Before you begin this assignment, be sure you:
- Have completed all previously assigned readings, particularly those assigned in Weeks 3 and 4 of the class.
- Re-read the “UMUC Haircuts Case Study" and the Stage 1, 2 &3 assignments, and review the “Walmart Example.”
Purpose of this Assignment
This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the concepts of this course to address the selection, planning, development, implementation and on-going management of a technology solution for the UMUC Haircuts business. This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcome to enable you to:
Review Instructor feedback from previous assignment submissions.
Overview ofIT Solution and Next Steps for UMUC Haircuts
For your Case Study Stage 1 assignment, you performed a Five Forces Analysis and justified Myra's chosengeneric strategy for competitive advantage and the business process that she would like to improve through the application of technology.
For your Stage 2 assignment, you identified the inputs, processing, and outputs of Myra's selected business process.Those inputs, processing, and outputs form the functional (business) requirements for an IT system to improve the process.
In Stage 3, you identified theIT requirementsby evaluating their applicability and importance in a new system to be implemented to improve the identified business process for UMUC Haircuts.
Following your analysis of the business environment and the business and IT requirements, Myra Morningstarhas decided to move ahead and implement an IT solution. She has asked you to identify an IT solution and explain what the steps would be to implement it.
Since UMUC Haircuts is a small business, Myra should take advantage of a Software as a Service (SaaS), or a cloud-based system, that has already been developed and is maintained and operated by a vendor. You should do some research and find a vendor-provided solution that will support the process that is being improved. Refer to the process model and your Stage 2 inputs, processing, and outputs that define the business requirements; and refer to your Stage 3 IT requirements as you select an appropriate solution. Consider the cost of the solution as you make your choice, so that your recommended solution will be affordable for Myra.
For this assignment, you will prepare a short paper explaining your proposed IT solution and the next steps in the implementation of that solution. The next steps will includeeverything that Myra needs to do, from getting a subscription to the software (or otherwise arranging to use it), to purchasing hardware, to preparing employees and implementing the system. The specific steps and how they are accomplished will be different for different system solutions.
Assignment: UMUC Haircuts Stage 4: Write a short paper that includes:
- Introduction: Introduce what is to come in your paper, and include the generic strategy for competitive advantage and the business process to be improved.
- Proposed IT Solution: Identify the vendor and the system you selected to improve the process at UMUC Haircuts. Explain why you selected that system over others, including how it best meets the business requirements (see Stage 2) and IT requirements (see Stage 3) of UMUC Haircuts. Explain if/how cost was a factor in your selection.
- Implementation Steps: Identify and explain the steps Myra will have to take to implement the system you have proposed. Include:
- Vendor agreement – What does Myra need to do in order to be able to start using the system? How much will it cost to use the system?
- Hardware and Telecommunications – What hardware will Myra need to install at UMUC Haircuts in order to implement the solutions? What kind of telecommunications will be needed for the solution, including local connectivity inside UMUC Haircuts and Internet access? How will she acquire the necessary hardware components and Internet access?
- Configuration – What options does the vendor offer for configuring the system to UMUC Haircuts' needs? How will the configuration be done, and by whom?
- Testing – How will Myra test the system to see if it is working properly for her needs?
- Employee preparation – What will Myra need to do to prepare her employees to use the new system?
- Data Migration – How will the current employee work schedules be entered into the system to get started?How will the customer appointments that have already been made for future datesbe entered?
- System use – Who will use the system and for what purposes? When users have questions about how to use the system, how will they get answers?
- Maintenance – Who will provide updates and corrections to the system?
- Conclusion: Close your paper with a brief summary of the entire project and what benefits Myra can expect to gain from it.
References: Incorporate at least one external resource (NOTE: two or more external resources are required to receive all possible points) into your paper on an area of your choice. An external resource is a resource other than those provided in the class or textbook. Incorporate a properly formatted APA citation in the text of your document. Then, place an APA style list of references at the end of your paper.
- Write a short, concise paper, about 3-4 pages in length.
- Your paper should be double-spaced.
- For academic writing, the writer is expected to write in the third person. In third person, the writer avoids the pronouns I, we, my, and our. The third person is used to make the writing more objective by taking the individual, the “self,” out of the writing. This method is very helpful for academic writing, a form in which facts, not opinion, drive the tone of the text. Writing in the third person allows the writer to come across as unbiased and thus more informed.
- Use at least one external resource (two for full credit) with APA formatted citation and reference.
- Include a title page and a reference page.
- Compare your final work to the rubric to be sure you have met content and quality criteria.
- Submit your paper as a Word document, or a document that can be read in Word.
- Your submission should include your last name first in the filename: Lastname_firstname_Stage _4
Your assignment will be graded according to the rubric below. The "right" and "wrong" answers have to do with whether or not you correctly incorporated the concepts from the course and addressed all areas of the assignment. Your “next steps” must be defined specifically for UMUC Haircuts, addressing its operation and its environment and your proposed technology solution. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects.