Assignment 2 (Part B) – Requirements and Marking Criteria
Form: Individual assessment
Length: 2250 words excluding executive summary, reference list and any appendices
Submission: via Turnitin
Part B: Your organisation and its Strategic Service Vision (Stages 3&4)
Continuing on from your first assessment, Part B will once again be structured around Heskett’s ‘strategic service vision’ framework although your focus will be specifically on stages three and four. Your role will be to develop an ‘operating strategy’ and discuss those relevant features of the ‘service delivery system’.
In addition to the above, the following questions/tasks should be addressed:
Productivity and quality are both key facets of the service process. Using the academic literature, explain how your organisation will balance the quality of its service whilst maximising its productivity.
Construct a simple blueprint for one service process in your organisation.
Select any two methods for managing capacity and explain how these could be used to better match supply and demand for a service offered by your organisation.
Explain how your employees can affect the quality of service received by your external customer. What measurements could you use to gauge and manage the satisfaction of your employees?
Choose any service quality model as described in Chapter 11, and analyse and apply the model to your own organisation.
Guidelines to your Strategic Service Vision report – Part B
Once again, this assessment is designed as an experiential learning exercise by having you apply theoretical concepts to a potential real-world situation in a critical manner. Remember that you should adopt the mindset of a real business owner/investor for the organisation you have elected to base your report on.
The report should conform to the following format, and should also include a professionally laid out table of contents prior to the executive summary:
An executive summary of a report is just that, a summary (and is not included in your total word count for this assessment). It contains a statement of report purpose and an overview of the actual and specific findings. For this assessment, it should be no longer than one page. The summary can only be written after you have completed your report. Write in past tense (e.g. The purpose of this report was to…). If an executive summary is well written the reader should be able to understand the main points, findings, and conclusions of the actual report without having to read the full report.
Section one – Introduction
This is a brief statement of the purpose of the report, what its objectives are, and an overview of how the report is structured. To assist in continuity, you may wish to highlight key elements of Part A.
Section two – Operating strategy
As you will see from Heskett’s framework, you need to identify the important elements of the strategy although mindful of the Service Management Trinity, limit your discussion to Operations, Marketing and Human Resources. There are several ways in which you can approach this. For example, you may wish to discuss each department separately, identifying various objectives and strategy. You would then need to identify the various links between these departments with a goal of providing quality customer service. Alternatively, you might like to use Martin’s (1989) model (refer to Topic 4) as a framework for your discussion. These are suggestions however you may choose other ways to present this.
Section three – Service blueprint
You are to prepare a service blueprint here. Once again you are limited only by your imagination. You are to identify and discuss the critical points within the service delivery process that are likely to have a significant bearing on the customer’s experience. Clarify why these points in the process are particularly important and how you would manage them.
Section four – The service delivery system
This is your opportunity to detail some of those actions that will support your strategy. Topic 2 identifies some important questions although you need to focus specifically on the following:
1. What should be the nature of the service process at each step?
2. What should be the serving protocol – reservations system, first-come, first served, or a priority system for certain types of customers?
3. Given that services are perishable, what capacity management issues do you foresee and how do you plan to address these issues.
In addition, you should address question 1, regarding productivity and quality. As each organisation will address these differently, aim to discuss the trade-offs that are relevant to your chosen organisation and seek to support this with academic literature.
Section five – Service employee management
As noted by Lovelock et al. (2014), the encounter with service staff is often the most important aspect of a service. Given this importance, it is prudent to attract and hire employees that add value and gain your organisation a competitive advantage. This can present many management issues such as training and staff retention. Discuss how your employees can affect the quality received by your customers. Furthermore, how will you gauge and manage the satisfaction of your employees.
Section six – Quality management measures
This final section will draw upon information discussed in Topic 4. Although an essential element of this section is to identify a service quality model such as that discussed in Chapter 12 of your text, you are to bring together many of the service provisions discussed previously, which will ensure the provision of quality services. To get you started, you may wish to develop a ‘service guarantee’ and match elements of this guarantee to some of the key aspects of the service delivery system or employee management.
Section seven – Conclusion
Within this section restate the purpose of the report, then provide an overview of main points covered in your analysis. Ensure that you do not include any new information, only that which has been discussed within the main body of the report.
All works cited must be included in your reference list. Citations must conform to the Harvard referencing style as presented by Summers and Smith (2010), a copy of which will be available on MySCU.
This is an optional section in which you are able to place relevant material which would have otherwise disrupted the logical flow of your report e.g. business data reports. Material included in this section will not count towards the overall word count for this assessment.
The marking criteria for this assessment can be categorised as general – which apply to the report as a whole; and specific – which apply to specific sections of the report (as outlined above).
Marks for this assignment will be apportioned as follows:
Section 2 Operating strategy 6 Marks
Section 3 Service Blueprint 6 Marks
Section 4 The service delivery system 6 Marks
Section 5 Service employee management 6 Marks
Section 6 Quality management measures 6 Marks
Referencing (in-text referencing) 1 Marks
Reference List (relevance and consistency) 2 Marks
Presentation (table of contents, executive summary, intro and conclusion) 2 Marks
Total 35 Marks
General marking criteria
Below are three general marking criteria that will be used to mark your report:
Demonstrated ability to critically analyse sources
You are expected to ask critical questions of the material you read. Only minimal marks will be awarded in cases where you have merely re-stated what the authors have already said. Can you identify any potential flaws in the concepts? Is there a difference in opinion between scholars? Who do you think is right, and why? These are potential areas of critical analysis you could focus on.
Evidence of original thought and creativity
You must show that you have developed an ability to think about how the theories and concepts covered might be applied in the real world.
Quality of presentation structure; overall content; quality of bibliographic details; written expression
You should present your work in a logical, easy to read format. It should also conform to the structure outlined previously. Students will be marked down for poor written expression, bad grammar, and spelling errors. The expectation is that you have the ability to hone your writing skills, and should thus present well written and presented work. Correct referencing, both in-text and reference list, is essential. You should ensure that your referencing conforms to the style set out in the Summers and Smith (2010) style guide. A copy of this style guide will be posted on the MySCU site for this unit.
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