5. Planning principles with management issues for a potential e-voting system
It has been proved by plenteous evidences that planning is the most prominent and persistent of the management functions or procedures. Planning is important because of the proof of failure in organizations are responsible for poor planning. Planning is the preparation for the prospect on management's ingredient. Planning is essential in that it cuts throughout all management purposes and is a function that is appropriate to all managerial levels.
Planning is involved in various management operations of arranging, controlling, recruitment, directing, and choice making in the logic that it is a critical and essential component of every of these procedures. Planning is appropriate to each managerial level as managerial deed and decision making, whether at the principal executive's stage or at the first-line supervisor's stage, should preferably be predicated upon initial thought and expectation of future concerns, problems, or details that continually come to play in the procedure of making organizations work.
Planning is a procedure of thinking throughout all surfaces of an issue or a crisis before taking deed. At the similar time, it offers the ingredients for action. Planning is a procedure that involves in an appraisal of the organization, its capital, and its environment and includes the setting of objectives. By using that appraisal as a background, planning entails to find out the past, the present, and the future.
This study investigates accomplishment aspects, software choose steps, and execution events critical to a successful implementation of a potential e-voting system so as to contribute to basic research necessary for such actions by the designated authorities. In particular, implications on important planning principles provide a basis to electoral management for the planning and design of an e-voting system. Lessons of experience in planning with management issues identify important areas for a potential e-voting system. The following debate will offer to electoral management a brief overview of experiences concerning different approaches to planning for the purpose of understanding the nature of the planning and designing of a potential e-voting system.
5.2 Strategic Planning
According to the public sector circumstance, strategic management is described as the complete set of the managerial decisions and actions in shaping the presentation of the organizations in the long run in relation to the government's vision. Strategic management presents to the complete procedure that comprises visioning, strategic planning and strategic objective setting.
Producing a strategic plan is the primary phase for electoral management for a potential e-voting system in focusing the functions of a set of approved objectives based on its legally identified responsibilities. The strategic plan can be used to an e-voting system's boundary with its external surroundings mostly its stakeholders and basic decisions for electoral management in different service criterions.
The strategic plan exploits to electoral management to make the primary decisions for a potential e-voting system like for its operational planning and precedence, its resource distribution, its agreement standards, a proposal for service, organisational reinforcement, integration and enhancement. The strategic plan is an appliance that is useful for the electoral management to work with a high level of performance and to accomplish good customer contentment for an e-voting system. The strategic plan also essentials for the electoral management to understand its changing surroundings.
The strategic plan can be used as a public document for an e-voting system that contains a record of what the electoral management places for, what it performs and why, and what it aim to attain. The strategic plan can create a road map for a potential e-voting system that gives the direction and inspiration to the electoral management for an identified period of years and also provides a significant role as an indicator against which the e-voting system's performance can be considered by its stakeholders. A strategic plan is not only used as a document set in tangible but also it is a realistic strategic guide for the electoral management and must clearly provides if considerable changes in the external or internal surroundings need a revised strategy. An electoral management without a strategic plan is similar to a pilot without a compass.
The strategic plan can promote a vision for the electoral management to make as an open, democratic, and responsible institution. To do so, it must be steady with the electoral mandate and implemented the structure of the institution with the electoral law. It takes all known issues which could affect the e-voting system's performance such as the regulatory surroundings, technology, probability of conflict, stakeholder contribution or voter apathy and government dealings.
The purpose of strategic plan is to develop electoral management's task for an e-voting system for the future while considering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). It is very prudent for any organization to set its vision, mission, strategic objectives and priorities. This put the organization at ease in translating its policies and resources into action plans and budgets. Identifying the background elements for a potential e-voting system on which the proposed results of the strategic plan are based is essential to allow valid judgments of accomplishments.
5.3 Operational Planning
Operational planning guides to electoral management in setting priorities and accomplishing aspects in the organisation that need to be done to fulfil their mission for a potential e-voting system. It assists the electoral management in implementing, monitoring, and budgeting program in the organisation. In this way, operational planning ensures that program activities are best positioned to achieve strategic results for an e-voting system.
Voter registration, voter training, or voting and counting are essential procedure to every electoral system. It is a sequence of procedure that carried out together with a schedule and in a manner which fulfils with the electoral rule and regulations. Operational planning is set out apparently the execution of the strategic plan against explicit objectives. The key factor is to identify e-voting system task, its time frame and the electoral management is accountable for finishing it.
Operational plans of electoral management for a potential e-voting system can initiate from a clear easy timetables organizing key factors in the electoral procedure to complex plans providing a specific time frame to every activity. Similar to the strategic plan, operational planning is intended to be assistance for electoral management in the electoral procedure. There is no require for electoral management to keep an intricate plan if an ordinary plan will make sure that every person knows the errands and time scale.
An operational plan provides an action plan or a diary of actions for the electoral management according to their part of liability. Such a diary could specify what action has to be performed, a time frame for each action, and a cross-reference from the responsibility or activity to the proper sector in the electoral system. This kind of operational plan, if equipped from the electoral rule and regulations, make sure that there is no activity taken in the law is ignored by the electoral management.
It is suggested from management consideration that all election actions be integrated in any complete operational planning. Operational planning should capture into account courses from earlier elections. An entire review of the electoral procedure at the end of the electoral assignment will demonstrate whether the operational plan worked effectively. It will determine to electoral management what went good and what went incorrect, why several things went poorly, what could have been done in a different way, are there any cost saving to be done, and are there any procedures that can be done simpler and more efficiently. Learning from these factors can reduce a lot of time and cost for electoral management when planning for an introducing e-voting system.
The operational plan requires also providing understandable guidance to electoral management as to what actions taking in case of an emergency. Major disasters are not easy to predict, but problems could be happen any time like a fire in a polling station, or a inferior thing occurs in the electoral system's data centre, or for the period of vote counting, or a interruption of the poll by protestors require to be considered so that a clear process can be drawn in the instructional substance provided to the staff. On the above regards, electoral management should take the operational plans for potential e-voting system.
5.4 Development Planning
The developments plan sets out a proposal for electoral management by means of which it is determined to accomplish the objectives of the organisation, preferably converted into definite goal for a potential e-voting system. It should present an essentially co-ordinated, internally reliable set of principles and polices, selected as best means of implementing the strategy and attaining the goals, and determined to be used as a structure to guide consequent day-to-day decisions to electoral management.
There are various motives for planning in the organization. The plan provides guideline to the management, and encourages the organization's management to translate strategic planning and procedures. As such, public organizations with effective planning are in a good position to identify intricate situations, programme and funds precisely. A plan is normally define as a means to an ending and not an ending in itself. In this consider, the planning procedure is particular demand as it ensures buy-in, assurance and understanding. On this basis, all development plans in the municipal sector are typically crucial to be accepted by their legislatures or authorities.
The development plan provides to electoral management to make macro planning for a potential e-voting system intended at development that is usually multi-sectored and incorporated in nature. On this basis, rigorous appraisal of the costs, benefits, and efficiency of alternatives are drawn in planning. The purpose of the development plan in this considers is the electoral management attains a public institution's or organization's objectives.
The development plan provides to the electoral management time-frames or identifies their duration for a potential e-voting system, for example, whether they are for short period, medium period or long period. In common terms, most organizations or countries desire to plan with a short-period of one or two years. Planning, programming and budgeting covers the way to observe and evaluate recital. As the organization adapts to its short-period plan, electoral management can also plan for the medium-term period (normally 3 to 5 years) followed by longer-period plan, usually 5-10 years. Further to this, and with particular situation to the development plan, electoral management can use development plan to determine the necessary resources, the number of qualified staff, infrastructure, and budgets that will be required in future to reach the desired results for a potential e-voting system.
5.5 Regional and Spatial Planning
Spatial plan refers to the methods that can be used by the electoral management for a potential e-voting system to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. The plan is considered as a tool connected to intercession in a given territory and as a result it is to be understood not only as a legal requirement or a public investment plan, but also as an operational and programmatic instrument for the improvement of public policies as well as of private investment strategies and local initiatives. Local electoral managements are expected to play a proactive role in both the drafting and implementation of the plan. The idea of sustainability is essential to spatial planning as it incorporates long-term objectives for the territory as well as the incorporation of social and environmental with financial considerations. However, spatial planning has retained its centrality as a tool of local government policy (and for the purposes of local, national and regional planning) in the new dispensation. In essence, spatial planning has a great role in the improvement policies of cities with the influence of local government on improvement.
The attraction and encouragement of firms is still reliant on some site-specific characteristics, such as economic, social and technological infrastructures, skilled human resources, flexible and effective institutions and the quality of life. These cannot be developed throughout a top-down surface, but need an alert and mobilised local community. Regions and, over all, cities and towns should establish communication links between the variety of social groups to assert and improve their own identity. Local communities can also more suitably manage the global flows of information and adapt new information and relations technologies to their own require integrating the huge array of concerns and cultural societies.
The benefit of regional and spatial planning is that it usually moves beyond historical boundaries and acknowledges flows and interaction across borders. In the case of elections, this is very pertinent as voters move freely across historical voting areas, even internationally. Regional planning also has the benefit that it encourages contribution among stakeholders that do not generally interact with each other and therefore make sure ownership at a macro level. The electoral management requires doing planning for a potential e-voting system at regional, national, provincial and local level with the contribution of the community and all stakeholders.
Without proper planning, the new e-voting system may be executed at the wrong time or in the wrong manner and result in poor outcomes. There will always be unexpected circumstances in the system. However, a proper planning exercise aids the electoral management to decrease the likelihood of these and prepares the team for dealing with them when they occur. The planning procedure should also engage assessing risks and assumptions and thinking throughout possible unintended consequences of the activities being planned. The results of these exercises can be very supportive in expecting and dealing with problems.
An apparent plan assists the electoral management to focus limited assets on priority activities, that is, the ones most likely to carry about the desired change in the new e-voting system. Without a plan, people often get unfocused by many competing demands. Similarly, projects and programmes will often go off track and become useless and inefficient. A proper plan helps individuals and units to identify whether the results attained are those that were determined and to assess any inconsistency. Of course, this needs efficient observing and evaluation of what was planned. For this reason, good planning includes an understandable strategy for observing and evaluation and use of the information from these procedures.
5.3 Critical planning implications concerning with management issues for successful implementation of a potential e-voting system
The foundation of the planning process is based on the aim or mission of the institution or organization. Once the organization has formulated its mission or aim, it needs to establish a strategic plan. The broad goals in this regard are subject to be indicated that the organization must strive for in its aim. The next step of the organization is to details its activities on a day-to day basis. In this regard, the goal in the strategic plan is directed at clusters of activities of the organization. It is in this manner that the broad outline of the goals is reflected in the real situation of the organization. It is therefore worthwhile to inspect the issues that, to a great scope, agree on whether the implementation will be successful. The study investigates critical planning factors with management issues for successful implementation of a potential e-voting system. The most prominent of these are described below:
Project Plan and Vision
Project planning is the key to the success of any large project. An apparent project plan and vision guides the electoral management to get the route of the project. A project plan sketches proposed strategic and considerable benefits, resources, costs, risks and timeline. This will help the electoral management to keep focus on benefits of the system.
There should be a clear model of how the organization should supervise behind the implementation of an e-voting system. There should be a validation for the investment based on a trouble and amend straight to the route of the organization. Project mission should be associated to system desires and should be visibly stated. Goals and advantage should be identified and tracked. Project plan will make easier to work for management of e-voting system.
Management of Risk
Every Information technology implementation system holds important elements of risk; hence it is possible that development will deviate from the plan at several points in the project life cycle. IT implementation project risks are depicts as uncertainties, responsibilities or vulnerabilities that may cause the project to diverge from the defined plan. Management is the competence to tackle unpredicted crises and deviation from the plan.
The implementation of IT project is considered as complex activity and involves a probability of occurrence of unforeseen events. Hence, management is to reduce the impact of unplanned events in the project by classifying and addressing potential risks before major consequences occur. It is implicit that the risk of project failure is significantly reduced if the management follows the risk strategy appropriately.
Support by top management
The IT literature has obviously verified that for IT projects to be successful top management support is essential. Successful implementations need sturdy leadership, obligation, and contribution by top management. The implementation project should have an administrative management planning committee that is dedicated to organization integration. Top management require continuously observing the progression of the project and giving direction to the implementation team. The top management must not require only finance the project but also take an active role in major the change.
Top management should legitimize new targets and ideas. Aim of the organization and the function of the new system and constitution should be communicated to employees. New organisational constitutions, roles and tasks should be established and accepted by top management. Strategies should be place by top management to set up new system in the organisation.
The functions of top management in IT execution project comprise developing an understanding of the abilities and boundaries of IT, establishing logical aim for IT systems, exhibiting strong assurance to the successful beginning of IT, and communicating the corporate IT policy to all employees.
Excellent Project Management
While various in the IS consider project management an oxymoron, its significance in IT projects is well-documented, and various methodologies and management instruments exist. Project management responsibilities span the time of the project from starting the project to finishing it. The emergency approach to project management proposes that project planning and organize is a role of the project's descriptions such as project range, familiarities with the technology, and project constitution. The vast integration of hardware and software and the numerous of organizational, human and political matters make many IT projects huge and really complex, entailing new project management skills.
Especially, appropriate management of scope is essential to avoid timetable and cost over runs and requires having a plan and sticking to it. Customization enhances the scope of an IT project and adds time and expenditure to an execution. The high execution risks of IT projects entail the needs for multiple management tools such as external and internal amalgamation devices and proper planning and results-controls.
A Great Implementation team
E-Voting system execution teams should be composed of top-notch people who are selected for their skills, past completions, reputation, and plasticity. These people should be trusted with crucial decision making liability. Electoral management should regularly communicate with the team, but should also enable authorized, quick decision making. The execution team is significant because it is accountable for creating the preliminary, complete project plan or overall schedule for the complete project, assigning responsibilities for different activities and shaping due dates. The team also ensure that all essential resources will be obtainable as required.
Sufficient IT infrastructure, hardware and networking are critical for an e-voting system's accomplishment. It is apparent that e-voting system execution involves a complex transition from legacy information systems to an incorporated IT infra-structure throughout the organization. Hardware choice is determined by the firm's choice of an e-voting system software package. The e-voting system software vendor usually certifies which hardware must be used to run the e-voting system. This issue has been considered essential by the specialists and as well as by the researchers.
Software development, testing and troubles shooting
Software development, testing and troubles shooting is critical, beginning in the e-voting project phase. The overall e-voting system design should be established before operation, taking into account the most essential requirements of the execution. This protects reconfiguration at every phase of execution.
Troubles shooting errors are important. The organization executing e-voting system should work fine with vendors and experts to resolve software troubles. Fast response, persistence, patience, difficulty solving and fire fighting abilities are significant. Energetic and sophisticated software testing relieves execution.
Focused performance measures
Performance measures that assess to the electoral management the impact of the new system must be carefully built. Of course, the measures should specify how the system is performing. But the measures must also be designed so as to encourage the desired behaviours by all functions and individuals. Such measures might include on-time deliveries and vendor performance, etc.
Project valuation measures must be incorporated from the creation. Management, vendors, the execution team, and the users must contribute to an apparent understanding of the goal.
When teams attain their allocated goals, rewards should be provided in a very clear way. The project must be strongly monitored until the execution is completed. The e-voting system must be eternally monitored and measured. Management and other employees often presume that performance will begin to develop as early as the e-voting system becomes operational. Instead, because the new system is intricate and complex to master, organizations must be ready for the possibility of an initial decline in productivity. As experience with the new system increases, developments will happen. Therefore, practical expectations regarding performance and time frames must be visibly communicated.
Extensive education and training on new e-voting system
Education/training is possibly the most widely accepted vital success factor, because user understanding and buy-in is crucial. The main reason for education and training program for e-voting system execution is to make the user friendly with the system and improve the expertise and knowledge level of the people. E-Voting system implementation needs a crucial mass of knowledge to enable people to resolve problems in the framework of the system. The entire benefits of e-voting system cannot be realized until end users are using the new system correctly.
To make end user training successful, electoral management must be entirely committed to expend enough money on education and end user training. All too regularly, employees are expected to be capable to efficiently utilize the new system based only on education and training. The electoral management should continue ongoing contact with all system users and observe the use of the new system. There is also required for post-implementation training. Periodic meetings can aid identify troubles with the system and encourage the swap of information gained throughout experience and increasing familiarity with the new e-voting system.
The electoral management needs to set a security policy that is defined a set of rules stating what is allowed and what is not allowed in the system through normal operation. It is written in general conditions and explains the security requirements for the new e-voting system. The assignment to define an appropriate security strategy is often a political decision to be taken by electoral management.
The security policy standardizes how entities can promote access to objects in the system. The security policy should explain the well-balanced cost-effective defence of the system and should contain all matters as well as all entities in the system.
After the security policy has been identified, it can be used to choose what security mechanism to select. Security systems are the basic mechanisms used to execute security. In the system, for example an access controls system which decides what entities are permitted to access an object.
An information security policy document is necessary in the new e-voting system for several reasons. Clear of the definition of roles and responsibilities for employees, a policy document sensitizes employees to the potential troubles associated with the new systems. This assists to minimize the cost of security events, aids accelerate the improvement of new application systems, and aids assure the consistent execution of controls across an organization's information systems.
ENGAGEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS
During all phases of planning, observing, evaluating, learning and improving, it is critical to connect stakeholders, encourage buy-in and commitment, and motivate action. The electoral management should aims to engage stakeholders in thinking as frankly and creatively as probable about what they want to attain and encourage them to organize themselves to attain what they have agreed on, including putting in position a procedure to monitor and evaluate improvement and use the information to develop performance.
Insufficient stakeholder participation is one of the most common facts programmes and projects fail. Hence, every effort should be made to promote broad and active stakeholder engagement in the planning procedures. This is particularly appropriate to crisis circumstances where people's sense of security and vulnerability may be subtle and where tensions and factions may exist. In these conditions, the electoral management should aim to make sure that as many stakeholders as possible are involved, and that opportunities are produced for the different parties to hear each other's viewpoints in an open and reasonable manner. The concentrate of the consultative approach aids to share activities like infrastructure design and approval, project execution, project financing, resource mobilization and infrastructure maintenance. In this consider, there is a common strength of project ownership among stakeholders since they are involved in decision-making.