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
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