1. Among the critical skills for front line supervisors are analyzing the business via performance reports, developing plans to improve performance, and implementing those plans.
Read the following scenario: You are a new supervisor for one of your company’s departments. You have only been on the job for a couple of days when your manager pulls you aside to express her concern over the department’s performance. She shares the following information with you:
(YTD = Year-to-Date; QTD = Quarter-to-Date; MTD = Month-to-Date; LW = Last Week)
YTD Actual – $720,186
QTD Actual – $325,598
MTD Actual – $64,580
LW Actual – $31,169
YTD Plan – $766,341
QTD Plan – $350,152
MTD Plan – $70,725
LW Plan – $36,053
% of gross margin (GM) plan data:
YTD – 98.25%
QTD – 98.47%
MTD – 98.56%
LW – 99.11%
% of Employee Availability over Last Year to Date:
YTD – 97.00%
QTD – 95.70%
MTD – 95.72%
LW – 94.35%
2. She asks you to investigate what’s been going on in the department to explain the performance data. She also wants you to chart the data and identify any trends you discover. This is good, since you know from your studies that trend analysis is a good way to analyze past performance and make predictions about future expectations.
3. After visiting with employees who have worked in the department for the last six months or longer, you have discovered a lot of information. About five and a half months ago, vendor representatives spent two days conducting extensive product knowledge and training on many of the higher margin products in the department. Beginning about the same time, a new IT vendor came in to do an upgrade on the computers and software used in the department. However, some of the new software was not available in time for the upgrade and the old software was not fully cleared from the department computers. The new IT vendor still has problems completing the upgrades, and virtually all department employees spend some of their shifts tracking down old software applications and clearing them from the department’s computers. Two of the employees who previously worked in the department are no longer there. One was injured in a car accident approximately four and a half months ago and has not yet returned to work. The other employee left the company three months ago to move to another state. These particular employees had not participated in the vendor training that took place. However, they did spend quite a bit of time managing the department’s IT hardware and software issues, while other employees focused on taking care of the rest of the department’s activities.
4. In order to satisfy your manager’s directions, you will need to complete the following steps:
Create 3 separate line graphs – one for each of the data sets (3) that your manager provided to you – Sales, % of GM plan, and % of Employee Availability over Last Year to Date: (Hint – You will need to convert the Sales data into % of Plan in order to chart the data). Insert trend lines in each of your individual line graphs.
Once you have completed your individual line graphs, prepare another graph that combines all of the data from the three individual graphs. Again, insert trend lines for each data series. Use the information in your completed charts to identify trends, determine possible causes using one of the root-cause analysis techniques, and make predictions based on qualitative (interviews with employees) and quantitative (charts and trend lines) information.
Based on the results of your critical analysis of the above information, identify opportunities for improvement in the department, and outline a six-month action plan for implementing those improvements. Use the three performance measures in your graphs to help you identify opportunities and develop your plan. Explain which contemporary management theory you will use to implement your plan, and why following your plan will ensure that the current situation will not be repeated. Be specific in defining your plan and be sure to include a timeline for implementing the recommended improvements. Paste your four charts (the three individual charts and one chart with three lines representing the combined data) into your paper after the Reference page.
5. Present and defend your conclusions, recommendations, and six-month action plan in a six-page (minimum) paper, not counting the title page, abstract, reference page, or pages containing your charts. Use at least two outside sources to support your work.
Format Instructions: For this assignment, at a minimum, your paper must be double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1” margins on all sides. It must consist of a title page, body of the paper, and a reference page. A running head and page numbers must be included per APA style guidelines. Since outside sources are required on this assignment, APA style In-Text citations must be included in the body of the paper.
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