1.Appraise and apply different philosophical and practical approaches to information systems development to the business case.
2. Critically evaluate and apply the application of a number of theoretical constructs to organisational analysis
Soft Systems – Part 1
Critically discuss the Soft System methodology and apply it to the given real world problem. (see Appendix 1)
Business Plan – Part 2
Produce a professional business plan expressing and communicating ideas effectively.
Develop, evaluate and synthesise information from a variety of sources to create the overall plan.
Rubric Appendix 3
Review your assignment against the appended marking rubric before submission.
Submission deadline Refer to published deadline date and time
Word count (as appropriate) Part 1 1,500 words
Part 2 3,000 words The word count excludes the title page, contents page and the reference list. Do not use footnotes.
Other instructions / guidance on size There are two parts to this assessment you must fill in one cover sheet and hand both assignments in together. You should
upload each part separately
Penalty for overlong submissions Excess material will be ignored, e.g. beyond the specified word count, number of web pages, images, timed presentation, etc.
Tutors will mark only the part of the assignment from the beginning to the specified length.
Referencing Use the Harvard Referencing
Soft Systems – PART 1
Critically analyse how you would apply the Soft Systems Methodology to the case study (Appendix 1) to gain some agreement amongst the staff to which direction the
business should develop. Demonstrate knowledge of the techniques you would select to implement the methodology in this context including the methods you might utilise
to bring about the necessary change.
See Appendix 1 for Case Study.
Business Plan – PART 2
You should write a business plan for a project / initiative / business idea. The scenario you choose is up to you, but you may wish to run it past Rachel before you
commit to it.
A business plan commonly has a dual purpose:-
i) to the originator it sets out goals and actions, with steps set out which enable the project / business to measure success.
ii) to a commissioner/ investor, to justify that it is financially viable to gain support for– direct financial investment from a bank or similar and/ or
For your business plan, therefore, you must understand the context in which it is set in order to include elements appropriate to “sell” your idea to a commissioner.
The commissioner could be line management, or external investor. The plan should have internal consistency, don’t worry if one section is more brief than another the
important issue is the justification of the business plan overall.
Your business plan should be 3,000 words in length (+/- 10%) and could include the suggested sections in Appendix 2.
See Appendix 2 for suggested contents.
Soft Systems Scenario – Appendix 1
A small high street book shop has expanded rapidly in the last few years. Originally it had one member of staff, it now has a staff of ten. The book shop has found a
niche market on the high street selling antique and collectors’ editions of specialist books.
The business recognises the potential of the internet, which the staff are keen to exploit. They are aware of several main competitors such as Amazon, who currently
don’t challenge their market, but may do in the future.
The group of 10 each have their own specialisms, they all contribute to running the shop. They run the shop on a co-operative decision making basis, making group
decisions about the future of the business and the direction in which it will go. Currently this is not working too well. They are so busy they spend most of the time
just trying to serve the needs of their customers. The shop and business is in chaos. When staff get together they argue and fight as to how the business should
proceed in the future. They cannot agree about how they should continue to grow the business or in which direction the business should go.
They do agree that the business is expanding quickly and that they need to adapt quickly to their changing environment.
Business plan suggested contents – Appendix 2
1 Executive summary
2 Description of the Business – a concise section including:
The business idea & business goals
Mission statement or statement of intent
What makes this business a good idea!
3 Key personnel, including;
Who will work in this business
Roles, recruitment (including mechanisms for selection), responsibility
4 Who the business serves & what it offers (Customer Segment overview top level, you may have put this in section 2, don’t repeat it).
5.Market analysis and research including:
The operating environment
Competitors, potential customers
Profile of customer
6. Marketing Promotion and advertising methods
7. ‘List’ of the additional Resources required including technology, staff, premises, equipment
8. Management of operational and financial risks
9. A brief Profit and Loss forecast of main costs
10. Timeline of development
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