing environment and reduce disruption to productivity. Understanding the nature of

change and implementing effective change management strategies will also enable

organizations to increase their capacity to absorb changes.

Leadership must provide a strong, consistent vision and guide the organization through

the execution of its strategic plan. Effective project management practices will provide

more consistent delivery of successful projects on time and within budget. Although little

can be done to stem the rate or amount of change within organizations, effective

strategies can help organizations and individuals adapt more readily to the changing

environment and reduce disruption to productivity.

What Is Change?

You can find a variety of definitions, but typically they contain elements related to

becoming different, replacing something, or altering the way things are done. In today’s

business environment, more changes are coming at a faster rate than ever before. In 1970,

Alvin Toffler, a sociologist, published his book Future Shock, in which he defined the

concept of future shock as a personal perception of “too much change in too short a

period of time” (p. 4). He predicted that as technology and society change, the increased

change rate will create a level of stress and information overload.

In the twenty-first century, we see the reality of Toffler’s (1970/1990) prediction. The

impacts of increased computing power, the internet and the World Wide Web, wireless

connectivity, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and global commerce are seen daily in

news headlines. Strong, effective leadership is critical to helping to guide organizations

through turbulent times to achieve business strategy and increase competitive advantage.

Let’s look at the graphic below that illustrates a typical change model showing the process

of change.

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The Process of Change

In the current state, employees know the norms, or written and unwritten rules; they are

comfortable (even if the situation isn’t ideal). The future state is unknown and could be

the result of implementing a new invoice-processing system, migrating to the next release

of Windows and Office, or introducing a new management structure and reporting

relationships. The transition state is murky and nebulous, and it is understandable that

employees have concerns and don’t want to venture there, even if the other side sounds



The reality is that human beings resist change, and it is unrealistic to think that we can

eliminate resistance. The appropriate strategy is to anticipate resistance to change,

recognize its characteristics, and seek to effectively lead and guide employees through a

change while minimizing disruptions to productivity. So what happens during resistance,

especially when employees don’t want the change and feel they have no control over the


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Reaction to Change

Source: Adapted from Conner (1992, p. 133)

The graphic above shows the common emotional response to change where users go

through the following typical stages: immobilization, denial, anger, bargaining, depression,

testing and acceptance . The degree to which individuals display these responses ranges

from mild loss of productivity to major dysfunction. Also, the longer an employee has

been in the current state, the more dramatic his or her response to change may be. Many

of you have been in workplace situations in which a change was announced. Employees

spend a great deal of time debating the impact of the change, trying to guess

management’s ulterior motive, and asking, “What does this mean to me?” Very little of the

organization’s work is being accomplished during this time.

A key factor in resistance is feeling that we have lost control over a situation. Also, change

has a cumulative effect. Few of us are in the enviable position of being able to process

one change at a time, get used to the new thing, and relax before tackling the next

change. The reality is that individuals experience ongoing change at work, at home, at

school, and in society at large. We each have our own capacity to assimilate change, and

when we reach a saturation point, we have little energy to take on more changes.

Darryl Conner (1992), founder of ODR, Inc., an organizational consulting firm, has spent a

significant portion of his career researching the human response to organizational change.

He has identified five characteristics of resilient people. His research shows that people

who excel in these five areas are able to move more quickly through the change cycle,

maintain higher levels of productivity, and apply lessons learned from one change

initiative to the next.

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Characteristic Description Characteristic Description

positive sees opportunities and has a sense of self-assurance

focused has a clear vision of what he or she wants to achieve

flexible demonstrates the ability to be more fluid and less rigid when

responding to uncertainty

organized is able to develop structured approaches to ambiguous or unclear

(Note: This use of the word organized focuses on making sense out

of chaos rather than on being a “neat freak.”)

proactive is able to embrace or engage change rather than defend against it

Source: Conner (1992, p. 239)

Although some individuals may be more innately resilient than others, it is possible to

increase one’s capacity for change by focusing on these characteristics. Those who

already have a high capacity for resilience will have an easier time increasing their

capacity. Although those with a lower initial capacity may never reach high levels of

resilience, they can improve.

We can increase our resilience by learning from more resilient individuals, as well as

learning from our own past experiences. When confronted with a difficult situation,

drawing on what helped in the past better positions us to move through the current

change. When leaders demonstrate vision, commitment, and management, they create a

culture and environment in which employees can more quickly move through the

transition state to the future state. This reduces anxiety and decreases the loss of

productivity and dysfunctional behavior that organizational change can instigate.

Earlier, we mentioned that resistance stems, in part, from a sense of loss of control. In

reviewing the characteristics of resilience, you will note that they can relate to regaining

one’s sense of control. For example, providing a sense of organization in ambiguous or

vague situations can help restore a sense of control. Being proactive and looking for the

opportunities a change may provide can also bring back a sense of control over one’s

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future. Think about the implementation of a new system to automate the invoice creation

process. Suppose you are a clerk in the order-taking department, and this new, automated

system is going to redefine the way orders are received. You will no longer have to type

invoices. A resilient person would see the opportunity to learn a new software tool and

increase his or her value to the department by organizing a plan to learn the new system.

A less resilient person would see only the loss of a known job function, fear of not

knowing to use the new system and appearing “stupid,” while missing the possibility of

future advancement this change could provide.

Roles of Change

Resilient people also recognize that there are different roles within a change initiative and

understand the dynamics and interrelationship of these roles. Less resilient people lack an

understanding of these roles and are often perplexed about who is filling what role.

Conner (1992) described these roles below.

Organizational Change Roles

Although each of these four roles, Sponsor, Agent, Advocate and Target, plays a critical

part in the effective implementation of organizational change, the sponsorship role is the

key. Particularly in times of change, it is critical that the organization’s leadership provides

this essential sponsorship role. Sponsorship requires more than an all-hands email notice

announcing a new initiative; it requires sustained sponsorship throughout the life of the

change. Without a consistent, ongoing message about the importance of the initiative, the

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benefits, the progress, and rewards for success and accountabilities for failures, the

initiative is likely to fail. The employees are very comfortable in their known environment

and resistant to venturing into the murky unknown or ill-defined future state. Without

sustained sponsorship, employees will quickly revert to their comfort level.

Another element of sponsorship is cascading sponsorship. The corporate CEO may launch

a new initiative and stress its importance to his or her executive team. The CEO expects

that (1) progress will continue, and (2) the executive team knows what to do, and he or

she moves on to the next critical business priority. A weak link or links in the executive

team’s sponsorship quickly dilutes the message as it cascades through the organization.

The next thing we know, part of the organization has fallen into the “black hole”—no

information is passed along, no accountabilities are in place to ensure compliance, and six

months later, the change has not been implemented.

Leadership is a set of processes that creates organizations in the first place or adapts

them to significantly changing circumstances. Leadership defines what the future should

look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the

obstacles (Kotter, 1996, p. 25).

Senior executives tend to move more quickly through the change process because of their

position in the organization. William Bridges, a management consultant and author

of Managing Transitions, calls this the marathon effect. Leadership can see the ultimate

goal before others in the organization may even know that the race is on (Bridges &

Bridges, 2000, p. 30). Moreover, the change process may have been in their thoughts for

some time, so instituting the change does not seem so precipitous to them. Therefore,

senior management should be reminded that others in the organization have less

information, will be resistant to letting go of the status quo, may lack a sense of the “big

picture,” and will need time to transition to the future state.

Change Management for Systems Implementation

One of the common reasons systems fail is not the technical aspects, but rather the failure

to properly communicate, prepare, and support users. A key component of this is

addressing change management in the implementation plan. Just as a new driver needs

experience actually driving a car, a knowledge of how to operate a car, and an

understanding of the laws, system users should be prepared to be successful when a new

technology solution is introduced. This starts with the concept of sponsorship—

communicating why this change is important to the organization or why this system is

being implemented. Users want to know what impact it will have on their jobs, how they

will be trained, and whether they will be able to do their jobs as well with the new system

as they did before. Earlier we discussed resistance to change and fear of the unknown. If

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employees know how to do their work using an old technology or even manual processes,

they have adapted and get things done one way or another, and this provides a certain

level of comfort and confidence. When faced with a new technology or system, there is a

natural fear of the unknown. Senior leadership can help reduce employee resistance by

explaining its vision and its importance to the organization’s success, and by providing

assurances that employees will have access to the appropriate communication, training,

and ongoing support to help them succeed in their jobs.

This is why the concept of cascading sponsorship is important—there cannot be a one-

time large town-hall meeting after which employees never hear anything more. Ongoing

communication, status updates, training plans and schedules, etc. are needed to gain the

employees’ confidence that they will be supported and can be successful.

Often when a system is implemented, the business process changes as well. It is important

that users understand how the business process is changing in addition to how to

navigate and use the new technology. A simple analogy—think of driving to a new

location you’ve never been to before in a new vehicle you’ve never driven before. You

receive training on how to use the new car, but no directions or information on how to get

to the new location. Both are equally important for success.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that communication and training are short-changed at

the end of a project. Time is running short, and the team is trying to hit the planned

implementation date. This can cause major issues. The communication and training steps

are equally important milestones in the project plan. The project manager should monitor

these activities along with the more technical aspects of the project.

As we recognize that the rate or amount of change within organizations continues to

accelerate, the strategies presented here can help organizations and individuals more

readily adapt to the changing environment and reduce disruption to productivity. Three

critical areas are:

Leadership must demonstrate vision, commitment, and management to guide the

organization and show sustained sponsorship for change initiatives.

Project management practices with a focus on the people aspects will provide more

consistent delivery of successful projects on time and within budget.

Change management strategies to address the natural resistance to change and

fostering resilience characteristics in the corporate culture can increase the

organization’s capacity to assimilate change more quickly.

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The focus on the human aspects we have discussed in this section will help the

organization as a whole and help ensure the effective implementation of technology

solutions to support the business strategy. Ignoring the human aspects will cause even the

best technology solution to fail in meeting its objectives.


Bridges, W., & Bridges, S. (2000, April). Leading transition: A new model for change.

Leader to Leader, 2000(16), 30-36.

Conner, D. (1992). Managing at the speed of change. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Toffler, A. J. (1990). Future shock. New York, NY: Bantam Books. (Original work published


© 2022 University of Maryland Global Campus

All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMGC is not responsible for the validity or integrity

of information located at external sites.

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It is important to set a corporate strategy to identify the organization’s priority objectives

—where is the organization going and how does it get there? Having a strategic plan in

place, however, means that your work has just begun. The success of executing a business

strategy depends on the quality of the organization’s leadership—those who will guide the

organization in the right direction.

Leadership is a much-studied and written about topic; below are several descriptions of


Perspectives on Leadership

Quote Speaker Source

“Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a
vision that is well communicated, building trust among

colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own

leadership potential.”



“The aim of leadership should be to improve the
performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to

increase output and simultaneously to bring pride of

workmanship to people. Put in a negative way, the aim of

leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men,

but to remove the causes of failure to help people to do a

better job with less effort.”



Out of

p. 248)

Source: Leadership Quotes, n.d.

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Quote Speaker Source

“My definition of a leader…is a man who can persuade
people to do what they don’t want to do, or do what

they’re too lazy to do, and like it.”

Harry S.



of the




“Leadership is the art of influencing and directing people
in a way that will win their obedience, confidence, respect,

and loyal cooperation in achieving a common objective.”

US Air

(n.d., p.


“The task of a great leader is to get his people from where
they are to where they have not been….Leaders must

invoke an alchemy of great vision.”



“Through years of study, teaching and working with
people all over the world, from all walks of life, I have

determined that leadership is: Communicating to people

their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see

it in themselves. It is the influence we have with others to

help them discover their own voice, to find their own

purpose, to make their unique contribution, and to release
their potential, that truly defines leadership.”

R. Covey


Source: Leadership Quotes, n.d.

One thing you might have noticed in the six leadership quotes presented above is that

position or hierarchy was not mentioned. This was not an inadvertent omission; it

indicates that individuals at any level in an organization can influence and exhibit

leadership characteristics. Think about your own life experiences, and you can most likely

identify some influential leaders who lacked positional power, yet others willingly

followed their lead. “Leading strategic change can occur on at least three levels:

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organizational, work group, and individual” (Clawson, 2003, p. 39). Although leadership is

traditionally thought of as being at the executive and most senior levels of an

organization, leadership can, and should, be carried out throughout the organization.

Sometimes the strongest influencers in an organization are not sitting in the executive

office suite, but are running machinery, working in the production areas, or sitting in a

lower-level supervisory position.

Although many factors can contribute to an organization’s success or failure, leadership is

certainly a critical success factor. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA)

provides seven criteria that organizations can use to assess their organizational

effectiveness. It is no surprise that leadership is a key category; in fact, it is among the

highest-weighted criterion for the MBNQA.

To reinforce these qualities, the graphic below shows the Baldrige Criteria Framework

(Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 2017) from a systems perspective. This

framework demonstrates the importance of leadership to achieving results, and the

effectiveness of leadership determines an organization’s level of success.

Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence Framework: A

Systems Perspective

Seven criteria used to assess organizational effectiveness

What’s the Difference Between Management and Leadership?

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This is a common question and potential source of confusion, although managers may be

leaders, the terms are not synonymous. The role of a manager, while it may vary from

organization to organization, focuses on directing activities and employees from an

operational perspective—what work needs to be done in this department for this

particular time period of the project. In contrast, leaders not only are more forward

looking but also set the vision for the direction and lead by example, building relationships

and encouraging followers, evaluating opportunities and potentially taking risks to propel

the organization to new levels.

Vision, Commitment, Managing Model

Just as there are many definitions of leadership, many different leadership models, sets of

characteristics, and clever acronyms have appeared over the years. One simple model that

supports the leadership qualities we want to emphasize comes from James Clawson

(2003), author of Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface. Clawson calls it

the VCM model and uses it to illustrate three areas in which leaders demonstrate their

ability to influence, as shown below.

Source: Adapted from Clawson (2003, p. 37)

Vision is a critical component of leadership. Visioning is describing where the organization

will be at some future time, which sets the direction in which the organization should

move to reach the stated goal. Strategic planning is part of the process because it defines

the route to achieving the vision. Critical leadership skills are required to help establish

and convey that vision to the rest of the organization. The leadership skills required to be

successful in this area include:

identifying trends,

scanning the environment,

knowing what has happened in the past, and

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understanding where the organization is in the present.

Commitment involves garnering the dedication of others. This includes sharing the vision

to get others involved with the direction and strategic objectives. Communication skills

are critical and include the leader’s ability to convey his or her message to others. But

equally important is the leader’s ability to listen to others. Part of gaining commitment

is alignment—getting individuals to understand how they fit into the vision and how they

contribute to meeting the organization’s strategic objectives. Aligning individual goals

with department goals that support the corporate goals is important to organizational


Management includes monitoring, measuring, directing, and controlling the organization.

Skills required here include the ability to assess how well the organization is moving

toward its vision and how well the strategy is being executed. Having effective measures

in place enables leadership to course-correct as needed if the organization begins to stray.

Recognition is also important here—rewarding and praising those who are helping to guide

the organization and achieve the intended results (Clawson, 2003).


Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. (2017). 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence

Framework: A systems approach to improving your organization’s performance. Baldrige

National Quality Program. Retrieved October 3, 2018 from



Clawson, J. (2003). Level three leadership: Getting below the surface. Upper Saddle River,

NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Leadership Quotes. (n.d.). The Teal Trust. Retrieved April 13, 2007 from


Licenses and Attributions

Framework Overview


/06/2015_2016_Bus_NP_Overview.jpg?itok=4PqRGvg7) from How Baldrige Works

comprises public domain material from the National Institute of Standards and

Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce. UMGC has modified this work.

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© 2022 University of Maryland Global Campus

All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMGC is not responsible for the validity or integrity

of information located at external sites.

Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 1

Maryland Technology Consultants, Inc.

Maryland Technology Consultants (MTC) is a successful Information Technology consulting firm
that utilizes proven IT and management methodologies to achieve measurable results for its

customers. Its customer base includes small to mid-tier businesses, non-profit organizations
and governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels. MTC feels strongly that its
success is dependent on the combination of the talent of its IT consultants in the areas of,

Business Process Consulting, IT Consulting and IT Outsourcing Consulting and their ability to

deliver truly extraordinary results to their clients.

Corporate Profile

Corporate Name: Maryland Technology Consultants, Inc.

Founded: May 2008

Headquarters: Baltimore, Maryland

Satellite Locations: Herndon, Virginia; Bethesda, Maryland

Number of Employees: 450
Total Annual Gross Revenue: $95,000,000

President and

Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Samuel Johnson

Business Areas

MTC provides consulting services in the following areas:

• Business Process Consulting – Business process redesign, process improvement, and best


• IT Consulting – IT strategy, analysis, planning, system development, implementation, and

network support

• IT Outsourcing Consulting – Requirements analysis; vendor evaluation, due diligence,

selection and performance management; Service Level Agreements

Business Strategy

MTC’s business strategy is to provide extraordinary consulting services and recommendations

to its customers by employing highly skilled consultants and staying abreast of new business
concepts and technology and/or developing new business concepts and best practices of its


Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 2

Excerpt from the MTC Strategic Business Plan

While the complete strategic plan touches on many areas, below is an excerpt from MTC’s

latest Strategic Business Plan that identifies a few of MTC’s Goals.

Goal 1: Increase MTC Business Development by winning new contracts in the areas of IT


Goal 2: Build a cadre of consultants internationally to provide remote research and analysis
support to MTC’s onsite teams in the U. S.

Goal 3: Continue to increase MTC’s ability to quickly provide high quality consultants to
awarded contracts to best serve the clients’ needs.

Goal 4: Increase MTC’s competitive advantage in the IT consulting marketplace by increasing its

reputation for having IT consultants who are highly skilled in leading edge technologies and
innovative solutions for its clients.

Current Business Environment

MTC provides consultants on-site to work with its clients, delivering a wide variety of IT-related

services. MTC obtains most of its business through competitively bidding on Requests for

Proposals issued by business, government and non-profit organizations. A small but growing

portion of its business is through referrals and follow-on contracts from satisfied clients. MTC

anticipates it will win two large contracts in the near future and is preparing proposals for

several other large projects.

MTC, as a consulting company, relies on the quality and expertise of its employees to provide

the services needed by the clients. When it is awarded a contract, the customer expects MTC

to quickly provide the consultants and begin work on the project. MTC, like other consulting

companies, cannot afford to carry a significant e number of employees that are not assigned to

contracts. Therefore, they need to determine the likelihood of winning a new contract and

ensure the appropriately skilled consultants are ready to go to work within 60 days of signing

the contract. MTC relies on its Human Resources (HR) Department to find, research, and assess

applicants so that line managers can review and select their top candidates and hire

appropriate consultants to meet their needs for current new contracts. It is very much a “just

in time” hiring situation.

The Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, houses approximately 350 employees. Satellite

offices have been opened in the last two years in both Herndon, Virginia and Bethesda,

Maryland to provide close proximity to existing clients. It is anticipated that new pending

contracts would add staff to all locations. The management team believes there is capacity at

all locations, as much of the consultants’ work is done on-site at the clients’ locations.

Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 3

Strategic Direction

As a small to mid-size business (SMB), MTC recognizes that it needs to carefully plan its future

strategy. Considering the competitive environment that contains many very large IT consulting

firms, such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), and Science Applications

International Corporation (SAIC), as well as numerous smaller companies with various skill sets,

market niches, and established customer bases, MTC will be evaluating how best to position

itself for the future and recognizes that its ability to identify its core competencies, move with

agility and flexibility, and deliver consistent high quality service to its clients is critical for

continued success. MTC’s plan for growth includes growing by 7% per year over the next five

years. This would require an increase in consulting contract overall volume and an expanded

workforce. One area that is critical to a consulting company is the ability to have employees

who possess the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill current and future contracts. Given

the intense competition in the IT consulting sector, MTC is planning to incorporate a few

consultants in other countries to provide remote research and analysis support to the on-site U.

S. teams. Since MTC has no experience in the global marketplace, the Director of HR has begun

examining international labor laws to determine where MTC should recruit and hire employees.


Increased business creates a need to hire IT consultants more quickly. Overall, the Director of

HR is concerned that the current manual process of recruiting and hiring employees will not

allow his department to be responsive to the demands of future growth and increased hiring

requirements. There are currently two contracts that MTC expects to win very soon will require

the hiring of an additional 75 consultants very quickly. He is looking for a near-term solution

that will automate many of the manual hiring process steps and reduce the time it takes to hire

new staff. He is also looking for a solution that will allow MTC to hire employees located in

other countries around the world.

Management Direction

The management team has been discussing how to ramp up to fill the requirements of the two

new contracts and prepare the company to continue growing as additional contracts are

awarded in the future. The company has been steadily growing and thus far hiring of new

employees has been handled through a process that is largely manual. The HR Director

reported that his staff will be unable to handle the expanded hiring projections as well as

accommodate the hiring of the 75 new employees in the timeframe required. The Chief

Information Officer (CIO) then recommended that the company look for a commercial off-the-

shelf software product that can dramatically improve the hiring process and shorten the time it

takes to hire new employees. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) wants to ensure that all

investments are in line with the corporate mission and will achieve the desired return on

investment. She will be looking for clear information that proposals have been well researched,

provide a needed capability for the organization, and can be cost-effectively implemented in a

Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 4

relatively short period of time to reap the benefits. The CEO has asked HR to work with the CIO

to recommend a solution.

Your Task

As a business analyst assigned to HR, you have been assigned to conduct an analysis, develop a

set of system requirements, evaluate a proposed solution, and develop an implementation plan

for an IT solution (applicant tracking system hiring system) to improve the hiring process. You

have begun your analysis by conducting a series of interviews with key stakeholders to collect

information about the current hiring process and the requirements for a technology solution to

improve the hiring process. Based on your analysis and in coordination with key users you will

produce a Business Analysis and System Recommendation Report (BA&SR) as your final



In the interviews you conducted with the organizational leaders, you hear the comments

recorded below.

CEO: Samuel Johnson

“While I trust my HR staff to address the nuts and bolts of the staffing processes, what is

critically important to me is that the right people can be in place to fulfill our current contracts

and additional talented staff can be quickly hired to address needs of future contracts that we

win. I can’t be out in the market soliciting new business if we can’t deliver on what we’re

selling. Our reputation is largely dependent on having knowledgeable and capable staff to

deliver the services our clients are paying for and expect from MTC.”

CFO: Evelyn Liu

“So glad we’re talking about this initiative. As CFO, obviously I’m focused on the bottom line. I

also recognize it’s necessary to invest in certain areas to ensure our viability moving forward. I

recognize that the current manual hiring process is inefficient and not cost-effective. Having

technology solutions that improve current process and enable future functionality is very

important to MTC’s success. We must consider the total cost of ownership of any technology

we adopt. MTC is run as a lean-and-mean organization and support processes must be effective

but not overbuilt. We do want to think towards the future and our strategic goals as well and

don’t want to invest in technology with a short shelf-life. Along those lines, we currently have a

timekeeping and payroll system that requires input from the hiring process to be entered to

establish new employees; and to help support our bottom line financially, any new solution

should effectively integrate with, but not replace, those systems.

Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 5

CIO: Raj Patel

“As a member of the IT Department, you have a good understanding of our overall architecture

and strategy; however, let me emphasize a few things I want to be sure we keep in mind for this

project. Any solution needs to be compatible with our existing architecture and systems as

appropriate. Obviously, we have chosen not to maintain a large software development staff so

building a solution from the ground up does not fit our IT strategic plan. Our current strategy

has been to adopt Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that can be deployed relatively quickly

and leverage industry best practices at a low total cost. In addition, our distributed workforce

means we are very dependent on mobile computing – this brings some challenges in term of

portability, maintenance, and solutions that present well on mobile devices. We’ve been

expanding at a rapid rate and are seeking to expand internationally so any solution will need to

be viable globally. And last, but certainly not least, MTC’s success is largely dependent on our

ability to satisfy the requirements of our clients and maintain a reputation of high credibility,

reliability and security. Any security breach of our applicants’ data could have a devastating

effect to our ability to compete for new business as well as maintain current clients. Any

technology solution adopted by MTC must contain clear security measures to control access and

protect data and allow us to use our current security for mobile links. I recognize that MTC can

no longer rely on a manual hiring process to meet these needs.”

Director of HR: Joseph Cummings

“Thanks for talking with me today. I see this effort as very important to the success of

MTC. While the recruiting staff has done an excellent job of hiring top IT consultants, the rapid

growth to date and future plans for expansion have pushed our recruiting staff, and we

recognize we can no longer meet the hiring and staffing demands with manual processes. I’m

also interested in solutions that are easy-to-use and can interface with our existing systems and

enhance processes. I’m willing to consider a basic system that can grow as MTC grows and

provide more capabilities in the future. I’m sure Sofia, our Manager of Recruiting, can provide

more specifics.”

Manager of Recruiting: Sofia Perez

“You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to begin the process of finding a technology

solution to support our recruiting processes. In addition to myself, there are 2-3 full-time

recruiters who have been very busy keeping up with the increased hiring at MTC; and there are

no plans to increase the recruiting staff. It goes without saying that a consulting company is

dependent on having well-qualified employees to deliver to our customers. We’re in a

competitive market for IT talent and want to be able to recruit efficiently, process applicants

quickly, and move to making a job offer to the best candidate before the competition snaps

him/her up. When I talk with my colleagues in other companies, they mention applicant

tracking systems that have enabled them to reduce their hiring time by 15-20%. I’m so envious

of them and look forward to having our new solution in place before the next set of contracts

are won and we need to hire 75 (to as many as 150) staff in a 2-month period. I do not think my

Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 6

team can handle such an increase in an efficient and effective manner. On-going growth at

MTC will continue to increase the demands to hire more consultants quickly. It really seems like

there would be a rapid return on investment in a technology solution to support and improve

the hiring process.”

Recruiters: Peter O’Neil (along with Mike Thomas and Jennifer Blackwell)

“This project should have happened 2 years ago but glad it’s finally getting some attention. As a

recruiter, I’m sort of the middleperson in this process. On one hand, we have the job applicant

who is anxious to know the status of his/her application and fit for the advertised position. It’s

important that the recruiters represent MTC well, as we want the best applicants to want to

come to work for us. Then we have the actual hiring manager in one of our business areas who

has issued the job requisition and wants to get the best applicant hired as quickly as possible.

Obviously recruiting is not the hiring manager’s full-time job, so we’re always competing for

time with other job responsibilities, so we can keep things moving as quickly as possible. They

provide us with job descriptions to meet the needs of clients and look to us to screen resumes

and only forward the best qualified applicants to them so they can quickly identify their top

candidates. Working with Tom, our administrative assistant, we need interviews to be

scheduled to accommodate everyone’s calendars. After the hiring managers make their final

selections of who they would like to hire, it is our task to get the job offers presented to the

candidates – hopefully for their acceptance. Everything is very time sensitive, and the current

process is not nearly as efficient as it could be. Applications and resumes can get lost in

interoffice mail or buried in email; and, when a hiring manager calls us, we often cannot

immediately provide the status of where an applicant is in the process. This can be very

frustrating all around. Speaking for myself and the other recruiters, I have high expectations for

this solution. We need to really be able to deliver world-class service to MTC in the recruiting

and hiring areas to meet the business goals.”

Administrative Assistant: Tom Arbuckle

“I support the recruiters in the hiring process. After the recruiters screen the resumes and select

the best candidates for a position, my job is to route those applications and resumes via

interoffice mail to the respective functional/hiring manager, receive his or her feedback on who

to interview and who should be involved in the interviews, schedule the interviews based on

availability of applicants and the interview team members, collect the feedback from the

interview team and inform the assigned recruiter of the status of each candidate who was

interviewed. In addition to preparing the job offer letter based on the recruiter’s direction, after

a job offer has been made and accepted, I coordinate the paperwork for the new hire with HR

and Payroll to ensure everything is ready to go on the first day. As you can imagine when hiring

volume is up, I’m buried in paperwork and trying to keep all the applicants and their resumes

straight, track their status in the process, and ensure everyone has what they need is very

challenging. I love my job, but want to ensure I can continue to keep on top of the increased

hiring demands and support the recruiting team effectively. Any tool that would help the

workflow and enable many steps in the process to be done electronically would be wonderful.”

Maryland Technology Consultants is a fictitious company created for the IFSM 300 Case Study.

MTC Case Study 11/23/2019 Ver. 1 7

Hiring Manager (in functional area; this person would be the supervisor of the new employee

and would likely issue the job requisition to fill a need in his/her department/team):

“While it’s a good problem to have – new business means new hires — the current method for

screening applications, scheduling interviews, identifying the best qualified applicants, and

getting a job offer to them is not working. My team is evaluated on the level of service we

provide our clients, and it is very important that we have well-qualified staff members to fulfill

our contracts. Turnover is common in the IT world and that along with new business

development, makes the need for hiring new staff critical and time-sensitive. I confess that

sometimes I’m not as responsive to HR as I should be; but although hiring new consultants for

the contracts I manage is important to successfully meet the clients’ needs, this is only one of

several areas for which I’m responsible. I look to the recruiters to stay on top of this for me. In

the ideal world, I’d like an electronic dashboard from which I can see the status of any job

openings in my area, information on all qualified candidates who have applied and where they

are in the pipeline. Electronic scheduling of interviews on my calendar would be a real time

saver. It’s important that we impress candidates with our technology and efficiency – after all

we are an IT consulting company—and using manual processes makes us look bad. And, this

system must be easy to use – I don’t have time for training or reading a 100-page user’s

manual. Just need to get my job done.”

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