The government has an important role to play in providing easy, low-cost access to information. Numerous studies and reports call for a more coordinated access for businesses to information on markets, industries and regional economies. In this case, most SME’s want better information about the local and regional economy to help position their businesses and raise competitiveness. Therefore, there is an urgent need for these government funded organizations to play the role of considering a more formal mechanism to listen to the needs of businesses, improve access to information and ensure they provide partial electronic services to people and small businesses through Government portals.
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The stimulation of the SME’s by these funded organizations can reduce the level of unemployment and contribute to a more equal distribution of economic powers. The development of the SME’s is important for the social and economic development of the country, since they increase competitiveness and mobilize idle funds to productive aims. The business community (the SME’s) has unique information needs that need to be addressed with a specifically designed information system integrated in the National Treasury, Kenya Revenue Authority, Home Affairs State Department and Immigration Office. A multi-faceted approach to information provision is necessary because of the variation in needs, literacy and business prospects. Training needs of both the business managers of the SME’s and information specialists should be identified and recommended as part of the business information system design.
UNIT: Understanding Business Organizations
TITLE: Technology Advisory Group
Organization chart for T.A.G
The structure adopted is functional organizational structure which will involve organizing the activities of the advisory group around areas of specialization. This approach involves a considerable amount of process standardization within the organization, with the real decision-making authority centered at the top of the organization.
EFFICIENCY INTO OPERATION BY THE STRUCTURE
the organization will achieve significant efficiencies in terms of process flow and management methods as the staff will be allowed to focus on one specific functional area to the exclusion of all else. It is ideal for the organization because it is easier to monitor and update the training of employees when they are focused on narrow functional areas. The organization will also use this approach to cultivate a group of extraordinary specialists who can strongly impact the functions of the company.
KEY MANAGEMENT PROFILE
Administration and Finance – Their role is to provide a general oversight of the operations of the organization.The team will consist of a General Manager, Finance Manager with 1 administrator and ICT Manager with 1 administrator. This team will be responsible for effective planning, delegating, coordinating, staffing, organizing, and decision making to attain desirable profit making results for the organization (Sayles 1979).
Marketing and PR – Their function is mainly to increase sales for the organization. Assigned here will be the Head of Marketing, two(2) executives inMarketingand two (2) executives in PR. As the teams begin to work together they need to come up withconcrete and up-to-date plans to maximize profits while creating long-term customers as well as adding value to the product and our services.
IT Consultants – They play the role of advising businesses on how best to use information technology to meet their business objectives.Two(2) Senior Consultants will be in charge. In addition to delivering advice, four(4) Middle-Level Consultants and four (4) Junior Consultants will oversee the workshops that will look at the technologies that can be underpinned by Superfast Broadband. They will work hand in hand with five(5) IT Trainers, two(2) website administrators and two(2) graphicdesigners to manage, implement, deploy, and administer IT systems of the organization.
BUSINESS PLAN FOR T.A.G
The intentions of Technology Advisory Group is to offer clients with an all-inclusive assistance through free consultancy and specialist advice on business prospects offered by Superfast Broadband In the form of articles and blogs written by IT specialists.The three year goals for Technology Advisory Group are the following:
- Achieve break-even by Year 2.
- Establish along-term contract with the Central Government.
- Establish a minimum of95% customer satisfaction rate to establish long-term relationships with our clients and create word-of-mouth marketing.
T.A.G has established a status for quality work and plans to continue to heighten its image in the trade. The organization endeavors to become a well-known benefactor of IT related guidance to SMB’s through the following:
Increasing service backings by consolidating specialist workshops which will look at the technologies that can be fortified by Superfast Broadband, including Cloud Computing, collaboration and interactive websites.
Increasing obtainability and accessibility to present and future customers through a range of pamphlets and case studies that give hands-on insights into the enactment of Superfast Broadband by small businesses
Crafting innovative, unique, and cost-effective interpretations to hitches currently met by customers. Technology Advisory Group has established community calendaring and groupware applications for use by the organization. This will support in providing a modest, convenient tool for the organization and staff to consolidate, plan, track projects and workshops.
T.A.G will leverage its profile-raising services to help offer secondary income streams as the organization will inaugurate induction of free email services, business directories, and other related services which will entice current and prospective customers to our offices and workshops. These will be used to generate advertising proceeds, as well as increase publicity of our range of services.
To generate sales, T.A.G has incorporated the use of direct marketing which will focus on Trade Shows. T.A.G will partake in selected local and national shows that will provide an opportunity to develop exposure. This is a very effective tool in creating responsiveness and stimulating lead activity.And also Contact Campaigns as this initiative will encompass various methods of reaching potential customers to generate interest, followed by direct mail to the potential customer.
The organization has a well-articulated human resources strategy which ensures that labor regulations are stringently followed and that all pamphlets relating to labor law are upheld hence confirms that the employees are exceedingly inspired to ensure that they are industrious. T.A.G has articulated human resources scheme that is in line with those that directly deal with intensifying through attainment.
Strategies that should be put to ensure that the company achieves further growth
The organization has to put more exertion in having access to the global market. It should put more effort in advertising of its services to other parts of the ecosphere that it has not accessed the market. It should discover probable market such as other African republics. T.A.G should upturn the number of workshops and virtual assistance services and through this; the company will offer its customers with a choice of service to pick from. The organization should guarantee that its branding and packaging are of high standard and should change with customers change in taste and fashion. The company should contemplate using publicizing tools such as S.W.O.T analysis in guaranteeing that it retains its control of limited market and as a means to subsist in an atmosphere that has stiff competition.
Information system strategy
Technology Advisory Group should deliberate on using more than one software when executing a given assignment. The administration should concoct a way in which the systems are incorporated. This is to warrant that proficiency is upheld and the work done is precise and can also certify that fraud activities are curtailed.
Human resources strategy
The organization should also upturn the number of university fresh alumni who are undertaking management drills. This is decisive in that it will advance new skills and different concepts from these graduates and this will support the Technology Advisory Group in development. It is persons who make an organization to grow therefore, to ensure that T.A.G has a stout pool of human resources, it should contemplate efficient in training for employees to keep them informed on new skills so that the enterprise can keep pace with other major conglomerate corporations in relations to human resources.
The Technology Advisory Group should emphasis precisely on facilitating small and emergent businesses exploit their potential for accomplishment by distinguishing itself in the following means:
- Cost-effective personal interaction with IT consultant presence: T.A.G should target new expanses with local consultants, permitting it to personally cooperate with small businesses without needing to bring consultants to the region.
- A diverse network of consultants and alliance partners: By relying on a nationally circulated talent base harmonized to work together tenuously, the organization should be able to bring together an assortment of skills to encounter the needs of its clients.
The Technology Advisory Group delivers much needed skills and experience to small to medium business initiators to help their businesses embrace the Superfast Broadband. Our services are bespoke specifically to the distinctive needs of small to medium businesses and focuses on up-to-date citations of specialist suppliers of Superfast Broadband and allied services that can advance overall business performance. With a scarcity of available talent plus the usual budget pressure usually associated with small businesses, our services provide a cost-effective substitute to attaining faster communications inorder to advance the ways in which they do business. The Technology Advisory Group will position itself as the prominent marketing and management consulting firm focusing solely on small businesses.
Projected Profit and Loss
Key expenses will comprise the cost of payroll for the growing staff, marketing to endorse the Superfast Broadband in the community, and the organizations rent and devaluation. The organization will show a revenue in the first year which will continue to propagate. This is anticipated due to the high gross margins of marketing internet broadband to small and medium businesses
Annual sales projection
Annual sales projection
Communication is the process through which one person conveys information to another person through applicable medium. These are the major communication systems implemented as these terms are used recurrently in organizations.
- Upward communication
Is the process of information travels from lower to higher ranks in the hierarchy.Various mechanisms can be implemented by T.A.G to facilitate upward communication. Examples, Suggestion boxes, group meetings and participating in decision-making. This is maintained to get feedback to managers from employees.
- Downward communication
Is the process of information flowing from superior to subordinate – from managers to operating staff.Itis related to the hierarchical structure of the organization as messages seem to get large as they travel downward through successive levels of the organization. Example, annual reports, notices and employee performance feedback.
- Horizontal communication
Flow of messages across functional areas shared among people on the same hierarchical level of an organization. This form of communication facilitates for problem solving, task coordination between departments and project teams.
How can intranets and groupware help improve communication?
- Organization information can be warehoused centrally and retrieved at any time due to superior internal communications.
- sharing of resources and best practice as virtual groups can be deliberated to expedite information sharing and collaborative working
- improved customer service – better access to accurate and reliable information by your staff leads to heightened levels of customer service
- forms can be accessed and completed on the computer, then forwarded as appropriate for approval, without ever having to be printed out, and with the benefit of an audit trail
- It facilitates users to post ideas, questions or suggestions on given themes of discussion as it allows users to engage with other members of the group thus enhancing business alliances.
- It permits users to send messages to other members of the organization and outside of the organization.
- It ensures that users can retain online calendars viewed by other colleagues to assist with the arranging of meetings and project planning as users are able to identify when members are available or times when they are consumed with other tasks.
Managing virtual teams
Virtual teams are defined as “affiliated individuals using computer-mediated telecommunications to share information electronically” (Kirkman, Rosen, Tesluk, & Gibson, 2009, p. 54).
Challenges posed by virtual teams in managing individual teams
- Physical Observation Limitations – managers are physically limited to observe their employees’ performance and efforts, and how to implement effective methods for going about measuring productivity, building trust, and managing teams given their particular constraints (Kirkman, Rosen, Gibson,Tesluk, & McPherson, 2002). This renders the manager unable to provide constructive performance feedback and harness the full potential of the team. As a result, monitoring and measuring performance remain problematic and sources of concern (Kurkland& Bailey, 1999).
- Overemphasis on Output Evaluation –Evaluation of virtual team performance is a challenge when managers directly focus on outcomes rather than process especially when those results prove difficult to measure and observe.Therefore, Managers cannot accuratelyascertain performance due to reduced capability toobserve and monitor the process.
- Employee Equity and Organizational Justice Issues –Virtual team members may feel organizational injustice when compared to those who are present in the actual workplace. Professionally, employees fear that being “out of sight” infers being “out of mind” fororganizational rewards thus becomes a significant challenge whenevaluating members of virtual teams against those at the physical office (Kurkland& Egan, 1999).
Recommendation on how T.A.G will address this challenges
- Increasing Information Flow–the virtual team project manager should institute mutual knowledge among team members through team building activities and grant members access to evocative project documentation, which lists acronyms and other project specifics important for team members to understand (Davis &Khazanchi, 2007).
- The “Balanced Scorecard” – the virtual team manager should create an all-inclusive balanced scorecard based on T.A.G’s priorities when evaluating performance. This may consist of the organization’s values in the fields of growth, profitability and customer satisfaction. This enables managers to have a far more transparent understanding of the effectiveness of their virtual team and create more standardized methods of evaluating future virtual team performance.
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Davis, A., &Khazanchi, D. (2007). Does mutual knowledge affect virtual team performance? Theoretical analysis and anecdotal evidence. American Journal of Business, 22(2), 57-65.
Kirkman, B.L., Rosen, B., Gibson, C.B., Tesluk, P.E., & McPherson, S.O. (2002). Five challenges to virtual team success: lessons from sabre, Inc. Academy of Management Executive, 16(3), 67-69.
Kurkland, N.B., & Bailey, D.E. (1999). Telework: The advantages of working here, there anywhere,and anytime. Organizational Dynamics, 28(2), 53-68.
Mullins, L.J. (2010). Management and Organizational behavior. 9th Edition. England, prentice hall financial times.
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