ISYS1051 Digital Business Design and Innovation
Assessment 1: Business Investigation Report
Worth : 20%
Member : Individually developed and submittedBusiness Investigation Report
You are to visit a business (see below for your allocated industry), conduct an initial investigation and prepare a report to the MANAGER OF THE BUSINESS. The report is to suggest a way in which your client (the owner of the business you have chosen) can obtain value from use of technology.
Your report should use the following 6 headings exactly. You may include sub headings.
- Executive Summary: This section introduces yourself (as the employed business analyst) and tells in a nutshell. Start with: “This report is prepared by ….”, include a very brief description of what you intend to introduce into the business (summary of the section 5 below) and a couple of sentences that says what the value of your change will be (e.g., the system will improve your business by ….”). Executive summary should be minimum 200 words and maximum 250 words. DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS PAGE EXCEPT THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
- Introduction: A description of the business in general terms: Brief discussion about the industry as a whole (globally and in Australia). Then discuss about the company - what do they sell, what is the customer base, range of products offered, how is it different from their competitors. Start “Your business …” You must use this section to clearly articulate the current competitive advantage of the store. Make sure this advantage forms part of your plans for improvement.
Then, identify at least one business process and discuss the business process by using a BPMN diagram. (If you identify and wish to explain two business processes, then use two BPMN diagrams and so on). Remember, this business process will later be improved by using a technological solution
Note. Remember to write the whole report for the manager of the business. Try and focus on the individual business, not the whole industry. For example, you need to discuss McDonalds, not the whole fast food business. You should use “as you know your company has an annual turnover of …” NOT “the industry of .. has an annual turnover …”;
Between 250-300 words.
- Business opportunity: First conduct a SWOT analysis - do a single SWOT for the one business you are analysing. At the END of the SWOT you must identify explicitly what opportunity you see for the business to benefit from technology. In other words, identify at least one ‘opportunity’ in the current business which can be exploited using a technology or technological innovation that would yield some benefit to the business (e.g., improved customer experience or saving costs or efficiency gains for the business). The ‘opportunity’ should be aligned with the process you described in section 2. For example, you explained the “purchase products” process of Coles in section 2. In section 3, you identified an opportunity that as the customers are educated and technology-savvy plus most of the customers use mobile apps. Also, the fishbone diagram identified a steady congestion of the traffic in checkouts (where there a couple of root causes including lack sufficient number of checkouts, cashiers).
- Do not explain your solution in this section – just identify the opportunity and have a relevant discussion about the opportunity. This section should be supported by literature including some information about trends in the industry concerned.
- Moreover, identify a current problem/issue of the business and find out the root cause(s) by developing a fishbone diagram – go at least third level of detail. Discuss explicitly the causes and their effects. Your proposed solution (which will be presented in the next section 4) should solve the root cause(s) of the fishbone analysis. At the end of this section, you should refer that the proposed technology can address the problem you identified and presented in this section. For example, “The fishbone analysis shows that ….. are causes of …. And these can be addressed by new technology.”
- Remember to write the whole report for the manager of the business. “The SWOT analysis identified opportunities for your business are available by …”.
- Technology solution: Recommend a technological change to the business and describe the way the business might gain benefits from including a technology within the processes. Start with “I recommend that your business should change the … process by …”. Discuss the effect of the new technology on the business, for example, by showing how it will improve a business process (you identified in section 2). From the given example as we discussed in section 3, here you suggest self-checkout and checkout-free shopping (similar to AmazonGo). Here, by using a BPMN diagram, show where and how the process is improved by your solution. In other words, your answer should include a new BPMN diagram (fragment) showing new activities and the old ones that need to be connected - at least one activity that changes (or is added), one that is altered and one that stays the same. Be specific about the way the technology will be used and the exact type of benefit (how will efficiency be gained, what new business will be generated, how will the customer experience be improved. Not all but at least one of these.)
- Current System Integration: In this section you take a small part of the business and indicate which activities will be affected by the new solution. You should clearly indicate the activities that will change, that will be eliminated and at least two that are connected but will not change. Start “The part of your business our recommendation addresses is ….. The diagrams below indicate the way you currently …”. You should place a BPMN of the business at the end of your report in a section headed “Appendix A” showing at least a couple of activities that will be affected by the new way of doing business. For example, from our example, how the self-checkout system affects the traditional tasks associated with checking out.
- References: at least 5 references from a selection of academic and trade journals, textbooks, business and IT magazines, and newspapers. Additional references can include web sources, such Wikis, websites, and blogs. Of course your report is to the manager so the references are to show your professional competence and that you are not just making things up.
Marking Criteria and Distribution
- Introduction (5 marks). The extent to which the business is analysed in terms of overall discussion about the industry and business (supported by statistical data, for example) and how the business process(s) has/have been analysed by using the BPMN diagram (detail level of diagrams and completeness).
- Business opportunity (5 marks) – The extent to which this has been identified from the competitor analysis and process descriptions (SWOT and Fishbone for problem identification). You may BPMN to show you understand the business and fishbone to show you understand the problem. You must make reference to the value proposition you identified in section 2.
- Technology solution (5 marks) - relevance and description of the technology solution – the extent to which the business value of the new technology has been placed in the context of the business process and the justification of business value of the change. Your change must build on the identified competitive advantage. High marks will be reserved for those who have a solution that clearly meets an opportunity identified in section 3.
Diagrams that only show user experience will not attract high marks. You are telling the manager what to do for the business, not how you imagine a customer being pleased.
- Process integration (3 marks) - Your solution must be described fully in the new BPMN – what new staff activities, what new management activities, what old activities are required (it would be unusual for a new system not to interact with the finance system, for example).
- Professionalism (2 marks). This is a business report showing your manager that you are professional and have earned the money paid to you for the analysis. This is demonstrated with a professional looking report. Professional presentation including referencing and executive summary.
NB: This is a report to the owner of ONE business. You will lose marks if you do not write to the owner, if you insult their current practices or your report looks like a last minute “top of the head” idea. Most reports would indicate in some way that the analyst (you) has done some work on understanding the industry they are consulting into (like some statistics or other market relevant data, and some references).
YOUR allocated business type:
The last digit of your student number determines the industry to be studied.
0 Find a pop-up shop repair shop (for mobile phone, tablets, watch). There are many in the corridors of Melbourne Central (selling phone cases, jewellery, etc.).
1 Find a convenience store. You should not choose a chain store (e.g., 7-11); the other stores rather may be easier for you to find an improvement.
2 Find a small hardware store or $2 shop. NOT Bunnings, but smaller stores like the one at the Russel Street end of Melbourne Central or a store in the Vic Market.
3 Find a fast food shop/restaurant; do not choose McDonalds or such chain stores.
4 A pharmacy – not a big chain such as Chemist Warehouse.
5 Find a small fashion store. Not H&M or any of the big chains, but a store with less than 20 staff.
6 Find a souvenir store. There are many at the Flinders end of Elizabeth and Swanston.
7 Find a hair dresser. You may use an expensive or cut price. The most promising change to suggest is a new product for them (new service involving hair that they do not currently offer, such as home visits).
8 Find a camping goods or surplus store. There is one in Elizabeth and another in Russel street.
9 Find an Asian food retail store. There are many of these in the Vic Market and near RMIT. You may NOT use a restaurant, nor a large supermarket.
– you cannot change the industry as you are a consultant and paid to do THIS job. There are examples of all these shops within a short walk of RMIT, so please don’t tell me you cannot find one.
Important note. The ‘remote’ students (students stuck in China due to Covid-19 virus) can choose any suitable small business.
Where possible you should find outlets which are smaller and less automated to allow you some room to find an improvement or application of technology. Please do not limit yourself - consider the whole business from attracting customers and obtaining goods and services to sell all the way through to after sales service. ANY part of the business can be improved. You can use a big retailer as an idea generator for your small store by looking at how they do things differently from the small business
Remember this is to be non-intrusive observation in the store. Do not interview the manager nor interfere with the running of the store. JUST observe some interactions with customers and the way the shop works.
Use TURNITIN to ensure the originality of your report. (Check the RMIT website for how to use TURNITIN on blackboard instructions)