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Assessment Description

Assessment Description This assessment is an opportunity for students to explore operations management and decision making in practice and to use their investigations as a basis for making recommendations for improvement. You must select an organisation that they are familiar with (or can gain access to key information from) and investigate the organisation’s operational dynamics and decision-making processes and present it in class. The presentation should include your slide deck and investigation narrative in report style and be delivered for discussion in class.

The investigation and Assessment brief Students should note that the scope of their investigation need not include the entire organisation under examination. Instead the students may focus their investigation onto a particular business unit or operation. If in doubt discuss the issue with your lecturer prior to commencing your research. The report must be correctly referenced and plagiarism and academic integrity policy will apply.

Specifically, the investigation should include: Description of the organisation ? What is the history, purpose and size of the organisation? ? What is the overall business strategy? ? Is it a provider of products, services or both?

Operations Strategy ? Does the chosen organisation have obvious and transparent operations strategy? ? Has the operations strategy changed or evolved over time? ? Can you identify improvements (recommendations) to the existing strategy or propose a strategy if one is not evident?

Decision-making processes and innovation ? How are strategic and operational decisions made in this organisation? ? Is innovation encouraged throughout the organisation? ? Does the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility factor into decision-making?

Product and Service Design ? What are the products or services offered by the organisation? ? Does the product/service mix of the organisation pose any operational challenges? ? Is the research and development function properly resourced?

Process Design ? Are business processes constantly being measured and evaluated? ? Are the manufacturing and/or retail facilities being used properly to support business processes? ? Can you identify areas where business processes might be improved?

Value Chain (Supply Chain) ? Is the organisation an advocate of the value chain concept? ? Can you briefly outline the supply chain of the organisation? ? Are there areas of the supply chain that can be improved?

Planning and Control ? What is the organisation’s approach to forecasting demand? ? What are the linkages between the decision-making processes and short and long term planning? ? Is there appropriate feedback and control? Can you make any recommendations?

Investigation and Assessment Brief

Quality Management ? Are or have quality tools such as Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma used in the organisation? ? Is the quality system of the organisation still appropriate? Can you make recommendations for improvement?

Understanding of the project Key points left out. No grasp of issues that faced the client. Over reliance on notes. Includes some issues but analysis glossed over. Team seemed uncomfortable to go beyond key facts. Includes all issues, analysis and recommendations but with little elaboration. Not integrated with theory or are not justified.

Builds convincing argument showing how key issues, analysis and recommendations are integrated together. Builds convincing argument showing how all key points are integrated together. Uses examples to elaborate the key points and theory. Introduction / Conclusion Introduction missing or underdeveloped. Audience has no idea what the presentation will be or was about. No conclusion. Presentation just finishes. Limited clarity of purpose / overview. Highlights key issues but interpretation of these. Conclusion weak.

Doesn’t tie in with what was introduced. Provides purpose for presentation, highlights and interprets key issues to be addressed but recommendation but not integrated. As for level below plus shows consistency between marketing problem identification and final recommendations well established. Engaging conclusion clearly sums up presentation and relates back to the introduction. Evidence of analysis No references to any sources. Suggestions/recommendations just seem appear. Steps used in analysis shown but little justification why or how these are used to develop recommendations. Background research and analysis of this is clearly identifiable.

Steps used are shown and some rationale for the development of recommendations provided. Evidence of extensive research and analysis: journals, prescribed text, other books, verified websites, primary research. Used references to justify analysis As for level below plus able to use references to back up claims and recommendations made. Recommendations clear come from the analysis of the project. Recommendations Recommendations missing Recommendations very general in nature – client would not be able to implement them without doing further analysis. Recommendations given in a way that they could be implemented but no justification given or benefits explained to the client Recommendations are logical and feasible. Timelines and justifications for these provided. Ties in with the clients brief. Recommendations can easily be implemented. Timelines, responsibilities and costs provided. Organisation No structure to the presentation. Audience cannot follow sequence.

No introduction or conclusion. Apparent that group is not working well together. Group members missing (without valid reason) or not contributing. Ideas not focused. Audience may have difficulty following argument. Main points difficult to identify. No transition between key points. Awkward transition between speakers. Presentation appears to be done by individuals rather than group. Main ideas presented in logical manner. Flow of presentation may be awkward. Group members demonstrate that they have worked on presentation as a whole.

Specifically, the investigation should include

All group members take equal share in presentation. Main ideas presented in logical manner. Flow of presentation smooth between speakers. Shows that the group has worked collaboratively Ideas clearly organised so audience can follow easily. The purpose of the presentation is clear in all stages. Seamless transition between speakers. Question and Answers No questions to audience. No attempt to involve the client. Cannot answer questions about the project or recommendations from the client. Attempts to involve client but only with standard or set questions. Avoids giving clear answers to questions or is uncomfortable about answering questions related to the project. Involves client in question and answer session but fails to generate discussion on the issues. Able to answer questions about the project but is unable to elaborate on answers. Encourages and involves client in discussion. Gets client thinking about the issues and generates feedback from the client.

Actively involves client in presentation. Able to answer questions with full explanations and elaboration. Shows full knowledge of issues facing the client. Total marks 6 Use of visual aids Presents content with no PowerPoint or overhead slides. Group uses graphics but are not supported by text or presentation. Text is too dense – too much info on slide. Differing styles with differing speakers. Group uses graphics but often differs from verbal presentation. Not summarised so presenters end up reading off board. Differing styles with differing speakers. Text clearly summarises the key points. Graphics and text do not distract attention from the speaker or content. Use of visual aids consistent across entire presentation. Graphics and text well integrated into presentation. Text is appropriate for the content and room size.

Visual presentation complements rather than dominates presentation COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA Copyright Regulations 1969 This material has been reproduced and communicated to you by or on behalf of Kaplan Business School pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (‘Act’). The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

Kaplan Business School is a part of Kaplan Inc., a leading global provider of educational services. Kaplan Business School Pty Ltd ABN 86 098 181 947 is a registered higher education provider CRICOS Provider Code 02426B. Non-verbal & Verbal delivery Does not attempt to look at audience at all, reads notes the entire time. Distracting gestures (fidgeting) while presenting or waiting to present Excessive use of filler words (e.g. um, er, ah, like). Use of offensive language. Use of slang.

Only focuses attention to one particular part of the audience does not scan audience. Voice is low. Constantly talks to the board not the audience. Some use of filler words. Audience members have difficulty hearing presentation. Occasionally looks at audience during presentation Voice is generally clear. Generally speaks directly to audience. Some reading off the board. Some group members difficult to understand because of rushed speech. Generally presenter looks at audience during presentation. Shows expression consistent with presentation. Uses gestures to point out or highlight presentation materials All voices are clear. Little use of filler words. Acts in a professional manner Constantly looks at audience. Shows enthusiasm for their own work and how this will help the client. All group members use a clear voice and correct, precise pronunciation of terms so that all audience members can hear presentation. Acts in a very professional manner.

Assessment Description

Description of the organization

Woolworths Limited is one of the leading companies in Australia. The company came into the existence in the year 1924 by F.W Woolworth.The company is operating the business across 1000 stores, in Australia. Out of these 1000 stores 963 are supermarket stores.

The company is specialized in selling groceries but also deals in selling magazines, stationery, and DVDs.The strategy of the company is to offer maintainable performance for long-term with the help of company’s value.The company strategy is to focus on customers, operations, people and business journey.

Operational strategy 

Woolworths Operational strategy is obvious and transparent.Operational strategy of Woolworth's is aimed to provide the quality services and products to customers.The company has grown with changes in the preferences and demands of the customers and market. The company has faced the cut-throat competition which helped in enhancing the effectiveness of their strategy.The organization should analyze the external market that affects the existing strategy of the company.Considering the external factors the company should take the corrective steps for improvement in existing strategy.

Decision-making processes and innovation

In Woolworths, the strategic and operational decisions are formed by the Top-level management of the company and have a long-term impact.This decision involves the introduction of new rules and regulations.The company encourages innovation in the organization even the strategy formed by the company includes innovation.The decision-making include the concept of the Corporate Social Responsibility. Woolworths accept the responsibility of fulfilling the broader CSR and believes in long-term sustainability and growth.

Product and Service Design

Woolworths is mainly specialized in offering groceries products which include vegetables, fruits, packaged food, and meat. Along with this the company also provide stationery items, DVD, and magazines.The company has diversified range of products which include bags, furniture, and beddings.Customer service might be one of the operational challenges that can be faced by the Woolworths in context to the product. This issue might arise when it comes to fulfilling the needs of the customers.

The research and development function is concerned with the development of new products or processes. Along with that R&D brings the improvement in the existing services and products.The research and development team of Woolworths is properly resourced as whatever steps they took either to bring changes in existing services or introducing new products is done after conducting the survey and considering the demand for products.

Process Design

The business process is constantly being measured and evaluated by the Woolworths.The company is having a dedicated team who perform the activity of measuring and evaluating.The manufacturing and retail facilities are used by Woolworths properly to support the business process. This is clear from the growth and success achieved by the company.

Value Chain (Supply Chain)

Yes, Woolworths is an advocate of the value chain concept. The other competitors of the company (Aldi and Coles) admire the supply chain of the company.Due to this value chain concept, the company is able to form the connections globally which are helping the company to grow in the market. 

Supply Chain Of Organization

Woolworths supply chain is complex and not easy to manage. This is the reason company deals with some issues.The company should appoint the leader who can keep the eye on the supply chain and helps in smooth working.The communication among the parties in the supply chain needs to be effective.

Planning and Control

The company is the biggest retailer due to proper planning and control.The company maintains four operational excellence- product, customer intimacy, strong online presence and overall network.Implementation of MRP helps the company to overcome glitches.

There is a linkage between the decision-making processes and long-short term planning. The operational strategies are formed by Woolworths after planning.Effective planning will lead to the effective decision making which leads to the success.There is a presence of appropriate feedback and control.

Quality Management 

The company is making the use of the Six Sigma for the efficiency in IT functions.The quality management or improvement system is a continuous system which is required to manage for the long term so it is recommended to a company to make use of six-sigma tool for a long-term. 



Australian Food News. (2015). Woolworths announces new strategies to win over grocery shoppers, AFN reveals full detail. Viewed on 5th January 2018.

Kenny, G. (2012). Strategic Planning and Performance Management. UK: Routledge.

Krajewski, L.J., Ritzman, L.P., and Malhotra,   K.M. (20 13). Operations Management: Processes and Supply Chains.  10th edn. USA: Publisher Pearson.

Woolworths Group. (2017). Strategy and objectives. Viewed on 28th August 2017 .

Woolworths Group. (2017). Woolworths Supermarkets. Viewed on 5th January 2018.

WoolWorths Holdings Limited. (2017). Our Strategic Focus Areas. Viewed on 5th January 2018.

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