Business Process Analysis and Technology Solution Proposal


Case Study, Stage 2: Business Process Analysis and Technology Solution Proposal
Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the “UMUC Haircuts Case Study”, “UMUC Haircuts Stage 1” Project and the “Walmart Example.”  You will use the strategic business area and process that you selected in Stage 1; review the feedback you received for any recommended changes to your Stage 1 project prior to starting this assignment and be sure you have an appropriate “process” identified.
Purpose of this Assignment
This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply your analysis skills to model a business process. Modeling the process as it exists (and as it will exist) will aid in the analysis, design, development and implementation of the technology solution. This assignment also gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge of technology solutions to improve a business process. 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.
Business Process Analysis for the UR UMUC Healthy Fitness Center
In order to apply technology to a process, the process must be thoroughly understood and models are used for this purpose.  The model also supports business process analysis and redesign when the process is deemed to be inefficient or ineffective.  In addition, models are used to design the “to-be” process that describes the desired end state after the technology solution is developed.
For your Stage 1 Project for the Case Study, you identified a strategic business area for improvement of the UMUC Haircuts business, and you identified a process that could be improved with the use of technology.  In this stage, you will create a model of that process that will define in detail the steps in the process as it is done today to aid in the analysis of the problem, and you will create a model of the proposed new, improved process, and explain your proposed IT solution to support that improved process. 
The proposed information technology solution should address the revised business process and should be appropriate to UMUC Haircuts.  The solution will be briefly described, and an explanation given for why and how this proposed solution will improve the business process.  Be sure to read the instructions for the remaining projects in this Case Study (Stages 3-5) to get an understanding of the future projects that build on the proposed solution and to help you in deciding upon your solution.  You want to propose a solution that can be used in the assignments that follow this one, so be selective and choose an appropriate solution.
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For this assignment you will use the process identified for improvement in your Stage 1 Project.  There are 2 parts to this assignment.
Part 1:  Business Process Analysis – Models of the AS IS Process and the TO BE Process.  The various course resources provided for Week 2 illustrate several different methods of modeling business processes.  You may use any of the models shown (or follow the example provided in the Walmart Example), to analyze the process you identified for improvement,breaking it down into sequential steps and modeling it.  You may use Microsoft Word, Excel or Power Point (or compatible software) or clearlyand professionally hand-draw your model and scan it into an electronic file format.  Which model format you choose to use is not as important as making sure you have included all the major steps in the process and appropriately sequenced them.  The process that you model must be the one you identified in your Stage 1 Project (or the one suggested by the instructor) and it needs to be appropriate to UMUC Haircuts.  First, you will model the process as it is currently performed at the shop; this is the AS IS Process.  Then you will model the way that you expect the new process to function after your proposed technology solution is implemented; this is the TO BE Process.  Note:  See Stage 1 for the definition of a process and examples of processes at UMUC Haircuts.
Tools for Creating the Models
The following website has a more detailed description of Flow Charting and its uses:                                          
To create a flow chart or process map in Excel:
§  [cc is ok, demo is self-explanatory]
To create a flow chart in Word: 
[closed captions and  transcripts are not helpful, but demos are self-explanatory]
[closed captions are in German, but demo is helpful]
To create a flow chart in PowerPoint: 
[closed caption, but demo is self-explanatory]
Business Process Example:  If a grocery store had a need to reduce expenses and improve customer satisfaction, a process needing improvement might be improving the inventory process to ensure availability of products for customers as well as to reduce cost related to spoiled inventory. The model could include the steps necessary to record inventory information, update inventory when merchandise is sold, pla
ce orders for additional inventory from suppliers, etc.
Part 2:  Technology Solution Proposal.  Using at least one external resource (a source other than those provided in this class), write a short paper 1-2 pages in length, not including References page and cover sheet, responding to the bulleted items below.  Remember to correctly cite and reference your sources using APA format.  Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything. 
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Create a document that includes the following:
  1. At the end of your Stage 1 assignment, you listed the strategy, business area and process selected. These should be provided at the beginning of this paper to set the stage.  Be sure to incorporate any recommended changes, and show:
  1. Briefly explain the business process identified in Stage 1 and why it could benefit from a technology solution.
  2. Propose a specific information technology solution, describing it in a few sentences.  Note:  It’s tempting to propose integrating lots of new technology but focus on a single solution that would improve the process you identified and modeled.
  3. Next, briefly describe (in one to three sentences each) the components of the IT infrastructure required for your proposed IT solution, as they would be implemented at UMUC Haircuts.  The components of the IT infrastructure are described and explained in the Course Module 2, Solution Building.  They are:
§  services – the people or organizations that run, support, and manage the other infrastructure components; can be internal staff or external contractors or service providers.  You should include who will run, support and manage the infrastructure components for your proposed solution.
§  hardware – devices that perform the input, storage, processing, and output functions.  Include the major, important hardware components needed to implement your proposed solution.
§  software – identify the type of application software to be used; if you are proposing to use a software package, provide the name of it.
§  telecommunications – identifywhat kind of telecommunications will be needed for the solution, including local connectivity and internet access, if appropriate, and whether it will be used for data, voice and/or video.
§  facilities – what facilities will be needed to house the equipment and support staff; state whether the hardware be housed at UMUC Haircuts or at another facility.
5.     Explain how the proposed technology solution will improve the process.
  1. Explain how the proposed technology solution will support the selected Generic Strategy and the selected Strategic Business Area. 
Technology Solution Example:  If a grocery store wanted to improve its inventory process, a proposed technology solution might be the implementation of hand-held scanners for customers.  The hand-held scanners could update inventory real-time as customers make their purchases.  This solution would require purchase of hand-held scanner devices, software that can collect the data, appropriate wireless network, etc.
Submit your Part 1 and Part 2 paper with your last name included in the filename(s).  If possible combine Part 1 and Part 2 into one file; otherwise be sure each file is clearly labeled identifying the Part of Stage 2 it represents.
Note:  Your models will be evaluated on whether they are applicable to the process identified, all major steps in the AS-IS and TO-BE processes are included and correctly modeled, and they are appropriate to the UMUC Haircuts business.  
Your paper will be evaluated on whether or not you correctly incorporated the course concepts and addressed all parts of the questions.  You need to do some external research on at least one aspect of the assignment – your choice – and incorporate it and cite (and reference) it in APA format in your response. What, exactly, you propose as a technology solution will be evaluated as to whether it is appropriate for UMUC Haircuts and could actually improve the process identified, and whether it is fully thought-out and supported with application of course concepts and research.  Remember, this is an information systems management course, and your solution must be an information technology solution. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects.
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