- Cause of the problem
In order for any business to be successful it needs an efficient IT team to support those who are using the company’s software. The term IT has a very broad meaning and if a company does not have individuals with a strong background in the software being used then when problems occur there will be no one qualified to correct these issues. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 IT-related professions employed over 8 million people in the U.S. in 2010. These figures might well have been higher, however, had qualified workers been available. Over the previous 15 years, the field had experienced extraordinary volatility.”(Gill, 2011) In the case of CheckiO the company wants to expand and grow as a business how can this happen with limited talent in the market. Without new talent and qualified individuals to take the company to the next step success will not be obtain or reached.
CheckiO revenue is not being generated from subscriptions, product sales, or advertising, they are planning to generate revenue by matching users with firms seeking talented programmers. This is a perfect business model idea that could possible be very profitable for CheckiO. This type of business model has created some problems for the company. “There were a number of problems associated with the typical employment agency or website. First, of course, they were highly dependent upon the information listed on the candidate’s resume. Assuming that the credentials and skills listed were not an absolute lie—an all-too common situation—there remained a grey area, particularly when it came to programming proficiency. An individual with a single semester course in a particular language might judge him or herself proficient, while actually possessing only sufficient skills to inflict considerable damage on large and complex projects.”(Gill, 2011) The problems faced by CheckiO have been experienced by many different line of business. As a company CheckiO must be responsible for confirming the credentials of all possible candidates prior to matching these candidates with a firm.
Another source of revenue for CheckiO lies with their relationship with Academia. “Academic institutions could also become a source of potential revenue, although how this could be implemented would require some thought. As implied by the previously mentioned comment from the professor, the site could be used effectively in conjunction with a programming course. In fact, for some highly one at motivated students, it could well become a virtual substitute for a course—and a highly effective that.”(Gill, 2011) CheckiO relationship with Academia has caused some problems for the company. The first problem is how can the company verify if a particular student is actually the one participating. This can cause a huge problem for the professor how can this be used as a means of extra credit or credit period if a student could possible have someone else use the system to obtain a higher score. The second problem is how can professors customize the system to meet their own course needs. If the professors are not able to customize the system to meet course needs the system will be completely useless and will reduce revenue for the company. The third problem is creating an intro level version for beginner users, and the difficultly of creating an intro level system for students to use. The fourth problem for CheckiO is facing has to do with privacy concerns. “Legally, universities were bound to preserve student privacy, particularly as it relates to anything involving grades. Ensuring that the system did not expose users to each other’s performance (which might include their individual levels) could require significant reworking of the environment.”(Gill, 2011) Privacy issues could create major problems for the company and open them up to potential lawsuits in the future. Privacy issues have been an on going problem for all major companies. CheckiO must be able to create a program where user information will be safe and secure. The last problem facing CheckiO is who will pay for the systems being used. Should the professor pay should the students pay? In order for the relationship between Academia and CheckiO to be resolved this issue must be worked out in order for the company to be successful.
4. Possible solutions
Any analytical approach requires a consideration of alternatives before presentation of the recommended course of action. Senior executives or your supervisors or clients would not only be interested in the solution but also the path you took to arrive at the conclusion. They would like to know if you have done your homework, investigated several possibilities, and analyzed their upsides and downsides.cks. By listing a number of possible solutions, you are proving justification to the reader that you HAVE done some investigation, and based on your findings, your solution is best. Therefore, this section should indicate alternatives and the criteria used to make a recommendation. Each solution should have listed the pros and cons which relate to it.
Some questions to keep in mind are:
- Do the pros and cons I have listed relate to the PROBLEM that has been identified?
- Are the alternative solutions reasonable or just set up to justify the final recommendation?
- Is the solution discussed in enough detail that the manager has an idea of what the possible solution entails?
Case study rubric Item Explanations
Performance Criteria Points basis
What are the objectives of the firm? There are generally over-arching objectives (why the firm is in business), and there may be other, more tactical objective (what are they trying to accomplish now?)
what are the measures of outcome, especially with regard to the objective(s) of the firm; how would you know that you have reached your objective if there is no measure of “success”
accountability: are any of the measures associated with anyone in the firm creating accountability? Is someone responsible for the work, but it affects others?
What is “going on” in and around the firm that may impact the ability to achieve the objectives above? There are usually both: environmental (like state of the economy) and tactical (our company was just merged)
Assess current situation
constraints are “gotta do’s” or “can’t touch that’s” that are policy and are “off the table” for the firm’s options to consider; constraints are also finite resources such as $, talent, people, etc. that are actually impacting the ability of the firm to perform to the objectives (we call those “binding” constraints)
what are the resources available and engaged here? Resources include people, money, equipment, time, etc. and how can they be leveraged (knowledge, experience, control, etc.)
Processes support objectives, so what are the CURRENT key processes in place providing for the objectives (before any changes are made)?
Processes require inputs and then provide outputs, so what are the inputs for the current processes and what are the current outcomes (outputs) of those processes?
If you know the current key processes (that affect the objectives) then how are they doing right now (current performance level). This level is generally important when considered on an absolute scale (like total $) and relative scale ($ relative to how much competitors are spending)
Performance is not always consistent (regardless of level), so what are the short- and long-term performance levels?
How are the current key processes failing right now in the way their outcomes are not meeting the objectives? What constitutes a failure in a key process?
Identify root cause(s)
Once you understand “what’s going on,” you need to know “why” in order to fix it: the root cause. For each of the failure modes above or performance levels above, why are they performing at that level? Specifically, what are the root causes for the current overall performance to the objectives?
REGARDLESS what was done in the case (if specified), what could have been done? You should come up with a least a few options and their expected impact (good and bad) in ADDITION to the “do nothing” option
Case study rubric Item Explanations
Performance Criteria Points basis
Doing nothing is ALWAYS an option (not always the best); it’s continuing with the current path (no changes). Come up with at least one positive and one negative impact evaluation for the do nothing for balance.
BEFORE you select from the list of options or choose to combine some options, you need to specify criteria for selecting the best. That criteria should be clearly grounded to the objectives and consider the root causes
You must actually specify what you believe to be the best option and how it is supported as best based on your selection criteria (you may choose to score each option using your selection criteria)
Because your selection may be a combination of options you presented, you must now propose how this best choice will impact the firm (especially with regard to the objectives). Consider short- and long-term as well as good and bad impacts.
The impact assumes that the selected optimal option is implemented. What are the implementation considerations necessary to make sure this assumption plays out? Consider how the changes will be managed and any phasing or steps necessary for success.
Once implemented, what needs to be done to sustain the (improved) outcomes? Consider infrastructure, communication and training at a minimum. Don’t forget feedback and measures.
Communicate in writing at graduate level
Graduate-level communication: clear and logical; sentences are complete and concise and include appropriate paragraph transitions. Tone is appropriate to the prompt and written in “business professional” style.
Writing mechanics: spelling, punctuation, grammar, usage, spacing between words and sentences, capitalization, page limit, etc.
Do not write in bullet or list form; keep it as flowing text, although you can include lists which can be bulleted. Tables are also useful (like when scoring your options)
Use of references: uses appropriate objective sources to ground ALL assertions (anytime you say “should” or “must,” etc.): this keeps your paper from becoming an editorial, and when you incorporate non-authored data and/or thoughts. Generally, your text is a robust resource for the grounding theory you need, but you can use any objective sources like journals or even the newspaper except for the editorial section (no blogs or commercial web sites: they are not accountable for being correct or complete no matter how professional they may look).
APA referencing: tag all embedded detail correctly within the body and follow with correct citations in a “References” section at the end.