Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Managing Projects - Universal Credit - Free Essay Example

Managing projects Introduction of Universal Credit Universal Credit is a new welfare system providing financial subsidies for the jobseekers and the low-income families in the United Kingdom. It regards TheDepartment for Work and Pensions(DWP) as a single government department being responsible for the operation of Universal Credit (Royston, 2012). In addition, it combines a variety of original relief payments and benefits, such as jobseekersà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ allowance (JSA) and income support, to a single system (National Audit Office, 2013). Due to integrate the original completed welfare systems into a single system, it provides a more effective and convenient approach to the masses and the government branches which allows them to simplify any application such as job searching and data collection. The Universal Credit system aims users to track the cash flow and transition under the well-defined regulations as well. In order to operate the system more automatically, the department of Universal Credit invested more than half capitals on establishing and developing IT online system. According to National Audit Office (2013) states, the functions of the IT system include claimantsà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ application system, claims administration and identification systems, financial information systems and information security systems. It also points out that the project of Universal Credit links the information from many government authorities, for example: DWP, HM Revenue and Customs (HMPC) and local governments. Because it is a complicated project, the IT system of Universal Credit needs to be supported by safety, quality-guaranteed and real-time software and systems to prevent error happened. The plan, which the department adopted, is to employ Accenture, IBM, HP and BT to be the system suppliers to build a multi-functional IT system for the department and the users. The advantages of Universal Credit are that it allows claimants, people who apply the financial assistance, to understand their welfare entitlements in an easy way. It also offers a simple channel with integrating numerous application accesses to the applicants which allows them to apply various allowances they should have. Moreover, Universal Credit promotes motivation of the unemployed to work that it ensures the out-of-work people can obtain more income compared to the period when they receive benefits while they start working (National Audit Office, 2013). In the British governmentà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s point of view, the benefits o f Universal Credit are less expenditure and high efficiency. The report (2013) states that the operation of Universal Credit can reduce personnel costs and simplify the workflow about the claims. More importantly, this project can decrease the errors and the mistakes caused by man as well as detects the fraud created by the ill-intentioned individuals. With numerous advantages, the DWP decides to attempt to launch the Universal Credit program in Tameside, Wigan, Warrington and Oldham in April 2013, then plans to implement this program throughout the UK in October. The current state of Universal Credit program Although Universal Credit program seems to be a well-designed system, National Audit Office (2013) believes that the timetable of establishing Universal Credit online system is overly optimistic. It sternly points out the defects of its IT system which may lead to more spending on developing IT construction, it also questions about the capability of IT technique which may not achieve the purpose of simplifying the current welfare system. Without considering these issues, it will generate the loopholes in information security that may harm peopleà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s interests and cause reputational damage to the UK governments. After assessment, the Major Projects Authority decided to suspend the national implementation of the program, set up a reset team to resolve the security risk of the IT system running in Tameside. The current IT system of Universal Credit In the early stage, the IT system of Universal Credit adopted traditional plan-driven approach, or called waterfall model, to build the system. According to Winch (2013), the traditional PM triangle is a process-oriented model which keeps quality as the priority. This model defines the steps that every project cycle should include the processes of selection, define, execute, test and operate (Szalvay, 2004). It regards every step as a complete cycle, which means the department has to ens ure one step is completed, or it cannot move to the next step. Because the waterfall model is a sequential process, every procedure should be well-defined with clear targets. This model also regards quality as the priority that it needs to manage and control each step with fully-planned documents to ensure high quality of the system (Boehm, 1988). Hence the waterfall model is suitable for the complex software systems. At the beginning of the Universal Credit program, the department understood its purpose that it had to integrate most IT functions related to online transaction to its system. As a result, it implemented plan-driven approach to design the IT system and began to propose the white paper with the purposes, functions, schedule, scope and budget of the program at the end of 2012. However, the department overestimated its capability of planning as well as overlooked the demand of the market, therefore it faced many challenges of modifying the schedule of building IT syste m in 2013. The Problems of implementing waterfall model in the IT system Although waterfall or called plan-driven model is an appropriate approach to design a complicated system, the department failed to implement this approach to develop the system. As the report (2013) indicates, the department made an error evaluation about the percentage of online claims. It designed the IT system which can accept 50% online claims, but actually the demand is approaching to 90%. The wrong decision with waterfall modelà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s approach made the department to experience dilemma. Under this model, the department cannot flexibly change the blueprint and schedule when errors occurred, which is the situation the department faced (Szalvay, 2004; Winch, 2013; National Audit Office, 2013). If the plan has to revise in one step, it has to return to upstage to amend relative strategies (Boehm, 1988). To the last, it might change the content in the first stage, then progressively modify the IT system in each process. Additionally, this flow modification needs time to negotiate with different suppliers and departments involving in the Universal Credit program which has strong possibility to add more spend on resetting the IT system. However, the department does not have sufficient budget to afford the additional cost of the project of Universal Credit. Consequently, without accurately evaluate about the market demand, waterfall model with a document-driven strategy brings difficulty to the department to reset the IT system. Reset the IT system by moving waterfall to agile approach The IT system of Universal Credit is a highly complex project that it is impossible for the department to consider the full range of required functions before design and coding. With high uncertainty of usersà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ demand, the system developers would be stressed by unknown development direction in order to design a system to meet demand. This uncertainty brings high risk while changing. As Szalvay (2004) indicates that waterfall modelà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s approach is more suitable for use in low-risk, low-variance and well-defined project. The department identified the problem regarding to the inflexibility of adopting the waterfall model. Considering the timescale and budget, the National Audit office decided to introduce a more efficient approach to improve and complete the project. According to the report (2013), the department applied agile method to replace the waterfall model in order to reset the IT system. Because of uncertain demand forecast, agile development enables to solve the problem by responding to the rapid changes in demand, which means that agile approach is a highly feedback-oriented development model (Sy, 2006). As he indicates, the agile divides a large, complex project to many small phases, each phase has a specific target and can be executed at the same time. Every development cycle uses iterative information processing to b uild partial system. In other words, the development of Universal Credit can categorize the systemà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s functions to several aspects, then simultaneously resets the system based on demands and suggestions. This processing model only requires a short development lifecycle to complete the system (Winch, 2013). However, in the Universal Credit system, there is no indication to show the department appropriately implementing the agile model. Firstly, as Sureshchandra and Shrinivasavadhani (2008) state, the agile practice only has to check improved relevant documents and update them. But, the approach which National Audit Office choice is to review and alter all documents about the Universal Credit program. As previous explanation, waterfall approach is to correct all documents before modifying the system; agile is to quick response the demand without spending long time on document processes (Szalvay, 2004). The situation, which the department faced, is it cannot meet use rsà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ demand. There are more than 90% of new online claimants, but the system cannot afford so many applications. Now the appropriate approach for the department is not to review and alter all documents. Instead, it has to update the documents associated with specific improved functions, then to modify the insufficient part of the system straightaway. Thus, the strategy which the department adopted does not implement agile, but waterfall modelà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s approach. Secondly, unclear target causes more uncertain design direction of the IT system. National Audit Office (2013) points out that the department did not have any clear plan about the functions which need to improve, although it had received feedback from users. This condition would obstruct the department to simplify and classify the complex IT system to small projects. Then the department cannot focus on improving on specific functions as well as recording them at the same time, which may lead to no agile. In addition, unclear plan has a strong probability to impact the department to adopt agile from waterfall model. In the Universal Credit case, due to the urgent requirement, the department has limited time and budget to reform the IT system. Thus, the efficient approach is to utilize existing infrastructure, move waterfall to agile to redesign the system. Under this condition, the department proposed the points that it would like to enhance the system functions, which means it finally set up the target for improvement. Unfortunately, the Cabinet Office did not accept this strategy because it believed the department had insufficient technique and a unclear proposal to improve the IT system. The department not only does not consider the point to reform in detail, also the plan about the IT infrastructures do not implement the existing system. This situation seems the department abandons the original system and stop continuing to improve, which is not the concept of agile. Hence, from above analyses, it can be concluded that the department misunderstood the meaning of agile, kept obeying waterfall model. It also neglects the importance of defining uncertain factors. Design with the test is also important In the early stage, it seems that the department did not consider testing as a crucial part while planning the Universal Credit project. Because it adopted waterfall modelà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s approach to design the project, system testing is implemented after execute. The current state of Universal Credit system used this method that it puts tests in the final stage, which belongs to waterfall modelà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s approach. In the execute phase, the system programmers have to ensure they fully complete all the system according to the blueprint and schedule, then they can proceed to the next stage (Sy, 2007; Sureshchandra Shrinivasavadhani, 2008). However, this approach raises several risks to the system. Firstly, the programmers cannot ensure whether the IT system will run. In this phase, the department outsourced partial functions to certain system providers and requested them to support setting. For example, HP is responsible for hardware and work service platform; BT contract telephony service (National Audit Office, 2013). Every IT supplier developed specific system functions without testing compatibility or not. When they completed and integrated the entire system without system error, it may produce the compatibility issues that allow hikers attack the system or cause data loss when users implement the system which is related to information security issue. Another hazard is about time, budget and the usersà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ demand. If the system designers found that the developed system is not suitable for the requirements or it occurred error when integrating, the designers had to go back to design stage, changed the plan and rearrange the project to suppliers. This situation causes time waste, capital loss and usersà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ confidence fell to the Universal Credit program. In the reset period, the Major Project Review Group understood this situation, thus it suggested the department to stop the plan. In order to avoid such risks and loss happed, it puts test and design in the same IT development stage. Although the department had considered test, it regards test as a subproject while coding. It also ran the system before fully completing to test whether the system had any error (National Audit Office, 2013). Therefore, the risk problem still did not be solved, although the department put test with designing the system. Poor planning and design in the early stage National Audit Office (2013) points out that the department not only had limited technique to code the system, it also had no ability to plan the whole project. In the reset state, the department rethought its original plan and proposed a new one. However, National Audit Office believed that the new plan is unclear. First of all, the department did not concern about scalability. Comparing to the previous plan, the system improvement is limited, which means that there were no significant change in the IT system. Secondly, the department did not consider thoroughly regarding to the system design. As the National Audit Office (2013) state, the department lost several information security functions, such as Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) which can aim to protect online transaction as well as to avoid data stolen by system intruders. This can show that the department does not have the capability to hold the plan, it also loses accurate determination of deciding an improvement plan. This disadvantage would impact the department to develop a strategic plan and implement agile approach to the IT system, it also raises information security issue the department, which may affect usersà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ confidence in the system. Conclusion and recommendations Currently, the IT sy stem of Universal Credit has faced many challenges, and most of them come from moving waterfall model to agile approach. The department did not understand the essence of agile, it confused between waterfall and agile approach in the reset stage. Hence, the better solution to reform the system is that the department analyses feedback given by the system users, then it develops specific improvement goals based on the usersà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ demand, and alter improvement relevant documents at the same time. It processes only needs few days to complete. Later the department assigns the projects which are required to reform to the responsible suppliers. In the design stage, the department has to ensure that the suppliers have a test system while coding and return progresses to the department. Simultaneously, the department has to confirm that there are no compatibility problems between different IT functions to avoid security issue happened. If there is no necessary, the department tries to retain the original IT infrastructure, using existing hardware and software to enhance the IT system. This approach enables the department to save recoding time, reduce additional reconstruction funds as well as simplify the processes of rebuilding the system. In the system, redesigning period, the department should focus more on scalability. Because the target customers of Universal Credit are national people in the UK. There would be a large amount of user accesses to this IT system accompanied with storing large data. To consider the systemà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s flexibility in the future, the system must be allowed to easily extend the components of hardware and software when it is necessary, which has to define well in the design phase. The scalability also includes fast processing online data and maintains the systemà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s performance. For example, the department has to adopt multi-serversà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ approach, each host has to backup data simultaneously. This approach not only can share the load of each host, also can prevent abrupt termination of one server, so when an accident happened, the IT system still can operate. In order to prevent risks and maintain the system, the department has to consider future scalability and proposes a good system design scheme in the design stage. In summary, adopting the agile approach enables the department to efficiently change and recode the IT system. It also implements system testing to help the programmers to find errors and incompatibilities. Prior to this, well-defined plans and clear objectives are crucial. In the reforming phase. The department has to consider the long-term plan which will allow it to easily add more functions in the future. Besides, a good strategic plan can aim to avoid certain expected risks. If the department follows these suggestions, the IT system of Universal Credit program will not be a headache problem. References Boehm, B. W. (1988). A spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement. Computer, 21(5), 61-72. Galen, R. (2010, 10 27). Agile Project Manager à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å" Traditional PM Triangle be Damned, Keep Quality First! Retrieved from Projecttimes : https://www.projecttimes.com/robert-galen/agile-project-manager-traditional-pm-triangle-be-damned-keep-quality-first.html National Audit Office. (2013). Universal Credit: earlyprogress. London: National Audit Office. Royston, S. (2012). Understanding Universal Credit. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 20(1), pp. 69-86. Sureshchandra, K., Shrinivasavadhani, J. (2008). Moving from Waterfall to Agile. In G. Melnik, P. Kruchten, M. Pppendieck, Agile 2008 Conference (pp. 97-101). Los Alamitos, Canada: IEEE Computer Society. Sy, D. (2007, 5). Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-centered Design. Journal of Usability Studies, 2(3), pp. 112-132. Szalvay, V. (2004). An Introduction to Agile Software Develop ment. Washington: Danube Technologies, Inc. Winch, G. M. (2013). Managing Construcion Projects (Second ed.). West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. 1

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Easy and Meaningful Integration of Social Studies and...

It is not enough for our students to be citizens of the United States of America; they are faced with the challenge that no other generation has: they are citizens of the world. Social studies, as a focus in classrooms today must be more than a history class. In fact, social studies should include all content areas and be included in all content areas. In math, it is not enough to learn isolated logarithms; students should explore economics and the interdependence of the world economies. A current events guiding question might include, Will the failure of Greece’s economy affect those of its neighbors and beyond? Science class should not be the teaching and learning of statics and dynamics and origin of life, but how bridges†¦show more content†¦In the introduction pages of the social studies curriculum for the State of Connecticut, it states that the framework â€Å"†¦should help students build empathetic awareness along with the ability to apply tha t awareness to understanding both historical and contemporary issues†¦. It requires one to be willing to suspend judgment, weigh evidence and examine another point of view. At times, it may require us to confront controversial topics.† In the language arts curriculum, in Standard Two, Exploring and Responding to Literature, students are guided to â€Å"read and respond to classical and contemporary texts from many cultures and literary periods.† While studying the curriculum, students will â€Å"recognize that readers and authors are influenced by individual, social, cultural and historical contexts.† Without knowing what those individual, social, cultural and historical contexts are, students cannot possibly be truly successful in language arts. The second content strand for social studies addresses History/Social Studies Literacy. The description is â€Å"†¦competence in literacy, inquiry and research skills is necessary to analyze, evaluate an d present history and social studies information.† In language arts, Standard Four addresses applying English language conventions. 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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Business Plan For Start Your Own Business - 1258 Words

When considering to start your own business you have to think of what would be most beneficial to you and your business of choice. When choosing you desired business there are things to keep in mind; pick one that you are knowledgeable in, why start a business in an area you are not familiar with, its already failing from there, make it something worthwhile for people to come to, make it stand out, bring it to a city where it is lacking your business of choice, whichever you choose make sure you’re passionate about it and figure out your business plan. When planning to start up your own restaurant you have to think about how your target market is going to be, how much money you will need to obtain in order to get your business going along†¦show more content†¦When deciding on what assets to have for your company you have to thin both long term and short term. Long term being your property, plant and equipment and short term being you’re your assets being sold, converted to cash or liquated to pay off your liabilities within your first year of being open. For this business ideal assets would be enough cash on hand to have if there are problems in the future, being able to have the inventory on hand for food, beverage, and liquor, along with the building that would be great for the bar business along with the equipment needed to properly run your business. Another asset that would be ideal is the money needed to pay for managers and hourly employees. If you don’t have the money to do this then you are kind of stuck in a hole. Ideally that would be what is needed for a bar business but as we all know you can’t have the perfect business start-up. Minimally, you could run barley with not much cash on hand in hopes of making that

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

GR Hotels free essay sample

The Industry The accommodation industry thrives on strategically located and efficiently managed establishments, as well as the tourism industry in general. Worldwide, the industry is huge, with estimated annual revenues in excess of $124 billion. In Canada, many municipal and provincial tourism agencies promote Canadian cities as attractive travel destinations and thus provide business to the local accommodation industry. World events (e. g. terrorist attacks, SARS outbreak) caused the Canadian tourism industry to decline from 2001 to 2003, and the occupancy rate of hotels in 2 CMA Canada Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Backgrounder Canada reached an all-time low. In 2004, the industry rebounded and tourism grew at a faster rate than the rest of the economy. By the end of 2007, there were more than 15,000 travel accommodation establishments in Canada, generating in excess of $13 billion in operating revenues (see Exhibit 1). Airport hotels experienced the largest gains in demand, followed closely by downtown hotels. The average occupancy rate for large hotels (i. e. those with more than 200 guest rooms) reached 70% in 2007 and the average daily room rate for these hotels reached $138 (see Exhibit 2). A four-scale system is used to classify hotels: 1. Economy – Basic accommodation provided with few or no amenities and guest services, and the only facility provided is usually a swimming pool. 2. Mid-scale – Basic accommodation provided with some amenities, but limited guest services and facilities (e. g. breakfast service, selected business services, fitness centre). 3. Upscale – More comfortable and attractive accommodations provided with a broad range of facilities, amenities, and services (e. g. spa, business centre, concierge, recreational facilities). 4. Luxury – Highest standard of accommodation that offers an extensive range of amenities, guest services, and facilities (e. g. first-class restaurant, extensive entertainment facilities). In general, business travellers tend to stay at upscale and luxury hotels, as well as the better mid-scale hotels. Leisure travellers tend to stay mainly at mid-scale and economy hotels. The Internet’s increased popularity has had a major impact on the tourism and accommodation industry over a relatively short period of time. Major on-line travel sites (e. g. Expedia. com ®, Travelocity. com ®) offer Internet-savvy consumers booking options that go beyond simple transactions such as point-to-point air and hotel reservations. The â€Å"book-it-yourself† traveller is becoming more prevalent. Consumers are taking greater control over their travel plans by using the Internet to not only gather information, but also to compare prices and options to locate the best deals available, make reservations directly, and arrange for payment directly. Another industry trend is the increase in hotels that are associated with a brand name chain (e. g. franchises). Industry reports show that these hotels perform better than hotels that are not part of a chain. Associated hotel chains generally have more rooms, charge higher daily room rates, and have higher occupancy rates than independently owned hotels. A major contributing factor for this superior performance is the use of a central reservation system (i. e. a guest booking system using a centralized computer and/or telephone answering service). As well, many hotel chains of all sizes offer frequent guest or other points programs to generate repeat business. CMA Canada 3 Backgrounder Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Certain government regulations impact hotels in Canada. These regulations cover such areas as real estate zoning, food preparation, liquor licensing, elevator safety, and property taxes. GR Hotels Corporation – 2007 Management and Organizational Structure The company’s current summarized organizational chart is found in Exhibit 3. The structure involves a head office management group and the management of each hotel. The President and CEO of GR is Andrew Mayd. He was hired in 1997 by the board of directors to replace Arthur Gemron after an extensive search by a well known executive recruitment firm. Mayd is a hotel industry veteran. After graduating from college with a major in hospitality management 29 years ago, he gained experience working for three major hotel chains and one independent hotel, beginning at the front desk and working his way up to his current position with GR. Walter Rames is the company’s Vice-President, Bookings and Promotion. He worked in sales and marketing with several different organizations before joining GR last year. His responsibilities include promotion and advertising for all GR hotels, as well as the central booking system. Caly Leblanc is the Vice-President, Services and People. She holds an MBA from a prestigious university and has worked her entire career in the hotel industry. Leblanc is responsible for overseeing the service levels at both hotels, focussing on generating and implementing new ideas for improvement. She also provides overall human resource management. Matt Gleeson is the Vice-President, Facilities. He held positions with a number of property management companies before joining GR in 1991. Gleeson is in charge of maintenance and improvements of the two hotel buildings, properties, and facilities. As well, he is responsible for the purchasing function for both hotels. Manny Bluenose, Vice-President, Finance, joined GR in 2001 as the controller and was promoted to the vice-president position in 2006. He has a B. Comm. with an accounting major. Prior to joining GR, Bluenose worked for four years as a senior financial analyst with a community college. His current responsibilities at GR include overseeing both the finance and information technology functions. Each of the vice-presidents is paid a base salary of $100,000 plus a bonus if corporate pre-tax income exceeds $2 million. They also receive other incentive benefits if personal objectives for the year are met. The other key people in GR’s management structure are the two hotel general managers: Luc Lavioli – Montreal hotel; and Sue Sutton – Toronto hotel. The hotel general managers are responsible for all hotel operations, including the front desk, 4 CMA Canada Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Backgrounder housekeeping services, banquet services, restaurant, gift shop, and facilities. Lavioli started working at the GR Montreal Hotel in 1993 as a general labourer in the restaurant while he was attending college. After graduating with a three-year business administration diploma, he worked his way up through almost every department of the hotel until he was promoted to his current position in 2007. Sutton is a hotel industry veteran who joined GR in 1999. Each hotel general manager receives the same base salary of $85,000, plus a bonus equal to 0. 3% of the pre-tax income of their respective hotel. Central functions, such as purchasing and bookings, require the hotel general managers and their staff to work closely with the head office staff. For example, the hotel general managers work together with the booking department staff to set the hotel rates for their individual hotels. At each hotel, all hotel staff report directly to the hotel general manager for on-site accountability and indirectly to the respective functional vice-president at the head office. For example, the head chef at the Toronto hotel restaurant reports directly to Sutton and indirectly to Leblanc, and the facilities manager reports indirectly to Gleeson. Promotion and Booking GR advertises in the Montreal and Toronto telephone directory yellow pages and airports, as well as in certain national tourist magazines. GR also purchases pop-up advertising on the Internet with google. com ® at a cost of pennies per view, where the GR advertisement pops up when a person uses the GoogleTM search engine to find a hotel in Montreal or Toronto. These advertisements are capped, so that once the authorized limit for the month is reached, GR advertisements stop. Some billboard advertising is used within two kilometres of the hotels, each of which has good highway access. The company maintains a simple, user-friendly website, which allows online bookings at a small discount, as well as a central booking phone line at the head office. Table 1 describes the various modes that guests at GR hotels use to make bookings: Table 1 Mode of Booking Directly through the GR website Directly through the GR 1-888 central booking phone line Indirectly through travel agents who receive a small commission Directly at the hotel front desk, i. e. walk-ins with no prior reservation Indirectly through third party websites Indirectly through third party convention organizers CMA Canada % of Bookings 37% 24% 22% 8% 4% 5% 5 Backgrounder Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise In 2007, GR polled all guests with regard to their purpose of travelling and staying at GR hotels. The poll revealed that approximately 65% of guests were staying at the hotel for pleasure and 35% for business. Of the business guests, 3% were attending conferences held in the hotel. The poll also revealed that the average length of stay of all guests was three days. Board of Directors and Shareholders The board of directors of GR is comprised of five individuals. Three are Gemron family members: Arthur (who founded the company), his eldest son Arthur Jr. , and his eldest daughter Genevieve. The other two members of the board are Mark Welly and Julie Saab. Arthur Gemron is a wealthy individual who owns a number of commercial and residential real estate properties through various corporations, in addition to the GR hotels. He serves on the boards of directors of the companies but is no longer directly involved in their operations. Both Arthur Jr. and Genevieve Gemron were active in running GR from its inception until 1997, when they retired at the same time as their father. Arthur Jr. currently enjoys a life of leisure and Genevieve is a philanthropist in the area of children’s learning disabilities. Mark Welly, who retired in 1999, was the first general manager for the GR Toronto Hotel. Julie Saab is a long-time friend of the Gemron family and a lawyer. The board meets at least every second month to review progress reports, financial results, and major proposals presented by Mayd and selected members of the management group. In early 2007, the board prepared the following formal vision and mission statements: Vision: GR Hotels are the hotels of choice for travellers in Canadian cities. Mission: GR Hotels provide clean, comfortable rooms and good quality services to business and pleasure travellers in Toronto and Montreal at competitive prices. Table 2 provides a list of the shareholders, who are all members or friends of the Gemron family: 6 CMA Canada Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Backgrounder Table 2 Shareholder Arthur Gemron Arthur Gemron, Jr. Gemron family trust J. E. C. B. Gemron Genevieve Gemron Julie Saab Eileen Poltski Total Less issue costs Recorded on financial statements Number of Common Shares 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000 35,000 Price Paid per Share $4. 00 $4. 00 $4. 00 $4. 00 $4. 00 $4. 00 $4. 00 Total $ 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 140,000 5,890 $134,110 Description of Operations The company has a December 31 fiscal year end. The first quarter of the year is the weakest and the third quarter is the strongest. GR hotels strive to provide guests with as many small customer â€Å"touches† that a midscale hotel can afford. Although valet parking is not provided, each hotel has ample guest parking and bell staff are available to help carry luggage. Upon checking in at the front desk, each guest is asked for their preferences in terms of such things as room location relative to elevators and floor, room decor, and smoking versus non-smoking (smoking is permitted on a few designated floors in each hotel). When possible, such preferences are accommodated. In addition to standard hotel room furnishings (bed, desk, chairs, television, clock-radio, etc. ), each guest room has a coffee maker, free coffee and related supplies, a hair dryer, an iron, and an ironing board. In each bathroom, complimentary soap, shampoo, and hair conditioner are provided. Each evening, two complimentary fresh cookies from the hotel’s restaurant are placed in each occupied guest room. GR hotels do not have a concierge, but special inquiries (e. g. recommendations for nearby restaurants, shows, etc. ) can be made at the front desk. Although dry cleaning services are not offered by GR hotels, guests who require dry cleaning are directed to a local dry cleaning depot located within two blocks of the hotel. Express checkout service is provided, whereby the guest’s invoice/receipt is placed under the guest room door at 2 a. m. on the last day of the guest’s stay. The total invoiced amount is automatically charged to the guest’s credit card, removing the need for the guest to check out at the busy front desk in the morning. If the guest does not CMA Canada 7 Backgrounder Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise agree with any of the itemized charges on the invoice, the guest must visit the front desk where hotel staff will make the appropriate inquiries and adjustments. Each hotel has one restaurant and a very small gift shop. Approximately 80% of the revenues generated at the restaurants and stores are from hotel guests and 20% from local walk-in customers. The restaurants, like the hotel, are value-oriented, providing basic family-style meals of good quality from 6:30 a. m. to 9:00 p. m. at reasonable prices. Although they do not provide room service for the guest rooms, the restaurants offer catering services for the events held in the banquet rooms. The purchasing department negotiates bulk purchases of supplies (e. g. hotel furnishings, linens, towels, toiletries, stationery, room card keys, maintenance, food, and other supplies) for both hotels and the head office. Occasionally, mutually beneficial special arrangements are made with suppliers. For example, in early 2007, an arrangement was made with a foreign consumer products manufacturer that was introducing its inexpensive products in the Canadian market. The foreign company would supply GR with free soap, shampoo, and hair conditioner for the guest rooms and, in return, GR hotels would provide free advertising for these products by placing a flyer in the guest rooms that would indicate where these items could be purchased (e. g. Wal-Mart ®) and their retail prices. This arrangement worked successfully in 2007 and negotiations are taking place for a similar arrangement for 2008. Competition The Canadian and international hotel industries are very competitive. Competition within each of the four classes is based on numerous factors, such as ease of booking, room rates, location, room quality, housekeeping services, food and beverage quality and service, availability of additional facilities and services, and attitude of the hotel staff. The first quarter of the calendar year is generally the weakest across the industry in North America. Toronto and Montreal have a plethora of competing accommodation alternatives in all four hotel classes. Some of the mid-range hotel chains that compete directly with GR are Wonderful Inns, Budget Hotels, and Home-Away-From-Home Hotels. Human Resources GR has at total of 221 full-time equivalent employees. Many are long-term, loyal staff and the average length of service is 12 years. GR management has always followed the philosophy that keeping employees happy will result in their providing better service to guests. One practice used is to automatically give employees raises of 2. 5% to 3% per year. Another is to use mainly full-time staff and limited part-time staff. As a result of these factors, employee turnover is lower than the industry norm. Total salaries and benefits in 2007 are approximately $7. 3 million, by far the largest operating cost. Employees have various backgrounds, with those in higher positions holding diplomas in hospitality disciplines from community colleges. Salaries are higher 8 CMA Canada Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Backgrounder in Toronto than Montreal due to market factors and the cost of living. All staff, including the executives, take vacations only during the slow periods of the year. The breakdown of the number of full-time equivalent employees in the two hotels is set out in Table 3: Table 3 Function Executives and head office Restaurant Front desk, including bell staff Housekeeping Gift shop Facilities Banquet services Other Total employees Number of Employees 33 60 34 39 6 12 20 17 221 Gratuities are an important part of the remuneration of many hotel employees, such as the restaurant, housekeeping, and bell staff. Consistent with industry practice, wages of employees who receive gratuities are lower than wages of other employees in the hotels. Finance, Information Technology, and Financial Reporting Manny Bluenose directs the finance, accounting, and information technology functions of GR. The company uses the ENNâ„ ¢ accounting system and processes payroll inhouse using the payroll module of that system. All cheque processing and accounting are performed in the Toronto head office. The company’s financial statements are audited each year and have always been unqualified. Exhibit 4 provides summary financial information for 2005, 2006, and 2007. For simplicity, the amortization rates used by the company for accounting purposes are the same as the capital cost allowance (CCA) rates used for tax purposes. Consequently, GR has no timing differences between accounting and taxable income. The CCA rates used by GR are as follows: CMA Canada 9 Backgrounder Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Hotel buildings Furniture, fixtures, and equipment Vehicles Computer application software, tools, tableware, kitchen utensils, and other small assets Computer hardware and systems software Parking lots Leasehold improvements 4% 20% 30% 100% 45% 8% straight-line Historically, the company has paid out most of its profits in the form of dividends to the shareholders, shortly after the year end. A detailed line-by-line operating budget is prepared annually. Historically, the forecasted revenues and expenses used in the budgets have been fairly accurate in relation to the actual revenues and expenses. The budgeted amounts are entered into the accounting system and reports showing favourable and unfavourable variances are generated for management review each period. Banking GR has two chequing accounts and all its property mortgages with the Bank of Newfoundland. Over the past 16 years, GR has developed a good relationship with the bank. Currently, the bank has only one restrictive covenant on the financial arrangements with GR – the company’s operating profit (i. e. earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization) must be at least 11% of revenues each year. 10 CMA Canada Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Backgrounder Exhibit 1 Selected Statistics for Accommodation Industry in Canada – 2007 Newfoundland Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia Yukon Northwest Territories Nunavut Number of Establishments 425 220 571 487 2,965 4,302 664 831 1,569 3,277 167 99 37 Operating Revenue (millions) $ 164. 7 84. 6 327. 9 221. 8 2,346. 2 3,986. 9 647. 8 489. 6 2,214. 4 2,591. 1 73. 1 53. 4 32. 6 Operating Expenses* (millions) $ 138. 7 74. 3 279. 2 185. 3 2,025. 5 3,437. 0 570. 4 420. 2 1,791. 5 2,215. 0 66. 3 44. 9 28. 2 Canada 15,614 $13,234. 1 $11,276. 5 * Operating expenses exclude interest, amortization, and income taxes ** Operating margin percentage of sales = (Operating revenue Operating expenses) / Operating revenue Newfoundland Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia New Brunswick Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia Territories/Nunavut Canada CMA Canada Operating Margin % of Sales** 15. 8% 12. 2% 14. 9% 16. 5% 13. 7% 13. 8% 11. 9% 14. 2% 19. 1% 14. 5% 9. 3% 15. 9% 13. 5% 14. 8% Distribution of Revenue by Type of Service Meals and Rooms Alcohol Merchandise Service 62% 29% 1% 8% 73% 22% 0% 5% 69% 22% 1% 8% 68% 27% 0% 5% 62% 29% 1% 8% 63% 25% 0% 12% 36% 52% 3% 9% 52% 39% 2% 7% 57% 33% 1% 9% 61% 30% 1% 8% 51% 39% 3% 7% 60% 30% 1% 9% 11 Backgrounder Sample Case for Video Storyboarding Exercise Exhibit 2 Performance Metrics for Selected Hotel Groups in Canada for 2007 All hotels Associated chain hotels Independent hotels Large hotels ( 200 rooms) Airport hotels Downtown hotels Upscale hotels Mid-scale hotels Economy hotels Mid-scale hotels – Montreal Mid-scale hotels – Toronto Average Number of Rooms 148 191 92 350 195 189 240 145 100 150 155 Average Occupancy Rate 66% 69% 62% 70% 70% 68% 73% 62% 54% 65% 64% Average Daily Room Rate* $120 $125 $105 $138 $110 $130 $160 $105 $78 $91 $100 Revenue per Available Room** $79 $86 $65 $97 $77 $88 $117 $65 $42 $59 $64 * Average daily room rate = Accommodation revenue per day divided by the total number of rooms sold ** Revenue per available room = Average occupancy rate x Average daily room rate

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Krob free essay sample

Whereas naval units of the Communist regime in Vietnam, in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law, have deliberately and repeatedly attacked United Stated naval vessels lawfully present in international waters, and have thereby created a serious threat to international peace; and Whereas these attackers are part of deliberate and systematic campaign of aggression that the Communist regime in North Vietnam has been waging against its neighbors and the nations joined with them in the collective defense of their freedom; and Whereas the United States is assisting the peoples Of southeast Asia to protest their freedom and has no territorial, military or political ambitions in that area, but desires only that these people should be left in peace to work out their destinies in their win way: Now, therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress appr oves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression. We will write a custom essay sample on Krob or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page Section 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom. Section 3.This resolution shall expire when the President shall determine that the peace and security of the area is reasonably assured by international conditions created by action of the United Nations or otherwise, except that it may be terminated earlier by concurrent resolution of the Congress The federal bureau spoke to legislature and the American community about an alleged ambush on the US Maddox US boat that was defeated in the Gulf of Tontine, close to Vietnam. This event was actually a lie. As a consequence, all but two Congressmen chose to give President Johnson the complete decision to go to war with North Vietnam. The Gulf of Tontine Resolution had an immediate horrible result on the general public of America. The resolution steered America to a harsh and costly war that America soon realized couldnt be won.F-or his 1 964 presidential election, Johnson effectively disregarded Vietnam as a subject of the campaign. Nevertheless, the growth of the war, permitted by the resolution, forever stamped the misfortune of Vietnam into Johnnys second administration. This drew the publics eye away from his massive and motivated program for communal improvements and civil rights. This was called the Great Society. Approximations show that more than 50,000 Americans died in Vietnam. Unfortunately, Vietnamese fatalities totaled above 2 million. When the resolution was first administrated, Americans supported the Gulf of Tontine Resolution whole heartedly, as well as the growth of the battle.The House accepted the resolution unanimously with only two representatives, Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Greening of Alaska, voted against it The result of the Resolution was essentially a green light to strike back against North Vietnam using American forces. The Tontine Gulf Resolution was the instigator in the increase of conflict in South Vietnam. Johnson took advantage of the Gulf of Tontine Incident as a reason to attempt to acquire additional war powers. President Johnson then went to congress and he asked for war powers. He requested the ability to send military troops, short of the legislatures support. The Gulf of Ton kin Incident as well as the following of the Gulf of Tontine Resolution, delivered the explanation for added IIS growth of the battle in Vietnam. Operation Rolling Thunder, a bombing campaign against the North, was launched after Johnson assumed that Hanoi would ultimately deteriorate after being confronted with bombing attacks. Operation Rolling Thunder started on February 13, 1 965 and lasted until spring of 1967. Johnson similarly sanctioned the first of many war troops to Vietnam to battle the Viet Congo in its rural landscape. Later, after additional facts about the Tontine Incident came to be accessible, several decided that President Johnson and his consultants had misinformed Legislature into agreeing with their idea of the extension of the war. The United States developed into supporters with South Vietnam. The United States ended up hostile until 1973. The war remains to be contentious.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Writing Prompts and Topics for the Easter Holiday

Writing Prompts and Topics for the Easter Holiday Journal writing teaches elementary school students to think creatively and gives them an opportunity to practice writing without the pressure of a right or wrong answer. You may or may not choose to review journal entries for correct grammar and spelling, but lifting the pressure of producing a polished piece often frees students to just enjoy the process. Many teachers see a marked improvement in overall writing ability in a short time when they use journals in the classroom. Try to make time at least a few days each week for your students to express their thoughts and feelings through words. Writing Prompts Holidays and other special occasions make good writing prompts because children generally look forward to them and enthusiastically share their thoughts on the topic. Easter writing prompts and journal topics inspire  students to write about the Easter season and what it means to them. It also gives teachers an opportunity to learn more about their students personal lives and how they celebrate the holiday. Suggest that your students share their journals with their parents at the end of the year; its a priceless gift of a scrapbook filled with mementos straight out of their childs mind. You can let your students write stream-of-consciousness style with few restrictions or provide more structure for a journal entry with length recommendations and suggestions for details to include. The main goal of journal writing should be to help students lose their inhibitions and write with the  pure purpose of writing for the sake of writing. Once they get the hang of letting their thoughts flow, most students really enjoy the exercise. Topics for Easter How do you celebrate Easter with your family? Describe what you eat, what you wear, and where you go. Who celebrates Easter with you?What is your favorite Easter book? Describe the story and explain why you like it best.Do you have an Easter tradition with your family or a friend? Describe it. How did it start?How has Easter changed from when you were really little to  now?I love Easter because†¦ Explain what you love about the Easter holiday.How do you decorate your Easter eggs? Describe the colors you use, how you dye them, and what the finished eggs look like.I once got a magic Easter egg†¦ Start a story with this sentence and write about what happened when you received the magic egg.At the perfect  Easter dinner, I would eat... Start a story with this sentence and write about the food you would eat at your perfect Easter dinner. Dont forget dessert!Imagine that the Easter bunny ran out of chocolate and candy before Easter ended. Describe what happened. Did someone c ome along and save the day? Write a letter to the Easter bunny. Ask him questions about where he lives and what he likes most about Easter. Tell him how you celebrate the holiday.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Negotiation Post 2 Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

Negotiation Post 2 - Essay Example Recently my parents had an argument over whether or not to buy a new car. My dad wanted to buy a new car since he had worked for such a long time making good money but had never driven his dream car- a Mercedes. My mum on the other hand thought that the money could be used to buy a new house instead of buying something as frivolous as a car. I asked my mum why she felt a new car was frivolous and why my dad wanted to buy one. She said that the money should be spent on something that can last and also be appreciated by everyone in the family instead of one person only. But she did not know why my dad felt so strongly that he should buy himself a new car. I then remebered Diamond discussing the idea that at times it pays off to concede in order to benefit in the future. I explained this to my mum as meaning- you would rather loose the battle than the war. Allowing my dad to buy the car would be loosing the battle but not the war. I asked her to go ask him and to listen intently and als o share her opinions. They had the dicussion and after that she understood where he was coming from. He felt that a man of his stature in society should be able to drive a good car after all his years of hard work. A skilled negotiator is one who can keep their eye on the â€Å"ultimate prize† and can thus afford to make certain compromises along the way but all in the aim of achieving the â€Å"ultimate prize†. Human nature dictates that once one person makes a sacrifice for another the other person then naturally feels obligated to reciprocate. I therefore asked my mum what her â€Å"ultimate prize† is and she said it was buying a new house because such investments were safe and they could be enjoyed by the family as a whole. I then told her not to lose sight of that objective because she would achieve it sooner rather than later. Fast foward seven years later, my parents who work together were rewarded handsomely for their efforts by a certain company and whe n I asked what they would do with the money, my mum simply said she had not decided yet. My dad looked at her sharply and asked if he did not have a say into how the money would be used and my mum simply said since she sacrificed last time then he had to sacrifice this time. Negotiation Post 2 Negotiation is often perceived to be a shouting match and about he who budges the least is deemed the winner. This is a misconception. On several occassions you find companies negotiating with their employees on their salaries and the company refuses to budge simply because it will be percieved as weak but the difference in increasing the employee’s salary would not have any effect on the company’s financial status. Stuart Diamond in his book Getting More states that negotiations are more about emotions than logic. It is therefore of paramount importance that the parties be on good terms. I recently worked in a law firm and a husband wanted to divorce his wife because they could not sort their differences out. From his demanour and speech you could immediately feel the anger and hatred between the two. I had to sit down with her lawyer as well and determine how the property would be shared out. Our client the husband was very wealthy before the marriage but he only truly cared about a certain piece of property that he had inherited from his father. He was willing to lose everything else but not that one. Acquiring this property was