Evaluate critically the fundamental principles of information systems and the significance of a socio-technical approach to their use in organisations.

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Assignment Brief

Case Study:

Giovanni’s Pasta

Ten years ago Giovanni inherited his family business and, with a small business loan from the bank, decided to invest and extend the business. Giovanni thought carefully about what people really like and decided to specialize in unusual home-made pasta of the very highest quality. He considered that in addition to selling from the single high street shop, he could also increase the volume sold by selling to people who need fast, healthy lunches. If he delivered, as well as selling from the café, Giovanni considered that he would be even more successful and would be able to open another four cafés in other cities.

Giovanni was very successful in making his own pasta, as his grandmother had taught him, and he made many different kinds of “Artisan” Pasta which were extremely popular. For the first eight years Giovanni’s business was very successful and each year he made a small profit. In addition he was now running Pasta Making Classes in the evenings.

However, during the last two years, other cafés had also opened which were in direct competition with Giovanni. In addition Giovanni is aware of the current economic climate and would like to find a way to carefully plan the future of the business.

Giovanni is also a little concerned about delivery, how to recruit the best employees and how to ensure they find the correct address quickly and the best routes, especially during rush hours. He has chosen to deliver within a fifteen-mile radius from his café, and intends, in his new expansion, to employ thirty people as part time delivery staff.

Giovanni has traded now for ten years and has made a substantial profit. Giovanni knew that the first few years of any new business are always difficult and so he is happy that he has been very successful. However, he knows that in order to now expand further and to ensure he is able to compete on speed of delivery, price and quality, he needs to think “outside the box” – he cannot afford to rent any more space on the high street, yet he knows that it is important for him to increase volume sold and hence turnover.

Your Task

You are a consultant who has been employed to advise Giovanni on the effective implementation of these strategic changes. You are required to produce the following:

Part A: Analysis – Business Process Models and strategy analysis
In this section you should develop
1. A series of Business Process Models, which capture the existing and proposed business processes. The models should follow the BPMN notation. It is recommended that you use Microsoft Visio to create the models although you may if you prefer use Word, PowerPoint or appropriate alternatives.
2. Strategic analysis for Giovanni’s Pasta. You should use a recognised analysis technique such as SWOT, PESTLE etc.

Part B: Open Source Software Comparison Table
In this section you should conduct research into a suitable software solution for Giovanni. You should decide on the set of characteristics which you will use to evaluate the software and your research should consider 4-5 alternatives in detail. This section should be presented as a table.

Part C: Report
In this section you should write a report which provides an overview of the current situation together with a roadmap outlining how the proposed changes to the business can be achieved to the benefit of the business. This should draw on your analysis in Part A, include your recommendation for software, and provide recommendations for ensuring that the strategy is effectively implemented, including consideration of the challenges ahead.

This section should follow a standard report structure:
Title Page – Contents – Introduction – Main Section – Conclusions and Recommendations – References.

Part A Analysis – Business Process Models and strategy analysis 1,000 words
Part B Open Source Software Comparison Table 500 words
Part C Report 1,250 words
References are NOT to be included in the word count.
Students are required to relate to the following learning outcomes:
• Critically analyse the theory, concepts and models of operations and information management and demonstrate an understanding of the strategic importance of information management in global organisations.
• Evaluate critically the fundamental principles of information systems and the significance of a socio-technical approach to their use in organisations.
• Select and apply appropriate problem-solving and improvement approaches for information systems in organisations.
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