What If We Could . . . ?
[WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2]
Prior to beginning work on this assignment,
- Read the weekly lecture.
- Read Chapter 2 in Shift Ahead: How the Best Companies Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World.
- Read What is Innovation: Why Almost Everyone Defines It Wrong (Links to an external site.).
Think about how to increase efficiency in any of an organization’s fundamental areas, and consider what could be done to improve the process. You may use your own company as an example. Identify a fundamental area in your organization in which there is an inefficiency. You may use the same one as you described in the discussion forum or chose another example area from the Business Drivers or Business Operations examples below:
- Business Drivers
- Capital Management
- Customer Strategy (Marketing)
- Customer Relationships
- Employee Development
- Employee Satisfaction
- Quality, Process Improvement, Change Management
- Financial Analysis and Reporting
- Business Operations
- Logistics Management
- Customer Acquisition (Sales)
- Produce or Service Delivery
- Product Development
- Supply Chain Management
- Accounting Management
- Technology Management
Example possibilities for alternative approaches might include the following:
- Combining reports
- Would one report be better than two or three? Why?
- Mobile apps
- Are there possible efficiencies here? How?
- Desktop notifications
- Is it important to get immediate feedback? Why?
- Team environment or collaboration tools
- Could this eliminate wasted time or lost documents? How?
- Automate manual processes
- Examples include opening mail, sorting, or delivery. Could these be automated? How?
Consider the possible ways to streamline things in areas by asking “why” a particular process is done that way. Think in terms of what makes the work easier for employees to accomplish. Don’t think about what technology is available, or what products are used, or what they cost. Think only about what would make the job, or the task, or the process easier or more efficient. The point here is to be innovative. Let your creativity go wild and avoid getting locked into a path or solution before exploring ideas and possibilities.
Remember, your goal is to increase efficiency in the area of your choice. Ask yourself “What if we could . . . [your idea]?”
Your assignment is to explain an approach different from the one you explained in the discussion forum. Outline the problem or inefficiency with details about how the process is impacting the organization’s effectiveness. Use graphical aids where possible to demonstrate the issue(s) and the possibilities for improvements.
In your paper,
- Describe the context of the problem or inefficiency you’ve identified.
- Provide enough details for your reader to understand why what is happening is currently inefficient or ineffective.
- Explain the current process providing appropriate supporting details.
- Explain the processes of the new approach that would be more efficient for getting the task, job, or work done in your organization.
- Provide a detailed evaluation describing how the accuracy and/or the efficiency would be improved by the alternative approach or process.
The What If We Could…? paper
- Must be at least three pages double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style (Links to an external site.) as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA Formatting for Microsoft Word (Links to an external site.) resource.
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
- For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Writing Center resources.
- Must use at least three credible sources in addition to the course text.
- The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- To assist you in completing the research required for this assignment, view this Ashford University Library Quick ‘n’ Dirty (Links to an external site.) tutorial, which introduces the Ashford University Library and the research process, and provides some library search tips.
- Must document any information used from sources in APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA: Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) guide.
- Direct quotes are a great way to strengthen assertions and provide support. However, be sure to avoid using excessive direct quotes in lieu of original thought. Direct quotes will not meet the requirement for analysis, application, and critical thinking. Please ensure you do not overuse direct quotes so that you can avoid losing points for this.
- Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center. See the APA: Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Writing Center for specifications.
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