Obtaining accurate, updated data about the organizations structure
and management responsibilities.
Whether posting a new position with HR or requesting a new computer
from IT or reporting profitability, everything in the organization
is broken down into departments, and further divided into account
codes. Departments, of course, are usually grouped into service
lines, with a management hierarchy for each service line.
design any automated process, one must
understand the organizational structure, and
real-time data about the structure.
to get the data? Pull it from the financial system. At the very
least, the department/account structure and with luck, the
management hierarchy can be extracted with an automated feed
to a database.
building the infrastructure for our intranet, this was one of our
first steps. Having a good-enough management hierarchy
for all parts of the organization was a prerequisite for automating
anything that required a managers approval and thats
just about everything!
Managers change constantly, and reorganizations occur regularly.
Throw in grant-funded research, and even departments may change
during a fiscal year. When a new executive takes over a service
line, everything needs to be updated promptly. To keep up to date,
we pull fresh data for departments and managers (at all levels)
from the financial system every few hours.
pulling names of managers from the financial system wont always
get the job done, though. The financial system may store the names
as text, with no solid link to the persons identity in the
network directory (such as Active Directory). In our case, because
both financial and payroll were handled by the same system (Meditech),
we were able to link the managers names to their employeeID.
This gave us a solid link to their identity in the network directory,
through another table (System access
- who has what?).
course, financial systems often have everything in ALL CAPS, abbreviated
by someone in finance to fit the available space. They can be a
bit cryptic. For example, MTPN AMBULATORY V.O.V. isnt
nearly as understandable as Mattapan Ambulatory Victims of
Violence. We created a friendly name, in proper
case, for each department.
Connect with the finance staff who configure the department and
account structure in the financial system, and ensure that they
understand how the intranet will use this information. Otherwise,
finance might change their process without understanding that
their changes have impacts beyond the financial system.
the guidelines used by the finance staff when configuring departments
and the management hierarchy, to ensure that the data are used
correctly in any automated processes on the intranet.
16 March 2008