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South Carolina State Job Information Center  

The South Carolina State Job Information Center (SJIC) is an agency within the Human Resources Department of the State Budget and Control Board. Its primary function is to post job opportunities that arise within state agencies, receive and screen applications, test applicants, and communicate acceptable applications to the posting agency. All of this administrative work needed to be in accomplished in accordance with Federal and State guidelines.

In 1997 the South Carolina Job Information Center was involved in a major overhaul of its operations and physical plant. Administrative office space and client service facilities were being redesigned around a new concept of service delivery to both the applicants and the agencies being served. The application processing and filing system that relied on significant paper handling and storage was being phased out and a computer-based system was being introduced.

As a guide to this process of transition SJIC engaged IMS Quantum to develop an Integrated Planning Model that described the way in which SJIC functioned to achieve its objectives. The model explicitly showed the three constituents of the system: The citizens of the state who were using the system to gain access to state employment, the state agencies that were using the system to fill job openings, and the SJIC, which was operating the system. Each part of the model was designed to show the costs of operating in the current system to one of these constituents. Flow diagrams were developed to show the flow of information, the execution of work, and the use of resources during the process. These flow diagrams were translated into a quantitative model that showed how each part of the system interacted with each other part. Decision points were shown where work flow diverged into a complex array of possibilities associated with each application.

Once the Integrated Planning Model was constructed, alternative approaches could easily be identified. Several Flow diagrams were developed to show how the current system could be computerized to save on storage costs and processing time. Any newly proposed system could be introduced into the model to show explicitly the savings in time and money over other alternatives. Costs and benefits associated with public policy tradeoffs could be explicitly balanced regarding the different constituents.

The relative speed with which the Integrated Planning Model could be constructed, the disciplined thinking required during its development, and the transparency associated with the final model, yielded a valuable decision-making tool. The model allowed SJIC to develop clearer expectations associated with any final system chosen. Budgets and measures of performance are other potential benefits.

 
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