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Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about ‘the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.’

This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

And I submit that this is what the real, no-bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.

 

AND

 

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving…. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • This Is Water: David Foster Wallace on Life
  • #Leadership

in case you want to watch the full video. The best part starts at 9:51. Definition of success.

 

"enjoy the process of the search without succumbing to the pressure of the result."

 

 

 

 

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Will Ferrell | USC Commencement Speech - Definition of Success
  • #leadership

In fact, as our site grew I came to be suspicious of the very idea of best practices and got in the habit of saying: “Best practices are for amateurs.”

 

Divergent thinking is different from creative thinking. It’s not the ability to come up with an original idea, but the ability to come up with lots of different answers to the same question. Divergent thinking looks more like insatiable curiosity than like original ideas. It is an essential skill for innovation because it provides team members with the foundation to create great tests. The goal is to gradually change a company’s culture from one of finding the right answer to one of exploring and testing many possible answers.

You can teach divergent thinking in a number of ways:

  • Ask your team members to come up with 15 solutions to a problem the company is currently facing.
  • Examine your company’s blueprints and ask your staff, from execs to interns, “How many ways could we rearrange our space to make our work more efficient?”
  • Make 20 mockups for every design change.
  • My personal favorite: If you are a manager, stop answering questions. Instead, respond with, “What do you think?” And then wait. After an answer is given ask, “What else?” And then wait. Repeat five to seven more times.

 

In order to break the “playing it safe” habit, the first thing the team needed to hear me say was, “A 95% fail rate means you are doing a great job! No, not just a great job — a fantastic job!”

For the whole company to succeed, smaller teams must have varying rates of success and failure. That’s how a company cycles through enough innovative ideas to arrive at a few successful ones. But often that looks like failure to insulated team members who may not be looking at the big picture every day. They become convinced they must be doing something wrong, which drives them to seek and implement best practices, as all the other “successful” companies must be doing.

 

Don’t use what you learn to create rules; use what you learn to push your team into even more exciting experiments. When you adopt a practice of continuous experimentation and curiosity, innovation will follow.

 
  • by Arsames Qajar
  • How to Push Your Team to Take Risks and Experiment
  • #Leadership
  • by JoinIN Team
  • These are the arguments against net neutrality — and why they’re wrong
  • #Other

Highlight here to start!

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • We Need More Alternatives to Facebook
  • #Other

Unsurprisingly, these stereotypes seem to have played a role in who got funding and who didn’t. Women entrepreneurs were only awarded, on average, 25% of the applied-for amount, whereas men received, on average, 52% of what they asked for. Women were also denied financing to a greater extent than men, with close to 53% of women having their applications dismissed, compared with 38% of men. This is remarkable, given that government VCs are required to take into account national and European equality criteria and multiple gender requirements in their financial decision making.

When we presented our results to the government VCs, there were many reactions. At a national level, our findings had a positive impact and came to influence the development of a new strategy for the distribution of government VC funds. They also influenced the development of new regulations. At the organizational and individual levels, the VCs reacted with a mixture of emotions: despair for being involved in creating bias, denial of being part of it, becoming upset with the facts, and feeling relief about the fact that gender bias was finally becoming transparent.

  • by JoinIN Team
  • Recorded VCs’ Conversations and Analyzed How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs
  • #Venture Capital
  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Google, Not the Government, Is Building the Future
  • #Software

Highlight here to start!

  • by Pawel Jaszczurowski
  • Google Moves into Job Boards Market
  • #Software

And I felt a bit better. Because if Neil Armstrong felt like an imposter, maybe everyone did. Maybe there weren’t any grown-ups, only people who had worked hard and also got lucky and were slightly out of their depth, all of us doing the best job we could, which is all we can really hope for.

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Neil Gaiman & imposter syndrome
  • #Other
  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Reactide is the first dedicated IDE for React web application development.
  • #Coding/Programming

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

This is what is sometimes missing from the debate around algorithms in our lives: A voice that speaks with clarity about how faulty algorithms are worsening inequality in our world. In addition to explaining the math, she makes an impassioned argument against the growing over-reliance on totally opaque models that are often biased and downright incorrect.

 

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class–and What We Can Do About It

The fact that even in these progressive cities, the poor get poorer, equality is worsening, and the benefits are seen mainly by the well-off. “So which is it,” he asks early on in the book, as much to himself as to us, “Are cities the great engines of innovation, the models of economic and social progress, that the optimists celebrate, or are they the zones of gaping inequality and class divisions that the pessimists decry?”

 

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future

The point, as Ito puts it? “Our technologies have outpaced our ability, as a society, to understand them.”

 

Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games

Really, it’s about how we as a culture have totally misunderstood what play and fun really are. Bogost explains that fun comes from restrictions, rules, and tensions, not freedom.”Fun isn’t pleasure, it turns out,” he writes. “Fun is the feeling of finding something new in a familiar situation. Fun almost demands boredom: you need the sense that nothing good could possibly arise from an experience in order for the experience there to smolder with the hot pleasure of surprise.”

 

 

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

“public-private surveillance partnership” between the government and corporations, makes us “less safe… and less free.”

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Want To Understand The Future Of Design?
  • #Design

Also a good link on this subject -

 

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/alex-schultz-growth/

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • How to Get Users
  • #Business Dev
  • by Fernando Lucchini
  • PICO Final Report
  • #Project Management

One student told me that a friend of hers had left Yale because she found the school "stifling to the parts of yourself that you'd call a soul."

and

This system is exacerbating inequality, retarding social mobility, perpetuating privilege, and creating an elite that is isolated from the society that it's supposed to lead.

  • Peter Thiel's Fellowship offers students $100,000 over two years to drop out of school. The offer shocked me when I first heard of it. On meeting a few ThielFellows, all outstanding, and seeing how traditional universities can stifle many (not all!) students, I saw value in his approach and attack.
  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Expert Say Colleges and Universities Are Broken
  • #Other

The DMN needs this energy because it is doing anything but resting. Under the brain’s conscious radar, it activates old memories, goes back and forth between the past, present, and future, and recombines different ideas. Using this new and previously inaccessible data, you develop enhanced self-awareness and a sense of personal relevance. And you can imagine creative solutions or predict the future, thereby leading to better decision-making too. The DMN also helps you tune into other people’s thinking, thereby improving team understanding and cohesion.

 

Take naps, pretend to be someone else, let your mind wander in a positive way. Be mindful of what you do!

  • by JoinIN Team
  • Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus
  • #Leadership
  • by Elizabeth Fournier
  • QuickBooks ProAdvisor
  • #Accounting Services

Great Ted Talk on what we need more than intelligence is empathy and understanding.

 

It's time for liberals and conservatives to put aside their political differences and really listen to each other, says political pundit Sally Kohn. In this optimistic talk, Kohn shares what she learned as a progressive lesbian talking head on Fox News. It's not about political correctness, she says, but rather, emotional correctness.

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • Let's try emotional correctness | Sally Kohn
  • #Other
  • by Chelsea Blanchard
  • Final Business Case Write-up
  • #Business Dev
  • by Annie Wang
  • WWT Group 5 Final Deliverable
  • #Other

Here's the original video @ ted - https://www.ted.com/talks/ray_kurzweil_get_ready_for_hybrid_thinking

 

Who is Ray?

 

Inventor, entrepreneur, visionary, Ray Kurzweil's accomplishments read as a startling series of firsts -- a litany of technological breakthroughs we've come to take for granted. Kurzweil invented the first optical character recognition (OCR) software for transforming the written word into data, the first print-to-speech software for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, and the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.

Yet his impact as a futurist and philosopher is no less significant. In his best-selling books, which include How to Create a Mind, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Kurzweil depicts in detail a portrait of the human condition over the next few decades, as accelerating technologies forever blur the line between human and machine.

In 2009, he unveiled Singularity University, an institution that aims to "assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies." He is a Director of Engineering at Google, where he heads up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language comprehension.

  • by Arsames Qajar
  • "Get ready for hybrid thinking" by Ray Kurzweil
  • #Other
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Why You Should Really Stop Using Public WIFI (HBR)
  • #General Business
  • by Annie Wang
  • WWT BPMN
  • #Other
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Help Us Expand the Learning
  • #general business

 

Interesting article on ML and DS - http://fortune.com/ai-artificial-intelligence-deep-machine-learning/

 

The most remarkable thing about neural nets is that no human being has programmed a computer to perform any of the stunts described above. In fact, no human could. Programmers have, rather, fed the computer a learning algorithm, exposed it to terabytes of data—hundreds of thousands of images or years’ worth of speech samples—to train it, and have then allowed the computer to figure out for itself how to recognize the desired objects, words, or sentences.

Venture capitalists, who didn’t even know what deep learning was five years ago, today are wary of startups that don’t have it. “We’re now living in an age,” Chen observes, “where it’s going to be mandatory for people building sophisticated software applications.” People will soon demand, he says, “ ‘Where’s your natural-language processing version?’ ‘How do I talk to your app? Because I don’t want to have to click through menus.’ ”

 

 

 

 

  • by Arthur Read
  • Neural Nets and the Future of Software
  • #Coding/Programming
  • by Sonya Sepahban
  • Be the Very Best Version of Yourself
  • #other
  • by Carmel Boss
  • CoAbode
  • #Human Resources
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Facts and Figures about Fundraising
  • #Angel/Seed
  • by Chelsea Blanchard
  • Final Presentation Powerpoint
  • #Business Dev

SPONSORSHIP

  • Talking points / pitch
  • Slide Deck
  • Tiers of who to contact
  • Recommendations
    • When to crowd source?
    • Who to contact first? - Tiers
    • Food sponsorship
    • How to lower costs



SMALL BUSINESS RECRUITMENT

  • Application
    • Contact Name
    • Contact phone / email
    • Company name
    • Website link if they already have one
    • Street Address (if applicable)
    • Will you be the main point of contact for this project?
      • If not, who will be?
    • Will the primary contact be available between (**start of project**) and (**end of project**)?
    • Will you be available for weekly (*or as frequent as needed*) phone calls with your team?
    • Project proposal
      • What do you hope to get out of the project?
  • Pitch - Chamber of Commerce
  • Pitch - Individual Small Businesses
  • Appendix - notes from talking to them
    • What they find important -- add to pitches



MARKETING / BRANDING

  • Why marketing is important -
    • Case studies explaining why it is important
  • Website
    • First thing
    • Squarespace
  • Facebook
  • Instagram




INSTRUCTORS

  • Application - Google Form
  • Pitch / job description  
  • List of contacts
    • ITP Web development professors / professors at other schools
      • Map of schools around area / list of contacts
  • Distribution channels
    • Connect SC / other recruiting channels
    • Sorority / fraternities
    • Web development departments at universities

 

TECHNOLOGY

  • Pace-layered Strategy
    • Systems of Record -- Google Suite
    • System of Differentiation -- recommendation based (future) - how they market program / use facebook / social media





  • by Chelsea Blanchard
  • Outline for final deliverables
  • #Business Dev

Concrete Deliverables

  • Script -- To pitch the program to small businesses
  • PowerPoint deck & script/ talking points for sponsors

 

Hack the Hood --

Your Lifeline

 

Satellites -- another non profit w/ program name and operates a hack the hood curriculum as a program offering

  • Services to the community
  • You’re lifeline program
    • Life skills workshop
    • Hack the hood (tech skills training)
      • Facility is established
      • Partnership orgs -- Safe place for youths
        • *Can she send us a full list?
        • Orgs for the hack the hood piece
      • Chambers of commerce
        • Crenshaw
        • Inglewood
        • Crenshaw
        • LA South
      • Business District
        • Project is all digital -- doesn’t necessarily have to be in the neighborhood itself
    • Services
      • Make things available to the community

 

Location

  • Donations would be donated to a rec center
  • Definitely want to stay in that location because they have developed the relationships there

 

Sponsorships

  • In-kind donations
    • TV donations
    • Computer carts
    • Meals
      • Lunches
    • Field Trips
    • Long-term internships / mentorship opportunities
  • Instructors
    • Paid to do 2-week training

 

Tech companies trying to diversify the workforce

Bridging income gap -- offering employment opportunities to those without a college degree

  • Less access to a college degree
  • Find articles like that to make the case for sponsors

 

How can we bridge the gap?

→ do we have to make it a requirement to get a 4-year degree at a tech company?



*Willing to switch up how instruction works

  • Have 1 part time
  • 1 full time

 

*Small business component

  • How do you work with the business community
  • 5 businesses, 2 youth per business
  • Website then works with tech firm for support
    • They just build the foundation
  • by Chelsea Blanchard
  • Notes from meeting with Collette
  • #Business Dev

Highlight here to start!

  • by Mert Sezgen
  • Updated Business Case
  • #Business Dev
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Is this end of Venture Capital as we know it?
  • #Venture Capital
  • by Tran Situ
  • Mixalot Business Case (revised 4/20/17)
  • #Business Dev
  • by Julianne Nordhagen
  • Team Meeting 4/20
  • #Project Management
  • by Ke Zhao
  • BUILD's Job Posting Example
  • #human resources
  • by Ke Zhao
  • Report to Client 4/14
  • #general business

Sonya spoke to your client

"The to-be is definitely a help. However, its more like an outline and there's not enough meat on the bones.  A lot of N Calif isn't applicable down here and they won't give us stuff.  Would love example emails, scripts, templates be helpful. These would be very helpful.  Provides meat on the bones."

Maybe you could do the templates in Snappii so its available through her mobile?  Maybe create a list of people she could contact?    

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Further clarification from client about what to do next
  • #Other
  • by Kunal Bhatia
  • How I accidentally ran a research sprint on Twitter...
  • #design
  • by Cheryl Tolentino
  • USC + Pico Meeting 4/12/17
  • #other

3 Different Types of Change

  1. Keeping the lights on
  2. Growing the company – we are not giving help to grow the company, and we need to add value
  • Start thinking about her clients
    • What her clients need, what Rachel can give what her clients want
    • Prioritize things
  • Have prototypes that we can show her, give her options
  • Look at it with a different standpoint than focus on the one piece of technology that can take on the whole thing (focus on the end-to-end process, where she fits that and where the technology fits in that)
    • Get details on how to do that
  • We can help her with externally efficiency
  • Taking the information and going specific
  1. Transforming the company
  • by Larry Tang
  • Meeting Notes 4.12
  • #Business Dev

Start with a simple system by tracking and reporting only a few student projects that are the most successful. While students are doing their projects, the more successful projects are identified by the school and reported to BUILD. BUILD will then send its intern photographers and journalist/reporters to meet with these student groups regularly to take pictures and collect needed information to track their progress. Intern reporters will summarize the progress of student projects in the form of journals. They then upload the journals onto BUILD’s social media platform (Facebook) and also email journals to subscribed donors directly.

 

This simple system can help to quickly get a useful system in place. As donors, BUILD staffs, and students begin to work with the system sooner, they are more likely to identify important additional requirements (such as what kind of interactions/connections do donors and students prefer), which will help to develop future versions of the system.


We can expand the system in the future if things go well. The fully established system will be able to connect a donor directly with a student group that receives the donor’s money. However, several criteria have to be satisfied in order to expand the system. For example, student groups have to be willing & feel comfortable to connect with donors directly. Students have also to be willing to share their personal information and photos. When a donor makes a donation, if the donation is large in amount & repeated, BUILD will connect the donor directly with a student group that will receive the donation. Student groups will thus be able to directly communicate with their sponsors in the form the email exchanges. However, the quality of such kind of direct interaction/connect may be hardly controlled.e.g. there might be a lack of responses from students. It may be hard to ensure a good and consistent experience for donors. So we would suggest using a controlled system/environment in which student-donor interactions take place, such as through a local event & through  email/social media updates from BUILD. In this case, BUILD will need to recruit more manpower (photographers and reporters) to track the progress of more student projects.

 

Long-term sustainability: students should learn to take pictures, write comments, and tell stories. But we understand that in order for them to be able to perform these tasks on their own, they need both motivation and guidance. Maybe we can come up with a technology to make these tasks easier for students to do (e.g. Google form, Google drive, social media).

  • by Ke Zhao
  • 4/10 Class Discussion Summary
  • #business dev
  • by JoinIN Team
  • GEC 2017 in Africa
  • #general business

Dear Yoga Wake-up Team (Mert, Shiv, Clayton, Jack, Forrest):

Feedback for Interim Project Deliverables for April 5.  Due: DRAFT System Request Form + To-Be _ Business Case _ List of how to-be is different from as-is. 

Please remember the following as you prepare for the final deliverable for May 8th, but remember that the presentation to the clients on April 26th  at which time the award will be presented and you will receive final feedback from the client for the final deliverable. 

Final deliverable due on date of Final consists of following elements (accounts for 25% of class grade) 

  • Executive Summary describing the business process & software change you recommend
  • Business Case for the change
  • System Request Form and explanation of critical thinking
  • Description of how you used the Requirements Gathering and analysis techniques to identify opportunities for change from inside and outside the organization
  • User stories describing how the change you recommend would be used
  • To-Be business process part of the change using rules for BPR
  • How different from as-is is the TO-BE, and how are you planning on closing the gap (i.e., change management plan)
  • Requirements document for software
  • Use Case Diagrams for software
  • SaaS Software (i.e., online software or software-as-a-service) you recommend indicating what parts of the business process the software would enable & how it compares to the alternatives in terms of meeting requirements
  • How rapid prototyping of the use of the software with the to-be process was conducted and the results of that rapid prototyping in terms of changes to the requirements or software recommendations or business process
  • Joint Reflection Exercise: Set of at least 10 practices drawn from the class for conducting business/technology process analysis and design that you used during your client project and reflections about their use (what practices seemed to work the best, improvements you made to the practices, how used them, recommendations you would make to others)
  • Peer Evaluations. Sent/given to professor separately

 

Evaluation criteria for the Final Deliverable:

  • Client evaluation form that student team has provided the client with a business process and software recommendations that are: a) detailed, b) novel/unexpected/non-obvious/creative from the client point of view, and c) helpful to the client’s needs
  • Each element is accurate, of high quality, detailed, demonstrates critical thinking (see syllabus for explanation of critical thinking)
  • Business process changes reflect significant effort to understand market needs of client and are judged by the instructor in terms of the level of detail, novelty, and helpfulness
  • Software recommendations reflect a detailed analysis of alternatives, deep connection to the requirements, use cases, business process, and prototyping conducted, and creativity.
  • Seriousness with which the project was undertaken, continuous involvement in client project (vs waiting until the end), iterations to improve each element of the work (vs doing it once)
  • Presentation shows deep knowledge of client needs and class materials, demonstrates how software will enable the to-be process, is considerably more than simple powerpoints
  • Peer evaluations of each individual team members’ contribution to the project in terms of: which elements they did NOT contribute to, which elements they showed the greatest creativity, which elements they showed the greatest depth of the knowledge of the class material, understanding of how to fit client needs with class material, and ease of coordination.
  • Use of joinin.la to effectively communicate with client
  • Maintaining your own joininla.com “playbook” for all of your work

 

PROFESSOR Rating:

 Check/Checkplus based on degree of progress from last time

Sonya feedback also includes a rating of 1-5 stars defined as follows:

*         Poor

**      Needs Work

***      OK

****      Good

*****    Great

 

Overall comments From Sonya to all teams:

  • A key step of translating client's functional requirements to lower level specs/criteria to identify and assess alternatives seems to be missing. In specific recommendations, I've provided some detail as appropriate.
  • The Risks sections need more work to relate to specific aspects of the business that may lead to or result in negative consequences and how they can be avoided. Some of the risk sections come across as discouraging the clients from adopting the recommendations!
  • Where "as is" and "to be" processes have been shared, they are not legible. Magnifying some sections and highlighting changes by referencing back to the magnified sections would help.
  • Most of the students don't seem to have a full grasp of different sections of the business case document, so they tend to repeat the same information in slightly different ways.  I'd stress to them, in industry (especially in the startup world), brevity and clear communications are critical.
  • It’s time to develop the functional requirements in detail; so the leap to the solutions; time for the specs.

It would be best to offer alternatives for the clients and to evaluate the alternatives against detailed specs

 

FEEDBACK

 

Yoga Wakeup Team JoinIN Feedback  ***

  • Excellent scope definition and description of the client's business.
  • The as-is process parameters are not adequately quantified, e.g. what is total number of yogis on platform, the time currently required to make each recording.
  • There is a leap from requirements and strategic alignment to recommendation of specific solutions. There is a "spec" layer missing, to translate client's functional requirements to selection criteria or specs for the recommendations. Examples may include ease of use, cost, integration with other tools, etc.
  • The alternatives considered are not presented as part of why the recommendations of Calendly and Skype emerged as the top choices. For example, I'm curious about choice of Skype versus Google Hangout. For a small company, integration is most important for efficiency, and given most of the world is already on Google Drive and gmail, Google Hangouts seems like a reasonable approach from ease of integration perspective. 
  • Couple of business process changes could have been considered: 1) Simply limit the # of yogis initially, and focus on getting multiple high quality recordings with fewer number of yogis.  As a Yoga Wakeup user, I find there are many choices that are not easily searchable on their App, so limiting number of yogis initially may be a reasonable approach; 2) Create a Yogi portal on the client's web site with all the necessary information, contract forms, instructions for recording, etc that the Yogis can download themselves, completely eliminating the need for e-mails to communicate this info. 

 

PROFESSOR FEEDBACK (check plus):

Business Case Executive Summary:  There seems to be some misunderstanding about the purpose of the project based on the Executive Summary.  The purpose of the project, as indicated in Project Description posted in Blackboard at the beginning of the class is to “creatively define a business process to help a real organization generate revenue and identify the appropriate online software (SaaS) that can help to implement parts of the business process.”  The executive summary does not touch discuss any of this.  In your sentence, your  focus on problems for recruiting, scheduling and recording fails to make it clear how this is connected to revenue. Your second sentence focuses exclusively on 2 software solutions, rather than changes to the process as specified in the purpose.  Please remember that “creativity” should be clearly present throughout the paper and in your recommendations.    

Business Case Purpose: Please eliminate vague “mom and apple pie” type sentences which are so vague that they are not specific to the company, such as the entire second paragraph.  The purpose of the document should tie to the specifics of the company and the decisions they need to make at this juncture in their growth, and why those decisions are important to them.  Describe the company’s pain points and how this documents helps them to understand the pain points.  The bullets should talk about analyzing to-be options, not just SaaS solutions.  

Business Case Approach:  This should include formal analysis of the as-is, as well as the range of methods discussed in class. Please be sure and include both multiple internal methods discussed in Class 9 (e.g., you have 2) as well as externally-focused methods (e.g., benchmarking).  Indicate # of meetings, who you talked to, and when and what questions you asked.  Functional Requirements are really your business requirements (e.g., the Patterson business requirements bullets in the Patterson Systems Request Form).  These are certainly reasonable business requirements, but they are not clearly tied to revenue generation. 

Business Case Project Description and Objectives:  Please clarify if there are four pillars or 3.  These should correspond to the 2 business requirements in Section 3, but they appear to be ignoring recruiting. There needs to be clear objectives.  Can you make “we hope to streamline and consolidate these processes” into a SMART objective (e.g., Specific – target a specific area for improvement; Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress; Agreed upon – specify who will do it; Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources; Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved). The specific objectives come from the Class 19 lecture on the 3 different forms of metrics (remember you are not doing “run-the-business” improvements but grow or transform the business metrics). Remember the FREP business was structured for a slightly different purpose so they didn’t describe their metrics in this way, so you can’t do an exact copy. The project description is equivalent to our Systems Request Form.  Please put that in there instead of what you have. It is in this section where you talk about specific

Business Case Risk Assessment: Please separate the risks into economic/market, technical, and economic as described in your textbook for Feasibility Analysis.  Each risk should be judged based on degree of impact (e.g., importance, likelihood) to achieving organizational goals, project objectives and the high level business requirements. In other words, the whole document should fit together. Then describe how you will ensure that the risks are minimized. By describing the technical risks, the notion of “using a multitude of software services” (p8) would show a problem.

Business Case Stakeholders:  The 3 stakeholders you’ve identified really make good sense. We would recommend that you try and speak to at least 3 Yogis very soon so that you can decided whether a platform or hub is a good idea.  The identification of the objectives of each stakeholder is well done.  Now, you just need to integrate those objectives into what was written before, and your thoughts about recommendations. Turn this into a table, with one column their objectives (and benefits they hope to achieve) and another column the concerns they have.

Business Case Strategic Alignment:  This is a really nice table.  The right hand column can become the objectives of the project since they are measureable and specific.  The tie to the organization’s goals are good.  The third PAR of providing a technical solution should be enlarged to think about providing a new process and technical solution.

Business Case Options Assessed by Costs and Benefits. Note that the FREP Business Case example shows that Section 11.4 should first describe the options before they are evaluated.  Please put that in a separate section.  The options should be both process changes as well as technology changes as a package of changes.  You evaluate the options for costs and benefits based on achieving organizational goals, project objectives and the high level business requirements as well as the technical, economic, and organizational risks that you identified.  At this juncture you were not yet asked to create a requirements document, so note that the list of requirements will be added as an additional factor in your analysis of the option.  Create a matrix such as shown in page 14 of the FREP case.  The rows can be your options, and the columns can include all the factors: achieving organizational goals, project objectives and the high level business requirements as well as the technical, economic, and organizational risks. 

Business Case Recommendations:  Recommendations are well articulated.  They just need to include changes to the to-be, and to show how this ties back to revenue. 

System Request Form Business Need:  The Business need has a great 2nd bullet.  The first bullet is a bit out of sorts since it isn’t tied to any pain point that the business is experiencing, which is what the business need section is focused on.  The last bullet (forth should be fourth) should be tied to the business pain point as well.

System Request Form High-Level requirements.  These should be called “Business” requirements, because you have yet to develop specific functional requirements.  We like the 6 high-level business requirements.  It’s not clear though where these are incorporated into the business case. 

System Request Form Business Value: Be a bit more specific about the cause-effect: “to capture a larger customer based by having more time(?) to market?  But also remember that this cause-effect logic assumes the client will use his/her time for marketing; instead, the options you surface should be helping with that. 

System Request form Constraints:  Constrains should be Constraints.  Be sure and expand these to non-technical as well, such as organizational

To-Be BPMN:  There should be the technologies as a role that performs some of the tasks.  The To-Be should include artifacts (e.g., databases, documents).  It’s difficult to read (even with zooming) so use sub-processes. The role of the hub isn’t clear in the to-be particularly with respect to the company staff.  Will need to add more tasks around recording such as suggestions for equipment. It’s now time to place the To-be on top of the as-is so your list of changes that you discuss next are apparent on a single process flow.

List of Changes:  Nice parallelism, nice reduction in non-value added handover, nice ideas.  We look forward to your continued development of changes that will meet the needs of the Yogi, not just the internal staff.

In sum, a lot of nice development. Where to put your effort over the next month: 

  • Figure out how to frame your to-be changes along with the technologies (give it a label; that may help you think instead of Skype technology, you are thinking of Yoga Collaboration, for example).
  • Develop out the idea of the platform and self-recording into the to-be
  • Identify grow or transform metrics for the business value
  • Work on tying all your ideas together into all the documents so there is a flowthrough, rather as separated documents.
  • Work on the risk/feasibility analysis
  • Interview Yogis
  • Pilot some of the technologies (called rapid prototyping)
  • Prepare user stories
  • Prepare use cases
  • Prepare detailed requirements document
  • Prepare change management plan

You might find it useful to look at PICO’s JoinIn site. Since I’ve only met with Mert and Jack, its probably time to meet with all of you once a week to review your progress so we can help keep you on a positive track.  Name a time (M-F and can do by Skype or Uberconference).

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Feedback for April 5 deliverable
  • #Other

Dear WONDER WOMEN TECH Team: (Annie, Inigo, Sarah, Ariel): 

Feedback for Interim Project Deliverables for April 5.  Due: DRAFT System Request Form + To-Be _ Business Case _ List of how to-be is different from as-is. 

Please remember the following as you prepare for the final deliverable for May 8th, but remember that the presentation to the clients on April 26th  at which time the award will be presented and you will receive final feedback from the client for the final deliverable. 

Final deliverable due on date of Final consists of following elements (accounts for 25% of class grade) 

  • Executive Summary describing the business process & software change you recommend
  • Business Case for the change
  • System Request Form and explanation of critical thinking
  • Description of how you used the Requirements Gathering and analysis techniques to identify opportunities for change from inside and outside the organization
  • User stories describing how the change you recommend would be used
  • To-Be business process part of the change using rules for BPR
  • How different from as-is is the TO-BE, and how are you planning on closing the gap (i.e., change management plan)
  • Requirements document for software
  • Use Case Diagrams for software
  • SaaS Software (i.e., online software or software-as-a-service) you recommend indicating what parts of the business process the software would enable & how it compares to the alternatives in terms of meeting requirements
  • How rapid prototyping of the use of the software with the to-be process was conducted and the results of that rapid prototyping in terms of changes to the requirements or software recommendations or business process
  • Joint Reflection Exercise: Set of at least 10 practices drawn from the class for conducting business/technology process analysis and design that you used during your client project and reflections about their use (what practices seemed to work the best, improvements you made to the practices, how used them, recommendations you would make to others)
  • Peer Evaluations. Sent/given to professor separately

 

Evaluation criteria for the Final Deliverable:

  • Client evaluation form that student team has provided the client with a business process and software recommendations that are: a) detailed, b) novel/unexpected/non-obvious/creative from the client point of view, and c) helpful to the client’s needs
  • Each element is accurate, of high quality, detailed, demonstrates critical thinking (see syllabus for explanation of critical thinking)
  • Business process changes reflect significant effort to understand market needs of client and are judged by the instructor in terms of the level of detail, novelty, and helpfulness
  • Software recommendations reflect a detailed analysis of alternatives, deep connection to the requirements, use cases, business process, and prototyping conducted, and creativity.
  • Seriousness with which the project was undertaken, continuous involvement in client project (vs waiting until the end), iterations to improve each element of the work (vs doing it once)
  • Presentation shows deep knowledge of client needs and class materials, demonstrates how software will enable the to-be process, is considerably more than simple powerpoints
  • Peer evaluations of each individual team members’ contribution to the project in terms of: which elements they did NOT contribute to, which elements they showed the greatest creativity, which elements they showed the greatest depth of the knowledge of the class material, understanding of how to fit client needs with class material, and ease of coordination.
  • Use of joinin.la to effectively communicate with client
  • Maintaining your own joininla.com “playbook” for all of your work

 

PROFESSOR Rating:

 Check/Checkplus based on degree of progress from last time

Sonya feedback also includes a rating of 1-5 stars defined as follows:

*         Poor

**      Needs Work

***      OK

****      Good

*****    Great

 

Overall comments From Sonya to all teams:

  • A key step of translating client's functional requirements to lower level specs/criteria to identify and assess alternatives seems to be missing. In specific recommendations, I've provided some detail as appropriate.
  • The Risks sections need more work to relate to specific aspects of the business that may lead to or result in negative consequences and how they can be avoided. Some of the risk sections come across as discouraging the clients from adopting the recommendations!
  • Where "as is" and "to be" processes have been shared, they are not legible. Magnifying some sections and highlighting changes by referencing back to the magnified sections would help.
  • Most of the students don't seem to have a full grasp of different sections of the business case document, so they tend to repeat the same information in slightly different ways.  I'd stress to them, in industry (especially in the startup world), brevity and clear communications are critical.
  • It’s time to develop the functional requirements in detail; so the leap to the solutions; time for the specs.

It would be best to offer alternatives for the clients and to evaluate the alternatives against detailed specs

 

FEEDBACK

 

Wonder Women Tech JoinIN Feedback  ***** 

  • Excellent overall report, and probably the best overall set of specific recommendations, including technology options, although the alternatives that were considered and how they each score with respect to specific criteria are not provided to justify selection of HubSpot
  • Statement of business need and requirements in the System Request Form are too low level. The approach in the Purpose section can be used here. 
  • Although it will certainly help the client's internal operatoins, it's not clear how the recommendations will specifically help retain and grow strategic partners.

 

PROFESSOR COMMENTS (Check Plus)

Very nice Exec Summary. 

System Request Form: the business need should be tied to growth, such as repeat customers because events run smoothly?  Business requirement should be tied to business need of growth, so for example: manage documentation…so that errors with clients are minimized; manage interactions with clients so that client relationships can be based on the latest information, etc. Business Value: increased control isn’t necessarily a business value.  How about: increased likelihood of meeting client needs and expectations.

Project Purpose: the first paragraph should be tied to the business need in the System Request Form.  Note that you are recommended not just the technology but the business process changes needed.

Approach: great start!  Please now divide your approach into information gathering (internal and external; for internal indicate the # of meetings you’ve had; # of interviews.  For external, indicate what programs you have researched and what you learned from each program.  Then describe how you analyzed the as-is process to develop a to-be.  Which heuristics?  Which analysis techniques did you use?

To-Be:  Magnify your process by subprocesses.  There should be swimlanes and technology should be one of the swimlanes if it is doing an activity.  When looking at the to-be, most of the focus seems to be on the contracting process.  Why is that?  In the Executive summary, you say that the biggest problem is to maintain strategic partners of 3 types.  Are there contracts for each of these 3 partners, and that’s the only way to have a relationship with them?  If so, then, to ensure that you are not simply helping to organize a contracting process, but servicing the clients of WWT directly, expand your sites to the original first sentence of the second paragraph in the Executive Summary: “the biggest problem for WWT is in maintaining strategic partners”.  Maintaining a strategic partner is far more than not losing contracts with them.  See if you can help in this larger way.  If there is no difference in activities between exhibitors and speakers, then you don’t divide them as you have done.  Roles are not indicated on the control flows; they are indicated as swim lanes

The as-is to to-be changes aren’t showing up in an obvious way in the to-be.  For example, where is the TEDX or deadlines, or CRM or templates in the to-be.  The templates are a great idea; for your requirements document, please plan to expand on what they look like.  It would appear from the to-be, that you are asking the client to still do everything by email, which still may lead to loss.  Its not clear how your process will avoid that?  Are you designing the data structure for the client?  Remember that the project is to identify a SAAS solution; a database alone is an IAAS (Infrastructure) solution.  Maintaining a strategic partner is far more than not losing contracts with them.  See if you can help in this larger way.

Options are not just technology, they are integrated into the process flow.  Create a matrix where the rows are your options and the columns are the business requirements, risks you identified (where are those?), each stakeholder’s objectives, and feasibility; then in each cell, is where you indicate your analysis.

Stakeholder analysis is the costs and benefits of each option to each stakeholder.  Business Analysts (you) are not stakeholder.  The specific staff working for WWT are stakeholders so break them out into the various things different people do.  Also, specify what is the objective of each stakeholder.

Hubspot sounds like a great suggestion.  Redo the to-be integrating Hubspot as a role and seeing what hubspot can provide for value to the staff and WWT’s clients (maybe as reports? Remember the Skyview minicase?). 

A lot of nice development. Still much work to do as yet, but you’re on your way.

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Feedback for April 5 deliverable
  • #Other

Dear TEAM PICO (Cheryl, Julianne, Alex, Fernando) :

Feedback for Interim Project Deliverables for April 5.  Due: DRAFT System Request Form + To-Be _ Business Case _ List of how to-be is different from as-is. 

Please remember the following as you prepare for the final deliverable for May 8th, but remember that the presentation to the clients on April 26th  at which time the award will be presented and you will receive final feedback from the client for the final deliverable. 

Final deliverable due on date of Final consists of following elements (accounts for 25% of class grade) 

  • Executive Summary describing the business process & software change you recommend
  • Business Case for the change
  • System Request Form and explanation of critical thinking
  • Description of how you used the Requirements Gathering and analysis techniques to identify opportunities for change from inside and outside the organization
  • User stories describing how the change you recommend would be used
  • To-Be business process part of the change using rules for BPR
  • How different from as-is is the TO-BE, and how are you planning on closing the gap (i.e., change management plan)
  • Requirements document for software
  • Use Case Diagrams for software
  • SaaS Software (i.e., online software or software-as-a-service) you recommend indicating what parts of the business process the software would enable & how it compares to the alternatives in terms of meeting requirements
  • How rapid prototyping of the use of the software with the to-be process was conducted and the results of that rapid prototyping in terms of changes to the requirements or software recommendations or business process
  • Joint Reflection Exercise: Set of at least 10 practices drawn from the class for conducting business/technology process analysis and design that you used during your client project and reflections about their use (what practices seemed to work the best, improvements you made to the practices, how used them, recommendations you would make to others)
  • Peer Evaluations. Sent/given to professor separately

 

Evaluation criteria for the Final Deliverable:

  • Client evaluation form that student team has provided the client with a business process and software recommendations that are: a) detailed, b) novel/unexpected/non-obvious/creative from the client point of view, and c) helpful to the client’s needs
  • Each element is accurate, of high quality, detailed, demonstrates critical thinking (see syllabus for explanation of critical thinking)
  • Business process changes reflect significant effort to understand market needs of client and are judged by the instructor in terms of the level of detail, novelty, and helpfulness
  • Software recommendations reflect a detailed analysis of alternatives, deep connection to the requirements, use cases, business process, and prototyping conducted, and creativity.
  • Seriousness with which the project was undertaken, continuous involvement in client project (vs waiting until the end), iterations to improve each element of the work (vs doing it once)
  • Presentation shows deep knowledge of client needs and class materials, demonstrates how software will enable the to-be process, is considerably more than simple powerpoints
  • Peer evaluations of each individual team members’ contribution to the project in terms of: which elements they did NOT contribute to, which elements they showed the greatest creativity, which elements they showed the greatest depth of the knowledge of the class material, understanding of how to fit client needs with class material, and ease of coordination.
  • Use of joinin.la to effectively communicate with client
  • Maintaining your own joininla.com “playbook” for all of your work

 

PROFESSOR Rating:

 Check/Checkplus based on degree of progress from last time

Sonya feedback also includes a rating of 1-5 stars defined as follows:

*         Poor

**      Needs Work

***      OK

****      Good

*****    Great

 

Overall comments From Sonya to all teams:

  • A key step of translating client's functional requirements to lower level specs/criteria to identify and assess alternatives seems to be missing. In specific recommendations, I've provided some detail as appropriate.
  • The Risks sections need more work to relate to specific aspects of the business that may lead to or result in negative consequences and how they can be avoided. Some of the risk sections come across as discouraging the clients from adopting the recommendations!
  • Where "as is" and "to be" processes have been shared, they are not legible. Magnifying some sections and highlighting changes by referencing back to the magnified sections would help.
  • Most of the students don't seem to have a full grasp of different sections of the business case document, so they tend to repeat the same information in slightly different ways.  I'd stress to them, in industry (especially in the startup world), brevity and clear communications are critical.
  • It’s time to develop the functional requirements in detail; so the leap to the solutions; time for the specs.

It would be best to offer alternatives for the clients and to evaluate the alternatives against detailed specs

 

FEEDBACK

 

Pico Team JoinIN Feedback  ***** 

  • The Pico team has excellent grasp of the purpose of each of the sections in the Business Case report, and is clearly superior in their level of effort, thoughtfulness and engagement with the key stakeholders.
  • Since the team went through the trouble of doing in-person interviews and surveys of merchants, it's highly recommended to summarize the key findings, for example the current merchant's communications preferences. This would help put the recommendations provided in context. I'd also recommend they include the survey raw data in the Appendix. PIO would like to see the raw data.  Please reach back out to the UCLA marketing student who wants to help continue this beyond your efforts.  He could start creating templates for you and review your process.  In this way the project could go on.

 

PROFESSOR FEEDBACK  (Check plus)

Please be sure and include an Executive Summary

Project Description and Objectives: Please be sure and talk about the pain points that PIO is experiencing.  The way to phrase your purpose is flip the phrasing: instead of “suggest new technologies and processes to foster communication and engagement” put the business need first: “in order to foster communication and engagement…, new technologies and processes are needed”. Make the list of bullets a bit more specific to PIO, e.g., Identify the various needs of PIO’s stakeholders including the variety of merchants and board members.  Nice list of objectives.

Strategic Approach and Alignment: These are two separate sections.  Alignment talks about how your project objectives align with PIO’s strategy.  Approach talks about your methodology (what you have as the list of steps.  As you develop your approach, please provide more details (# of interviews with whom, surveys, etc; include the survey questions).  Also, specify the processes you defined.  Then, explain how you analyzed the processes.  Remember that we talked about a number of different ways to do the analysis; specify how you did the analysis.  Ensure that you describe both what we called “internal” data gathering (which is the interviews and questionnaires and observation), as well as “external” data gathering (e.g., market research, benchmarking, inspirational models). 

System Request Form: Your first sentence about the information gathering process should be incorporated into the section on approach. Excellent System Request form.

Stakeholder Analysis.  Excellent. Add a column indicating the concerns each have about the project and the benefits/objectives they hope to achieve.  You may want to consider whether there are 2 or 3 types of Pico Merchants (e.g., those who want help from the PIO for their marketing, those who want to be left alone, those who are concerned about how their taxes are being used).

Feasibility Analysis/Risk Assessment:  Excellent

As/Is and To-Be.  You have done a nice job of depicting the 2 processes.  Please note that your as-is is imbalanced; you need another join which will occur after the first join. Also on your to-be, BPMN requires that OR are decision points so indicate what the decision is (e.g., your first “X”).  I’m not sure that first X is properly described since it looks like an and to me.  Similarly with others; so discuss among the team again. You are now ready to place the to-be on top of the as-is, so that the changes are clearer to the client.  By “on-top” is meant that you indicate with cross-outs which tasks are no longer performed, and with color or something which are new tasks.  Its also time to add swimlanes indicating where technologies will be doing some of the activities, and all the roles involved.  Finally, its time to add messages and artifacts. The list of differences from as-is to to-be should then be apparent on a single process model.

List of as-is to to-be differences.  Nice list.  It’s time to start thinking of technologies that can make all this easier for the client.

Recommendations:  Nice list but note that much of the list puts way too much work on the client and is what we call “under-specified”.  At this juncture in the project, that makes sense, but there are tools out there that make it simpler to create monthly newsletters, contact systems, increase online reach.  I would suggest you focus on those tools next so that you are not leaving the client with too much to figure out on their own.  Changes to the website can be suggested as part of requirements document or simply a link to a new website that you create (e.g., on Snappii or something).

All-in-all, nice work.  Check Plus.  Where to put your efforts over the next month:

  • Decide which of your recommendations you will drill down on and leave the client with what we call a ‘turn-key’ system that will work. Rework the to-be process once this turn-key system is identified. The rest of the revisions to the documents and work such as use cases and requirements document should focus on that.  Develop out more than one option.  Get your raw data presentable for PIO
  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Feedback for April 5 deliverable
  • #Other

Dear Team MIXALOT (Arjun, Tran, Larry, Elena):  

Feedback for Interim Project Deliverables for April 5.  Due: DRAFT System Request Form + To-Be _ Business Case _ List of how to-be is different from as-is. 

Please remember the following as you prepare for the final deliverable for May 8th, but remember that the presentation to the clients on April 26th  at which time the award will be presented and you will receive final feedback from the client for the final deliverable. 

Final deliverable due on date of Final consists of following elements (accounts for 25% of class grade) 

  • Executive Summary describing the business process & software change you recommend
  • Business Case for the change
  • System Request Form and explanation of critical thinking
  • Description of how you used the Requirements Gathering and analysis techniques to identify opportunities for change from inside and outside the organization
  • User stories describing how the change you recommend would be used
  • To-Be business process part of the change using rules for BPR
  • How different from as-is is the TO-BE, and how are you planning on closing the gap (i.e., change management plan)
  • Requirements document for software
  • Use Case Diagrams for software
  • SaaS Software (i.e., online software or software-as-a-service) you recommend indicating what parts of the business process the software would enable & how it compares to the alternatives in terms of meeting requirements
  • How rapid prototyping of the use of the software with the to-be process was conducted and the results of that rapid prototyping in terms of changes to the requirements or software recommendations or business process
  • Joint Reflection Exercise: Set of at least 10 practices drawn from the class for conducting business/technology process analysis and design that you used during your client project and reflections about their use (what practices seemed to work the best, improvements you made to the practices, how used them, recommendations you would make to others)
  • Peer Evaluations. Sent/given to professor separately

 

Evaluation criteria for the Final Deliverable:

  • Client evaluation form that student team has provided the client with a business process and software recommendations that are: a) detailed, b) novel/unexpected/non-obvious/creative from the client point of view, and c) helpful to the client’s needs
  • Each element is accurate, of high quality, detailed, demonstrates critical thinking (see syllabus for explanation of critical thinking)
  • Business process changes reflect significant effort to understand market needs of client and are judged by the instructor in terms of the level of detail, novelty, and helpfulness
  • Software recommendations reflect a detailed analysis of alternatives, deep connection to the requirements, use cases, business process, and prototyping conducted, and creativity.
  • Seriousness with which the project was undertaken, continuous involvement in client project (vs waiting until the end), iterations to improve each element of the work (vs doing it once)
  • Presentation shows deep knowledge of client needs and class materials, demonstrates how software will enable the to-be process, is considerably more than simple powerpoints
  • Peer evaluations of each individual team members’ contribution to the project in terms of: which elements they did NOT contribute to, which elements they showed the greatest creativity, which elements they showed the greatest depth of the knowledge of the class material, understanding of how to fit client needs with class material, and ease of coordination.
  • Use of joinin.la to effectively communicate with client
  • Maintaining your own joininla.com “playbook” for all of your work

 

PROFESSOR Rating:

 Check/Checkplus based on degree of progress from last time

Sonya feedback also includes a rating of 1-5 stars defined as follows:

*         Poor

**      Needs Work

***      OK

****      Good

*****    Great

 

Overall comments From Sonya to all teams:

  • A key step of translating client's functional requirements to lower level specs/criteria to identify and assess alternatives seems to be missing. In specific recommendations, I've provided some detail as appropriate.
  • The Risks sections need more work to relate to specific aspects of the business that may lead to or result in negative consequences and how they can be avoided. Some of the risk sections come across as discouraging the clients from adopting the recommendations!
  • Where "as is" and "to be" processes have been shared, they are not legible. Magnifying some sections and highlighting changes by referencing back to the magnified sections would help.
  • Most of the students don't seem to have a full grasp of different sections of the business case document, so they tend to repeat the same information in slightly different ways.  I'd stress to them, in industry (especially in the startup world), brevity and clear communications are critical.
  • It’s time to develop the functional requirements in detail; so the leap to the solutions; time for the specs.

It would be best to offer alternatives for the clients and to evaluate the alternatives against detailed specs

 

 

FEEDBACK

 

Mixalot Team JoinIN Feedback **

  • This team's deliverable is all together pretty high level and missing several key elements, so it is difficult to provide specific feedback.
  • Limitations identified (capital, human resources, etc) need to be better quantified
  • To Be process characteristics are generic and too high level
  • Client wants a process that is quite specific with a technology that will help with report/input/configuration templates.
  • Maybe talk to Wonder Women since both are high-touch but both want technology and processes to help them be more streamlined not just internally but in working with their clients.

 

PROFESSOR FEEDBACK (Check)

Comments from last time: “to-be, cost-benefit were missing, too tool focused, want a workflow system but the to-be workflow isn’t specified; how is analyst providing value isn’t clear; seems to be just automation”

System Request Form: The business need and requirements are a bit too general.  What internal operational processes are you focused on that need to be streamlined, repeatable, scalable, without touchpoints?  What touchpoints are a problem, since companies usually want customers to have lots of touchpoints.  How will the options you recommend will contribute to the growth or transformation of the company (remember the Gartner report on the 3 pillars of digital transformation and we’re only focused on the second and third)?  As indicated in class, you can’t assume that just because you automate someone’s task, that the person will replace the task with growth-related work.  You need to include in your to-be that growth related work that needs to be done.  In other words, bring your causal model (remember the Gartner report on that?) into the to-be process.  The constraint called “flexibility” is not part of the business requirements but scalability is; how did you decide on what was a constraint vs requirement?  What does flexibility mean?  What does conversion location mean as an issue or constraint?

To-be.  You provide a nice to-be overview of the entire company’s process from an internal perspective.  However, as indicated throughout the semester, you need to provide the process from the customer’s perspective as well.  For example, one of the BPI heuristics is to bring the customer to the forefront and provide them more control.  Internal operations are in place to ensure better external support.  Please rethink this since the projects are not simply increasing operational efficiency.  As part of the to-be, there should be a technology role to support the staff, maybe in generating reports of value.  Think about the Skyview Photography mini-case; you need to provide value to every user.  Combining all the roles in Mixalot to one ignores the different roles (e.g., marketing vs contract preparation vs training or whatever.

Business Case: missing many many things such as the executive summary, value statement, stakeholder analysis (its not just a list of stakeholders and “employees” isn’t one), etc. Project objectives should be about your project objectives, e.g., those that determine how you will be evaluated. 

The list of to-be vs as-is isn’t depicted in the to-be.  A centralized data storage isn’t SAAS, it’s called cloud storage which is a I(Infrastructure) AAS.  Rationale for each of these changes in terms of the business requirements is needed.

In sum, over next month, there is much work to be done as yet, including, getting into the to-be in much more detail, deciding which reports need to be generated to provide the value added to the staff and customers, etc.  I am available to meet with you outside of class on a weekly basis to help you move along, M-F by Skype.  Also, don’t forget to reach out to the other projects to get advice.  You might find it useful to look at PICO’s JoinIn site.  

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Feedback for April 5 deliverable
  • #Other

Dear HACK The HOOD (Chelsea, Courtney, Nick, Brock, Johnny):

 

Feedback for Interim Project Deliverables for April 5.  Due: DRAFT System Request Form + To-Be _ Business Case _ List of how to-be is different from as-is. 

Please remember the following as you prepare for the final deliverable for May 8th, but remember that the presentation to the clients on April 26th  at which time the award will be presented and you will receive final feedback from the client for the final deliverable. 

Final deliverable due on date of Final consists of following elements (accounts for 25% of class grade) 

  • Executive Summary describing the business process & software change you recommend
  • Business Case for the change
  • System Request Form and explanation of critical thinking
  • Description of how you used the Requirements Gathering and analysis techniques to identify opportunities for change from inside and outside the organization
  • User stories describing how the change you recommend would be used
  • To-Be business process part of the change using rules for BPR
  • How different from as-is is the TO-BE, and how are you planning on closing the gap (i.e., change management plan)
  • Requirements document for software
  • Use Case Diagrams for software
  • SaaS Software (i.e., online software or software-as-a-service) you recommend indicating what parts of the business process the software would enable & how it compares to the alternatives in terms of meeting requirements
  • How rapid prototyping of the use of the software with the to-be process was conducted and the results of that rapid prototyping in terms of changes to the requirements or software recommendations or business process
  • Joint Reflection Exercise: Set of at least 10 practices drawn from the class for conducting business/technology process analysis and design that you used during your client project and reflections about their use (what practices seemed to work the best, improvements you made to the practices, how used them, recommendations you would make to others)
  • Peer Evaluations. Sent/given to professor separately

 

Evaluation criteria for the Final Deliverable:

  • Client evaluation form that student team has provided the client with a business process and software recommendations that are: a) detailed, b) novel/unexpected/non-obvious/creative from the client point of view, and c) helpful to the client’s needs
  • Each element is accurate, of high quality, detailed, demonstrates critical thinking (see syllabus for explanation of critical thinking)
  • Business process changes reflect significant effort to understand market needs of client and are judged by the instructor in terms of the level of detail, novelty, and helpfulness
  • Software recommendations reflect a detailed analysis of alternatives, deep connection to the requirements, use cases, business process, and prototyping conducted, and creativity.
  • Seriousness with which the project was undertaken, continuous involvement in client project (vs waiting until the end), iterations to improve each element of the work (vs doing it once)
  • Presentation shows deep knowledge of client needs and class materials, demonstrates how software will enable the to-be process, is considerably more than simple powerpoints
  • Peer evaluations of each individual team members’ contribution to the project in terms of: which elements they did NOT contribute to, which elements they showed the greatest creativity, which elements they showed the greatest depth of the knowledge of the class material, understanding of how to fit client needs with class material, and ease of coordination.
  • Use of joinin.la to effectively communicate with client
  • Maintaining your own joininla.com “playbook” for all of your work

 

PROFESSOR Rating:

 Check/Checkplus based on degree of progress from last time

Sonya feedback also includes a rating of 1-5 stars defined as follows:

*         Poor

**      Needs Work

***      OK

****      Good

*****    Great

 

Overall comments From Sonya to all teams:

  • A key step of translating client's functional requirements to lower level specs/criteria to identify and assess alternatives seems to be missing. In specific recommendations, I've provided some detail as appropriate.
  • The Risks sections need more work to relate to specific aspects of the business that may lead to or result in negative consequences and how they can be avoided. Some of the risk sections come across as discouraging the clients from adopting the recommendations!
  • Where "as is" and "to be" processes have been shared, they are not legible. Magnifying some sections and highlighting changes by referencing back to the magnified sections would help.
  • Most of the students don't seem to have a full grasp of different sections of the business case document, so they tend to repeat the same information in slightly different ways.  I'd stress to them, in industry (especially in the startup world), brevity and clear communications are critical.
  • It’s time to develop the functional requirements in detail; so the leap to the solutions; time for the specs.

It would be best to offer alternatives for the clients and to evaluate the alternatives against detailed specs

 

 

FEEDBACK

 

 

Hack the Hood JoinIN Feedback  **

  • From an effort perspective, excellent Approach section and Stake Holders analysis, and the selection of Google Suite is responsive to the aim of the project to find technology tools that are useful and free. Reaching out to chamber(s) of commerce for partnerships as part of the solution is also excellent and not used frequently enough. 
  • However, there is not sufficient detail as yet. Possible suggestions for moving forward: they could start some templates, and incorporate the benchmarking into the templates. Contact sheet, email standard format, kind of writeup, Squarespace makes it easy to create a website for her project, have one of the schools to make one of her Squarespace thing, with some content for the websites.  Maybe help her think through how students could provide not just a website but content. Focus it. Start the artifacts for her to run with. Maybe focus on the Inglewood; what would engage the Chamber of Commerce.  You may need to help Collette due better targeting for matching students with those companies which really need websites.  You may want to look at PICO to find a partnership.

 

PROFESSOR FEEDBACK (Checkplus because you followed suggestions from last time, but you need to pivot now to provide value)

System Request Form is well done

Comments from last report out were: “Processes are good at that stage but need different ones for different phases.  Try and put this in early, growth and established as a phased approach.  Tailor to type of sponsor”. 

The overview To-be is not readable;  use subprocesses as discussed in class. Tried clicking on the to-be process model in JoinIn but couldn’t get it zoom in.  There should be technology system as a swimlane role.  There appears to be missing an AND join for the first AND split as well as other JOINS..  BPM Notation is not being used (e.g., start and stop events).  Events should be labeled.  What are ovals?  Decision points should be labeled as an activity.  Given that the business requirements require substantial sponsor engagement, waiting until much later in the process is not a way to optimize customer engagement (as discussed in the BPI classes).  How technology will support the to-be isn’t clear.  It’s not clear from the to-be which issues you are providing help with.  For example, the to-be goes into some detail about small business recruitment but these are activities that are likely to be pretty obvious to the sponsor. (e.g., contact chamber of commerce, and pitch).  If you were planning to help with consolidating information to create better pitches, that might make sense as to why you raise that in your to-be.  Otherwise, if you’re not really providing much help with business recruiting, then there is no reason to elaborate those activities. Similarly, simply listing an activity called tailor grant proposal is not very informative and helpful unless you can provide some guidance and support for making the tailoring easier.  So, focus on what you are doing that’s providing real value-added to the client. Perhaps the issue is that you are trying to do too much and you need to decide – from a scope issue – what you can be more specific about and therefore helpful. There were 2 to-be process flows but it was not clear why and which one you are focused on.  One seemed to be called “ to be” and the other “to-be for subsequent phases”.  The comments.  This appears to be in response to the comments from last time to talk about the different phases.  But it appears that you have built out the processes but didn’t drill down into them.  So, if you can develop an option that can help at both phases then maybe it makes sense to continue to have 2.  Alternatively, you split it in the way suggested by Sonya; finding sponsors (what she meant by “early”) and keeping sponsors (what she meant by “established”).  In any case, its better to drill down than to stay at the level of generality that you are at..  We also wonder about how much of this to-be is really an as-is.  For example, we know that Collette is well-aware that she needs to write grants and pitches so certainly that part is not a to-be.  So, more clearly describing the differences between as-is and to-be would be useful for all stakeholders.

Executive Summary should include the options you suggest, and please remember that the options should be ones that the sponsor would not have thought about. 

Purpose needs to focus on the purpose of the document which is to present your particular set of options to help her with recruitment and sponsorships.  The paragraph has some wording which gets confusing.  Hack the Hood is a program.  What you are doing is offering a project.  The business case is to evaluate your project with respect to the goals of the program.  Please clarify that.  The purpose of the business case is not to provide details of a proposed system’s development process; it is to provide details and an evaluation about the proposed set of options for improving the recruiting and sponsorship process of Hack and Hood. So maybe using the word “system” is creating a confusion.

Risk assessment is quite good.  You appear to be missing that Collette has how many hours a week to devote to this and what current contacts does collette have?

Approach: Has the approach including showing Collette the process flow and then suggesting to her where you might focus your efforts?  You should probably do that as soon as possible. A nice short list on your informal benchmarking but a bit more specificity would be useful: which nonprofits did you talk to?  How did you conduct your research.  The rest is quite good.

Stakeholder analysis of costs and benefits should be relative to the risks you identified. For example, a risk is that collette has little time.  It appears under the negative column that you are recommending a time-intensive process.  Since she has little time, such a time-intensive process won’t work.  You suggest only that she potentially hire a worker, but that would require using her own money.  So, it appears that you do not, as yet, have a solution that will be satisfactory to her. Is there a reason that instructors are not part of the swimlanes?  That might reduce the burden on Collette.  Why aren’t students part of the swimlanes?  Can’t they help recruit?  Might that reduce the burden on Collette?  From the stakeholder analysis, it looks like you don’t yet have an option that makes sense for the small businesses; why would they participate?  As suggested last time, maybe you should do some research with small businesses to find out which ones would be most likely to be in need?  Then you could make the entire business process more specific to a high-need area and provide Collette with new information that she does not currently have. You nicely point out that tech companies might be interested?  Have you looked into other STEM projects that tech companies are supporting?  Maybe you could recommend better integration with those projects as a way to start Hack the Hood. 

Recommendations: Google Suite for Non-profits is a great idea; it needs to be integrated with the to-be. In the coming month, you need to prototype, so why not prototype something on this.  This is where you will need to drill down and decide what you will prototype, and what part of the process Google Suite will support.  Note that this just supports the tracking needs, not other business requirements.  Your other recommendations are too vague; perhaps if you drill down more, you will be able to suggest specific changes to the to-be and specific organizations and specific tools that might help with recruiting and sponsorship. 

Your list of to-be vs as-is has strong potential for providing new options for recruiting and sponsorship but it needs to be developed further.  Perhaps by selecting a single area such as Inglewood, your to-be can be more specific.  Check with Collette about where she wants to start first.  Re-evaluate the business model suggested by Collette, who actually needs a website these days?  You don’t describe what you learned from Romeo Hebron about who needs websites.  Maybe the process needs to be one that starts with finding the small businesses who are in need; maybe by looking at looking yelp sites?   

Clearly, by the set of questions we had, there is much work to do to scope the project better to see where the ideal combination of technology and a changed to-be process would serve the business best. If it would help you to meet with me each week for the next month, I’m available M-F by Skype.  You might find it useful to look at PICO’s JoinIn site.

 

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Feedback for April 5 deliverable
  • #Other

To  Team BUILD  (Ke, Songzhi, Feiran, Yu, Quanran):  

Feedback for Interim Project Deliverables for April 5.  Due: DRAFT System Request Form + To-Be _ Business Case _ List of how to-be is different from as-is. 

Please remember the following as you prepare for the final deliverable for May 8th, but remember that the presentation to the clients on April 26th  at which time the award will be presented and you will receive final feedback from the client for the final deliverable. 

Final deliverable due on date of Final consists of following elements (accounts for 25% of class grade) 

  • Executive Summary describing the business process & software change you recommend
  • Business Case for the change
  • System Request Form and explanation of critical thinking
  • Description of how you used the Requirements Gathering and analysis techniques to identify opportunities for change from inside and outside the organization
  • User stories describing how the change you recommend would be used
  • To-Be business process part of the change using rules for BPR
  • How different from as-is is the TO-BE, and how are you planning on closing the gap (i.e., change management plan)
  • Requirements document for software
  • Use Case Diagrams for software
  • SaaS Software (i.e., online software or software-as-a-service) you recommend indicating what parts of the business process the software would enable & how it compares to the alternatives in terms of meeting requirements
  • How rapid prototyping of the use of the software with the to-be process was conducted and the results of that rapid prototyping in terms of changes to the requirements or software recommendations or business process
  • Joint Reflection Exercise: Set of at least 10 practices drawn from the class for conducting business/technology process analysis and design that you used during your client project and reflections about their use (what practices seemed to work the best, improvements you made to the practices, how used them, recommendations you would make to others)
  • Peer Evaluations. Sent/given to professor separately

 

Evaluation criteria for the Final Deliverable:

  • Client evaluation form that student team has provided the client with a business process and software recommendations that are: a) detailed, b) novel/unexpected/non-obvious/creative from the client point of view, and c) helpful to the client’s needs
  • Each element is accurate, of high quality, detailed, demonstrates critical thinking (see syllabus for explanation of critical thinking)
  • Business process changes reflect significant effort to understand market needs of client and are judged by the instructor in terms of the level of detail, novelty, and helpfulness
  • Software recommendations reflect a detailed analysis of alternatives, deep connection to the requirements, use cases, business process, and prototyping conducted, and creativity.
  • Seriousness with which the project was undertaken, continuous involvement in client project (vs waiting until the end), iterations to improve each element of the work (vs doing it once)
  • Presentation shows deep knowledge of client needs and class materials, demonstrates how software will enable the to-be process, is considerably more than simple powerpoints
  • Peer evaluations of each individual team members’ contribution to the project in terms of: which elements they did NOT contribute to, which elements they showed the greatest creativity, which elements they showed the greatest depth of the knowledge of the class material, understanding of how to fit client needs with class material, and ease of coordination.
  • Use of joinin.la to effectively communicate with client
  • Maintaining your own joininla.com “playbook” for all of your work

 

PROFESSOR Rating:

 Check/Checkplus based on degree of progress from last time

Sonya feedback also includes a rating of 1-5 stars defined as follows:

*         Poor

**      Needs Work

***      OK

****      Good

*****    Great

 

Overall comments From Sonya to all teams:

  • A key step of translating client's functional requirements to lower level specs/criteria to identify and assess alternatives seems to be missing. In specific recommendations, I've provided some detail as appropriate.
  • The Risks sections need more work to relate to specific aspects of the business that may lead to or result in negative consequences and how they can be avoided. Some of the risk sections come across as discouraging the clients from adopting the recommendations!
  • Where "as is" and "to be" processes have been shared, they are not legible. Magnifying some sections and highlighting changes by referencing back to the magnified sections would help.
  • Most of the students don't seem to have a full grasp of different sections of the business case document, so they tend to repeat the same information in slightly different ways.  I'd stress to them, in industry (especially in the startup world), brevity and clear communications are critical.
  • It’s time to develop the functional requirements in detail; so the leap to the solutions; time for the specs.
  • It would be best to offer alternatives for the clients and to evaluate the alternatives against detailed specs

 

 

SPECIFIC COMMENTS TO TEAM:

 

BUILD Team Feedback from Sonya  ** 

  • Excellent Approach section with detailed steps, but not sure how well the steps have been followed.
  • The focus of the recommendation is adding student volunteers, and there is a mention of social media also.  But there is 1) no further description of the technology aspect of the recommendation, and 2) some confusion with respect to interns (which are presumably paid) and students and their respective functions. Also just adding people is hardly a solution, without more detail. For example, how many of them will BUILD need initially, and a proposed outline of what specifically they will do.
  • Client is concerned since expected more details, and broader set of recommendations, e.g., just not social media, but how to use. There is public news about BUILD and lots of information about BUILD. Come up with solutions that are non-obvious.  Wants to have some concrete solution, e.g., here is a script for the students, artifacts to ensure that the student interns work well.  How to write about the project so that it grows excitement.

 

Professor Feedback (check)

Executive Summary:  Please remind the reader what BUILD LA does. We are a bit concerned about your last paragraph since BUILD LA team members won’t spend hours learning new tools or training.  Maybe consider providing training documents yourselves so that all Team members need to do is have interns learn the tools, or find tools that require no training. 

Purpose: Great purpose summary.  This section is about Purpose of the document, so simply add another few words at the end of this section indicating the purpose of the document

Approach: Absolutely great set of steps.  Please put the language into the past tense indicating these are steps you took.  In step 1, please break that out as we did in class 9 into “internal organization” information gathering and “external organization”.  Please separate out information gathering from preparing of the as-is and the techniques you used to analyze the as-is to create the to-be.

Project Description and Objectives:  The business need should be first, e.g., not building a donor engagement system, but rather creating closer connections (as you indicated under Purpose).  You can integrate your wonderful system request form into here.

Risk Assessment: Risks are events that might occur that you don’t want to occur.  So organizational risks include: Matt is super busy and alone and has no time to manage people or change his processes so the risk is that he will ignore any suggested change.  Then you describe the actions you’re taking that would reduce the risk from happening. For example, you would bring a single intern who manages other interns and they would only be hired if they were experienced with non-profits. Describe other actions you’re taking to avoid the risk.  Same to do for technology and economic.  In other words, what is written now doesn’t address the risks, but in fact seems to increase the risks, which is problematic.

Stakeholder Assessment:  This is an assessment of the costs and benefits relative to each stakeholders’ objectives, and your options.  Your current appendix doesn’t do that. A stakeholder is not “the organization”.  The list of stakeholders in the appendix isn’t the same as in the report.  

Strategic Alignment seems to focus only on the presence of the student intern despite the fact that the client needs a tracking database and other business requirements.  This needs to be more fully developed into a realistic plan that is much more comprehensive and not assuming the student interns will solve all the problems. Please include how the technology and changes to the to-be will facilitate strategic alignment. 

Option Assessment: The options do not as yet map adequately to the 3 business requirements.  There is concern that your options were offered initially at the first report-out and haven’t further developed since then.  The assessment of each option is with respect to the business requirements, as well as stakeholder objectives and feasibility (you’ve done the feasibility).  Your options, based on your analysis indicates that neither of your options will work.  Therefore, you need to come up with new options.

Recommendations must be very specific.  The one described is too vague: e.g “starts with a simpler system”.

To-Be:  There should be technology as one of the swimlanes.  There’s reference to a Build Team: who is that?  If the donor is so key to this, why is the donor not included in the to be until half-way through.  Interns don’t seem as critical in the to-be as they are in the Recommendations; in other words, there are other changes that are being suggested than just interns, based on the to-be.  In the to-be there are discussions of reports: are those changing? Allocation of some of the tasks don’t seem right:  Complete student projects should belong to students, shouldn’t they?  How does the to-be illustrate the use of social media?  In other words, it doesn’t seem that the business case is integrated with the to-be.

The Changes to the As-is to To-Be System should reflect the comments made above, i.e., map back to business requirements, not rely on students completely, incorporate technology.  The statement at the bottom: That BUILD can use information into marketing should be incorporated into the To-be.  The To-be should be circling back to donors. 

Although you have done some development since last time, there is much work yet to do.  It’s not clear how you addressed the comments from last report-out.  These included: “benchmark against other non-profits such as Charitywaters and DonorsChoose or others you select; not clear how you are integrating the technology solutions; its not clear what is being reported to donors; its not clear what client communication is expected from Matt; its not clear what you expect students vs interns to do”.  It’s not clear how your information gathering (e.g., external models, benchmarking) have led to you offering options that reduce the risks.  Review your risk assessment and decide what new options to consider to reduce the risks, not increase them. Come up with new more comprehensive options.  Include technology and changes to the to-be in your description of your changes.  Don’t rely solely on student interns; there needs to be a tracking system.   Circle back to the 3 business requirements.  Perhaps you would like to meet with me weekly so I can help you stay on track?  I’m available by Skype Mon-Fri. You might find it useful to look at PICO’s JoinIn site.

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • Feedback for April 5 deliverable
  • #Other
  • by Rene Sanchez
  • TEDxCSUN
  • #Finance
  • by Clayton Schluter
  • Business Case Draft
  • #project management
  • by Brock Hudnut
  • Hack Hood process flow future iterations
  • #project management
  • by Brock Hudnut
  • Hack Hood process flow
  • #project management
  • by Brock Hudnut
  • 4/5 Deliverables
  • #project management
  • by Feiran Ji
  • Business Case BUILD
  • #general business

The steps that are changed:

  • Write quarterly/monthly reports (Volunteer)
  • Send quarterly/monthly reports (Volunteer)
  • Exchange names and email of the student group and donors

 

The steps that are added:

  • Take photos (Volunteer)
  • Write progress reports (Volunteer)
  • Match donors with student groups
  • Summarize project information (Volunteer)

 

The steps that are eliminated:

  • Send generic project updates to all donors
  • Receive simple student updates (BUILD team)
  • Send student updates to donors (BUILD team) - Eliminate handover

 

Summary:

 

The change mainly happens because of the introduction of student volunteers. They take over the traditional, random communication between student groups and donors and offer a more systematic, logical communication system. Moreover, with student interns documenting all progresses, BUILD can use these informations into marketing, and therefore attract more students and donors.

 

Moreover, because of budget constraint, our to-be state specifically focuses on the changes in the later part of the system: after donors donate money. Once they make their payment, BUILD’s student interns would bring a better communication and information exchange system to them.

  • by Richard (Songzhi) Huang
  • Changes From As-is to To-be System
  • #Project Management
  • by Tran Situ
  • 4/5/17 Mixalot Client Project Draft
  • #Business Dev

 

 

 

 

Hack the Hood

Business Case

 

April 4, 2017

 

Chelsea Blanchard, Courtney Blaylock,

Nick Feeney, Brock Hudnut, Johnny Rastian

 

 

 

 

 

1.0 System Request Form

 

Project Sponsor

Collette Hanna

Business Need

Develop a plan to recruit sponsors and small businesses for initial program launch and growth

Business Requirements

 

      ●         Increased organization of small business and sponsor contacts

      ●         Continuous sponsor engagement

      ●         Internal metrics for tracking progress toward funding goals

Business Value

 

      ●         Increased monetary donations to fund the program

      ●         Increased communication with external partners

      ●         Reduction in time spent organizing corporate sponsors and progress toward goal

Special Issues or Constraints

 

     ●         LA satellite is starting from scratch so there are no definite logistics or processes established

     ●         Project sponsor has limited experience with the program

     ●         Does not share resources with Northern CA hack the hood

 

 

2.0 To-Be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.0 Business Case

 

3.1 Executive Summary

 

Hack the Hood is an established nonprofit in Northern California that provides minority youth with website building skills. The organization operates a 6-week bootcamp in the summer to teach these youth, then facilitates a project where they build websites for local small businesses. The nonprofit model is based on two key areas of external engagement:

  • Corporate sponsors who provide funding (of approximately $40,000) to run the program
  • Small businesses who work with the students

 

Northern California’s Hack the Hood has functioned successfully off of a well-established business model that works with the particular characteristics of the area. Our client, Collette Hanna, is working with the northern branch to start a satellite of the program in Los Angeles. Due to differences in the locations, the satellite program needs to establish a new external engagement process for (1) initial launch and (2) program growth.

 

Our initial concept for this process redesign addresses the goals for the initial program launch:

  • Make contact with many potential corporate sponsors and provide follow-up contact
  • Secure at least $40,000 to fund the LA pilot program
  • Recruit small businesses to serve as clients for the students

 

Our second phase in the process includes additional goals for the program:

  • Reevaluate goals and budget for proposed growth, if feasible
  • Establish tiered sponsorship levels
  • Cultivate existing sponsorship relationships to retain funding year after year
  • Leverage existing small business relationships to make recruitment less time intensive

 

 

3.2 Purpose

 

Developing Hack the Hood in Southern California requires careful planning of sponsorships and small business recruitment. The following business case is presented to ensure the success of the program by analyzing the proposed system with an outline of the strategic approach, examination of potential risks, and explanation of recommendations.

           

The purpose of this business case is as follows:

  • Provide details of the proposed system’s development process
  • Survey the risk landscape before launching the initial program
  • Describe the potential costs and benefits of the recruitment system to each stakeholder
  • Analyze the system’s alignment to Hack the Hood’s mission and goals
  • Supply recommendations regarding the implementation of the system

                                   

The business case details the proposed recruitment processes for both sponsors and small businesses. The purpose of these systems is to develop measurable, repeatable processes for the recruitment of sponsors and small business throughout Hack the Hood Southern California’s initial development as well as its expected growth in the coming years.

 

Project Objectives:

  • Develop repeatable and scalable processes regarding recruitment of sponsors and small businesses
  • Create a method to organize external contacts
  • Plan for growth from initial program launch to future growth

 

 

3.3 Risk Assessment

 

  • Organizational
    • The project relies completely on the sponsor, Collette Hanna, therefore, there is no assistance or backup if needed.
    • Limited informational support from the Northern California Hack the Hood.
    • Northern California Hack the Hood point of contact has recently stopped working for the company. The replacement has yet to be trained, leading to a lack of contact with the headquarters.
    • The Southern California Hack the Hood does not have an organized presence yet.
    • Short deadline to obtain sponsors and small businesses if planning on having the program this summer.
  • Technical
    • The Southern California Hack the Hood does not yet have its own internet presence or website.
    • The region does not have a dedicated email for company use. This is needed before implementing the to-be system.
  • Economical
    • Our proposed system does not incur any overhead operational costs. Therefore, there are no economical risks associated with the system currently.

 

 

3.4 Approach

 

  • Methodology
    • Problem Analysis
      • We spoke with Collette to determine the differences between the South LA hack the hood and the Northern CA hack the hood to identify why we cannot use the same process. We also talked through the basic requirements for the program, and where she sees problems in accomplishing those requirements.
    • Informal Benchmarking
      • We assessed best practices for sponsorship recruitment and grant funding in other nonprofit organizations
      • We researched common processes corporate sponsors use when developing partnerships with nonprofits
      • We interviewed local chamber of commerce to determine their ability to connect Hack the Hood with small businesses
    • Outcome Analysis
      • We looked at the relationship between sponsors and the program to figure out what the sponsors find valuable in the relationship. This helped us to understand how to pitch the program and sponsorship opportunities to them.
    • Technology Analysis
      • Once we had an idea of the needs of the client, we looking into technology that could help them meet their external recruitment goals and support future growth.

 

 

3.5 Stakeholders

 

Stakeholder

+

-

Considerations

Collette Hanna

She will have a more developed process that can be followed to strategically engage more external partners

 

She will have a scalable process that can be shared with future Hack the Hood satellites

This process will be time intensive and require a lot of focus in planning the initial program launch

She could look into hiring another worker to help her and reduce the burden of implementing the system alone

Instructors

More streamlined sponsorship recruitment means that they have a more secure position that they can depend on each year.

 

As the program grows, they have possibilities for future growth of their job description in management and training roles

 

Compared to other educational programs, Hack the Hood allows them to make an impact on youth in the community.

Limited support from the Northern branch means that they may have to take ownership of some educational planning

Instructors could be more involved in the program design to promote a greater sense of involvement in the program

Students

Securing external partners will allow the program to launch and grow, which ultimately provide more opportunities for the students 

 

The program is specifically designed to be better than alternatives by providing lucrative tech skills and helping youth to stay out of gangs

 

 

Small Businesses

Chosen small businesses get new websites built for them

Working with Hack the Hood will require additional time from them to meet and work with students

 

They have to invest time into filling out the application

The process of recruitment could focus on creating a proposed timeline of the commitment to inform businesses before the program begins

 

The application itself could be brief and simple to encourage more small businesses to apply

Sponsors

They gain corporate social responsibility by supporting local efforts

 

Tech companies can pitch themselves to students and build recruiting relationships. It is in their best interest to help support more talent in their line of work because they will have the necessary skills to invest back into the company down the road.

Sponsorship takes time and monetary resources

The program could look into allowing non-monetary donations from sponsors, such as sponsoring events, speakers, etc, and donating other needed materials

 

 

3.6 Strategic Alignment

Hack the Hood has strategic goals of combining technology skills and innovation with underprivileged minority youth. In recruiting sponsors, we looked at primarily targeting tech companies in the area who work in similar fields and could provide mentorship in those areas. Furthermore, the small businesses chosen to work with the students are specifically targeted to be from similar neighborhoods so that the organization can have a dual impact on the students and their communities. Our project is designed with room for organizational growth. This support the organization’s mission to help solve critical issues around education opportunities for minority students and gang prevention because it allows the program to get a larger reach.

 

 

 

3.7 Recommendations

 

  • Google Suite for Nonprofits
    • As Hack the Hood engages with external partners, it needs a way to organize all communication, relevant documents, and program plans. The best way to accomplish this is to implement the Google Suite for Nonprofits, which provides the company’s software for free. With this software, Hack the Hood can:
      • Create a branded presence with a “Hack the Hood” email address
      • Consolidate documentation into one dedicated space
      • Create simple excel databases for different classifications of external partners
      • Create Google Forms to function as small business applications
      • Add new users as the program expands
      • Collaborate with other users on the system
    • Leverage established organizations to help in identifying potential small businesses
      • Hack the Hood can optimize time by making contact with an organization already familiar with small businesses in the area rather than approaching businesses independently
      • This will increase the reach of the application and exposure of the program
      • This can also lead to future networking opportunities and marketing efforts to increase presence in the area
    • Make contact in person or by phone rather than by email
      • While email can be used as follow-up communication, the initial point of contact should be done by phone or in person
      • This is particularly important for sponsorship engagement
      • Secondary research has shown that in person communication is the best way to make a connection with potential sponsors. The more personal the interaction, the more likely they are to want to work with the organization

 

4.0 List of How To-Be is Different From As-is

 

  1. The Northern CA branch of Hack the Hood has an existing process for sponsorship recruitment, however, the South LA area is a much different landscape. Therefore, we cannot simply adjust the as-is process and apply it to South LA. Instead, we have to start from scratch and develop a brand new process independent of the northern counterpart.
  2. Because we can’t rely on the existing sponsors from the north, we added grant funding to our sponsorship recruitment. Hack the Hood’s program falls into many different categories of private or governmental grants relating to themes such as education, gang prevention, and STEM innovation.
  3. We created a series of phased process flows to support initial launch and future growth. These processes are flexible and scalable to future satellite programs - an aspect that was not present in the Northern California’s approach.
    1. The two sets of processes are different to make it easier to engage existing sponsor and small business contacts while still building new relationships and assessing budgeting needs for growth
  4. The small business recruitment process is also streamlined to allow for maximum efficiency of time. Collette’s initial approach was to do all small business recruitment in person. While this in-person contact is important, it is not necessarily effective in initially identifying potential small businesses to work with. Instead, we proposed reaching out to the chamber of commerce in the area where the program will be run.
    1. Reached out to Inglewood chamber of commerce education committee chairman Romeo Hebron. The Education committee purpose is to “enhance the educational experience by linking academics, business and community to promote real world learning, support partnerships, and encourage and celebrate educational excellence in our schools.”
    2. Once Collette has narrowed down to more viable small business clients, she can then reach out and make the personal connection. This is a change from trying to reach out to all small businesses in person without having any information about them.
  5. We added a process for reaching out to organizations of small businesses in the Los Angeles area To supplement the aid of the chambers of commerce. This will allow Hack the Hood to network in the area and build a stronger presence.
  6. Our to-be will streamline the process of reaching out to sponsors in the South LA area. This will help take a lot of lag time out of the process of finding grants and sponsors every year.

 

 

  • by Brock Hudnut
  • 4/5 Deliverables
  • #Project Management
  • by Annie Wang
  • Group 5: Business Case Deliverable
  • #Other
  • by Cheryl Tolentino
  • Business Case Draft: USC Team Pico
  • #General Business

BUSINESS CASE

  1. Executive summary
  2. Purpose/ value statement (A declaration that informs the customers and staff of a business about the firm's top priorities and what its core beliefs are)
  3. Project description and objectives
  4. Risk Assessment (potential problems when doing project)
  • Org
  • Tech
  • Econ

5. Option Assessment (options assessed by costs and benefits)

  • Intern & Social Media vs. Letting students report
  • Org
  • Tech
  • Econ

6. Approach 

Introduce student interns

“Grow-the-business” metrics

7. Stakeholders

  • Donors
  • Students
  • School
  • BUILD (Client)
  • Government
  • Interns

8. Strategic Alignment 

9. Recommendation

Short term plan and long term plan

  • by Richard (Songzhi) Huang
  • 3/30 Meeting - Business Case Outline
  • #Project Management

Project Sponsor: Matt Scelza, Regional Executive Director of Build

Business Need:    This system has been initiated to engage donors by connecting the 3,000

     donors to the 300 student teams so that donors can draw a clear line between

     their gift and positive impact.

Business Requirements:

  • Engaging and personalized quarterly updates/ thank-letters to donors
  • Tracking system to show the progress of student project and where donors’ money goes
  • Interaction channel between donors and student groups

Business Value:

We expect this donor engagement system to lead to improved donor satisfaction and increased brand recognition due to increased donor engagement. Implementation of this system is also expected to boost both donation amount and donation frequency.

Conservative estimates of tangible value to the organization include:

  • $7,000 in donation from new donors
  • $10,000 in donation from existing donors

Special Issues or Constraints:

  • The project sponsor views this as a strategic system that will add value to the organization and will also provide donors with increased satisfaction.
  • The cost of the system has to be maintained low due to limited budget.
  • Increased staffing will be needed to operate the new system from both the technical and business operations aspect.
  • Limited resources can be put into managing the donor engagement system, so the system has to be easy to manage, or automated.
  • The system should be implemented in phases with the quarterly updates in place within four months.
  • by Ke Zhao
  • SYSTEM REQUEST - DONOR ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • #Business Dev
  • by Alexander Grupp
  • To-Be Process Update 1
  • #Design

"10 Things that Stress Out Entrepreneurs More than Anything" by Jason Demers in the Entrepreneur, 10/12/15

  • by JoinIN Team
  • 10 Things that Stress Out Entrepreneurs More than Anything
  • #General Business

Great set of top online courses you can get for free right now.

 

https://medium.freecodecamp.com/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869#.hb3p97uvl

  • by Pawel Jaszczurowski
  • 250 FREE Ivy League online courses you can take now
  • #Other
  • by JoinIN Team
  • 17 CRM Lead Management Tools Compared by Gartner
  • #marketing
  • by Ke Zhao
  • Hiring interns: Job Posting Sample & Annenberg Career Devt
  • #business dev
  • by Alexandra Cheng
  • GoTo Startup Idea Jam Winners
  • #other
  • by Alexandra Cheng
  • Resume 2017
  • #Other
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Small Businesses in Low-income Neighbourhoods
  • #General Business
  • by Pawel Jaszczurowski
  • Great free tool for finding color combinations

Interesting, experience-based advice from the team at CB Insights.

 

https://www.cbinsights.com/reports/saas-startup-mistakes.pdf?utm_source=CB+Insights+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b6f2e88ec1-MonNL_3_20_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9dc0513989-b6f2e88ec1-88256221

  • by JoinIN Team
  • 68 DONT's of building a SaaS company, based on CB Insights experience
  • #other

Group 5: Wonder Women Tech

System Request Form + To Be

 

  • System Req Forms
    • Business need:
      • Track and organize Sponsors
    • Business Req:
      • Functional
        • Manage customer’s deliverables
          • Add deliverables from previously set list
          • Delete deliverables
          • Customer finishes a deliverable
        • Email customer
          • Follow-up email with negotiated points
          • Email thanking customer for finished deliverables
          • Email customer when everything is ready for conference
          • Email customer asking for feedback after conference
        • Manage contracts
          • Create contract
          • Modify contract
          • Delete contract
          • Locate contract
        • Manage Invoices for Sponsors
          • Create invoice
          • Send invoice
        • Track Wonder Women Tech’s deliverables
          • Create deliverable based on negotiation
          • WWT finishes a deliverable
          • WWT wants to check missing deliverables before conference
        • Orientation calls for strategic partners
          • Every friday the partner needs to attend an orientation call at noon
      • Non-Functional
        • Operational Requirements
          • The system must be able to work with call system
          • The system must have deadlines built into it
          • The system must allow the storage of email and contract templates
          • Employees must be easily able to use the system
        • Security Requirements
          • Interns must not have access to financial information
        • Cost Requirements
          • Must not exceed over $100
            • Can integrate well with current applications they are using
          • Preferably free
            • Are ok with using multiple apps
    • Business Value:
      • Sponsors: Monetary
      • Strategic Partners: Advertising
      • Exhibitors: Monetary, Booth at Conference, and Knowledge
      • Speakers: Knowledge

 

Brief explanation of our critical thinking

 

Current As Is: All current and potential sponsors are forwarded to the founder of Wonder Women Tech, where she then utilizes Google drive as a platform to organize and track the recruiting process.

 

Issues raised: This process is unstandardized and time-consuming.

Business need: effectively and efficiently track and organize sponsors

 

Requirement Gathering Techniques:

-interview user

-documentation

 

We divided up the system’s requirements into functional and nonfunctional. The functional is what the system must do and the nonfunctional is how the system should behave/perform. Using the requirement gathering techniques listed above, we found the system requirements to focus on managing contracts and invoices and maintaining appropriate contact with sponsors. In addition to secure and low-cost, we determined that the process must be cross-functional and standardized for other team members to use. This system design is an iterative process. We welcome your feedback on the content of this system request form.

  • by Annie Wang
  • System Request Form + To Be
  • #Other
  • by JoinIN Team
  • The State of Small Business in America
  • #general business

By First Round

  • by JoinIN Team
  • The State of Startups
  • #general business
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Ask Techstars: Applying to an Accelerator
  • #General Business
  • by Ian Leaman
  • CEO Evaluation for small (no-Board) owner managed businesses
  • #Leadership

Highlight here t

 

DSO433  Business Technology Process Design (Version 3/2/2017)

 

Syllabus –Spring 2017 MW 2-3:50  4 units, BRI 202A

 

Professor:  Dr. Ann Majchrzak    

Office: BRI401C

Email contact: majchrza@usc.edu:

Office Hours Wednesdays 4-5pm

COURSE CALENDAR/READINGS/CLASS SESSIONS (updated 3/2/17)

 

All 4 quizzes are included

Week 8

Class 14 Wed 3/1

From As-Is to To-Be more exercises.  Work on To-BE in class

BB: Business Process Reengineering: All you Need to Know

 

Weekly journal due Friday 5pm

Participation Grade 2(# of participation passes during period)

 

Week 9

Class 15

Mon 3/6

 

Client Project Time:

5- minutes presentations on projects to cover: System Request Form & Changes/Ideas for To-Be Work in teams on project

TURN IN DRAFT SYSTEM REQ FORM & TO-BE for CLIENT PROJECT

 

Week 9

Class 16

Wed 3/8

More exercises with To-Be; getting experience

If time permits, work through Metro

Last 20 mins: Team 1 meet with Prof

Weekly journal

Current Event DL SET 4 (BPRs in real companies)

 

 

SPRING BREAK

 

 

Week 10

Class 17

Mon 3/20

Closing the As-IS to To-BE gap: Migration

Ch 13, p485-488 and revisiting Change Management in Ch 13

 

CLIENT HUDDLE 4-6pm

Week 10

Class 18

Wed 3/22

Class Cancelled since out of town in Cambridge for a talk BUT meet client in room!

Client-student project time

 

Weekly journal due on Fri

 

Week 11

Class 19

Mon 3/27

Creating a Business Case for the project

BB: Simple framework to translate benefits

Skim: Example of business case to know what is expected

 

 

Week 11

Class 20

Wed

3/29

Use Cases and UML

In class exercises

Ch 4 beg’g to p128

Last 20 mins: Team 3 meet with Prof

 

Glossary Quiz #3

Weekly journal due on Fri

Current Event DL SET 2 on Use cases/UML used in companies

Week 12

Class 21

Mon

4/3

Use Cases cont and Use Case flows/description

In class exercises

Ch 4, p140 to end

Chapter 4 for Patterson with Questions

Weekly journal due Friday 5pm

YOUR TURN DL SET 5 on Patterson- CLIENT HUDDLE 4-6

 

Week 12

Class 22

Wed

4/5

Use Case Diagrams

Lots of in class exercises

Last 20 mins: Team 4 meet with Prof

DRAFT REQS DOCUMENT

 

Week 13

Class 23

Mon 04/10

UX Design and the Future of Storytelling: Thomas Jorion from Havas

 

 

 

Week 13

Class 24

Wed  04/12

User Experience Testing through Rapid Prototyping with Snappi

Register for Snappii

Weekly journal due Friday 5pm

 

 

Week 14

Class 25

Mon  04/17

Design Strategies for Technology

Ch 7: p268-276

Chapter 7 for Patterson with Questions

Last 20 mins Team 5 meet with Prof

Weekly journal due Friday 5pm

Your Turn DL SET 6

Week 14

Class 26

Wed 04/19

Felipe Osomo, Head of Value Improvement Office, Keck Medicine of USC

 

Weekly journal due Friday 5pm

 

Week 15

Class 27

Mon 04/24

Future of business process Design: IoT, intelligent, dynamic and event-driven; BPM of Things

GLOSSARY QUIZ#4

BB: Experience report from Swiss Bank on BPM

Last 20 mins: Team 6 meet with Prof

 

Current Event DL SET 1

Week 15

Class 28

Wed 04/26

Project Presentations

 

Weekly journal due Friday 5pm

 

Participation Grade 3: # of participation passes during period

 

FINAL

 

Project reports due.  Hard copies only

 

 

 

 

o start!

  • by Ann Majchrzak
  • REVISED CLASS SCHEDULE PLAN
  • #Other
  • by Sonya Sepahban
  • Nominations for 2017 Women Of Color STEM Conference General
  • #venture capital
  • by JoinIN Team
  • Beat Generosity Burnout (HBR)
  • #Human Resources
  • by JoinIN Team
  • International Women's Day Around the World
  • #Other