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Assessment activity 1
Leading continuous improvement systems and processes
The following table maps the assessment activity for this chapter against the element and performance criteria of Element 1 in BSBMGT516 Facilitate continuous improvement. The activity has been designed for all learners to complete.
Part A: Theory review and application
- Describe some strategies you have used to encourage team members to:
- a) participate in making decisions b) assume responsibility
- c) show initiative.
Give an example for each of these and explain how successful they were.
- List the skills a manager should have in order to lead a team that can adapt to continuous improvement initiatives, work independently and actively contribute to team decisions. For each skill, explain why it is important and how it can be developed.
- Describe the role of quality systems and continuous improvement models in the continuous improvement process. Provide examples of quality systems used in your organisation and explain how they are used.
- a) Explain why it is important for organisations to meet sustainability requirements when making improvements.
- b) Give examples of where sustainability practices can be implemented in the workplace.
- a) Explain the role of a knowledge management system.
- b) A recent staff meeting to discuss the formation of a green office program elicited a number of suggestions and insights into sustainability practice Explain how these can be captured in the organisation’s various knowledge management systems.
- Imagine that your organisation has decided to improve its customer service by introducing a feedback sheet on its website, holding focus groups with customers and providing customer service training for its staff.
- a) List the actions you would take to encourage team members to discuss the issues and come up with other ideas to improve customer service.
- b) How would you let team members know about the planned improvements?
- c) Who else will need to know about the planned improvements?
- d) Prepare a brief coaching plan for team members to improve their customer service skil Make sure you cater for your team members’ preferred learning style.
Part B: Case study
Read the case study, then complete the tasks that follow.
Quality Stock Enterprises is a furniture manufacturer supplying indoor and outdoor furniture products at the premium end of the market. The organisation currently employs more than 600 staff. In the last 12 months sales have dropped by 25 per cent causing great alarm amongst management and staff alike.
A competitor has appeared in the market and offers similar products at lower prices. An analysis of the business identified a range of weaknesses that included too narrow a product range; existing products being aimed at the upper end of their niche market with corresponding prices; the nature of their furniture means that they need highly skilled workers who are paid premium wages. All this has impacted on the company at the same time as a global downturn in the economy, with many customers unwilling to pay top prices. They know they need to make some changes to improve their situation.
Senior management are considering a number of options including:
- taking manufacturing offshore
- laying off staff across all areas of the business
- diversifying their product range to include middle and low-range priced goods.
This company will do anything to curtail the current decline in sales so long as the costs of the proposed changes are not excessive.
- Explain how you would utilise participation techniques with the employees in this organisation to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options presented in the case study. Based on this approach identify the option that you believe is most viable.
- Explain how you would initiate continuous improvement activities related to this option. How would you communicate these initiatives to relevant stakeholders?
- Provide a proposal to senior management of this organisation outlining how mentoring and coaching could be used to improve current circumstances.
- In what ways could sustainability practices help the company reduce its costs and maintain a competitive advantage?
- What knowledge management systems should be utilised to capture the options suggested and to explore them more thoroughly?
Assessment activity 2
Monitoring and adjusting performance strategies
The following table maps the assessment activity for this chapter against the element and performance criteria of Element 2 in BSBMGT516 Facilitate continuous improvement. The activity has been designed for all learners to complete.
Part A: Theory review and application
- Make a list of strategies you could use within your organisation to monitor operational progress. Evaluate each of your strategies in terms of its strengths and weaknesses.
- Identify adjustments that may be required to the performance monitoring processes in your organisation. How would you communicate your proposed changes?
- Explain the value of sound communication skills for a manager in the context of informing staff about changes to monitoring strategies.
Part B: Case study
Sally Evans was recently promoted to the position of sales manager in charge of nine sales representatives and three account managers. As an account manager before her promotion, she was pretty much left to her own devices, and so long as her key accounts remained happy and were continuing to spend with the organisation, her manager appeared satisfied.
In stepping into her role as manager, Sally quickly realises that her previous manager did not utilise any formal performance planning or monitoring tools. As an extremely organised and structured person, Sally’s first action is to set up a spreadsheet for each member of her team showing their sales to date against their budgeted sales figures. To encourage an open and transparent communication process amongst team members, Sally has designed each spreadsheet with a link to a team spreadsheet in which all team members can evaluate their performance against others in the team.
In the days that follow, Sally locates a list of debtor statements from key customers which reveals that many of these accounts are 90 days in arrears. This is 60 days longer than the company policy of 30 days. As the new manager, she realizes that it will be her responsibility to get these outstanding debts paid and to ensure that debts are not allowed to extend beyond the recommended time frame in the future.
- What risks did Sally’s predecessor take in not setting up any planning and monitoring systems?
- Evaluate the approach taken by Sally to monitor her team performance. What would you suggest Sally do differently?
- 3. How would you suggest Sally communicate the adjustments she has made with her team and other relevant stakeholders including the clients who have accounts in arrears?
- Explain how Sally showed her innovation and lateral thinking skills when designing better ways for achieving work outcomes.
Assessment activity 3
Managing opportunities for further improvement
The following table maps the assessment activity for this chapter against the element and performance criteria of Element 3 in BSBMGT516 Facilitate continuous improvement. The activity has been designed for all learners to complete.
Part A: Theory review and application
- List three methods you have used to keep team members informed regarding continuous improvement efforts. Explain why these methods were used and whether they were effective.
- Explain how recording processes will help you and your team identify further opportunities for improvement.
- 3. Describe the systems in place or that you plan to introduce, including the performance variables that will be measured to:
- a) document work performance
- b) report on achievements and problems
- c) record information for planning further continuous improve
- Identify a project in which mistakes have been made or areas that needed improvement were identified. Explain what you or your team have learnt from the project and list the changes you would make when planning similar projects in the future.
Part B: Case study
Jasper is a new manager for an outlet that sells new cars and that also provides follow-up service and support for customers. Given that the industry is extremely competitive it is important that he and his various teams take every opportunity to improve the services they deliver. The business consists of the following areas:
- New car sales
- Financing department
- After-sales services including customer support line
- Service department
- Purchasing department (includes buying of parts and materials such as oils, cleaning materials etc)
In order to identify areas for improvement Jasper initiates a range of activities to obtain information that he can include in the planning he undertakes with his teams. These activities include customer surveys, follow- up calls and analysis of sales data.
Improvements subsequently identified include:
- Providing better financing rates
- Sourcing more suppliers for parts and materials
- Changing the approach to selling techniques for sales people
- Introducing a ‘collect and return service’ for business people and business cars
- Introducing a free shuttle bus to the nearest shopping centre and pick- ups for people bringing in their cars for service
The improvements must now be communicated to the team and documented in future planning documents. Jasper realises he needs better systems to document work performance and record information on a regular basis to inform continuous improvement.
- What other strategies could Jasper have used to monitor operational progress and identify where improvements could be made?
- Select one of the improvements. Prepare a communication strategy that will inform the team of the improvement to be implemented. Include as many appropriate options as you consider necessary. Use lateral thinking skills to develop interesting ways to let the team know about the outcome of the research.
- Using the improvement you selected in question 2, write (briefly) what you would include in:
- the company’s business plan
- the team’s operational plan
- an individual team member’s work plan.
- What systems could Jasper use in the future to help him regularly:
- document work performance
- report on successes, opportunities and problems
- record information that could be useful for continuous improvement?
Include the performance variables that will be measured in each system or process.
BSBMGT516 Facilitate continuous improvement
To be assessed as competent in BSBMGT516 Facilitate continuous improvement, you must provide evidence of the specified required skills and knowledge. Details of the required skills and knowledge can be found in the ‘Before you begin’ section of this workbook.
The following table maps this final assessment activity against the elements and performance criteria of BSBMGT516 Facilitate continuous improvement.
Detailed mapping of this workbook against the methods of assessment, the elements, the performance criteria and required skills and knowledge is available in the Aspire Trainer’s and assessor’s guide for this unit.
The following activity forms part of your assessment of competence. You may also need to provide various workplace documents or third-party reports. Your trainer will give you guidance in this area.
The following activity has been designed for all learners to complete.
Part A: Required skills
The following skills are required for this unit of competency:
- Communication skills to communicate opportunities for improvement
- Learning skills to coach and mentor staff, using a range of methods to cater for different learning styles
- Innovation and lateral thinking skills to design better ways for achieving work outcomes
- Planning skills to establish and monitor systems and process for continuous improvement
- Teamwork and leadership skills to gain the confidence and trust of others
You need to demonstrate your ability to apply these skills in your work. The following list provides some strategies you might use to demonstrate your competence in these required skill areas.
- Respond to case studies and scenarios
- Provide examples of written reports
- Respond to direct questions
- Provide portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of your on-the- job performance to show evidence of planning, coaching or mentoring, teamwork and innovations you have suggested
- Be observed participating in presentations
- Respond to oral or written questions to assess knowledge of quality systems
- Provide examples of strategies developed to ensure that team members are actively encouraged and supported to participate in decision-making processes, and to assume responsibility and exercise initiative
- Provide examples of how customer service strategies were communicated to all stakeholders
- Provide documentation that outlines work team performance
Part B: Required knowledge
- a) In your own words, describe what a quality system is and its role in maintaining continuous improvement.
- b) Select a continuous improvement process or model an organisation or team could impleme Describe how you would use it to increase productivity and customer satisfaction, and reduce costs.
- Research two continuous improvement models or quality systems relevant to your organisation. Describe:
- the models/systems
- why you selected each model/system
- how each model/system can be used by your organisation to facilitate continuous improvement.
- a) In your own words explain the principles of sustainability.
- b) Provide examples of two changes and describe what the organisation might do to ensure that the change complies with sustainability require
- Select three different types of knowledge management systems from those discussed in this workbook and explain how they can assist an organisation in its continuous improvement processes.
- Explain how the DMAIC methodology (define, measure, analyse, improve and control) can be used to monitor customer service.
- Carry out the following project to devise strategies and approaches to improve work outcomes or organisational functioning. Ensure you undertake each of the activities below and provide any supporting documentation as evidence.
Before the project
- a) Use a process that encourages participation with your team members to identify the focus of your continuous improvement activitie
- b) What are the goals of your continuous improvement initiative?
- c) Make a list of stakeholders who will need to be kept informed regarding continuous improvement activit What communication methods will you use for each group of stakeholders?
- d) How will you use mentoring and coaching processes to ensure that individuals and teams are able to implement and support the organisation’s continuous improvement processes?
During the project
- e) Explain the methods you will use to monitor operational progress and customer service and identify areas for im Collate the results of your continuous improvement activities using these methods and provide as evidence.
- f) Describe two adjustments you have made in the course of carrying out your improvement initiatives. How have you communicated these adjustments to the relevant stakeholders?
After the project
- g) Communicate the outcomes of your continuous improvement efforts to stakeholders and attach a copy of this communication as evidence.
- h) Debrief team members on your continuous improvement efforts and identify any other opportunities for further improve
- i) Using this information, create a plan for future continuous improvement effort
Part C: Present your portfolio
Through the completion of the practice tasks and assessment activities in this workbook, you have now gathered a variety of documents, reports and other documentation relevant to this competency.
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