Today, most jobs require interaction and cooperation between the employees at the workplace, in order to achieve the goals set by their organisation fast and effectively. It is therefore extremely important for each member of a team to participate equally and offer their knowledge and skills according to their role, because this is the most efficient way to accomplish the assigned tasks and not to become a burden for their team. Since the workplace is the place where most of the day’s hours are being spent, it is wise to be open to the concept of working together as a team and behave cooperatively.
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A systems analyst’s job is to act as the binding ‘bridge’ between the business and the IT sector of a company. They are the people who contact the end-users of a system in order to gather and then analyze their requirements, and then translate them into highly technical specifications for the programmers, so that the latter be able to practically develop the required system. Moreover, the system analyst is responsible for designing, modifying, improving or even expanding existing systems to fit the necessary requirements. This means that the systems analyst needs to possess a critical mind in order to be able to judge each time the current status of work and decide on whether changes need to be made.
This job, from its nature, requires a high level of interaction, since people are the focal point of this job. Working together with people from different departments however, is often a very challenging task, since departments constitute units whose activities are committed to serving specific purposes. This means that people who work in one department are often not of the same mindset as people who work in a different department. A systems analyst therefore needs to be flexible enough to understand this and come up with channels of communication that are effective enough to link the different mindsets within an organisation. As a result, analysts cannot rely on their individual effort, but mainly depend on the overall effort of all team-members within different units of the organization, in order to succeed their goal. In general, systems analysts have to deal with the analysis of complex systems and they usually work in teams with IT professionals, trying to implement successful solutions that meet the company’s needs within the given budget and deadlines.
In Merriam – Webster encyclopedia, the term teamwork is defined as “the work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole”. The combination of all individual efforts of the members of a group, in a harmonized way, can be more effective than each one separate, towards a common goal because each person is required to use their individual skills and talents. It is logical to claim that many skills provide better results that only one skill would, so considering that teams are managed successfully, the common goal may be achieved fast and effectively.
Apart from the technical proficiency that is required for the job of a systems analyst, social skills are also enviable, and they need to possess the ability to function with ease within a team. Being a good listener and questioner, especially during interviews, meetings and workshops, is of great significance for a person of this job. It is vital to ask questions, interact and discuss in order to be able to shape a precise idea of what the teams are like and understand their needs and their potentials to meet the requirements of the different projects they undertake. They also need to show respect for the opinion of other people and be open-minded to the everyone’s ideas and input, keeping however in mind how these are going to assist with the fulfillment of their project. A systems analyst will often be required to help the members of a team, since the term teamwork is based on the concept of providing help to the others. Moreover, they need to have a sense of justice and share equally all responsibilities among the members of a team, in order to avoid cultivating negative feelings between colleagues on their workload and importance. Since a systems analyst needs to deal with different personalities, they need to be ready to encourage their team members in case they deem it necessary but they also have to achieve this without restraint, in order to create a positive environment of teamwork.
Usually, the first task that systems analysts go through is the evaluation of the current business procedure or the current problem. This is being done by contacting the managers or relevant specialists to understand the nature of the problem in order to be able to break it down to pieces for further analysis. To achieve that, the analyst might have to conduct some interviews with the appropriate staff in order to gather all the necessary information, to reach a deeper understanding of the issue at stake. Interviews might be held either by an individual or by a team of analysts. Questioning, listening and respecting others are the most important skills that take place during this specific process, which as mentioned before, are skills that an analyst needs to possess. Analysts ought to listen carefully to information given by the interviewees as they express their opinion, they ought to be polite with them, and respect their ideas. Also they need to be able to ask the correct and relevant to the subject questions in order to have adequate and helpful answers for easy analysis afterwards, and they also need to be able to interact and discuss the objectives with the team, so as to reach the desirable goal of this process, which in this case is the collection of data.
The analysis phase takes place after having collected all the necessary information. It is the point where all the collected data should be carefully examined by the members of the team. The proposals for the new system are then being produced and should be presented to the company to consult the managers and confirm the process. Analysts should also prepare a report that contains all the details of the proposed system as well as the reasons for their proposal, the cost benefits for the company and the time frame for its implementation, so as to reach an agreement with the company and proceed to the phase of the execution. For this phase, analysts need to work close to each other, and to the managers or to other relevant staff of the company. At this point it is worth mentioning that the ability of the analyst to persuade people is of great importance, since this is how they are going to be able to bring their tasks further. By gaining the agreement of others, regarding the ideas and the system that is being proposed, the analyst needs to be in the position to defend their work with arguments.
Once the company accepts the proposed system, analysts should prepare the system specifications for the programmers. These specifications include activity diagrams, use cases and class diagrams, which are detailed descriptions of all the data analysis that has been done, and that describes the relationship of the users with the system as well as the data elements that need to be considered by the programmers. The system analysts may also determine the computer hardware and software that is going to be used for the setting up of the system or prepare the programmes. They may allocate work to programmers, designers, technicians, and understand that they are all members of the same team, each one offering their skills and working towards one goal; to deliver a finalized system, within the deadline provided and according to the requirements.
One of the biggest advantages of teamwork is that that the work of analyst can be distributed among the members of a team, reducing therefore one person’s workload. As a result this may lead to a more optimized and efficient work. Moreover, by splitting the tasks the timely completion of the work can be easier achieved and this is something that increases the goodwill and reputation of a business, which in its own turn brings more clients to cooperate with the company, with a new project or contract.
To sum up, the systems analyst needs to work with teams and bring people together to create something new for the common good of their organization. Teamwork is therefore of the greatest important to the systems analyst, since it is a job that from its nature functions within and through teams.
Compare and contrast your results from the Self Perception Inventory (Belbin) and Temperament Sorter (Keirsey). Discuss those elements in the temperament/role descriptions with which you agree or disagree, providing supporting argument, examples etc. Conclude with remarks on the accuracy and validity of the tests.
(Word counts: 1527)
The results of the two tests, the Self Perception Inventory (Belbin) and the Temperament Sorter (Keirsey), gave a quite precise profile reflection of some aspects of my individual personality. The Self Perception Inventory test described me as a shaper and as an implementer member of a team whereas the Temperament Sorter test characterized me as an extrovert, sensing, thinker who prefers a judgmental life style (ESTJ, Extroversion – Sensing – Thinking – Judgment).
A shaper, according to Belbins’ theory, is a challenging member of a team that is also honest, straightforward and open to others. He is the one that drives the team in order to ensure that focus or momentum is not lost, and assures that team members are achieving their goals. Shaper’s aim is to prevent disinterest and laziness in the team and has the tendency to thrive under pressure while maintaining the courage to overcome obstacles whenever encountered. However people having this profile are getting rather obsessed with chasing down the objectives and are self motivated by own emanated energy. They have the need to ascertain the that the team will achieve the best result, so they will find themselves in challenging, arguing or even disagreeing and displaying aggression to others during the pursuit of their goal achievement. Two or three Shapers in a team, according to Belbin, may lead to conflict, aggravation and in-fighting. Since they are prone to provocation in order to achieve their purpose it is very likely that they might offend people’s feelings.
I believe that this type of member describes in an accurate way, as I always try to shape the team that I am member of, and try to encourage them do their best to achieve our goal. I must also admit that sometimes I become irritating and argue when someone does not cooperate or respect the teams’ goal, and might offend them. During my current studies I had to be a shaper in some teamwork course works, trying to encourage the team and keep the team spirit alive.
An implementer, also known as company worker, is the member who transforms concepts into working procedures. People as such, tend to plan a practical, workable strategy and put all their effort in order to carry it out as efficiently as possible. They are open to their colleagues’ suggestions and ideas and have the ability to convert them into positive and practical pieces of action which will be the tasks of their team member. They are well-organized, moderate and reliable upon delivering on time. They are devoted to the team or company and often they are willing to deal with tasks that others would rather avoid. Nevertheless, implementer tends to be more close-minded and not flexible in accepting new ideas, especially if these conflict with their own well-thought-out plans or threaten well-established practices. And these are their weaknesses.
I also agree being an implementer too, as I strive to deliver the best possible outcome for the whole team. I always try to plan and share equally the tasks, listen to all opinions of the members and find ways to turn them into efficient working procedures. I am also looking into details so as the deliverable to be as efficient and well structured as possible according to the requirements. However, I find it difficult to accept last minute changes in the predefined procedures or ideas that cannot be supported with objective arguments.
According to the results of the four types of profile from Keirseys’ test, the corresponding temperament for the ESTJ, is the Guardian, and the specific role is the Supervisor.
Guardians are considered to be observant and cooperative personalities. They seek for sense security and belonging and they are attached to responsibility and duty. Their greatest strength is logistics. They have supremacy at organizing, facilitating, checking, and supporting. They are concrete in communicating as well as cooperative when pursuing their goals. As the security-seeking temperament, Guardians are practical and austere types. They tend to be contractual and cooperative in their work, and be fair with all coworkers, following the rules and expect others as well to follow their path. Guardians value teamwork and are devoted to preserve established social institutions. They are cautious toward changes and want to ensure that all tangencies are being measured.
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This temperament is quite accurate describing me, as I’m considered to be cooperative, attracted to more practical tasks, and responsible in my work. Moreover, I want to achieve the team goals’ as efficient as possible, trying to organize all procedures and be reluctant to unexpected changes; characteristics which Belbins’ test mentioned them too, in the implementer type of member result of mine.
Supervisor Guardians often take leadership positions in an organisation and in their careers, defending the groups in which they belong. Supervisors tend to follow rules and procedures, and prefer follow already tried methods than experimenting with new ones. Moreover, they can communicate easily and pass their opinions and expectations to others. They are hard-working, skillful and take on seriously their responsibilities. While they may seem rather formal, they are honest and open and can be easily approached.
The supervisor role, as part of the guardians’ temperament, is indicating once more parts of my personality, and can also be combined with the Belbins’ implementer type of team member, as well as with the shaper one. Shapers as supervisors are open with others, but strict when concerning to work, an attribute that can characterize me well enough.
More analytically, the four profiles that points out the supervisor role of mine are going to be described, according to Keirseys’s and Myers-Briggs theory.
The first of the four profiles that is analyzed, according to Keirseys’ test, is about how a person is energized. An extrovert person, or sometimes referred as an observant, is more ‘down to earth’. Extrovert people operate more in the side of external world and behaviorism and draw energy from action. They tend to act, reflect on other responses, and then continue acting furthermore. Whenever they are inactive, their motivation tends to decline. In order to rebuild their energy, extroverts need some time spent in reflection. The extrovert’s streaming is routed from inward towards people and objects. The main characteristics of an extrovert person are acting orientation, seek of knowledge and influence, frequent interaction, and energy seeking from spending time with people.
The sensing profile is related with those things that a person pays attention to. People who prefer the sensing way of attending, trust information that belongs the present, is tangible and concrete; information that can be understood by all five senses. They are likely to doubt instincts and information which seem to come “out of nowhere”, prefer to seek for details and facts, and the real meaning from them resides in real data.
The next type of profile, the thinking profile, which is described in the results of Keirseys’ test, is about how a person makes a decision about something. Those who prefer thinking, tend to decide things from a more detached and distanced standpoint. They measure the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal and consistent, and try to match a given set of rules. They do not necessarily, in the everyday sense, “think better” than their everyday counterparts.
And the last profile being examined is about the judgment life style that a person prefers. The judgment way of living is interpreted as having a preference for living in a planned and organised life. People who prefer this kind of life style show the world their preferred judging function.
Comparing the results of the two tests, someone can notice that there are some similarities and that there is a connection between them. According to the profiles results, a shaper can be combined with the extrovert profile. Extrovert and shaper are characterized for their energy which is reinforced by interaction with other people. They depend on others actions and responses and act consequently, collaborating and influencing other people. Both can perform better when other people are around, formulating a team.
The implementer has more common characteristics with the next three profiles: those of the sensing, the thinking and the judging profiles. Implementer and sensing are people that are rational based. They both tend to avert urging ideas, especially if those contradict with theirs, unless they have some stable and compact underlying argument. Again, Implementer and thinking are people that count and weight every aspect of the information given. Unless this information does not fit into their current knowledge or unless this information is proving itself correct. In this aspect they both lack the sense of daring into new ideas and concepts. Finally the Implementer and judging are very well organized so that people can rely on them in terms of fulfilling their duties.
To conclude, I found that these two tests I gone through, shaped a profile of mine in a quite accurate way, pointing out many characteristics of my personality. Combining the results of both tests they formulate a more complete picture of the actual personal profile. Still there are other aspects that they cannot be included in the profiles, but this is rather expected since it would be difficult and surprising if the test could include all aspects of a subject.
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