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Terms in this set (35)

Determining who users of the information will be
What type of information is needed and what they plan to do with the information
What type of information is already available?
Costs involved
Timelines (how soon do they need the information?)
A needs assessment is a systematic process for determining and addressing needs, or "gaps" between current conditions and desired conditions or "wants". The discrepancy between the current condition and the wanted condition must be measured to appropriately identify the need. The need can be a desire to improve current performance or to correct a deficiency. A needs assessment is a part of planning processes, often used for improvement in individuals, education/training, organizations, or communities. It can be an effective tool to clarify problems and identify appropriate interventions or solutions. By clearly identifying the problem, finite resources can be directed towards developing and implementing a feasible and applicable solution. gathering appropriate and sufficient data informs the process of developing an effective product that will address the group's needs and wants. Needs assessments are only effective when they are ends-focused and provide concrete evidence that can be used to determine which of the possible means-to-the-ends are most effective and efficient for achieving the desired results. In this case there are 2 sets of needs to be assessed. The needs of those seeking information on the companies through the evaluations of others, and the needs of those companies in wanting fair and ethical assessments.
Reliability - a reliable employee is punctual, follows through on his tasks and shows up ready to work. Business owners cannot afford to keep employees who are not reliable. If an employee consistently arrives late to work and routinely fails to follow through or complete his tasks, the company loses time, money, and business
Positive, Helpful, Character - Small businesses often have a close, tightly knit, familial atmosphere. It is natural to experience some growing pains or rough days. In general, your employees should have a positive attitude and be willing to help each other out. Negativity and dissent can spread like a disease and damage workplace morale and productivity. Employees should show initiative to make themselves useful and act as teammates to one another
Proper Communication - Strong interpersonal skills can help form cohesive teams among employees and make handling challenges easier. Employees must communicate effectively and understand the difference between constructive criticism and destructive griping. Related to interpersonal skills is an employee's outward appearance. If the job calls for professional attire, the employee should dress the part. Strong interpersonal skills involve understanding a little about office politics-the employee should know when to speak up and when to listen
Altruistic and Goal-Oriented - Good employees are often altruistic and goal-oriented. While receiving a paycheck is a strong motivator, a good work ethic is also putting yourself aside to work toward the greater good of the company as a whole. Doing so leads to working toward goals rather than putting in the minimum effort. To foster good work ethics, an employer must also possess strong work ethics. If you treat your employees as a means to an end, they will not respect you or the business. Work on team-building, show respect to your employees, but also be stern and mete out discipline when necessary
- Operations: includes every activity needed to manufacture a product or provide a service. Operations is an essential business function, because without a product or service to sell, a business has no reason to exist. Operations activities will always revolve around acquiring raw resources, converting those resources into something to sell and scheduling and controlling the process of conversion. Activities to accomplish those aims include creating production schedules, taking inventory, equipment maintenance, measuring quality and efficiency, and designing workflows
- Marketing: without customers for its products or services, a company can't stay afloat, making marketing another crucial business activity. Marketing activities go beyond merely creating ads that entice customers. Instead, marketing activities are intimately connected with a company's products and services. Indeed, by understanding the needs and desires of consumers those in marketing help shape a company's offerings. Marketing activities determine the needed performance specifications of a company's products and services, the proper pricing, the best distribution channels and packaging. Consumer and marketplace studies, promotion, and sales also fall under marketing's purview.
- Finance: the bottom line: money makes business possible. When approached carefully, finance activities build a foundation for a company's security, ensuring future operations. Finance must measure operations to create forecasts predicting a company's ability to meet investments, protecting assets, managing credit and preparing financial reports are other necessary financial activities. Two important statements companies typically prepare are the balance sheet, which shows a company's assets and liabilities, and the income statement. By subtracting expenses from the income, the income statement reveals a company's profit or loss
- Other Business Activities: besides operations, marketing, and finance activities, other types of business functions become important as a company grows. With employees comes the need to manage a company's human resources. Important activities under the human resources umbrella include training and hiring. Once a company decides it wants to expand its offering, research and development becomes an important business activity. Finally, though wise management is desirable at any stage in a company's life, growth demands a more conscious and formal approach to leadership, planning and organizations than a one-person business might demand
Computer software and hardware provide a manager with the means for capturing, storing, and analyzing information regarding the operations of the business
Better technology makes the job of managing easier because it improves the accuracy, timeliness, and usefulness of the information produced
Example: computer scanning of UPC codes when receiving eliminates errors made in identifying part numbers, which is an important factor in managing inventory
Example: linking the sales processing and invoicing system to the inventory management system also improves accuracy and reduces loss
The legal field has expanded due to the impact technology has had on society. Today technology is a term referred to daily in everyday business. It may be relating to ticket sales in the entertainment business or on-line shoe sales in retail. It may be related to a new phone system being installed or new data entry software. There is no end to the impact technology has on communication, productivity, and the overall nature of today's business culture. With this new powerful innovative tool, come concerns and cautions that create a need for counsel in terms of confidentiality, on-line security, trademark and copyright protection, cross-culture issues, and more. Technology has also created concerns for ethics, but the benefits from profits and savings in productivity outweighs these concerns and commerce demands that technology keep rolling in a fast and aggressive manner
- Can make it more effective and efficient
- Easy to organize information and keep track of it
- Can reduce costs for an organization (automated payroll, bookkeeping, etc...)
- Can create a secure environment to maintain sensitive business or consumer information
- Can improve company communication processes within an organization and with customers