Recent Question/Assignment

Assessment Task 1: Knowledge Test
Provide your response to each question in the box below.
Q1: Explain in your own words, the following models and methods of Strategic Planning:
• Issue- or Goal-Based Strategic Planning Model
• Scenario Strategic Planning Model
• Alignment Strategic Planning Model
Write 50-100 words for each.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q2: Answer the following:
a. What is the purpose of an operational plan in achieving the organisation’s plan? Write your answer in 50-100 words.
b. How does the operational plan of an organisation impact on different areas of the business? Write your answer in 50-100 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q3: Answer the following:
a. Define the budgeting process. Write your answer in 50-100 words.
b. Explain the purpose of operational budgeting. Write your answer in 50-100 words.
c. Compare and contrast the Top-Down Versus Bottom-Up budgeting processes. Write your answer in 150-200 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q4: Answer the following:
a. Prepare a list of four (4) alternative approaches to be used to develop key performance indicators to meet business objectives.
b. Explain any two (2) approaches discussed in part ‘a’. Write your answer in 50-100 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q5: Answer the following:
a. What laws should organisations comply with when managing operational plans? Write your answer in 30-50 words.
b. Outline any four (4) broad areas of legislation that apply to nearly all Australian organisations when implementing and managing operational plans. Write your answer in 200-250 words
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q6: Answer the following:
a. Explain the purpose of workplace policies and procedures. Write your answer in a single sentence.
b. Outline any four (4) organisation’s policies, practices and procedures that directly relate to the operational plan. Write your answer in 200-250 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q7: Answer the following:
a. Explain the key components of a complete operational plan. Write your answer in 50-100 words.
b. Who should be consulted when preparing an operational plan? Write your answer in 50-100 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q8: Why is it important to develop consultation processes as an integral part of the operational planning process? Write your answer in 100-150 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q9: : Answer the following:
a. What are the key points to consider when creating a contingency plan? Write your answer in 50-100 words.
b. Prepare a list of three (3) steps to be implemented to develop a contingency plan.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q10: Why is it important to collect a variety of alternative options to support your proposal when developing an operation plan? Write in 50-100 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q11: You have prepared an operational plan for your organisation. The next step is to get it approved. Explain in your own words, how will you make sure that the authorities are impressed and give approval for the implementation of your operational plan? Write your answer in 50-100 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q12: Answer the following:
a. Why is it important to have recruitment policy and procedures at the workplace as part of an operational plan? Write your answer in 30-50 words.
b. Prepare a list of five (5) factors that affect the recruitment policy of an organisation.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
.
Q13: Answer the following:
a. Prepare a list of any three (3) policies and procedures that need to be followed at the workplace for acquiring physical resources.
b. Document a strategy that organisations use to efficiently acquire physical resources. Write your answer in 50-70 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q14: Why is it important to incorporate requirements for intellectual property rights and responsibilities in the contract when employing an independent contractor? Write your answer in 30-50 words.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q15: Answer the following:
a. What is the definition of a Performance management system? Write your answer in 30-50 words.
b. Prepare a list of components to be included in performance management systems.
c. What are the responsibilities of managers/supervisors in the implementation and monitoring of performance management systems? Identify and list any five (5).
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q16: Answer the following:
a. How can operating budgets be monitored? Write your answer in 50-70 words.
b. What are the key issues that need consideration when auditing a budget? Identify and prepare a list of any five (5).
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q17: Explain the following two methods of budget analysis:
a. Horizontal analysis
b. Vertical analysis
Write 50-100 words for each.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q18: Answer the following:
a. Describe the steps that can be implemented when coaching an individual team member. Write your answer in 100-150 words.
b. Prepare a list of steps to be implemented to provide mentoring to team members.
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q19: What is the role of performance monitoring in negotiating variations to operational plans? (50-100 Words)
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Q20: Why is it necessary to document the operations plan performance in line with the organisational procedures? Write your answer in 50-100 words
Satisfactory response
Yes ?
No ?
Assessment Task 2 - Skills Test
The scenario - Summary
Background to scenario
The “North Wharf” board of Directors along with the CEO of the company, have made a decision to implement an e-commerce strategy which will be used to maintain and grow market share and revenue. This strategy will also ensure that customer satisfaction is as per the company’s strategic directions.
The company has engaged you as an “External Consultant” to manage the operational planning activities that will need to be put in place before the e-commerce strategy can be implemented, and the online business can commence.
E-Commerce strategy
• All products will be offered via an online store.
• All stock will be stored at existing stores in the different states at no additional cost
• Delivery costs will be covered by the customers.
The website of the company needs to be re-developed so that it is functional with the online store.
The company also needs to buy delivery vehicles. Based on the research, the company has decided that one delivery truck will be required for 50 sales a day. The company is expecting to make 500 sales a day. If the trucks are bought, then the company needs to recruit 10 drivers. Another alternative would be to sub-contract the deliveries to independent drivers who would use their own trucks.
Additional staff are required to be recruited for the expansion and to implement this new business strategy.
Existing staff will need to be trained to implement the changes that will occur in the company as none of the employees has previous online retail skills.
KPI’s needs to be set up for the implementation of the e-learning strategy.
Following is the summary of the current human resources at the Melbourne office:
? Employees:
? 30 full-time and casual sales and customer service people, check-out staff, trained in the use of POS – integrated with ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) software system
? Senior management team (five) + one store manager
? Four sales team leaders
? One delivery truck driver
? One warehouse worker.
Amendments to existing budgets have been approved. The project must be implemented over the next 12 months.
Part A:
You are the External Consultant, and your task is to determine the physical and human resource requirements.
You must review the attached “Business plan” and undertake preliminary research on the implementation of an e-commerce strategy. In doing so, you must consult with the Human Resource Manager and the Technology Consultant.
The role of the Human Resource Manager and Technology Consultant will be played by your trainer/assessor. Your trainer/assessor will switch the roles based on the requirements of the task.
During the consultation, you must ask questions and encourage the staff members to provide information.
In your consultation with the Human Resource Manager, you are required to identify the following:
• The staff requirements for the Online Sales and any additional Customer Services staff members
• Training costs
• Delivery drivers required
• Warehouse workers required
• Website development staff required.
You must document the resources required in the template provided:
Template 1:
Resources Costs
In consultation with the Technology Consultant, you are required to identify the following:
• Office space reconfiguration resources and cost
• E-commerce website development resources and cost
• Training requirements
• Software and Hardware requirements.
You must document the resources required in the template provided:
Template 2:
Resources Costs
Part B: Prepare a basic operational plan
In this part of the assessment task, you are required to develop an Operational Plan in consultation with the Operations General Manager, the CEO and Board of Directors of the organisation.
The Operational Plan is to be prepared based on the strategic objectives of the organisation. The strategic objectives of the organisation are as follow:
North Wharf’s Strategic Objectives:
• To engage with customers through marketing, research and personalised service
• To build a reputation for sales of quality online products and online quality customer service
o Make sure that the customer satisfaction rate is 99%
• To support existing employees in e-commerce changes via training and performance management
• To acquire physical resources and services at the most effective cost
• To reduce the direct and indirect costs of operations.
When preparing the operational plan, you will be required to:
• Consult with the Operations General Manager, the CEO and the Board of Directors (2) regarding the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) used to measure the performance.
The role of the CEO will be played by your trainer/assessor. Your trainer/assessor will allocate the roles of Operations General Manager and Board of Directors to the students based on the requirements of the task.
• Assign responsibility for each strategy and each task to one or more persons within the organisation
• Work out costs involved in undertaking each strategy and completing each task. Some strategies may bring in revenue
• Put together a budget for the whole organisation based on investigations and costings performed
• Determine timelines for completing all strategies.
The outcomes of the task are to be documented in the template provided.
Template 3: Operational plan:
Strategies Timeframe KPI (Key Performance indicators) Person responsible Budget Other resources
Part C:
After consulting with stakeholders at North Wharf, the following risks have been identified:
? Significant risks of poor online sales being a new entry into the market
? High risk to the quality of customer service provided as the employees do not have enough experience and that may lead to a breach of consumer law
? The medium risk with regards to not being able to recruit trained staff
? Low risk of loss of confidential customer information
? Medium risk of overstocking of products.
For each identified risk to the implementation of the Operational Plan, you are required to develop a Contingency Plan. You must document your response in the Contingency Plan Template provided.
Contingency Plan Template: Template 3
Contingency plan
Company name: North Wharf
Person Developing the plan:
Name: Position:
Risk identified:
Strategies/activities to minimise the risk By when By whom
Part D:
In this part of the assessment task, you are required to develop a proposal for the resource requirements that are to be presented for approval to the operation’s General Manager. The proposal is to be presented by you to the General Manager.
The role of the operations General Manager will be played by your trainer/assessor.
Your proposal must include the following:
• Resources required
• Description of the proposed implementation of resourcing
• Cost breakdown
• Benefits of the resources to the organisation
• Approaches used for developing KPI’s
• Identified risks and contingency planning
• Description of information sources that you used to develop the proposal. (Must include information from task a-c).
At the end of the presentation, you are required to ask for the General Manager’s approval.
Performance criteria checklist for unit assessment task:
Trainer/ Assessor to complete
Assessment activities to be completed • Develop an operational plan
Resources required for the unit assessment task • Unit assessment guide template
• Access to live or simulated working environment
• Interaction with others
Does the candidate meet the following criteria Yes No Trainer/Assessor Comments
a) Undertook preliminary research on the implementation of e-commerce strategy, analysed and documented resource needs
• Identified and extracted relevant information from a range of complex texts
• Analysed business plan
b) Consulted Human Resource Manager and ‘Technology Consultant’ to develop an operational plan
• Ensured that the vocabulary, grammatical structures and conventions are appropriate for the context and target audience
• Confirmed understanding through questioning and active listening
• Identified and used appropriate conventions and protocols when communicating
• The operational plan included KPI’s
c) Developed contingency plan
• The contingency plan was based on the risks given in the scenario
• Contingency plan included the strategies to minimise the risks
d) Developed and presented a proposal for resource requirements and gained approval
e) Proposal included:
• Resources required
• Description of the proposed implementation of resourcing
• Cost breakdown
• Benefits of the resources to the organisation
• Approaches used for developing KPI’s
• Identified risks and Contingency planning
• Description of information sources that you used to develop a proposal.
Assessment Task 3 - Unit Project
Project:
This task a continuation of the previous assessment task.
Scenario:
You have gained approval from the Board of Directors and Operations Managers to implement the e-commerce strategy. They want this strategy to be implemented in accordance with the strategic directions of the company.
As per the company’s instructions, all resources that are to be acquired and the operations that are to be undertaken must be in accordance with legislative requirements, intellectual property (IP) rights and responsibilities, and organisational policies and procedures.
As discussed in the previous assessment task, North Wharf will sell all the products via an online store.
They have given you the responsibility of implementing this strategy. The project has already been initiated and is required to be completed in one year.
Task:
Part A
At this stage of the project, you must recruit new employees and acquire physical resources and services.
To do so, you must plan the physical and human resourcing according to the organisational requirements.
Resourcing strategies:
• Prepare the resource acquisition strategies for acquiring resources for the new e-commerce website.
You must plan the process in accordance with the organisation’s policies, practices and procedures (refer to the Business Plan).
o All major steps for resourcing, including procurement of different types of resources, but not to the detail of including all procurement steps for each resource type
o Weighted score method to select bids
o You must also explain the risk management strategy to ensure that the organisation does not breach third-party IP.
You must document your response in the template provided.
Template 4:
Resource acquisition strategies
Aspects Strategies
• Recruit two (2) new customer service representatives.
You are to develop a plan that must include strategies for recruiting human resources. Your plan must be prepared in accordance with the organisation’s human resources management policies, practices and procedures. Your plan must include the following:
o Type of interview
o Objectives
o Approach and style
o Schedule
o Topics and questions (questions must be developed on the basis of problem-solving, communication, telephone handling and keyboard skills)
o Ideal answers and the points score.
You must document your response in the templates provided. (Template 5 and 6)

Template 5:
Planning Description
Type of interview
Objectives
Approach and style
Schedule
Template 6:
Question Ideal answer Number of possible points Score
1
2
3
4
5
Recommendation:
Total points score:

Part B:
In this part of the assessment task, you are required to deploy/implement the strategies developed in Part A of this assessment task.
You will interview three candidates for the job of customer service representatives. The interviews will be conducted based on the strategies/plan developed in Part A of this assessment task, and the organisational policy and procedures.
The role of the candidates will either be played by your trainer/assessor, or he/she will allocate these roles to another student.
For each interview conducted, you will ask the questions that you developed as part of Part A of this assessment task. You will also document the points scored and recommendation for each candidate.
You must document the outcomes in the template provided.
Questions Candidate 1 score Candidate 2 score Candidate 3 score
Total point score
Recommendation

Part C:
The management of the organisation called for a meeting with you. They discussed with you that they have received bids from three website developers for the re-development of the existing website.
The organisation’s budget for redevelopment of the website is $70,000. The bids analysis is as follow:
Company name Prime Developers Reinvent Developers Future technologies
Factors of consideration Weight Score (S) Weighted score (W x S) Score (S) Weighted score (W x S) Score (S) Weighted score (W x S)
Easy maintenance X2 1 2 3 6 3 6
Integration with existing systems x3 2.5 7.5 2 6 2 6
Ability to be upgraded as technology improves X4 3 12 6 24 6 24
Usability for customers X6 5 30 4 24 6 36
Total 49 60 72
Price (% of budget) .70 .80 .90
Total score/price (final assessment of bid quality)
72.5
75.00
80
You are to select the best option based on strategies developed for the acquisition of resources.
Performance criteria checklist for unit assessment task:
Trainer/ Assessor to complete
Assessment activities to be completed • Plan and manage resource acquisition
Resources required for the unit assessment task • Unit assessment guide template
• Access to live or simulated working environment
• Interaction with others
Does the candidate meet the following criteria Yes No Trainer/Assessor Comments
a) Prepared resource acquisition strategies for acquiring resources for the new e-commerce website
• Strategies were based on the organisation’s policies, practices and procedures
• Included Weighted score method
b) Prepared strategies for recruiting human resources
• Strategies were based on the organisation’s policies, practices and procedures
c) Interviewed candidates based on human resource strategies/plan prepared
• Presented information to a range of audiences using appropriate register, vocabulary and paralinguistic features
• Confirmed understanding through questioning and active listening
d) Recognised and incorporated requirements for intellectual property rights and responsibilities in recruitment and acquisition of resources and services
e) Selected the best option based on strategies developed for acquisition of resources
Assessment Task 4 – Unit Project
This task is a continuation of the previous assessment tasks.
This assessment task is divided into three parts:
• Part A: Performance management
• Part B: Budget analysis
• Part C: Implement variations in the operational plan
Part A: Performance management
Scenario:
The project is in the implementation phase.
The following are some of the performance outcomes that management has asked you to consider, monitor and review with regards to the operational performance of the project.
Management has further highlighted the reasons for downfall in each key performance indicator. These reports have been presented to management by the Sales and Marketing Manager.
As per the report, there are three teams. Each team has a team leader that reports to the Customer Service Manager. The under-performance is spread across all three teams.
• Based on the performance measurements standards set up by the company, it was expected that the percentage of mistakes customer service employees were provided in response to the enquiries and preparation of order was going to be 1%.
The outcomes from a recent performance report have shown the error rate (mistakes made) to be 10%.
Reasons:
• Staff not familiar with the product line, even after training
• Staff do not understand the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems and ordering processes
• Staff do not understand the product line and are unable to locate the information
• Poor communication lines
• No job aids or support from management
• No ongoing performance management as per company policy
• Low staff morale: complaints of back pain and distractions in the environment.
• It was expected that a customer complaint/enquiry would be resolved in 12 minutes. At the moment, the average time taken is 18 minutes.
Reasons:
• Many customers abort interaction due to the length of time for order completion
• Some extra time is taken because of a lack of skills and knowledge
• Time-taken because of poor website maintenance and occasional downtime.
• It was expected that the products would be delivered within 3 days from ordering. Currently, the average delivery time is two and half days.
Reasons:
• The driver team leader is exceptional motivator
• Driver morale is high
• Driver attendance of routine training and team briefings is at 100%.
• Expected revenue to be generated by the end of the 6 months was to be $250,000 in sales, providing a profit of $80,000.
The actual figure is $220,000, providing a profit of $40,000 for the quarter.
Reasons:
• Some lack of sales may be due to poor customer service
• Sales may pick up as awareness of online option through marketing actions increases.
Based on the analysis of the data provided by management, you have identified that the Team Leaders and Customer Service Manager are not providing directions to the team.
Task:
Based on the information given in the scenario, you are required to conduct a coaching session for the Team Leaders and the Customer Service Manager. Before conducting the session, you are required to prepare a list of areas of under-performance using the “Performance Management Plan” template provided and to complete the Coaching Plan Template.
The role of Customer Service Manager will be played by your trainer/assessor, and the role of team leaders (2) will be allocated to other students.
After identifying the areas of under-performance, you are then required to:
• Arrange a coaching session for them to assist them in achieving profits, productivity and targets by recommending solutions for each area of underperformance, set performance indicators to monitor, assess their performance, and rectify the problems
• Complete the Performance Management Plan Template and the Coaching Plan Template
• Begin a coaching session with an explanation of your role as a coach in supporting the employee to meet organisational goals.

Performance management plan template:
Name/position: Manager: Review period:
Reference from operational plan Key result area Indicator of success/ performance By when Status report

Manager’s comments: Signature:
Date:
Staff member’s comments: Signature:
Date:

Coaching plan template:
Employee:
Coach/Manager:
Date of session:
GROW Questions
Goal
Reality
Options
Will

Part B: Budget analysis
After the completion of 6 initial months, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the company has provided you with the following financial information:
Income: Forecasted Actual
Sales $250,000 $220,000 Barbecues and related equipment.
Investment income $360,000 $360,000 Real estate investment income and rental of office space.
Cost of goods sold (COGS) ($150,000) ($140,000) Cost of the provision of goods, purchase of stock, distribution.
Gross profit $460,000 $440,000 Gross profit.
Expenses:
Wages, salaries and on costs $68,000 $78,000 Wages, salaries, superannuation, work cover insurance, payroll tax.
Consultancy fees $20,000 $20,000 Project management: WHS management system; change management.
Communication expenses $10,000 $10,000 Telephone, ISP costs, IT support.
Marketing $10,000 $15,000 Cost of staff travel and associated costs for sales, etc.
Premises expenses $150,000 $150,000 Rent, electricity, maintenance, cleaning.
Insurance $20,000 $20,000 Liability insurance
Depreciation and amortisation $13,000 $13,000 Computers and capital equipment that is depreciated.
Office supplies $12,000 $12,000 Printing and stationery, postage, amenities.
Training $17,000 $22,000 Sales training: leadership, WHS, ethical/legal training.
Total expenses $380,000 400,000
Net profit $80,000 $40,000 Net income before tax.
The actual outcomes were different from the expected outcomes. You arranged a meeting with the CFO to discuss the possible reasons as the CFO had the responsibility to track progress against the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
In discussion with the CFO, he outlined the following causes:
• Budget overrun cost exceeded by 1% more than expected. The reasons for the overruns were as follow:
o Order mistakes
o More time spent than average to handle customer queries.
Apart from these KPI’s, he has also identified some risks that need to be treated with immediate action.
• The training program has not been able to provide adequate information to the employees. Thus, the employees still lack customer service skills
• Website performance has not been up to the mark. Customer service has been disrupted due to website downtimes
• Sales for the first 6 months have not been able to achieve the target. The reason behind this is the changing customer needs and increasing market competition.
Task:
In this part of the assessment task, you are required to:
• Analyse and interpret budget and actual financial information to monitor and review profit and productivity performance
• Address the risks identified (given in the case study) using the “Contingency Plan” prepared as part of assessment task 2
• Complete the “Risk Update” template provided.
Risk Update Template:
Risks identified Contingency Recommendation
1.
2.
3.
4.

Part C: Implement variations in the operational plan
From the outcomes of the half-yearly report provided by the CFO, you have identified that the objectives for the next part of the implementation of the project are as follow:
• Redevelop website and acquire physical resources
• Recruit and train staff
• Achieve profit targets
• Adhere to budget
• Adhere to timelines.
Based on these objectives, the operational plan needs to be changed.
Task:
In this part of the assessment task, you are required to arrange a meeting with the CFO and the General Manager and negotiate recommendations for the variations to the Operational Plan. When negotiating, you are required to:
• Present the previous operational plan
• Outline the changes that have taken place
• Present how these changes will impact the implementation of the e-commerce strategy
• Outline the changes that need to be made to the Operational Plan.
At the end of the meeting, you are then required to gain the approval of the variations to the Operational Plan from the General Manager and the CFO.
The role of Operations General Manager will be played by your trainer/assessor, and the role of CFO will be allocated to another student.
After the approval has been gained, you are then required to submit the revised Operational Plan.
You must use the Operational Plan Template.

Template: Operational plan:
Strategies Timeframe KPI (Key Performance indicators) Person responsible Budget Other resources

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