an independent senior business analyst consultant

You currently work as an independent senior business analyst consultant.  You’ve just been successful in attaining a contract for retailer Woolworths, where you’ve been tasked to devise a stakeholder engagement strategy for the implementation of a cloud provided software inventory management system (Oracle Retail) for the organisation.  The current system is a legacy system that was developed internally by Woolworths IT.  The solution has provided great reliability (an uptime of 99.99) and is heavily integrated with other systems within the organisation.  Some examples of this include:

  • The forecasting system (which uses mathematical models to determine the numbers of items needed for different regions) 
  • The warehousing and logistics systems that would aline with just in time supply management of stock, and
  • The managerial reporting system, which provides C level executives real time information such as money tied up in inventory levels across the nation.

There are many Woolworths Units that require continued 24 x 7 access to the inventory management system for regular business function and the system is deemed as one of the organisation’s critical systems.  As such the actual change over (to the new cloud provided service including migration of all inventory – which is changing regularly) must consider business impact and timings.  There must be as little business impact as is possible, as this is a key concern for the organisation.  It is therefore vital that there is a detailed communication plan within the stakeholder engagement strategy plan that you’re asked to provide, so different staff, suppliers and other affected stakeholders can prepare for any potential impacts / disruptions. 

Woolworths is looking to move forward with Oracle Retail as their solution, but has asked you to assess the potential implementors (as there are many implementors within the Australian market). While the Woolworths IT staff are skilled there are always challenges in adopting different software, which specialist 3rd parties may be able to provide.  Also it is expected that the Woolworths staff will need to continue to maintain the legacy system while the new solution is implemented.  It is anticipated that this may reduce the overall project from approximately 18 months to approximately 9 months.

Some stakeholder lobbyist (e.g. the existing Woolworths IT staff) believe that introducing cloud software could pose data security risks and are fearful of transmitting / storing inventory and sales information within the cloud, while others are concerned about the data not being backed up adequately.  It is important to indicate how you address these and other potential stakeholder issues in your strategy.

There are a number of expected key elements within your Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Paper, such as:

  • An analysis of current environment
  • A detailed brief of the change
  • Stakeholder identification analysis
  • Change impact analysis
  • Stakeholder relationship / risk analysis
  • Communication Plan
  • Proposed Governance Framework
  • Detailed Implementer Analysis (As the implementers are being reviewed as critical stakeholders in the project and the success of it)

In this formal strategy paper you are expected to review and understand potential stakeholders, benefits (both direct and indirect), consequences and actions required to implement this stakeholder engagement strategy for this project. Your strategy paper should detail a number of the topics that have been discussed within this course. You must provide supporting reference to any assertions made within this strategy paper. As this is a professional business paper (directed to the Woolworths COO), your paper should include:  

  • A title page
  • A table of contents
  • An executive summary
  • An introduction
  • A main section discussing the strategies you are identifying
  • A conclusion including recommendations and action schedule / plan.
  • Reference list
  • Any further attachments / appendices as required

You are encouraged to raise queries and questions when analysing this brief and project (as would be expected in any professional engagement).  An online forum for this specific assessment will be available as the communication vehicle for such qualifications / queries / questions. 

Notes: 

  • Any further characteristics of the project will be placed within the above mentioned forum, on the course web site to aid with assumptions for the project. 
  • It is expected that you will conduct research into the project to provide detailed analysis into the topics to be presented within your report.  Utilise attachments / appendices to provide detailed analysis to support your assertions within the business paper.
  • This report should be no more than 2000 words in length (excluding the title, table of contents, executive summary, any attachments, appendices or reference listing).  All papers are to be typed on A4 sized paper; Arial 12 font; single line spacing and one line spacing between paragraphs. It is also expected to include at least 6-8 academically qualified references and can come from varied sources. The Harvard referencing system must be used.

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