There are a multitude of appropriate definitions of "Systems":
- A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.
- A condition of harmonious, orderly interaction.
- An organized and coordinated method; a procedure
In the Arts Division when we talk about Systems we are talking about processes that use computer programs in the organization of data and enhancement of work flow. We have systems for managing budgets, people, classes and much more.
The Division Human Resources Time and Attendance System is a good example of a system that we use in the Arts Division. In general the system is a File Maker Pro database that has a record for each staff employee. At the beginning of the month a copy of a File Maker Pro file is emailed to each staff member. This file holds the information about the accumulated Vacation and Sick time that the staff member has and information about the current month (hours of work, holidays, etc.). During the month the staff member keeps track of the time they work in this file. On the last day of the month they print out the "time sheet" and have their supervisor sign it and return it to HR. HR looks it over and enters the information into the HR Time and Attendance data base. The cycle or system repeats like that monthly. This Time and Attendance system is a division level system. There are also campus level systems and even department level systems.
The ideal work environment, form a systems perspective, is to have a situation where no information is entered more then once, where no data is lost, and people are able to do their job at the most effective possible level.