Project #25778 - Case Study


This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the concepts of the Porter Five Forces model to a specific business, develop a strategic direction for UMUC Haircuts, and identify a process that could be improved with the use of technology.  This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:


  • analyze business strategy to recognize how technology solutions enable strategic outcomes

analyze internal and external business processes to identify information systems requirements



Using the class reading and external resources (resources other than those provided in the class), write a short paper 2-3  pages in length, not including References page and cover sheet, responding to the bulleted items below.  Remember to use the APA formatting rules and correctly cite and reference your sources with APA format.  Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything.  Submit your paper as a Microsoft Word document, or a document that can be read using MS Word.


Create a document that includes the following:


  • Brief introduction providing the background of the case, why you are writing and what is to come in your paper.  This should only be 3-5 sentences.
  • Perform a Porter's Five Forces analysis for UMUC Haircuts, addressing each force in one or two sentences and defining the force, its impact (Positive, Negative or Neutral) on the business and whether it should affect Myra’s strategy (Yes/No).  Do not identify solutions or things that Myra should do that would affect the factor. (The idea is to identify how the different forces affect UMUC Haircuts and how much.) This provides you with a view of the business that will allow you to select a Generic Strategy and a Strategic Business Area on which to focus your efforts.

  • Determine which of Porter's Three Generic Strategies that you will use to improve UMUC Haircuts for the 21st century and explain why you selected it, and tie it into the significant forces that you have identified.


  • Using your analysis of UMUC Haircuts Business Model (based on what you learned in Module 1), identify an important Strategic Business Area that needs to be improved.  The Strategic Business Area should be selected from the following:

    • Customers

    • Employees

    • Suppliers

    • Marketing


The Walmart Example demonstrates use of this concept, so you should review it and make sure that you are on the right track.  Explain why you have selected that Strategic Business Area and how improving it will improve operation of the business, including how it relates to the Generic Strategy you selected.


  • Within the selected Strategic Business Area, identify and select a single daily process that is within and supports the Strategic Business Area that needs improvement.  Note:  A process is a set of activities or steps that are used to accomplish a specific task.  Some of the processes that Myra has identified for improvement are:
    • Customer and Employee Scheduling
    • Supply Ordering and Management
    • Customer Information and Marketing


(In Stage 2 you will model the AS IS process and the TO BE Process, and propose a technology solution to improve the process you identify here, so select a process that is appropriate for a technology solution.)


  • At the end of your report with your References enter the following headings and complete the information using one concise phrase for each.  You will be starting each subsequent stage by including this information as a method to keep us focused on the objectives.








In determining which process you select for improvement, be sure to keep in mind the remaining projects within this Case Study.  You should review Stages 2-5 to get an understanding of the future projects that build on this initial stage and to aid you in selecting a process (and later proposing a technology solution) that can support the requirements of the follow-on assignments.


Do not start on Stage 2 until you receive feedback on this Stage as the Process that you select is crucial and your instructor may recommend that you change processes so that you can successfully complete the case.  You MUST incorporate the recommended changes in all subsequent Stages.


The "right" and "wrong" answers have to do with whether or not you correctly incorporated the course concepts from the textbook and addressed all parts of the assignment. You need to do some external research on at least one aspect of the assignment - your choice - and incorporate it and cite/reference it in APA format in your response. The specific strategic area you select for a technology solution is not as important as that it makes sense in light of the course content and the Case Study and is well supported with your application of the course concepts and your external research.   Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects.









Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/26/2014 12:00 am
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