COURSEWORK Session 2016/2017 Module title Analytical Thinking and Decision Making Instructions to Candidates THIS AN GROUP COURSEWORK Groups must have 4 or 5 students. If a group has less or more than this number of students the entire group will automatically fail the assessment. Your originality report should not be above 15%. This assignment is based on the UWS Technical Services Decision Making Case Study, which is shown below. It is designed to assess your ability to use an appropriate method to structure and analyse a complex decision problem, and evaluate the strengths and limitations of your analysis Instructions Apply decision analysis to the decision problem facing UWS Technical Services and advise the managers on their decision problem. Within your group produce a report of a minimum of 2,000 words that addresses the following questions: 1. Discuss the value of decision analysis within the context of an organisation 2. Outline the challenges facing UWS Technical Services and discuss any assumptions you have made 3. Apply decision analysis and develop an appropriate decision tree 4. Calculating the expected values and following the rollback method, outline the most suitable approach for UWS Technical Services. Discuss your recommendations for the managers of UWS Technical Services 5. Discuss the strengths and limitations of your analysis in the context of the decision problem 6. Discuss the influence of the UWS Technical Services engineers changing their initial probability estimates. Discuss the influence of probability estimates and uncertainty within the decision making process The Marking Matrix is included in this assessment brief, however, this is only indicative of the work/word count required for each question. Word length: Minimum 2,000 words excluding references The assignment should be presented within a report structure. Each section of the report should be clearly structured and defined and an introduction or overview should be provided. Across the report you will also need to show evidence of assessing a range of resources, e.g. internet, journals, text books and company documents such as annual reports. A Harvard Referencing style should be followed. This coursework assesses the following learning outcomes L4. Demonstrate the ability to apply tools, techniques and practices to complex business problems (identify, investigate, formulate, and advocate novel and creative solutions and ideas) L5. Critically evaluate the various factors which impact on sound decision making Submission instructions Your work should be submitted through TURNITIN on the MBA Online World Site. Your attention is drawn to the Universityâ€™s policy on Plagiarism and Collusion which apply to this assessment. Details are available in UWS student website. You should also be aware that late submissions will be penalised in line with University regulations. Marking Matrix Component Weighting Mark/Comment Question 1 15% Question 2 10% Question 3 20% Question 4 20% Question 5 10% Question 6 15% Report Structure – Structure, flow, presentation, academic writing style 5% Referencing – Use of Harvard Refrencing style. Application of academic sources and demonstration of applied critical thought 5% Total UWS Technical Services Decision Making Case Study Audience Response Systems (ARS) is technology company providing equipment for the Higher Education Sector across the globe. ARS provide complete solutions which include hardware and software which allow audiences to participate in multiple choice quizzes and surveys, however, the current provision consists of handheld clickers. With the increased technological functionality built into personal handheld devices such as mobile telephones and tablets ARS have identified this as an area of growth regarding the development of Apps and web-based functionality which will ultimately render the current handheld clicker redundant. ARS has some software development capability in-house, however, it lacks the specific technology and staff skill sets to support the development of Apps and web-based functionality. The future of ARS is dependent on the successful development and launch of this new product, which will replace the existing product and service provision. Due to the significance of this bold business development step ARS has decided to engage a specialist organisation with appropriate research and development capabilities to produce the new product. ARS had issued an open invite to the technological sector inviting organisations to express interest and after undertaking a screening process has reduced the number of interested parties to two. Both organisations have been asked to provide a detailed project proposal, which should include both a technical development plan, as well as the software capability. Once a successful organisation has been chosen the contract will be awarded on a fixed fee basis for the development of the App/software, as well as a 1-year aftercare provision following the products release to the market place. One of the two successful organisations is UWS Technical Services, which is a spin-off business with the UWS, and which has received a letter informing them of their successful shortlisting and requesting the detailed project plan. Before this invitation can be accepted it must be considered at a variety of University committees, as the University will need to underwrite any financial loss, as well as being concerned with reputational risk. Therefore the senior members of UWS Technical Services are pondering if they should progress with the development of the proposal. In doing so they will consider the details below, although this is not exhaustive. UWS Technical Services will be one of two organisations tendering for the contract and with little knowledge of their competitor they have determined that there is a likelihood of 50% of being awarded the contract. ARS has specified that the software application could be developed for either of two platforms. One is for the handheld device to connect to a web-site through which the participants can undertake the quizzes and/or surveys and the other is to be via the handheld device directly connecting to an in-classroom receiver via WiFi connectivity and an App running in the handheld device. Therefore UWS Technical Services are considering both platforms during their deliberations. A meeting is arranged between UWS Technical Services staff to discuss the project. In the UWS Technical Services meeting four possible solutions are outlined. These could be applied across the web-based or App platforms. It is highlighted that the web-based and App platforms have their own associated costs. Web-based software packages have a development cost of Â£10,000. App platforms are more demanding and have a higher cost of Â£30,000. Once a platform is selected (Web-based or App), only this platform can be used within the project. Following a review of the specification within the invitation to tender letter from ARS, the UWS Technical Services staff are concerned that they may not be able to develop a working software package. As a result each software package has its own estimated likelihood of success. Within the UWS Technical Services meeting the four possible software packages for the project are presented. The first package is Software A. Using this software package the UWS Technical Services are 100% certain that they will be able to develop a suitable software application for either a web-based or App platforms. The software package is based on existing UWS Technical Services software that could be adapted for the ARS project. However, given the programming and computer storage required, Software A has a high development cost of Â£100,000 associated with it. The second software package is Software B. This software package has lower development costs but the likelihood of success for both platforms is also lower. The development of Software B will cost Â£60,000. For the web-based platform the UWS Technical Services engineers estimate that there is a 50% chance that the software will function as int
ended. Across the App platform there is an 85% chance that the software will operate correctly. The third software package is Software C which has the lowest development costs associated with it. Software C will cost Â£50,000 in development. Using the web-based platform there is an 80% chance, and the App platform there is a 40% chance, that the software will function without issue. The final software package is Software D. This software package has a development cost of Â£80,000. Using the web-based platform, the UWS Technical Services engineers estimate that there is a 55% chance of success and a 90% chance of success across the App platform. UWS Technical Services must decide whether to prepare a proposal for ARS. If the proposal is accepted, in order to maximise potential profit, UWS Technical Services must select the option that offers the best possible return. UWS Technical Services must decide which platform (web-based or App) and software package (A, B, C or D) is the most suitable for the project. If the proposal is accepted by ARS, UWS Technical Services must deliver a working software package. UWS Technical Services can only work on one software package at a time and given the time and financial constraints of the project, engineers can only develop two software packages. This means that if a software package fails, the second choice must be Software A as this package has a guaranteed chance of success across both platforms. In addition, once a platform is selected, that platform must be used. This means for example, if the App platform is used and Software B is selected as the most suitable option but fails, UWS Technical Services will have to use the App platform for Software A within the project. However, this will reduce the potential return for the project given the additional development costs associated with Software A. Within the project, there is a moderate cost associated with the development of the proposal. UWS Technical Services believes it will cost Â£30,000 to develop the proposal for ARS if they decide to prepare a proposal. If UWS Technical Services is awarded the contract they will receive an immediate payment of Â£500,000 from ARS to develop the software package. Given this information, UWS Technical Services has decided to develop a decision tree to review their options.