Stage 3 out of 5

Stage 3

Using the case and the provided template (containing IT considerations such as architecture, security, etc.), identify and explain which areas in particular need to be considered more fully for the solution proposed in Stage 2. Your template will be completed in the format provided (Word).

Stage 4

Using the case provided, identify how the solution from Stage 2 could support and enhance the business, explain the business benefits of the solution, and address the considerations put forward in Stage 3. Your deliverable will be an executive briefing in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Stage 5

Using the case provided, prepare an annotated outline that identifies the next steps in implementing the solution proposed in stage 4, addressing project management, system development life cycle, change management, etc. Your outline will be developed in Microsoft Word.

USE THE WALMART AS AN EXAMPLE AND READ STAGE 1 AND 2 TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE ASSIGNMENT

Case Study, Stage 3: IT Considerations for Proposed Technology Solution

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “UMUC Fitness Center Case Study” and “UMUC Fitness Center Stage One Project,” and “UMUC Fitness Center Stage Two Project” and the feedback from previous assignments.

IT Considerations for Proposed Technology Solution

For your Stage 2 Project, you proposed a technology solution to improve a business process at your UMUC Fitness Center. In evaluating an IT proposal, there are several areas that need to be considered. These considerations are listed in the table provided with this assignment. Depending on the specific technology solution you proposed, some of the considerations will be more important than others, or may need specific consideration prior to implementation. The responses that you enter into the table for each consideration must be aligned to the specific solution you proposed and appropriate to the UMUC Fitness Center.

Purpose of this Assignment

This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge of the areas to be considered in planning and implementing a technology solution. This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:

· analyze internal and external business processes to identify information systems requirements

· identify and plan IT solutions that meet business objectives.

Assignment

Using the technology solution you proposed in Stage 2, you should briefly explain it and then copy the table below and complete the remaining two columns. For each area of consideration, you should rank it as high, medium or low in importance or relevance for the specific technology solution you proposed for the UMUC Fitness Center. If that area of consideration is Not Applicable to your proposed solution, enter N/A. Then, provide a brief explanation, a minimum of two sentences for each, to justify that ranking or the N/A. Explanations must provide enough information to convey the reasoning behind the ranking. DO NOT copy the definitions from the textbook or other sources but put into your own words to demonstrate your understanding of the concept as you provide your explanation for the ranking. Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything. Submit your paper with answers to parts 1 and 2 below via your Assignment Folder as a Microsoft Word document with your last name included in the filename.

Part 1: Brief explanation of proposed technology solution. Identify what the solution is, what it is expected to do for the UMUC Fitness Center, summarizing the information you provided for Stage 2.

Part 2: Table of IT Considerations

Area

High/Medium/Low Importance or Relevance or Not Applicable (N/A)

Explanation for Ranking

Accessibility

Availability

Maintainability

Portability

Reliability

Scalability

Usability

Disaster Recovery Plan

Authentication & Authorization

Prevention & Resistance (Security)

Detection & Response (Security)

Grid Computing

Cloud Computing

Virtualized Computing

Communications Architecture

Database Architecture

Decision Support

Artificial Intelligence

Business-to-Business eCommerce

Business-to-Consumer eCommerce

Example: If the technology solution being proposed was to have a kiosk for customers to use to pay for their membership at the UMUC Fitness Center, then for the area of Accessibility, the following might be entered. (The definition of Accessibility is provided here for clarification. Definitions are not required to be entered into the table above.) Note the thorough explanation of the ranking.

Area

High/Medium/Low Importance or Relevance or Not Applicable (N/A)

Explanation for Ranking

Accessibility
“Accessibility refers to the varying levels that define what a user can access, view, or perform when operating a system.” (Baltzan, 2012.)

Medium

Since the customers will use the kiosk to pay their membership fees, it must be accessible to everyone. Customers need a convenient and individual method of logging into the system that enables them to perform the needed tasks quickly and efficiently. The customers should have controlled access that prohibits them from entering any areas or performing any functions not intended for customer use. It is ranked “Medium” because it is important for some customers who choose to use the kiosk and the system cannot be accessed without some type of login so it is important; however, it is not “High” since there are other methods of paying membership fees.

The “right” and “wrong” answers have to do with whether or not you correctly ranked each consideration as it relates to your proposed technology solution and have provided a well-supported explanation for the ranking you assigned. Your responses will be evaluated on whether they are applicable to the solution, correctly ranked, adequately explained, and are appropriate to the UMUC Fitness Center. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects.

GRADING RUBRIC:

Attribute

Full Points

Partial Points

No points

Possible Points

Points Earned

Explanation of Proposed Solution

Brief explanation of solution effectively sets stage for rankings.

Explanation of solution is not completely adequate to set stage for rankings.

No explanation of proposed solution provided.

10

High/Medium/ Low Rankings

Rankings demonstrate understanding of course concepts, sophisticated analysis and critical thinking.

Rankings are adequate or may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.

No rankings provided.

40
(2 points each)

Explanations

Explanations justify rankings and demonstrate understanding of course concepts, sophisticated analysis, and critical thinking.

Explanations are adequate, or (some) do not adequately justify rankings; may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.

No explanations provided.

40
(2 points each)

Table Format

Information is professionally presented using sophisticated writing; uses correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.

Information is adequately presented, or may not be professionally presented, and/or contains grammar and/or spelling errors.

Information is extremely poorly written and does not convey the information.

10

TOTAL Points

100

100 points =13% of final course grade

Points Recorded
(total points x .13)

Concepts:

Accessibility: Baltzan textbook, page 175, “refers to the varying levels that define what a user can access, view, or perform when operating a system”

Availability: Baltzan textbook, page 175, 176, “refers to the time frames when the system is operational”

Maintainability: Baltzan textbook, page 176 – 177, “refers to how quickly a system can transform to support environmental changes”. Examples are multi-currency acceptance, acceptance of credit cards, multiple languages, etc.

Portability: Baltzan textbook, page 177, “the ability of an application to operate on different devices or software platforms such as different operating systems”

Reliability: Baltzan textbook, page 177, “ensures a system is functioning correctly and providing accurate information”

Scalability: Baltzan textbook, page 177, “how well a system can scale up, or adapt to the increased demands of growth”

Usability: Baltzan textbook, page 178, “the degree to which a system is easy to learn and efficient and satisfying to use”

Disaster Recovery Plan: Baltzan textbook, pages 172 – 173, “detailed process for recovering information or a system in the event of a catastrophic disaster”

Authentication & Authorization (Security): Baltzan textbook, pages 149 – 151, examples include user id/password, smart card/token, biometric technology

Prevention & Resistance (Security): Baltzan textbook, pages 151 – 153, examples include content filtering, encryption, firewall, antivirus software

Detection & Response (Security): Baltzan textbook, pages 153 – 154, example includes intrusion detection software

Grid Computing: Baltzan textbook, pages 181 – 183, “a collection of computers, often geographically dispersed, that are coordinated to solve a common problem”

Cloud Computing: Baltzan textbook, pages 182 – 187, “the use of resources and applications hosted remotely on the Internet”

Virtualized Computing: Baltzan textbook, pages 187 – 190, “creates multiple ‘virtual’ machines on a single computing device”

Communications Architecture: Baltzan textbook, Appendix B

Database Architecture: Baltzan textbook, Appendix C

Decision Support: Baltzan textbook, pages 52 – 57, “model information using online analytical processing, which provides assistance in evaluating the choosing among different courses of action”

Artificial Intelligence: Baltzan textbook, pages 57 – 61, “simulates human thinking and behavior, such as the ability to reason and learn”

Business-to-Business eCommerce: Baltzan textbook, page 98, “applies to businesses buying from and selling to each other over the Internet”

Business-to-Consumer eCommerce: Baltzan textbook, pages 98 – 99, “applies to any business that sells its products or services directly to consumers online”

Resources:

Walmart Case Example, in Course Content

Whenwe look at the Five Forces model as applied to Walmart, we can determine that the Buyer Power of their customers is high because patrons have many other choices. However, customers expect and demand the lowest prices from Walmart, and they are willing to overlook, but not ignore, other factors like customer service, store location, and atmosphere

Walmart’s Suppliers have little power because of the sheer size of Walmart, and because being a Walmart supplier can provide huge sales potential. The suppliers must do what Walmart wants regarding business processes and technical requirements. They will also be pressured for lower prices, which may cause the suppliers to move production to lower priced labor markets.

The threat of substitute products means that customers can go elsewhere for the same or substitute items. There could be some threat here only because of web based stores as they may be able to have lower prices because of low overhead,

Threat of new entrants in the Brick and Mortar Store area is low, because of the costs involved in building stores and the infrastructure to support the business processes. New entrants in the Internet market would be high, because of the low costs involved and the potential to specialize in different areas with especially low prices.

Rivalry between competitors at a store level would be high and could be affected by the breadth of products and quality of customer service or even the cleanliness and appearance of the store. On a company level, Walmart’s Sales are $4

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8 Billion and Target, their closest competitor’s has annual sales of $67 Billion, so while it may seem there is a large rivalry, the size of Walmart limits the threat.

For new entrants to compete with the Supplier:

If we look at the Five Forces Model from a Walmart Supplier’s perspective, we see that the Buyer Power that Walmart exerts is very high, because they will switch suppliers or eliminate the product if the pricing and process are not what they want.

The Supplier Power of the Supplier’s Supplier is low, because if they do not adhere to economic processes and furnish their products at low prices the Walmart Supplier cannot meet the requirements of Walmart.

Threat of new entrants will be high, because in this case we are not talking about new startup companies, but rather companies that want to enter the competition for sales to Walmart or foreign affiliates of US companies that can supply the same items cheaper. These would be existing companies who can supply products the same or similar to the ones that we supply. School supplies, clothing, shoes and healthcare products for instance.

Threat of substitute products is high because of Walmart’s concentration on price, low cost domestic and foreign substitutes would provide a significant concern.

Rivalry, would be high with similar companies because of the size of the potential sales and the limited shelf space. Faster service, better processes, lower prices or higher quality would be areas where the rivalry would take place.

When we looked at the Walmart Business Model we identified the relative importance of the Direct Variables and noted that the two most important are Suppliers and Customers. If we look at page

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0 in the text, we can see that the Generic Strategy for Walmart is in the upper left quadrant, Broad Market and Low Cost, and these make sense looking at the variables, Customers and Suppliers.

(Baltzan, 2012)

The broad market will bring in the largest number of buyers, which would have the effect of lowering buyer power. The Low Cost indicates that many things could affect Walmart’s costs, but their biggest Cost is for the goods that they sell and therefore the Suppliers are important and Walmart uses their size to decrease the Supplier power. The Generic Strategy identified makes sense.

Therefore, that would indicate that two strategic areas of higher concern for Walmart would be Supplier related activities like Supply Chain Management (SCM), supplier training, supplier selection, supplier facilitation and Customer related activities, like easy payment, easy return of merchandise, hours of operation, web purchasing with free delivery to the nearest store, stocking the items wanted in the community. Either of these strategic areas would help achieve the Generic Strategy.

The processes designed for suppliers to use are necessary for Walmart to achieve their objective of low costs leading to everyday low prices. For it to be effective and achieve the desired results all suppliers must adhere to the process as laid out by Walmart and use the required technology that enables the processes to function at the required level to achieve their goals.

Each of these strategic areas is made up of many different things, but both have processes that support them. Some of the Supplier related processes would be inventory replenishment, supplier payment, supplier qualification or supplier quality management. Some of the related customer related processes would be in-store purchase processing, in-store and online payment process, returned item process and customer Internet sale pickup.

Note that in the Model and in the Strategic Areas there is no mention of IT or computer systems for two reasons, they are not a strategic area and our focus is improving the business processes, which may or may not have anything to do with IT.

Now, Walmart would assemble a team of individuals from different areas that are involved in the process, and are familiar with the current process. Each process that needs to be improved would have its own team. The next step is for the team to document the As Is process, its objective, its inputs and outputs and the steps in the process.. This is usually done with some kind of a process diagram or written step by step description of the how the process works.

Below is a partial sample:

Below is a partial diagram at a greater level of detail.

Once this analysis is complete, it is reviewed to determine where and how it can be improved. At this point technology can be added as an enabler to the business process that has been reengineered.

To Be Process and Solution-Walmart Expedited Return Process (WERP)

When a purchase is processed at the POS, the printed receipt will include the Sales Receipt Number and the Product Bar Code. When a customer enters the store and meets the Greeter, who determines if the customer has a return. If there is no return, he assists the customer with a cart. If there is a return necessary he inquires if the customer has a receipt, If the customer says no, the Greeter attaches a “To be returned tag” to the item and assists the customer with a cart. If the customer has a receipt, the Greeter scans the Sales Receipt Number on a hand held wireless POS and if the item(s) are Bar Coded, the Greeter will scan the Bar Codes of all items to be returned into the hand held and indicate return. If there is no Bar Code on the item the Greeter will select the appropriate item from the Sales Receipt image on the hand held and indicate return. If he cannot identify the item, he will attach a “To be returned tag” to the item process the other items and assist the customer with a cart. If the item was purchased using a Debit or Credit Card the system will credit the card used for the purchase, if the purchase was made for cash or check the hand held will print a Cash Credit slip that can be redeemed at any cashier. The handheld will also print 2 copies of a return receipt attach one with the returned items and give one to the customer along with the original receipt with the returned items crossed out. The greeter will assist the customer with a cart. The greeter will attach the appropriate documents to the returned items and places them in a cart for later processing.

This new process will minimize the customer wait time at the Customer Service Counter and require them to process only the more difficult returns. Since the Customer Service Counter staff is relieved of some processing they can spend that time preparing the returned items for restocking and sorting them by department including those items collected by the Greeter. During peak periods, additional staff may be required to assist the Greeter. The Customer Service return programs will use the same crediting rules as the hand held.

No new technology will be needed as the hand held POS that is used for inventory has the necessary capabilities, but

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additional units will be required. Programming changes will be required to enable the printing of the Bar Code on the receipt and enable the hand held to access the programs needed for returned and the algorithm for how the credit is processed will need to be programmed and implemented. The WiFi needed for this process is currently available in all stores.

This process change will not provide any manpower savings but will decrease overtime, and it will support our strategic objective of improving the customer experience, but could expedite the restocking of returned items or determining their final disposition. The costs are minimal and the equipment purchased could provide back up for handhelds used for taking inventories. The cost of the programming changes would be minor as they would be done by existing programming staff.

The To Be Process is shown below:

When a new IT solution is being developed, a number of areas must be considered. Their importance determined, an explanation provided for that ranking and ultimately the design of the overall new process adjusted to mitigate the major concerns.

Area

Explanation of

Area

High/Medium/Low Importance or Relevance or Not Applicable (N/A)

Explanation for Ranking

Accessibility

Varying levels that define what a user can access, view or perform when operating the system

HIGH

Access must be highly controlled because of financial impact of transaction

Availability

Timeframe when the system is operational

HIGH

Must be available during the store hours

Maintainability

Or flexibility how quickly a system can transform to support environmental changes

LOW

Process is required and should not significantly change

Portability

Ability of a system to operate on different platforms or devices like different operating systems

N/A

Equipment and software standard

Reliability

Ensures a system is functioning correctly and providing accurate information

HIGH

Financial transactions and Customer involved

Scalability

How well the system can adapt to increased demands of growth

N/A

Transactions should not increase markedly and scalability included in the major system

Usability

The degree to which a system is easy to learn and efficient and satisfying to use.

HIGH

Greeters should not fumble around and be fast so that the customer is not delayed.

Disaster Recovery Plan

A detailed process for recovering information or a system in the event of a disaster.

N/A

Since this is merely a part of the major store system it will be encompassed in the system wide plan as it cannot function on its own..

Authentication & Authorization

Method to confirm the user’s identity and process of providing access needed to perform tasks required.

HIGH

Financial system

Prevention & Resistance (Security)

Prevention of unauthorized use and resistance to intrusion

HIGH

Financial system

Detection & Response (Security)

Being able to detect and respond to unauthorized use.

HIGH

Financial system

Grid Computing

Collection of computers, often geographically dispersed that are coordinated to solve a problem

N/A

Not complex computing

Cloud Computing

Use of resources and applications hosted remotely on the Internet

N/A

Is part of the larger system that does not use cloud

Virtualized Computing

Creates multiple virtual machines on a single computing device

N/A

Not required by application

Communications Architecture

The design of the communication equipment and network protocols.

HIGH

Wireless communication within the store and hard wired communication to central system is needed to operate, but nothing unique for the application

Database Architecture

The structure of the database

N/A

Part of larger system and does not determine architecture

Decision Support

Ability to model information to assist in evaluating different courses of action.

LOW

Supports the Greeter knowing what can be returned

Artificial Intelligence

Simulates human thinking and behavior

N/A

Real intelligence required in the Greeter

Business-to-Business eCommerce

Businesses buying and selling to one another over electronically

N/A

No requirement

Business-to-Consumer eCommerce

Busiess buying and selling from consumers.

N/A

No requirement

The above IT considerations are evaluated above, there are only a few unique to the customer return module solution, because the considerations are determined by the large transaction processing system and inventory system. This solution is merely expanding the capability by making the return process portable and increase the number of returns that can be processed at one time with no increase in people. Its use could be expanded further to the Customer Service counter if the lines are long by providing the hand held to a supervisor who could make the non-standard decisions. It also is important to note that some of the areas will not be solely a system (IT) issue, but could be a business process or physical issue.

Prior to beginning the project management approval must be obtained for the allocation of resources and to start the project. This is done using a Power Point Presentation.

WERP Walmart Expedited Return Process and the purpose of this presentation is to explain the project and its benefits and the required resources and seek your approval of funding so that we might proceed with the project.

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The solution that we are proposing would eliminate the need for all customers who are returning merchandise from standing in line at the Customer Service Counter who have their purchase receipt and paid by credit card. We would modify the customer receipt adding a bar code identifying the purchase record , When the customer enters the store they are greeted by our Greeters who currently tag all returns and send the customers to the Customer Service Counter where the return would be processed. When the Greeter met the customer who wants to make a return they will enquire if the customer has the receipt and paid by credit card. If the answer is no the customer will be sent to the Customer Service Counter and a tag attached to their return. If the answer is yes ,the Greeter will use new capabilities that have been added for the hand scanner to scan the receipt into our system and the scanner will show the items on the receipt from which the Greeter will select the items being returned and the system will credit the credit card used for the purchse and print a credit receipt for the customer and the Greeter will mark through the items that were returned..

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The proposed solution will support our strategic objective to improve the customer experience by decreasing the time that it takes for a customer to return goods and minimize the time that they will spend in line waiting for service. Since the solution is using data already available and controlled the credits will be accurate, which is important to our customers. Customers have seen our Greeters for years and they have a relation ship with them and this solution will increase the customer relationship with our Greeters which will decrease the tension that some experience when they make returns.

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This new process will minimize the customer wait time at the Customer Service Counter . The Customer Service Staff will be able to concentrate on the more difficult returns and in effect not making the customer with an easy return wait while difficult returns are processed. Since the Customer Service Counter staff is relieved of some processing they can spend that time preparing the returned items for restocking and sorting them by department including those items collected by the Greeter. The decrease in Customer Service Staff workload could result in a decrease in overtime During peak periods, additional staff may be required to assist the Greeter. The simplicity of the system will allow other employees to be trained and help during peak periods.. No new technology will be needed as the hand held POS that is used for inventory has the necessary capabilities, but 3 additional units will be required. Programming changes will be required to enable the printing of the Bar Code on the receipt and enable the hand held to access the programs needed for returned and the algorithm for how the credit is processed will need to be revised and implemented. The Wi-Fi needed for this process is currently available in all stores as it is used for inventories. Expediting the availability of returned items could result in increased sales. The costs are minimal and the equipment purchased could provide back up for handhelds used for taking inventories. The cost of the programming changes would be minor as they would be done by existing programming staff.

There are some important considerations in our design of WERP that are created by the new application that are internal to the system, while others are external to the actual application and part of the business environment and procedures and in addition to those already addressed in the other applications that are integrated with WERP.

Accessibility to the scanner and then to the system functions must be controlled because this application allows access to financial transactions. The scanners will be kept under the control of the shift manager who will sign them out to the authorized employees who will have individual logon. And passwords. The system must be available during the store hours so that returns can accepted. The application, being part of the larger sales system will be available during store hours and Greeters must be at their post from store opening, which is no change from current practice. Since Financial transactions are involved the application must be reliable to ensure correct transaction processing. The use of scanning and transaction data that is already in the sales system and no creation of new data the reliability is ensured. The application must be simple and easily learned so that all employees can become proficient and able to provide help when the volume is high. Most employees are familiar with the scanners as they are used during inventories and the new steps using scanning will make training easy. The Wi-Fi communication architecture that will be needed is currently available and is robust and proven, no new capabilities will be required.

The various aspects of Security are important, since this is a financial system that affects sales revenue and inventory control, will be met using physical controls and security of hardware and password protection. Since the receipt is required for these transactions nothing new can be entered and once an item is credited it cannot be credited again without management approval. There will be checks in the software that will monitor the credit card numbers used in the returns for an imbalance between purchases and credits . Security staff will monitor the security measures based on their normal procedures used for financial applications.

Once we have the funding approved we will select a qualified Project Manager who will be responsible for developing a Project Plan that will include a preliminary schedule and identify the required resources identify the deliverables to get the project started. Begin the SDLC finalizing the schedule, resources and deliverables. Change management issues will be addressed, both those affecting the employees and ease the migration to the new application and the policy and procedures for changes to the requirements or the application. Training while addressed in the SDLC, training will be an ongoing need as new employees are hired and to ensure that current employees are updated on any system changes.

Now that you have heard the benefits of WERP and how it supports our strategy and if you have ever stood in line for an extended period to return some item, when you have all of the paperwork needed and you support our strategy to improve the customer experience, you will approve WERP this morning.

I will be happy to answer any question that you may have.

Now that we have achieved Management’s approval of WERP, the project must be initiated and a Project Manager assigned and resources assigned. We have briefly indicated the Next Steps in our presentation, but now we must develop a document of the Next Steps that can be used operationally.

Next Steps for WERP

I. Proposed Technology

A. Utilize the Greeters to process returns from customers who have their receipts and used a credit card.

B. Utilize Bar Coding technology will be used to print a transaction identification on the purchase receipt so that the receipt for the returned goods can be scanned and pull up the transaction.

C. Utilize existing wireless scanning equipment to access the main transaction system and existing software to access the transactions and process credits.

D. Modify existing transactional software to accept credit transactions from a wireless hand scanner.

E. Implement the successful WERP solution throughout Walmart.

II. Project Management

A. Project team

1. Project Manager: Store Accounting Manager

2. Executive Sponsor: Store Manager

3. Project Team Members: Greeters, Cashiers, Programmers and Customer Service Staff

4. Supplementary Staff, as and when needed.

B. Schedule

1. A detailed Schedule will be established by the Project Manager for WERP based on planning that will be completed by the development team.

2. It will include all required activities that will lead to project success.

3. It will include the detailed actions required by the steps of the SDLC and identify deliverables and dates that they must be completed.

C. Resources

1. Initial monetary resource has been authorized for WERP by Corporate Management that will cover the costs of the manpower resources, program changes and new equipment purchases.

2. Based on the schedule and the tasks required at various times the project team will need augmentation from the Store Staff for specific activities, for example accountants and auditors.

3. A test environment must be established for development and testing of WERP within the transaction system.

4. In store, access to the test environment must be available on identified nights to duplicate actual operation.

D. Deliverables

1. Deliverables are used to ensure that the WERP Project is on time and meeting the established schedule and are substantive items that indicate a completed activity.

2. They will include but are not limited to a document that be completed at each stage of the WERP SDLC that will be required to initiate the next step. For instance, the Project Plan, Detailed Requirements, Detailed Design Document, purchase of new equipment and etc.

3. The final deliverable will be the fully tested WEP System and trained employees ready to implement the WERP.

4. Develop a plan and tools to migrate WERP throughout Walmart.

III. SDLC
A. Planning

1. Develop a high-level plan of the WERP Project and its intended goals.

2. Develop a detailed plan that will be used to manage WERP.

3. Provide a completed Plan and Schedule approved by the Project Manager.

B. Analysis

1. Develop detailed user requirements for WERP.

2. Refine the goals into defined functions and operations of the WERP System.

3. Provide a completed Requirements Document including explanation of functions and operational requirements approved by the Project Manager.

C. Design

1. Describe the desired features and functions of WERP.

2. Develop screen layouts and receipt design.

3. Develop business rules, like WERP will only handle returns of goods that are accompanied by a receipt and where the credit goes to a credit card.

4. Develop process diagrams.

5. Design a security plan and audit plan.

6. Develop Pseudo Code and other documentation.

7. Develop a detailed Test Plan.

8. Provide a completed Detailed Design Document including all of the above, approved by the Project Manager.

D. Development

1. Transform the Detailed Design Document into the WERP System.

2. Provide detailed documentation of the work performed to meet the Design Document requirements, approved by the Project Manager

E. Testing

1. Collecting all aspects of the WERP System together iin the special test environment and testing for errors, bugs, interoperability and usability.

2. Verify that all of the requirements and goals stated in the Requirements Document are met.

3. Provide documentation of the completed Test Plan, approved by the Project Manager.

F. Implementation

1. Implement WERP

2. Obtain User sign off that the system meets the requirements.

3. Begin realizing the benefits.

G. Operations and Maintenance Maintenance

1. Provide ongoing support to allow for changes, corrections additions and upgrades to ensure that the WERP System continues to meet the business goals established.

2. Operate system effectively.

IV. Change Management

A. Establish policies and procedures to request changes to requirements or business functions that allow the Project Manager to ensure that the requirements are met and the scope does not expand, beyond the plan and budget.

B. Ensure that required expected and unexpected changes, by government mandates, organizational changes or resource unavailability are identified and documented and if there is a requirement for schedule changes and increased funding, management approval is obtained and the key stakeholders are made aware of the changes.

C. Establish a process that will help employees understand the changes, impact on their jobs, their scope, objective and benefits to obtain their support and minimize concern and resistance to change.

V. Employee Training

A. A detailed training program that can be used at our store for all employees who will be part of the WERP process will be developed.

B. All personnel at our store who will be involved with WERP will be trained in their particular function as well as in the overall WERP process.

C. Part of the training will be a refresher in the use of the wireless scanning equipment since all employees are familiar with its basic operation as it is used for inventory activities.

D. Ongoing monitoring of the initial implementation will allow the ability to monitor the employees in the correct WERP operation and assist them with correct usage and make adjustments to the training to emphasize areas that need reinforcement.

E. Prepare the training program for use at other stores and refine a process for training trainers at other stores.

F. Modify existing new employee training programs to include WERP training.

VI. Leadership Expectations

A. The project will meet the stated user requirements.

B. Project will be completed on time and on budget.

C. A document containing equipment needs and training program that can be used at other Walmart Stores will be completed and adjusted for lessons learned.

D. Customers wait time, when returning goods, will be decreased, which will improve customer satisfaction.

VII. Defining Success

A. User requirements and functions perform as desired and expected.

B. Project is completed on time and on budget.

C. Users accept the new process and find that it improves the images of Walmart in the customers’ eyes as being concerned about customer satisfaction.

Running head: UR UMUC HEALTHY FITNESS CENTER BUSINESS PROCESS MODELING
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UR UMUC HEALTHY FITNESS CENTER BUSINESS PROCESS MODELING
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UR UMUC Healthy Fitness Center Business Process Modeling

UMUC

Professor Stephen Micelli

02/10/2013

UR UMUC Healthy Fitness Center Business Process Modeling

Business Process Modeling is about designing an IT system that support what people do rather than having people do what the system demands of them. It is concerned with how a business carries out its activities in the most efficient manner and how to enable the members of the staff to achieve this (Turbit, 2005). As such, the system places the users of the software at the center of the analysis aiming to realize satisfaction of the end user’s needs. It typically highlights the actions, links, events or points of connection in a certain sequence from one end to another. Sequence in this matter is a significant aspect and important to most business process modeling aspects.

Business Process Modeling is cross-functional and usually combines documentation and the work which happens in more than one department in the organization. In more complex organizational situations, Business Process Modeling can also include external organizations’ activities of systems and processes that feed into the process that is of primary interest. Operations in large organizations’ Business Process Models are analyzed and represented in a more detailed manner than in small organizations, due to their scale and complexity ((Boehm, 1981). For such a small organization as UR UMUC Healthy fitness center, the processes that are represented in a business process modeling are the inventory which mainly focuses on the accounting and the billing aspect.

UR UMUC Healthy fitness center is a small organization and would be best represented using a less detailed model considering that its processes are mostly inventory and accounting oriented and therefore not as complex. A gym involves a lot of physical activities, although all of them are all tied into one; the exercise of the body. The business modeling process of a gym therefore revolves around registering, making schedules and accounting. These can be depicted in a process model as shown below.

When a customer gets to the front desk, they are first registered on an online system, which they can also register on their own. After reading and understanding the terms and conditions, they are enrolled on a computerized database system, depending on the training they choose to undertake. They are then required to place the necessary payment through an online accounting system, linking their bank accounts to that of UR UMUC Healthy fitness center. They are also required to continually pay through the system as training continues.

Technology solution

UR UMUC Healthy fitness center business process model can be implemented using an IT system that incorporates all the stages into one. The use of an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP system) is the most suitable solution to this. It will incorporate all the processes in an organization into one. The most suitable vendor product UR UMUC Healthy fitness center is SYSPRO. It is an ERP system that can be customized to incorporate enrollment, registration and billing/payment. It also has cloud computing capabilities to ensure secure data storage on the cloud (Hommes ,2004)

Bibliography

BALTZAN. (2012). Business Driven Information Systems. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Lambertus Johannes Hommes, Bart-Jan Hommes (2004). The Evaluation of Business Process Modeling Techniques. Doctoral thesis. Technische Universiteit Delft.

Håvard D. Jørgensen (2004). 

Interactive Process Models

. Thesis Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway.

Manuel Laguna, Johan Marklund (2004). Business Process Modeling, Simulation, and Design. Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.

Enrollment

Registration

Enroll

Payment

Online registration system

Online billing system

Running Head: THE UR UMUC HEALTHY FITNESS CENTER CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
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THE UR UMUC HEALTHY FITNESS CENTER CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
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The UR UMUC Healthy Fitness Center case study analysis

Professor Stephen Micelli

UMUC Spring Semester

IFSM 300

01-27-2013

The UR UMUC Healthy fitness center is a center that has been operating since 1980 as a center for exercise and martial art classes by Mr. Ellington. For over twenty years since it opened, the fitness center has been operating on the same way and nothing much has changed since its inception and lately business has been declining. With new technology emerging, there is a great need of the management of the company to device new system of operation if it is to continue delivering its services to the public in the future. I will review an analysis of the situation at UR UMUC Healthy fitness center and devices on the strategies that I would employ being a newly employed manager at the center.

After analyzing porter`s five forces, it will be easier to redefine the competitive position of UR UMUC Healthy Fitness Center. Based on the information that has been provided for the in the case study, the analysis of Porter`s five forces will help in creating a competitive advantage of the firm over new entrants in the market.

Buyer’s power– Porter’s Five Forces of buyer bargaining power refers to the pressure consumers can exert on businesses to get them to provide higher quality products, better customer service, and lower prices. When analyzing the bargaining power of buyers, the industry analysis is being conducted from the perspective of the seller. According to Porter’s 5 forces industry analysis framework, buyer power is one of the forces that shape the competitive structure of an industry. In the health fitness center world, buyers power is at which means that if the buyer`s power is to reduce, then it will negatively affect the performance of the center.

Supplier`s power– This is driven by the number of suppliers of each key input, the uniqueness of their product or service, their strength and control over you, the cost of switching from one to another, and so on. The fewer the supplier choices you have, and the more you need suppliers’ help, the more powerful your suppliers are. The suppliers` power has an impact on the operations of the fitness center to determine the willingness of the suppliers to keep on supplying the center with their materials. The force is also not likely to affect my strategy because it is not dependent on the success of the operations in the center. The threat of substitute services is a force that defines the effect that there will be if new but related services within the locality. This force is likely to create a negative impact and will be featured in my strategy of improving the center.

Threat from Gold’s Gym: Gold’s Gym being in in the business and in the same location will create a negative impact on the business and will also affect my strategy on developing the center. A new fitness center is underway and this will mean that I will have to employ certain strategies that will elevate customer satisfaction in our center to prevent customers from preferring the new fitness center more than the existing one.

Rivalry with Gold’s Gym or existing competitors: This force has a negative impact on the fitness center and is likely to affect my strategy for the business. I will have to provide a unique and quality service to all customers in order to ensure that we gain a competitive advantage over similar businesses or take a look at what they are doing to make a profit so I can come up with a better deal or ideas that supersedes their marketing strategy.

If I had the opportunity to choose any of the Porter`s generic strategies, I would choose the focus strategy on developing the fitness center. If I had to use the focus strategy, the business will become more specific in its diverse operations and focus more on customer satisfaction so that the business may win the loyalty to my customers and Gold’s Gyms as well.

The strategic business area needs to be improved and upgraded due to the fact that it is the 21st century. The business was set up in 1980 with no major technological change has been embraced and the business continues business as usual in its daily operations. Technological changes will include the replacement of the obsolete equipment such as the treadmills, LCD TV’s on the equipment’s. Narrowing down to the specific process that needs to be improved, I will improve the customer care desk area with motivational quotes on the wall, the desk, new computers and a system on the wall to check in or wait in case the equipment’s are all in use. I will also create a customer feedback webpage on the company’s site so customers will be in a position to express their complaints or compliments in areas that they feel the center should improve.

Generic Strategy: Focus strategy is the effective strategy that will focus on developing particular areas for customer satisfaction. By upgrading the technology, developing unique brand images, unique technology, unique features, unique channels, unique customer service or the like. In other words, the key to differentiation is obtaining an advantage that is readily perceived by the consumer. Increased costs can usually be passed on to the buyers due to the uniqueness of the product attributes.

Strategic Business Area: To ensure maximum focus for our customers, UR UMUC Fitness has chosen to compete in four strategic business areas such as:
1. Information Assurance: Products/services that assure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information
2. Engineering Support: Professional IT engineering and support services
3. Software Development: Professional software development services

Lastly, the process that needs improvement: Upgrading all PC’S, Front desk and a change of appearance that displays customer service is a priority.

Bibliography

Wright, P, “A refinement of Porter’s strategies.” Strategic Management Journal, 8: 93-101.(1987)

Wright, Peter, Kroll, Mark, Kedia, Ben, and Pringle, Charles. 1990. Strategic Profiles, Market Share, and Business Performance. Industrial Management, May 1, pp23-28.

Baltzan, P. (2012). Business driven information systems. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Miller, D., “The generic strategy trap” in The Journal of Business Strategy 13(1):37-41 1992)

Case Study, Stage 4: Executive Briefing on Business Benefits and Considerations of Proposed Technology Solution

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “UMUC Fitness Center Case Study” and Case Study Staged Projects 1-3 and any feedback you’ve received on your assignments. Executive Briefing on Business Benefits and Considerations

For your Stage 2 Project, you proposed a technology solution to improve a business process at your UMUC Fitness Center. In Stage 3 you evaluated a list of considerations. In this Stage 4 Project you are to prepare an Executive Briefing, using Microsoft PowerPoint, addressing how the solution you proposed in Stage 2 could support and enhance the UMUC Fitness Center, explaining the business benefits of the solution, and addressing the considerations you determined to be most important in Stage 3. You will present this briefing to the UMUC IT Steering Committee to provide the justification for resources to implement your technology solution. For purposes of this exercise you do not need to focus on costs of the proposed solution, but just focus on convincing them that it will improve the operation of the UMUC Fitness Center and that you have addressed key issues.

Purpose of this Assignment

This assignment gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively with an important group of stakeholders. This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:

· analyze business strategy to recognize how technology solutions enable strategic outcomes

· identify and plan IT solutions that meet business objectives.

Assignment

Using the technology solution you proposed in Stage 2 and the considerations you analyzed in Stage 3, you should prepare an Executive Briefing that:

· Clearly identifies and describes the problem area or process that needs to be improved

· Briefly describes the technology solution (showing major components)

· Addresses how the solution you propose could support and enhance the UMUC Fitness Center, explaining the benefits of the solution, and

· Addresses the considerations you determined to be most important in Stage 3.

Each slide should have a title and a limited number of bullet points. A presentation should capture key bullet points and not include complete paragraphs and detailed text.  The bullet points in your presentation will be supported by relevant details in the Notes section of the slides. Use the “Notes” area to write what you would say if you were giving this as a presentation. Presentations with limited or no “Notes” will receive much lower grades.

While use of external resources is not required, your presentation may be strengthened by incorporating research. Remember to correctly cite and reference any sources. Any direct quotes should be indicated within the slide text with appropriate quotation marks and an in-text citation (however direct quotes should be short and used sparingly, if at all). Complete references for all sources should be included in the corresponding Notes section. Paraphrased material can just be referenced within the Notes section of the slides without an in-text citation on the slide. This deviates from APA style but keeps the slides more readable.

General Guidelines: Your presentation format should be professional and use frames, illustrations, color and/or style to make it interesting in appearance to keep your audience’s attention. Use bullet points – 6-8 words per line; 4-7 lines per slide; Font – suggest Arial, Verdana or Calibri (sans serif) size 24; use Design templates built into PowerPoint. Use graphics sparingly but to emphasize key points and add interest. Proofread and Spellcheck (including notes information)!

Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything. Submit your presentation via your Assignment Folder as a Microsoft PowerPoint (2003, 2007 or 2010) document with your last name included in the filename.

Your presentation should be at least 9 slides, to include:

· A cover slide with a title, your name and date as a minimum

· 1 slide that describes the problem area or process that needs improvement

· 1-2 slides that summarize the proposed solution

· 1-2 slides that explain the benefits to the UMUC Fitness Center of the proposed technology solution, telling how the solution supports the business strategy and what quantifiable (and perhaps non-quantifiable) benefits are expected.

· 4-6 slides on the most important considerations from the list in Stage 3 and the impact on the UMUC Fitness Center – what they mean to the UMUC Fitness Center and what needs to be done about them

· Summary/conclusion slide

GRADING RUBRIC:

Attribute

Full Points

Partial Points

No points

Possible Points

Points Earned

Description of Problem Area or Process

Brief explanation of the problem to be solved or process to be improved through implementation of the technology solution demonstrates understanding of the course concepts, sophisticated analysis and critical thinking.

Explanation is adequate; or may not adequately describe the process or problem of the UMUC Fitness Center; may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.

No description of problem area or process to be improved is provided.

10

Summary of Proposed Solution

Brief explanation of solution effectively sets stage for presentation.

Explanation of solution is not completely adequate to set stage for presentation.

No explanation of proposed solution provided.

10

Benefits

Benefits identified are relevant to the UMUC Fitness Center and derive from the proposed solution. Well supported explanation is provided of how solution supports the business strategy.

Benefits identified may not be relevant to the UMUC Fitness Center and/or may not derive from the proposed solution. Explanation may be adequate, or not explain how the solution supports the business strategy, or may not be well supported.

No benefits provided.

20

Considerations

The explanations of the impact to the UMUC Fitness Center of the most important considerations and explanation of what must be done demonstrate understanding of the course concepts, sophisticated analysis and critical thinking.

Explanations are adequate; or (some) do not adequately describe the impact on the UMUC Fitness Center and/or what must be done; may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.

No explanations of the considerations are provided.

25

Conclusion

Conclusion is effective and relevant to the presentation; demonstrates sophisticated analysis.

Conclusion is adequate, or may be somewhat effective and/or relevant to the presentation.

No conclusion provided.

10

Presentation Format

Presentation is clear and concise and supported by appropriate notes that adequately explain the material on each slide.
It reflects effective organization, sophisticated writing and creative design; correct structure of slides, grammar, and spelling; presented in a professional format; references are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style as indicated in the instructions.

Presentation is not supported by appropriate notes, and/or is not well organized or presented, and/or contains grammar and/or spelling errors; and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations as indicated in the instructions.

Presentation is extremely poorly done and does not convey the information.

25

TOTAL Points

100

100 points =13% of final course grade

Points Recorded
(total points x .13)

Concepts:

How to Excel at Briefing Senior Executives:

http://www.melissalewis.com/articles/A-Briefings


Resources:

Walmart Case Example, in Course Content

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