implementing performance-tuning initiatives to
improve computer system performance. You will also
be expected to project future application growth
capabilities. All these are technical functions needed to
ensure the smooth operation of an AIS facility.
In this chapter, you will learn about the many
varied tasks you may perform as an input/output control
clerk and then as a scheduler, reports preparation,
trouble reports, technical assists, and operational
guidelines. Our objective is to give you a better
understanding of the importance, scope, and
responsibilities that go with processing production
jobsreceiving jobs, scheduling AIS production
within the AIS facility, and ensuring the accuracy and
timeliness of products.
I/O control is the interface between the user and the
computer system. Figure 1-1 shows an example of the
role played by I/O control in the processing of computer
I/O CONTROL PROCEDURES
I/O, as you know, stands for input/output. The
people who perform I/O functions are called control
clerks, I/O control clerks, job-staging clerks,
distribution clerks, or computer aids. In short, these are
the people who are responsible for the quality and
control of data processing input and output media and
products. They ensure that the data to be processed
meets all the requirements as outlined in the input
criteria (instructions and procedures), that all data are
processed, that all processing steps are performed, that
the output products are distributed to the appropriate
users once they are complete.
To be an efficient and effective I/O control clerk,
you should be able to work on your own with a
minimum of supervision; work well with other people;
display tact and diplomacy; be a good communicator;
use sound judgment; be logical, methodical, and
persuasive; and most of all be able to respond to users
requests. Although you may manage to stay out of the
limelight in this job, you do perform an integral function
in the overall ADP operation. The importance and
impact you have (whether it be aboard ship or ashore)
is far-reaching and invaluable. Most opinions
formulated by the AIS users (customers) are based on
the quality of their output products and their personal
contact with you as an I/O control clerk. Your attitude
toward your job and its importance is seen not only by
the customer, but also by your fellow workers,
supervisor, and, in some cases, management. The
quality of your work will be your signature when
dealing with other AIS personnel and customers.
I/O control is a process. Your job will be to follow
your installations procedures. Although the
procedures may differ from one installation to another,
they all require the same knowledge and skills.
As an I/O control clerk, you act as the middle person
between the user (customer) and the computer.
Normally, the users come to you with a transmittal or
request form and sometimes with their inputsource
documents, magnetic tapes, diskettes, and so on.
Before accepting and logging in their jobs, take a few
moments to look over the transmittal form. Be sure that
all the necessary entries are properly filled in, that they
are readable, and that any special instructions are
understandable. It is better to clear up any
misunderstandings right then and there, rather than
having to contact the user again later and possibly cause
a delay in the job getting on the computer. Never be
embarrassed to ask questions. You must remember that
many of the users you come in contact with are
non-ADP oriented; therefore, it is up to you to help them
understand the process and its requirements.
Once you have logged the job in, you may work
with data entry to prepare data or programs; then with
the media library to pull the needed tapes or disks; and
then with computer operations to have the job run.
Once the job has been run on the computer, you may
check the output products. When you are sure the
outputs are OK, you distribute them according to
instructions, log the job out, and file or return the job
materials to the user.
Study figure 1-1 for a few moments. It will help
you see how the work flows and how you, as an I/O
control clerk, fit in the picture. The functional areas are
listed across the top of the figure.
As you enter the level of middle management, you
will be required to take on added duties and additional
responsibilities. You will be a technical administrator,
and you will provide support to management. You will
use your expertise to evaluate current procedures and
equipment and to make recommendations for
improvements to operations. This includes estimating
future equipment needs.