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This management principles assignment solution can explore concepts on operation plan for Microsoft, implementing the operational plan, reviewing and monitoring the operation plan.
The project case study is associated with the software business and the organisation that I have chosen in this regard is Microsoft. My job role in the company is that of a Production Manager and my organisation is the world leader in producing and marketing computer software. The operational objective of the production department is to turn input into finished products with the help of various processes of production.
Operation Plan for Microsoft
1. The key objectives of Production department
- The Production department is associated with the production and planning process for setting the standards as well as targets for every aspect of production. The product quality as well as quantity is minutely monitored which is represented by the line of production.
- The Production department is associated with the process of purchasing which is accountable for giving materials which is needed for the smooth functioning of the process of production. (Keegan, 2002)
- The Production department is associated with the design and technical assistance which is accountable in providing research of new products, price estimation to produce various items with the help of various processes.
- The Production department is associated with the work process that is associated with product manufacturing. This takes into consideration the preservation for the line of production as well as different repairs that are required.
2. Explain all resource requirements for your department to achieve the stated objective
The Production department of Microsoft should take into consideration physical, human as well as services aspect in regard of resource requirement for achieving the stated objective.
- Physical resources: These are made by the staffs in Microsoft with the help of their capabilities in regard to the technological aspects as well as different production aspects. The different types of physical resources that are required by Microsoft to achieve the stated objective takes into consideration the resources that are tangible which the company owns as well as uses like land, equipments related to manufacturing, equipments for office, vehicles, plant and so on. In addition to that, information technology as well as its attendant equipments, computers, networks, servers also comprises of the list for physical resources in Microsoft. Physical resources also include materials which a business requires which will base on the main business activity of what Microsoft does. The crux of the matter is that for any organisation, the product quality, as well as business productivity is based on the infrastructural and technological aspects. Microsoft is required to constantly assess the changes occurring in the external environment and inculcate those in their company for achieving the stated objective. (Kerin, 2001)
- Human Resources: This refers to the people or employees that are working in Microsoft who are accountable to perform the activities that are assigned to them in respect of actualisation of objectives for Microsoft that can happen only with the possibility of appropriate recruitment as well as selection, giving appropriate direction and training, guidance, development of skills, appropriate evaluation of staffs in respect of their appraisal for performance, giving proper compensation as well as benefits, having an appropriate maintenance of relations with labours and finally having the proper maintenance of safety, welfare as well as matters related to health in respect of the staffs. (Kerin, 2001)
- Service: Providing the appropriate services in respect of the smooth functioning of the Production Department in Microsoft is another factor associated with resource requirement for achieving the stated objective.
3. List the relevant personnel and stakeholders (Internal and External) with whom you will need to consult in the operational planning process and describe the consultation process.
The relevant personnel and stakeholders who are to be consulted in the operation planning process are,
- Internal Stakeholders
- External Stakeholders
All these kinds of stakeholders are to be consulted in regard to the process of operational planning.
4. Provide a detailed budget for implementing the operational plan, broken down into budget details for each action.
Operational Plan implementation
- Strategy: Product Development
- Objective: To develop the operational plan for new software at Microsoft by 2020
Key Result Area
Developing, producing and offering new software.
R & D
1. Testing the product, receiving feedback and provide adjustment.
2. Offering the end product to the marketing team.
R & D employee
5. What Key Performance Indicators will you use for monitoring the actual performance against the operational plan.
- Time: Time is considered to be an important factor for monitoring the actual performance in regard to the operational plan because without having a definite time period it will be difficult to monitor the progress. This can be measured with the help of an example of a Gantt chart which is described below as an illustration,
- Budget: Budget is considered to be an important factor for monitoring the actual performance because without a proper budgeting plan the operational plan will not get implemented.
- Quality: Another important key performance indicator is quality because if quality is being compromised then that will have a negative impact on the actual performance.
5.1 How it will be measured and monitored
The systems or tools used for measuring and monitoring the operational plan are,
- Analysis and Simulation Tools
- Benefit-Cost Analysis
- Performance Measures and System Monitoring
- Operations Data for Planning
Apart from that, there can also be the use of Gantt chart as well as Budget for measuring and monitoring the plan of operation. Gantt chart is mainly used for illustrating the schedule for a project, and illustrates the starting and finishing dates of the terminal as well as summary elements of an operational plan.
Budget is another important aspect that is required for measuring as well as monitoring the operational plan. (Lind, 2014) Therefore, the preparation of budget should include the information associated with the units of cost, which refers to the participant’s quantity, the particular number and the kind of materials that are needed that assists in measuring the operational plan. It also assists in reviewing of quotes that are provided by the vendors.
5.2 When (or how often) it will measured
The operational plan is required to get measured in every quarter to make sure that the activities are maintained within the restriction of the strategic aims and objectives and will get completed within the stipulated time frame.
6. Using a Gantt chart, show all the actions and deadlines for the actions that are listed in the operational plan.
7. Develop a contingency plan for three contingencies and explain how they will be implemented
Contingency Plan for implementing new software
Plan of Action
The problem associated with implementing new software is high because there are possibilities for the occurrence of mistakes.
The risk factor is also very high because there are no guarantees and scenarios will keep changing
The solution is to take preventive measures and necessary steps for the successful implementation.
8. Explain who you would go to obtain the support for and approval of your proposed operational plan?
Being the Production Manager of Microsoft, I would be going to the CEO for obtaining the support as well as approval for the proposed operational plan.
Implementing the operational plan
1. Organisation Culture
The strategies will be determined by organisation culture by following the elements which are innovative, aggressive, outcome oriented, stable, people oriented, team oriented and detail oriented. All these behavioural aspects assist in retention of consumers as well as driving sustainable outcomes in regard of development as well as productivity. In this regard, particular action plan is considered at a personal level.
2. Organisation’s human resource management policies and practices
- Interviewing: Proper interview sessions should be scheduled so that appropriate candidates can be selected for the job.
- Job Descriptions: The description about the job should be clearly mentioned so that the employees can work effectively and optimum utilisation of resources takes place. (Lind, 2014)
- Skills Matrix: This should be used to understand, grow, deploy and track employees as well as their abilities. These are mainly used for identifying the abilities needed for the job role.
3. Standard operating practices
The strategies will be determined by standard operating practices by describing the activities required for completing the job in regard to the regulations set by the industry provincial laws or standards set by Microsoft.
Reviewing and monitoring the operation plan
1. Describe the performance systems and processes that you will use to assess your team’s progress in achieving profit and productivity plans and targets.
The various data that needs to be collected for monitoring performance are anytime series data, high frequency polling, raw data retention and massive scale. The software that will be used for monitoring the plan against performance indicators is ‘StatsMix’. (McCourt, 2003)
Apart from that, there can also be the use of Gantt chart as well as Budget for measuring and monitoring the plan of operation. Gantt chart is mainly used for illustrating the schedule for a project, and illustrates the starting and finishing dates of the terminal as well as summary elements of an operational plan. (Lind, 2014)
The Financial and budgeting information is used to make sure that there is productive resource utilisation, effective decisions regarding business is taken, and necessary steps are taken when required.
2. In reviewing your team’s performance using the performance system outlined above, describe two examples of deviations in standards which you will identify as areas of under performance by a team member. What solutions would you recommend and actions to be taken in order to improve performance?
Two areas of under performance by a team member in regard of the performance system are raw data retention which means that the duration as well as processes that is used for preserving the raw data that is used, which gets deleted once the server is initiated and because of the permanent removal of the data, a vital information is lost that adversely affects a team member’s performance and for high frequency polling there is the need to have more significant link of network that should be very accurate in regard to the performance system but when there is critical performance system, this aspect is not very adequate that negatively affects the performance of a team member. (McCourt, 2003)As a Production Manager, I would recommend more sincere and effective functioning that will enhance the work performance of the team member and will also recommend awards to be given for better performance to boot the employee’s morale.
3. Explain in detail the mentoring and coaching techniques you will use to provide support to individuals in your team so that they are able to use resources effectively, economically and safely.
The mentoring and coaching techniques that will be used for providing support to the staffs in my team are,
- Setting Goals: To set goals assists the staffs to work with something specific that helps in using resources effectively, economically and safely.
- Providing Feedback: Providing positive feedback assists in the reinforcement of strong behavioural aspects in the company which helps in using resources effectively, economically and safely. (McDaniel, 2011)
- Celebrations and Rewards: These assists in motivating the staffs which helps in using resources effectively, economically and safely.
- Collaboration: The new staffs are provided with a certain individual to collaborate with, which helps in using resources effectively, economically and safely.
4. Where variations to the operational plan are required, identify the designated persons or groups with which you will need to negotiate recommendations and gain approval prior to implementation.
Being the Production Manager of Microsoft, I think a variation is required in the R&D department where I would negotiate suggestions which is that before forwarding the end product to the marketing team, they should be clearly briefed about the functioning of the product.
Implementing continuous improvement
1. How would you encourage and support your team to participate in the decision making process?
- By encouraging ownership: The team members provide more contribution in the decision making process when there is a feeling of ownership.
- By giving everyone a chance to speak: The meetings should be structured in such a way that everyone gets an equal opportunity to talk so that they feel encouraged to participate in the decision making process. (Johnson, 2011)
- By making everyone a leader: Everyone should be treated like a leader so that they feel responsible to participate in the decision making process.
- By being a good example: By setting good examples such as getting involved with all aspects of the project with a lot of enthusiasm, I would be able to encourage my team to participate in the decision making process.
2. During the continuous improvement process you will need to communicate with your team at regular intervals. Explain how you will communicate the following issues:
- Obtaining feedback from your team on the process is working: I will personally interact with them and if required will schedule a meeting where everyone will be given the chance to speak regarding the functioning of the process.
- Recommendations for modified processes and plans to your team: I would recommend certain aspects to my team such as setting goals and working in collaboration and with absolute dedication so that they can deliver effective results and can also win awards and accolades
- Inform team members of savings and productivity improvements in achieving the overall business plan: I would schedule a meeting where all the team members will be present so that I can inform them of savings and productivity improvements in achieving the overall plan.
3. Describe a monitoring system and technology that can be used to improve planning and operations.
- Step 1: Specific measurement forms are to be created for determining the level of operational productivity that the staffs should be performed by the employees in a given time period.
- Step 2: A specific system should be developed to monitor the functional advancement in a given period of time.
- Step 3:An accountability system is to be created.
- Step 4: An open work environment should be created
- Step 5: More employees should be hired when there is a necessity. (McDonald, 2011)
- Step 6:New technological investment should be made that will assist in improving the planning and operations.
- Step 7: The staffs should be motivated with goals associated with production.
A monitoring system and technology that can be used to improve planning and operations should be able to define the strategic aspect of the technology that could be accessed. Then, the requirements are to be identified. Then, the monitoring system and technology is required to be designed, developed as well as purchased and then the process of implementation and training should take place and lastly there should be the maintenance of the aspects of technology as well as repeated learning. (Johnson, 2011) The elements of the monitoring system and technology should have a statement of vision, objectives, expenses as well as budgets, and ownerships.
4. List one area of customer service that can be improved through the continuous improvement techniques and processes identified earlier.
By encouraging ownership, there can be potential improvement in the area of customer service because the team members provide more contribution in various processes when there is a feeling of ownership.
5. How will you incorporate benchmarking and best practice models into your system?
- By gaining a clear insight about their performance in comparison to other organisations which states that there should be a clear explanation of the performing capabilities when compared to other brands in regard to various attributes that will assist in incorporating benchmarking and best practice models in the system.
- By clearly identifying particular opportunity areas that will assist in providing scopes for incorporating benchmark as well as best practice models into the system.
- By prioritizing scope for development that will assist in the growth of various techniques that could be used for incorporating benchmark as well as best practice models into the system (Miller, 2011)
- By setting expectations regarding performing abilities that will assist in having parameters in regard to the performances that will assist in incorporating benchmark as well as best practice models into the system.
- By monitoring the performance of the organisation it can be understood which factors are required to improve the performing ability so that they will assist in incorporating benchmark as well as best practices models in the system. (Johnson, 2011)
6. How will you record work performance to help you identify opportunities for further improvement?
- By documenting conversations related to ‘performance and conduct’ on the very day of the conversation.
- The conversation documents with the staffs should have the date, name and title of the staff and mine as well.
- Abbreviation of the written record should not be done.
- The company policies should be followed.
This case study is associated with management principles that take into consideration various aspects of Microsoft organisation that delves with designing and developing an operation plan, implementing the operational plan, reviewing and monitoring the operation plan as well as implementing continuous improvement.
Johnson, G. (2011). Exploring strategy. Prentice Hall.
Keegan, W. (2002). Global Marketing Management. Prentice Hall.
Kerin, H. (2001). Matrketing, The Core. McGraw Hill Publication.
Lind, P. (2014). Monitoring Business Performance. Routledge.
McCourt, W. (2003). Global Human Reasource Management. Edward Elgar Publishing.
McDaniel, C. (2011). Essentials of Marketing. Cengage Learning.
McDonald, C. (2011). Essentials of Marketing. John Wiley & Sons.
Miller, R. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business. Cengage Learning.