Stage 4: System Recommendation and Final BA&SR Report
Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study and reviewed the feedback received on your Stage 1, 2 and 3 assignments.
As the business analyst in the CIO’s department of Maryland Technology Consulting (MTC), your next task in working towards an IT solution to improve the hiring process at MTC is to write a justification and implementation plan for a system that the CIO has decided will meet MTC’s needs. The system, EZ-ATS, is described in the vendor brochure provided with this assignment. The vendor, UMUC Hiring Solutions, Inc., and EZ-ATS are fictitious names created for use with this case study but based on real-world SaaS application information. In this Stage 4 assignment, you will explain how the selected system meets MTC’s requirements, and what needs to be done to implement the system within MTC. You will combine Stages 1-4 to provide a complete final BA&SR Report.
Assignment – BA&SR Section IV. System Recommendation and Summary & Conclusion
The first step is to review any feedback from previous stages to help improve the effectiveness of your overall report and then add the new section to your report. In addition to the Stage 4 content, part of the grading criteria for this final stage includes evaluating if the document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted and flows smoothly from one section to the next
Section IV of the Business Analysis and System Recommendation Report will explain how the selected system helps MTC achieve its strategy, improve its hiring process, and meet its system requirements, and you will explain how each implementation area might be addressed to help ensure a successful implementation of the technology solution.
Using the case study, assignment instructions, vendor brochure, Course readings (in particular, Implementing a SaaS Solution and Developing a System Proposal) and external research, develop your Section IV. System Recommendation. Approximate lengths for each section are provided as a guideline; be sure to provide all pertinent information.
As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis; in addition, review information provided in earlier stages of this report to identify where the proposed solution can address the needs and requirements.
Use the outline format and headings provided and follow all formatting instructions below.
IV. System Recommendation
A. System Justification
Provided with the Stage 4 Assignment Instructions is a brochure that describes an IT solution that the CIO has selected, with the HR Director’s endorsement, to meet the needs of improving MTC’s hiring process. In Stage 1, you analyzed the strategy and objectives for MTC and how a technology solution to improve the hiring process would contribute. In Stage 2, you analyzed how to improve the hiring process with a technology solution, and in Stage 3 you identified specific requirements. After reviewing the EZ-ATS Brochure, briefly describe the recommended solution. Then, describe how that selected solution aligns with achieving the strategy, improves the process, and meets the requirements. Write two to three clear, concise, well-organized paragraphs to summarize this assessment. Don’t just repeat information from previous stages but synthesize this information and provide strong information and justification to explain why this proposed solution is a good fit for MTC. Don’t describe details of the functionality but address overall how this solution will address the current issues with the manual hiring process and benefit MTC. Remember you are writing a report to your boss, the CIO of MTC, that he can use to convince the leadership team why this is the best solution based on your analysis.
B. Implementation Areas
To successfully implement this technology solution, MTC will need to develop an Implementation Plan and below is a list of key implementation areas that should be included. First, provide a brief introduction to this section – what it contains and why an Implementation Plan is so important for MTC. Then address each of the seven (7) areas below to explain what MTC needs to do (with support by the vendor). Provide the numbered heading and then write one to two paragraphs to address the area. The sub-areas (a,b,c, etc.) contain questions and areas to help guide your thinking about what should be covered and should be incorporated within your response to the major category. For an explanation of the implementation areas, refer to the Week 7 Reading “Implementing a SaaS Solution” as well as conduct additional external research. The vendor brochure provides information for some of these areas, but you need to include what MTC must do as well. Remember you are writing this section to help MTC plan for a successful implementation. It is not sufficient to just indicate “Vendor provides” or “employees need to be trained.” In addition to incorporating course content, external research on implementation areas will strengthen your understanding and explanation. The goal for this section is to help MTC know what needs to happen in each area and who might be responsible for given activities to help support a successful implementation of EZ-ATS.
1. Vendor agreement (MTC must enter into a contractual agreement with the vendor before full implementation. This identifies responsibilities as well as costs.) Incorporate answers to the following questions in your paragraph – do not include the questions themselves.
a. What does the vendor require from MTC to be able to start using the system?
b. How much will it cost to get access to and configure the system for MTC’s use?
c. How much will it cost per month to support 60 system users?
d. What option is offered for MTC to just try out the system to see how it works?
2. Hardware and telecommunications (Although this is a SaaS solution, MTC must ensure that its IT infrastructure can support the use of the system and that its employees can correctly access the system.) Include the following:
a. List the types of hardware MTC employees can use to access the system.
b. Identify what kind of telecommunications will be used for the solution, including local connectivity inside MTC and Internet access from outside MTC.
c. List any other considerations related to ensuring employees can access the applicant tracking system.
3. Configuration (Even SaaS solutions require a degree of configuration for each client. What needs to be done to implement the MTC job requisitions, workflow, reports, terminology and/or logo/graphics?) (Include the answers to the questions below, but not the questions themselves.)
a. What options does the vendor offer for configuring the off-the-shelf system to MTC’s needs?
b. How will the configuration be done and by whom?
a. Once MTC has signed up and configured the system, how will it test the system to see if it is working properly for its needs? Describe how MTC will conduct User Acceptance Testing. (This would be a good area for you to research.)
b. Choose one of the user requirements (listed in Section III of your BA&SR Report) and explain how that requirement will be specifically tested to ensure it is working properly and the requirement is met.
(Note: A free trial period does not suffice as software testing)
5. Employee preparation and support – Identify what MTC should do in each area below to prepare the employees (including the hiring managers in the various departments) for the introduction and use of the new applicant tracking system. Identify who (by their title or role) should do what in each area. (Incorporate information from Course readings on Leadership and Change Management.)
a. Leadership (2-3 sentences)
b. Change Management (2-3 sentences)
c. Training (2-3 sentences)
d. User Support (2-3 sentences)
6. Data Migration – Consider what existing data (applications in process with the manual process) would need to be entered into the system to get started and how this might be accomplished.
7. Maintenance – How will updates and enhancements to the EZ-ATS system be made? What will the vendor be responsible for and what should MTC address?
Summary and Conclusion: Close your Business Analysis and System Recommendation Report with a summary of the key points including the benefits MTC can expect to gain from this solution and the alignment with strategic objectives. (One well-written paragraph). Don’t just repeat information presented earlier but put it in context of a conclusion to provide a strong finish to this report. Just as your introduction informed your reader about why you’re writing and what’s to come, the conclusion should provide a clear and concise final paragraph to reinforce/emphasize key points and a compelling argument for the chosen solution – and it should urge the reader to take action.
Formatting Your Assignment
NOTE: This final submission should be a cohesive Business Analysis and Systems Recommendation Report for the CIO of Maryland Technology Consulting. The formatting should be consistent throughout the document, and the writing should flow well from beginning to end. Headings, section and page numbering should be correct for a final submission. Although you prepared this in stages, the final product should not seem to be piecemeal or disconnected. Any track changes or feedback from previous versions should be removed once addressed.
Consider your audience – you are writing in the role of a MTC business analyst and your audience is MTC and your boss, the CIO. Don’t discuss MTC as if the reader has no knowledge of the organization. Use third person consistently throughout the report. In third person, the writer avoids the pronouns I, we, my, and ours. The third person is used to make the writing more objective by taking the individual, the “self,” out of the writing. This method is very helpful for effective business writing, a form in which facts, not opinion, drive the tone of the text. Writing in the third person allows the writer to come across as unbiased and thus more informed.
• In Stage 4, you are preparing the final part of a 4-stage report. Use the structure, headings, and outline format provided here for your report. Use the numbering/lettering in the assignment instructions as shown below.
IV. System Recommendation
A. System Justification
B. Implementation Areas
1. Vendor Agreement
2. Hardware and telecommunications
5. Employee preparation and support
6. Data migration
Summary and Conclusion
• Begin with Sections I, II and III, considering any feedback received, and add Section IV to your final report.
• Write a complete, well organized paper that includes the four sections of the Business Analysis and System Recommendations (BA&SR) report. Use the recommendations provided in each area for length of response. It’s important to value quality over quantity. Length for Section IV should not exceed five (5) pages in addition to Sections I, II and III.
• Content areas should be double spaced; table entries should be single-spaced.
• Ensure that each of the tables in the final report is preceded by an introductory sentence that explains what is contained in the table, so the reader understands why the table has been included.
• Continue to use the title page created in Stage 1 that includes: The title of report, company name, your name, Course and Section Number, and date of this submission.
• For Section IV, use at least three resources with APA formatted citation and reference. One reference must be from an external source, one must be the EZ-ATS Brochure, and one must be another reference from the IFSM 300 course content. Course content should be from the class reading content, not the assignment instructions or case study itself. For information on APA format, refer to Content>Course Resources>Writing Resources.
• Finalize the Reference Page for resources required for all sections of the report. The final document should contain all references from all stages appropriately formatted and alphabetized.
• Running headers are not required for this report.
• Compare your work to the Grading Rubric below to be sure you have met content and quality criteria.
• Submit your paper as a Word document, or a document that can be read in Word. Keep tables in Word format – do not paste in graphics.
Your submission should include your last name first in the filename: Lastname_firstname_Stage_4
Far Above Standards
< 60% Well Below Standards Possible Points How the Proposed IT Solution Meets the Requirements How the IT solution aligns with achieving the strategy, improves the process, and meets the requirements 14-15 Points Clear, complete, compelling and related to the Case Study and Vendor Brochure; demonstrates sophisticated analysis and writing. 12-13 Points Complete and related to the Case Study and Vendor Brochure; demonstrates effective analysis. 10-11 Points Provided and related to the Case Study. 9 Points Incomplete, inaccurate and/or not related to the Case Study. 0-8 Points Content missing or extremely incomplete, did not reflect the assignment instructions, showed little or no originality, demonstrated little effort, is not supported with information from the Case Study; and/or is not original work for this class section. 15 Implementation Steps An introduction and all areas (vendor agreement, hardware/ telecom, configuration, testing, employee preparation, data migration, and maintenance) Generally, 0-5 points each. Both quantity and quality evaluated. 31.5-35 Points Clearly and thoroughly included introduction and covered all areas, strongly derived from the Case Study and vendor brochure, and demonstrates sophisticated analysis and writing. All 7 areas well done. 28-31 Points Clearly covered and included introduction and all areas, derived from the Case Study and vendor brochure, and demonstrates effective analysis and writing. 6 areas covered. 24.5-27 Points Covered and included introduction and majority of areas and related to the Case Study and the vendor brochure. 5 areas covered. 21-24 Points All areas not covered, and/or are not related to the Case Study and/or the vendor brochure. 4 areas covered. 0-20 Points Content missing or extremely incomplete, did not reflect the assignment instructions, showed little or no originality, demonstrated little effort, is not supported with information from the Case Study; and/or is not original work for this class section. 3 or fewer areas covered. 35 Summary and Conclusion Summarizes the BA&SR and provides a compelling explanation of benefits to be gained 9-10 Points Provides strong, clear and concise summary; demonstrates sophisticated analysis and writing. 8.5 Points Provides clear summary; demonstrates effective analysis and writing. 7.5 Points Provides summary. 6.5 Points Lacks sufficient information to provide adequate summary. 0-5 Point Content missing or extremely incomplete, did not reflect the assignment instructions, showed little or no originality, demonstrated little effort, is not supported with information from the Case Study; and/or is not original work for this class section. 10 Research Three or more sources—one is the vendor brochure, one from within the IFSM 300 course content, and one external (other than the course materials) 14-15 Points Required resources are incorporated and used effectively. Sources used are relevant and timely and contribute strongly to the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 12-13 Points At least three sources are incorporated (vendor, course content and external) and are relevant and somewhat support the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style. 10-11 Points Fewer than 3 resources properly incorporated, and/or reference(s) are not cited using APA style. 9 Points A source may be used, but is not properly incorporated or used, and/or is not effective or appropriate; and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations. 0-8 Points No course content or external research incorporated; or reference listed is not cited within the text 15 Complete BA&SR Report Well organized and clearly presented information for all four stages. ` 14-15 points Document is a very effective and cohesive assemblage of the four sections, is well formatted and flows smoothly from one section to the next. 12-13 Points Document is a good assemblage of the four sections with appropriate formatting and flow. 10-11 Points Document includes content for all four stages; lacks a cohesive presentation and flow. 9 Points Incomplete stages; lack of continuity of flow and presentation of final information. 0-8 Points Incomplete report, missing stages, is not supported with information from the Case Study; and/or not well compiled and presented as a cohesive document. 15 Format Uses outline format provided; includes Title Page and complete Reference Page including sources for all 4 stages. 9-10 Points Very well organized and is easy to read. Very few or no errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; double-spaced, written in third person, contains all required references, and presented in a professional format. 8.5 Points Effective organization; has few errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; double-spaced, written in third person, contains all required references, and presented in a professional format. 7.5 Points Some organization; may have some errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; missing some required references. Report is double spaced, and written in third person. 6.5 Points Not well organized, and/or contains several grammar and/or spelling errors; and/or is not double-spaced, missing several required references, and written in third person. 0-5 Points Extremely poorly written, has many grammar and/or spelling errors, missing required references, or does not convey the information. 10 TOTAL Possible Points 100