ASSESSMENT COVER SHEET
|Unit Title:||Match ICT needs with the strategic direction of the enterprise|
|Assessment Type||This is a summative assessment, which requires each student to have adequate practice prior to undertaking this assessment. This assessment should also be undertaken in an actual or simulated office environment.|
(Research, develop and present technical solution)
(Develop action plans)
|Written Assessment |
ASSESSMENT 1 – Research, develop and present technical solution
You are working as an IT Specialist within the IT department at BD Corp.
BD Corp is a small training company that currently delivers classroom based training in Business Services to international and local students.
The CEO has left the strategic plan (overleaf) on your desk, along with instructions to put together an official proposal that outlines the technical requirements and solution to achieve set objectives. No other information has been provided.
Your Assessor will role-play your CEO for this task, and is available to discuss the project with you. However, your CEO is a very busy person, and requires that any communication is by appointment. It is imperative that you are prepared for any meetings with the CEO, as you will only be given answers to questions asked.
Once you have determined the full scope of works to be undertaken, you must research and put together a professional report that includes the aspects outlined overleaf on the Student Self Assessment Checklist.
Once your report is ready, you are to present it to your CEO for approval.
BD CORP STRATEGIC PLAN | 2015 - 2017
BD Corp shall position itself as a leader in Melbourne’s international training market by providing an excellent education for all students enrolled within the college.
To accomplish the colleges’ educational mission, each academic program will:
Currently our scope of registration includes the following qualifications
Qualities of our students:
We seek students who are mature, motivated learners and problem solvers, who embrace the diversity of the communities they will serve as active citizens in fulfilling their chosen profession.
While students must bring to the study suitable attitudes and values that underpin their professional direction, our curriculum will foster and reinforce those essential values and behaviours. We expect BD Corp graduates to be highly competent, ethical, and to be lifelong learners who will become leaders of their chosen profession.
Teaching and Learning Methods:
Great emphasis will be placed on the process of learning and knowledge management - how (rather than what) to learn and think, and how to acquire, apply, and manage information.
|Task||Person/s Responsible||Start Date||Due Date||Completion Date|
|CEO, Program Coordinators||11/2016||02/2016|
|CEO, Marketing Manager||11/2016||05/2016||16/03/2016|
|CEO, IT Department, Facilities||10/2016||12/2016|
ASSESSMENT 2 – Action Plans
Following from Assessment 1, your manager has approved your proposal, and has how asked for detailed action plans that can be utilised during implementation.
Your action plans should take account of relevant considerations such as financial, legal, human relations and internal and external operating environments.
Please refer to the attached Student Self Assessment Checklist for more detail.
Once completed, you are to arrange a time to meet with your manager to present the plans, and gain feedback. You should consider feedback received, and make any modifications required after your meeting.
ASSESSMENT 3 – WRITTEN ASSESSMENT
|1||What are the principles of writing an action plan?|
|2||Define 3 real benefits of planning?|
|3||What is meant by Risk Analysis?|
|4||What should you consider when action planning (the action planning model)|
|5||Describe the steps you would take when preparing an action plan|
|6||Describe in detail the following planning approaches|
|Top-down execution and responsibility|
|Bottom-up execution and responsibility|
|Top-down policy and bottom-up planning and execution|
|7||Referring to your project undertaken in Assessment 1, you are to outline the functionality of the system, and explain how it is compatible for future expansion|
|8||Describe the following 4 components of security to be considered with any technology change.|
|9||When assessing the probability of failure, maintaining a record of past failures can and their causes can be very helpful. List 5 different categories you could use when labelling failure by type?|
|10||List 5 different questions you could ask to help analyse failures|
|11||List 4 important issues you must consider when developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan|
AssessmAssessment-1: Research, Develop and Presenting Technical Solution
Today, with advent of new technologies, it is found that the organizations are deploying different technological platforms to increase the efficiency of the business practices and also to provide seamless solutions to the end-customers. It saves time, efforts, and other costs in a given organization. Considering this aspect, BD Corporation is one of the companies that position itself as a leader in Melbourne's International Training Market.
It delivers excellent education for all the students enrolled in a given college. The organization believes in specific education values such as - excellence, quality, integrity, creativity, leadership, diversity, collaboration, and lifelong learning. The target market of the organization includes students that are mature, problem-solvers, and motivated learners of a given community.
They should thereby act as responsible citizens in the future serving to the community from their professional perspective. There are different teaching and learning methods deployed through the given knowledge management portal in the organization. However, there are certain objectives that need to be achieved in a given new project.
This report will thereby discuss the key objectives of the project, will provide the roadmap through which this project can be achieved, and finally, will provide recommendations to overcome the workplace challenges in a given working environment.
Requirements of the Project
In a given project, there are several requirements highlighted by the senior management. First, it is stated that after the completion of a given educational program, the students should be able to demonstrate professional expertise in their respective fields. Hence, the subjects should be designed that will inculcate both theoretical aspects and practical tutoring sessions. Second, the focus is on improving the net sales of the organization (Fernandez-Maldonado, 2012).
It is the responsibility of the marketing team to promote this program across Melbourne as well as in other territories of Australia. They need to launch new promotional schemes to attract new students toward this program. Third, there is a need of deploying professional tools that will assist students in several ways. It will provide them with chat options, live dashboards, performance assessment tools, and even live interaction with the tutors (Fernandez-Maldonado, 2012).
Communication and Safety
In such online and offline way of learning, it is important for the organizations to focus on the aspects of services management. They need to identify parameters of services through which they will be able to fulfill the needs of the students (Vanderlinde & van Braak, 2011). Considering this aspect, it is important for the HR staff and the Tutoring staff to communicate effectively with the students.
The tutors will first clarify the subjects and will then seek requirements of the students during the first session. They will then provide them with the instructions about a given subject, how sessions will be conducted, and subsequently will provide the entire roadmap of a given subject in a given semester period.
At the same time, the operations team will ensure that all the employees are working in safe environmental conditions. Today, there are several risk factors that could pose direct challenges to the employees working in the organization. Hence, the top-level management needs to ensure safety of the employees by deploying appropriate safety policy and mechanisms at the workplace in a given working environment.
There are different strategic plans that need to be executed in a given environment. However, the two major plans that need to be executed before the starting of the lecture include - re-defining the business domain and improving the functionality of the current systems. With increasing competition, it has become necessary for the senior management to re-define the scope of their business so that they can include more subjects for tutoring in their curriculum.
Second, they can improvise the product deliverables by improving the quality of such products and making them price-competitive in a given environment. Similarly, the second focus is on improving the IT infrastructure of the organization (Solar, Sabattin, & Parada, 2013). There is a need to enhance the performance of such systems in the organization by upgrading them with new versions; it will have several features and functionalities that will improve the overall experience for the students in a given working environment.
However, the IT team needs to work with the Finance team for budget and other constraints. They need to overcome these issues after carrying out careful consultation with the senior management in the organization.
ICT Gaps to be Addressed
Today, it is found that, in majority of the organizations there are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems implemented for the purpose of improving coordination and efficiency across all the departments. In a given case of BD Corp, it is found that, the system and the present architecture lacks those features and functionalities.
The IT team needs to conduct a GAP Analysis through which they will be able to determine the gaps in the current Information and Communication Technologies' infrastructure. They thereby need to upgrade them and ensure that they are proper for the daily routine activities of the organization (Hismanoglu, 2012). Further, these systems should be able to coordinate and collaborate with other departments of the organization.
It will subsequently help them achieve desired level of efficiency across the organization. The IT department, however, needs to upgrade these technologies on a regular basis so that it will ensure installing proper hardware, software, peripherals, security mechanism, and other major applications for a given field in a given work environment.
Sustainability and Compatibility of the present ICT Systems
Today, in a given working environment the competition has increased a lot. Hence, it is necessary for every organization to differentiate them from the technology perspective. for this purpose, they first need to analyze their present technologies and determine the benefits delivered through it (Hismanoglu, 2012). Second, they carry out an analysis through which they will be able to identify the weaknesses and threats to their present system in a given working environment.
Hence, considering the aspects of sustainability and compatibility, the organization needs to upgrade their IT platform with the latest version so that even students will find it relatively easy to use. They will be able to receive multiple benefits of this education module in a given environment (Hismanoglu, 2012).
Also, the technical team of the organization can take feedbacks and reviews of the new system; they will able to determine gaps, if any, and accordingly can modify the system in the present working environment. The IT team thus needs to continuously put their efforts in a given direction for the purpose of improving work environment as well as ensure meeting the changing needs of the students (Hismanoglu, 2012).
Costs and Maintenance
There are costs and maintenance issues associated with given IT infrastructure of the organization. It is the responsibility of the IT department to analyze this aspect so that they can conduct a meeting with the finance department and accordingly set the plan for costs associated with upgrading as well as for finalizing the Annual Maintenance Contract. It will assist the IT department to perform their operations in a better way for a given period (Hismanoglu, 2012).
However, they need to demonstrate true facts and figures so that the finance department can finalize on them after receiving required approval from the senior management. It is necessary to upgrade the system on a regular basis in a given working environment. It will help them to provide multiple benefits of online and offline learning to the students (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014).
There are costs associated with maintenance but will protect the systems against cyber-threats and other physical threats in a given operational environment. It will thereby protect the systems and the entire IT architecture of the organization against all such issues.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Today, the role of technologies has increased a lot in the present working environment. The purpose of installing the IT system is not only to increase efficiency but also to optimize the business processes in the present challenging environment. In a given case of BD Corp, it is found that the organization is developing and delivering education system for the students in Melbourne.
It is aiming to provide best practices of education incorporated with given technological system. Also, such systems will encourage for team learning and will thereby help the students learn working in a group-based approach (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014). There are several educational values delivered by this institution in a given work environment.
These include - excellence, lifelong learning, creativity, embracing diversity, collaboration, and integrity (Brun & Hinostroza, 2014). However, as discussed in this report, there are certain gaps regarding the upgrading of the IT systems and the architecture. Thus, as recommended the organization needs to continuously strive for upgrading their IT systems and accordingly deliver as per the needs of the students. It will help the organization achieve desired objectives in a given environment.
Assessment-3: Written Assessment
Q-1: Principles of Writing an Action Plan
Before directly implementing the action plan, it is important to understand the planning process from different perspectives. Also, there is a need to identify the major principles in the planning process. These include - aspect, prospect, privacy, objective, grouping, elegance, orientation, and approach to the plan. In a given working environment, the senior management of the organization will always focus on the aspects of plan and the principles of plan.
There are several projects implemented simultaneously in the organization; each of these projects is handled by different teams in the organization. Hence, it becomes difficult to not only start such projects but also to manage them during the later period of the project.
As far as the action plan is concerned, it is important for the project team to define the action area, prepare the strategies that will be implemented in a given planning process, identify the tasks included in the action plan and allocate them to the respective team member, identify the person responsible for each of the steps taken in the planning process, determine the resources needed to achieve desired objectives, include measurement scales to judge the planning process, and finally, adhere to the timelines for a given project (Gold, Thorpe, & Mumford, 2010).
It is the responsibility of the project manager and the team members to strictly follow to each of these aspects in a given working environment of the organization. The importance of planning is important as it will help the team identify the loopholes before the actual implementation process. Second, it will also help them determine which resources they will need during the different phases of the project.
It will thereby help them manage all the project processes in a better way. It is important for the team members to coordinate with each other and ensure that all the phases of the planning are carried out successfully in a given work environment. Even, the senior management of the respective organization needs to monitor the performance of the planning process (Gold, Thorpe, & Mumford, 2010). They can thereby suggest recommendations wherever required.
The project manager also needs to deploy performance assessment tools to check that all the planning processes are completed as per the expectations of the organization. They can modify the planning phase or even the intermediate processes depending on the needs of the organization (Gold, Thorpe, & Mumford, 2010). Only then they will be able to achieve desired objectives in a given working environment.
Q-2: Three real benefits of Planning
Planning is considered as an important phase of any project. The project team will start any project only after planning for the required activities in the project. The major benefits delivered through planning include - persistence, direction, intensified efforts, and creation of task strategies for a given project (Kouzes & Posner, 2008).
Further, researchers have found that there are other supplementary benefits of planning. These include - increased coordination among the team members, improvised communication, holistic approach to a given project, crisis planning, reduce duplication in the work efforts, ensuring that all the activities will be completed in a timely way, imposed decision making, ensuring delivering of quality services, and finally, achieving the desired objectives in a given work environment (Kouzes & Posner, 2008).
In several of the projects, it is further noticed that the objectives can be quickly achieved in a given work environment of the respective organization. Further, the top-level management will be able to unite all the workers for the shared vision of the organization. Planning will ensure optimum allocation and utilization of the resources in a given work environment. It also enhances the efficiency of the workers and the managers in a given project.
It is due to these reasons that planning is considered vital and necessary for all the projects of the organization. There is strategic planning cycle devised by the researchers for the purpose of achieving desired short- and long-term objectives in a given work environment. There are several phases associated with it. These include - goals formulation, planning the outcomes, deploying strategies, achieving the outcomes, and measuring the overall performance. It will provide a better view of the performance of the project, the project team, and the employees in a given work environment (Kouzes & Posner, 2008).
Q-3: Risk Analysis
Today, with increased challenges in the internal and external work environment, it is found that planning is inevitable for all the organizations. It will help the senior management to look ahead into the future and plan accordingly for the different processes. Second, it will improvise the existing processes in a given working environment (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). It will allow the project manager to identify the major risk factors in a given environment and subsequently help them use the resources to overcome them.
There are several risk factors identified that can impact on the organization; however, they are classified into internal and external risk factors. The internal ones include- resistance of the employees, workplace issues, lack of motivation, and lack of proper working approach in the organization. On the other hand, the external factors include - competition, market factors, economic and technological factors affecting the performance of the organization, and even social factors. Hence, it is necessary to carry out necessary planning and only after careful consideration needs to deploy the steps of implementation.
Q-4: Considerations during Action Planning
Planning encourages innovating and creativity among the employees in a given work environment. It will motivate them to work on their research activities and thereby devise new products, new services, and new working approach in the organization (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). It will facilitate the control of the senior management over different teams in the organization.
It will also improve the direction of work leading to reduced efforts, time, and costs associated with given project planning process in the organization. It will also help the senior management to monitor the daily progress from different perspectives for a given project. They can thereby make suggestions and recommendations for improvement in the near future. Finally, planning will ensure goal congruence for the organization.
It will thereby ensure seamless transition of all the planning processes and activities, will enhance the motivation levels of the employees, will reduce total costs and time for each of the activities associated with the project, will improve skills and knowledge of the employees that will be working on the new project, and finally, will allow the staff to overcome the risks through the devised risk mitigation plan devised in the organization.
The other benefits as found in the real-time projects of multiple organizations include - reducing uncertainty, ensuring economical operations, facilitating control, improving motivation, avoiding duplication of efforts, and thereby giving competitive edge over others in the present market environment (Kouzes & Posner, 2008).
Q-5: Steps taken for Preparing the Action Plan
It is important for the organization to ensure that the planning is carried out as per the needs of the organization. The major steps include in the planning the action plan are - determining the needs of the organization, analyzing the present working environment, determining the gaps, deploying appropriate strategies for planning, including risk management framework, and finally, preparing the implementation plan in a given working environment.
It has to be economic and cost-effective in a given working environment. Second, it has to be comprehensive, feasible, and practical in a given real-time working environment (McShane, 2013). The scope of the project has to be clear so that the planning can be carried out in the right direction.
The top-level management needs to carry out grass-root planning for the given business processes and the new project. Only then they will be able to overcome the gaps in the present work environment and focus on improvised practices in the future. There are different tools, techniques, and frameworks developed for this purpose in a given work environment. It will help the project team work accordingly and subsequently complete the planning processes of the organization.
Q-6: Planning Approaches
Q-7: Functionality of the System and Identifying the Features for Future Expansion
In a given case, there is an online and offline mode of education provided to the students. There are several functional features and modules deployed for the purpose of improving the quality of education in a given working environment. The key functionalities of the system include – access to different subjects in online and offline modes, options to interact with the tutors, approaches for learning subjects in online and offline way, and performance dashboards.
However, from the aspects of future expansion, the IT department needs to identify a technology through which they will be able to deploy these tools in a given working environment. Further, the IT team is also expected to implement a computer lab for the students so that the students can receive a hands-on experience of the lessons learned in a given theoretical class (Fernandez-Maldonado, 2012). Finally, the operations team needs to increase the staff and coordinate with the Human Resources (HR) department for the purpose of training staff in specific subjects and other aspects of the working environment.
Q-8: Four Components of Security
Q-9: Five Categories of Failure
There are several failures that can occur in the organization. These include – omission failure, operational failure, system failure, approach and planning failure, and arbitrary failure. It is thereby important to focus on the planning aspects in a given organization. The senior management in the organization will then be able to control all these failures in a better way. It will further help the employees to work in the right direction. Such concentrated efforts will lead to reduced chance of inconsistency in a given work environment. Even, the managers are able to find that they are making lesser mistakes and errors in their daily functional processes in a given organization (Kouzes & Posner, 2008).
Q-10: Questions asked to analyze the Failures
The key questions that can be asked to analyze the failures include - how this failure occurred in the organization, what are the root cause factors of this failure, who is responsible for these failures, what is the mitigation plan deployed to overcome this failure, what is the role of the senior management in overcoming this failure, and how the team will be able to cope up with such failures in the organization.
Q-11: Four important issues taken into consideration during comprehensive disaster recovery plan
The key issues that need to be taken into consideration during comprehensive disaster recovery plan include – the definition of the objectives, the future needs of the organization, the current gaps in the practices, and the work approach of the employees (Yueh et al., 2013). There are also certain aspects that need to be taken care of during the implementation time of the disaster recovery plan.
Second, the senior management needs to identify the prospects associated with a given disaster recovery plan. It will ensure overcoming of the challenges and also determine the issues in a given working environment. Through grouping, the project team will be able to group different process and subsequently carry out desired planning for the given project.
Also, the project team needs to define flexible schedules based on which they will be able to plan the working approach to a given plan. The project leader and the project coordinator thereby will be able to define the roles and responsibilities of each of the team members in a given working environment of the organization. Also, the project team needs to conduct risk assessment to identify the risk factors that could directly impact on the performance of the organization.
It is important to develop risk mitigation plan as well so that the team can deploy those strategies in a given working environment. Further, during the time of planning, it is the responsibility of the Human Resources (HR) department to train the employees in a given direction of the project (Dansker et al., 1987).
It will help them perform as per the needs of the organization. Also, it is important to note that there are different types of planning associated with working processes of the organization. These include - corporate planning, divisional planning, and group planning (Bailey, 1964). Hence, considering the needs of the organization, the top-level management of the organization needs to carry out their disaster recovery planning process.