Conception of a strategically oriented decision support system

Looking first at the key findings of the previous sections, the task of consulting in planning a business is to develop a set of action alternatives from which the entrepreneur can make the final decision. Most agricultural companies focus their strategy on cost leadership. It is the task of the consultant to show the farmer the consequences of his deliberations with the help of an appropriate decision support system in the consultation process with the help of prognosis calculations.

In the light of the stated requirement for a decision support system and the identified lack of appropriate decision-making models for the financing decision, it is necessary to devise an instrument which above all dissolves Huth’s lack of decision-making aids in financing.

The decision support system

The term decision support system generally designates computer-aided planning systems which accompany the planning process in the form of model analyzes or support them in the most important stages, ie. H.:

> in the design of a system,

> when checking on reference quantities,

> when deciding on the acceptance of the design

Taking into account the computer support in o. A. Planning stages can be divided EUS into the following classes (see SCHNEEWEISS, 1992, S170):

1. OIS (Operational Information Systems)

2. MIS (Management Information Systems)

3. MPS (Mathematical Planning Systems)

4. MCDSS (Multi Criteria Decision Support Systems)

5. GDSS (Group Decision Support Systems)

6. ES or EXP

From the various classes of models, this work essentially implements the MPS and the EXP, which offer operable solutions depending on the system setting for the user. After reducing the number of action alternatives in a first system of consideration, a consideration with the help of MPS and EXP follows in the form of an abstracted consideration of the most important goals (goal operationalization) of the decision maker. As a result, a reduction in complexity can be made and the decision-making process can be prepared. The MPS verifies the quantitative effects of implementing a strategy in the form of simulation studies. In conjunction with the Expert system, these simulation studies are being extended by a further controller approach, which can map different human expertise in strategic financing.

Implementation in the software engineering process

Due to the problems in classical software development, a prototype-oriented software development has increasingly prevailed. By breaking with the classical iterative approach in different phases, an overall improvement in the sense of a result-oriented software development is achieved, so that a gradual modeling is possible and the reduction of the overall complexity is accomplished. The prototyping process can be differentiated into the following three methods:

1. explorative prototyping

2. experimental prototyping

3. evolutionary prototyping

Exploratory prototyping supports system capture and system definition. Collaboration between developers and users is used to develop solution options that enable later integration of the planned system into a corresponding organizational environment. The system design is accompanied by experimental prototyping. The purpose of this method is to experimentally prove the functionality of subsystems and solution ideas for individual system components. The goal of evolutionary prototyping is to implement clear user requirements, which are constantly being expanded or replaced by new ones in the course of the process. Thus, the system development loses the character of a completed project and becomes an incremental process that constantly accompanies the application.

The use of prototyping approaches in system development offers the following advantages:

1. Prototyping involves the user in the development process. This provides improved quality control by allowing the user to see what is being developed early.

2. Since a functioning system is developed early on, it is possible to make quick statements about the possibilities of realization and the resulting costs.

The advantages mentioned above are offset by the following disadvantages:

1. The development of prototypes is expensive.

2. Prototyping requires software tools that support the prototyping process.

3. There is a danger that prototypes will be considered and used as finished systems.

The own procedure can be characterized as follows:

> The task “Conception of a consulting application for strategic planning” is not yet completely defined at the beginning of the research activity, so that more or less strong changes, extensions, etc. are made over time.

> Results must be available quickly, sub-modules checked, interaction between sub-modules tested, modified and extended.

> The desired flexibility of the individual systems requires a modular design, whereby the individual submodules should be able to run independently of each other.

This procedure therefore corresponds to the prototype-oriented method. So that the content-related issues in the individual system development phases an appropriate space can be granted, one needs a flexible tool for implementing the planning system. This can be ensured by the diverse possibilities of object-oriented programming in Delphi, so that after passing through the individual development phases, there is a prototype that fulfills the requirements of a planning and consulting instrument and can undergo the evolutionary process of continuous further development in the application.