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  The following piece was published in a book titled “Computers for Managers” by Mr. Swapna Kishore and Rajesh Naik,  (published by Tata McGraw Hill). The implementation steps listed here were prepared by the authors of the book based on my article “Computers - a Field Job” published in Computers Today Dec. 1988, and included in their book with my permission. This extract appears on page 79 of the book.

It is based on my implementation strategy at Saraswati Sugar Mills, where I was the Chief Information Officer (CIO). 

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Some Implementation steps taken for Sugarcane Accounting System at Yamuna Nagar

Yamuna Nagar sugar cane accounting involves 40,000 farmers giving cane at 35 collection centres during the sugar season. Sugar cane accounting was implemented in phases, first for 15,000 farmers who supply sugarcane at the factory gate and then extended.

Making the people ready by training and awareness

§      It was made clear to the staff (for whom it was the first exposure to computers) that the computer cannot perform miracles.

§      They were made aware of increase in work load during parallel runs, and the possibility of their wanting to discontinue computerisation during trial run (they were asked to persevere)

§      Training was given in filling up input documents, checking checklists and doing date entry. Code lists were distributed well in advance.

§      Persons chosen for checking checklists were those who had familiarity with English.

Coordination

§      A separate cell called “data input and output cell” was set up in the user department with a chief coordinator.

§      Coordinators of computer department and this cell met regularly and were responsible for sorting many problems.

§      Most problems (delays of data, errors in documents, data entry) were overcome at this level.

§      For some problems that persisted, higher management was approached. Higher management called a meeting and set targets. “Not much time was spent on ascertaining reasons for the delay or ascertaining which department was at fault.” The targets were achieved.

§      Sufficient freedom was given to managers directly involved – management gave full support with little interference.

The Final Step

§      Emphasis was on discontinuing manual system at the earliest.

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