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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 94354 Find in a Library
Title: What an Automated Information System Can Do For You - A Judge's View and A Project Manager's View
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1984)  Pages:40-43,50-51,52
Author(s): R F Brachtenbach; C S King
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A judge and a project manager from Washington State discuss issues surrounding the adoption of an automated information system, with attention to how judges can select the most appropriate system and make efficient use of it.
Abstract: Based on Washington's experience with its Judicial Information System (JIS), the judge suggests that the following issues be addressed initially: whether the system is to be statewide; whether it will be accepted by users and what it will cost; and other issues involving control, policy decisions, operations responsibility, data availability, etc. To answer these questions, Washington directed a committee of key judicial actors to explore these issues. The committee suggested picking a medium-sized pilot site court with a cooperative staff, picking a design team and estimating costs, visiting other systems, and setting priorities for resource use. A subcommittee developed programs for all levels, and regular committee meetings were held. The program manager points to Washington's Superior Court Management Information System (SCOMIS), a part of JIS, as a great success; it handles information needs for more than 80 percent of the State's incoming general jurisdiction cases from 140 computer terminals across the State. To be successful, judges involved with SCOMIS development followed six precepts: they demanded excellence from all participants, were involved from the start, committed their time and their staff's time, took full advantage of the new system, were patient, and followed through by maintaining a rapport with the technical staff. Breaking the system into functional modules and developing one at a time worked well for staff and users. Three steps are then involved in developing a system: conceptual development, installation, and ongoing improvements. The conceptual development phase is probably the longest and most crucial. Whether or not users are well trained to use the new system may determine the success or failure of the new system in the second phase. Holding regular meetings with user representatives and continuing training are crucial to the third phase.
Index Term(s): Automated court systems; Program coordination; Program implementation; Program planning; Washington
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