COIT20251 - Assessment 2: Part B – Two Case Studies

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Case Study - 1

Related to “Business Analysis” (and the topic of “Business and Financial Case”)

The BIM Smart Construction is a mid-sized smart building company that designs and constructs residential smart houses for customers. They build smart houses with custom designs according to customer requirements. For example, the smart houses may consist of smart solar panels and storage, low-energy smart lighting, smart power strips, energy tracking devices, smart window systems, smart doors, smart water usage, smart irrigation system in backyards, smart security systems, smart in-house automation systems that connects all internal smart devices (appliances) to communicate with each other and provide remote access with mobile internet connections. Smart houses also use smart building materials to save energy and get maximum lighting from the sun. Their cost of building therefore is substantially higher than that of conventional home builders who build traditional brick and mortar houses based on a fixed range of house models. The BIM Smart Construction company with over 200 staff comprises of several departments such as accounting and finance, customer service, engineering and design, construction, IT, logistics, marketing and sales. Each department is led by a manager who is responsible for managing the performance of employees in that department. There are one or more teams working in each department, each of the teams being guided by a team leader. The departments like to work independently and focus on their departmental goals rather than the company goals giving rise to departmental silos. This situation has resulted in a lack of coordination, collaboration and information sharing among the teams across departments. Recently they have been facing higher customer demands because of increased high energy prices as well as their brand reputation. Due to excessive customer demands, it is taking too long to complete jobs such as designing smart buildings, signing contracts, and completing construction projects leading to a long backlog of tasks which could potentially undermine the company’s reputation. The top management has recently launched a business improvement project to restructure the organisation, improve the business processes, and diversify employee skills so that the teams can work more efficiently towards achieving the BIM Smart Construction company goal. A business analyst employed by the top management has come up with a business case which includes the following business improvement options:

  • Flatten the organisation structure so that front-line staff have more autonomy in decision
  • Removing silos in the company so that customer service, engineering & design, IT, construction, logistics and marketing and sales teams can collaborate and share information more easily without needing the approval of their
  • Launching a cloud-based ERP as well as Knowledge Management systems to enhance collaboration and communication among the
  • Re-skilling the front-line staff to become generalists to work in many different roles as needs

Analyse the above Case Study to answer the following three questions:

  1. What tangible and intangible costs would the business improvement options involve? Discuss with brief explanations (use citations (in-text references)).
  2. If implemented successfully, what tangible and intangible benefits would the business improvement options deliver? Discuss with brief explanations (use citations).
  3. Identify impacts of the business improvement options (use citations).

Hint: Read the materials in pages 170-175 of your unit Business Analysis textbook to work out the answers.

Case Study - 2

Related to Knowledge Audit (from “Principals of Knowledge Auditing”)

Two decades ago, management consultant and finance specialist Ken Standfield (2002, cited in Lambe, 2023, p.212) pointed out the risks associated with operating under a mental model of ownership and

control when it comes to knowledge:

“In the knowledge-based economy, organizations do not own employees or their knowledge or their relationships. . . . As organizations become more knowledge-based (and less productionline based), the means of production (knowledge and relationships) will frequently reside in employees and not in physical systems. In these cases, employee knowledge is not owned by the organization, neither is the means of production. In short, in the KBE, the notion of ownership is an obsolete management concept that is a residual from the manufacturing age. Yet conventional (current) management systems are built on the concepts of ownership and control         Due to the now mission-critical nature of intangibles, it can be

concluded that conventional systems (1) measure the wrong things, (2) make the wrong conclusions, and

(3) force erroneous decisions on organizations. In short, conventional management systems now actually destroy organizational sustainability (pp. 37–40).”

Analyse the above Case Study to answer the following two questions:

  1. Do you agree or disagree with the statement of “In the knowledge-based economy, organizations do not own employees or their knowledge or their relationships…” Explain and discuss your standing in detail with citations (in-text references).
  2. What is your position (agree or disagree) with (1), (2) and (3) points in the case study? In this regard, what is the role of senior management to have effective Knowledge Management systems and Knowledge Audit processes to establish organisational sustainability. Discuss with brief explanations (use citations (in-text references)).

Hint: Read the materials in pages 203-222 of your unit Principals of Knowledge Auditing textbook to work out the answers.

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