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Managing a Successful Business Project - Marks & Spencer

Answer :
Organization Selected : Marks & Spencer

INTRODUCTION

With the continuous rise in implementation of digital technology, there are some challenges that need to be faced by any organization. Digital disruption are analysed as changes that occurs when new digital technologies and businesses models affect the value preposition of existing goods and services. The continuous rise in the use of mobile devices for personal use and work. Digital transformation sometimes considered as consumerism of information technology which has increased the potential of digital disruption across various industries.

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In retail industry, there are various business enterprises which are facing challenges after making implementation of new digital technologies at workplace. Transformation of business models due to application of technologies has also affected the value preposition of existing products and service of organisation in market.

Present research has been carried out with an aim of analysing various ways for businesses to cope up with major challenges of digital disruption and transformation. For this research, Marks and Spencer is taken in to consideration which is an international retail enterprise. Company has its various stores across various countries but they decided to transform their clothing business online platform.

P1 Project aim and objectives for chosen scenario

Research Questions

  • What is the concept of digital disruption and transformation for business?
  • What are challenges of digital disruption and transformation for M&S?
  • How business has coped up with challenges of digital disruption and transformation?

Aim

To explore the ways for businesses to cope up with major challenges of digital disruption and transformation- A study on Marks and Spencer

Objectives

  • To analyse concept of digital disruption and transformation for business
  • To ascertain the challenges of digital disruption and transformation for M&S
  • To identify the ways for M&S to cope with challenges of digital disruption and transformation
  • To recommend and suggest strategies for application of ways to cope up with the challenges for M&S

Research Rationale

Rationale behind conducting this research was to gain knowledge and understanding about various challenges of digital disruption and transformation. Multiple research strategies have been applied which helps in improving the performance level. There are various important aspects that have been covered in research which helps in development of conceptual knowledge about current issues faced by organisation due to digital disruption and transformation. Collection of data from secondary resources will help in conducting critical analysis of argument of different researchers. Thus, researcher will get to know about the ways through which businesses will cope up with challenges of digital disruption.

P2 Project Management Plan

Project Management Plan is analysed as an essential part of investigation which helps the scholar in identification of sequence as per different activities and tasks to be accomplished during research process. Development of project plan is considered as important as it aids scholar in preventing overlapping of activities and ensuring appropriate utilization of resources. There are various important elements of project management plan such as cost, quality, time, scope, communication and resources.

Project Scope

It is a part of project planning that includes determination and documentation of list of specific goals, deliverable, characteristics, important functions, activities, deadlines and cost. This business research has been conducted with the scope of analysing various important ways or methods for businesses to cope up with challenges of digital disruption and transformation. Project deliverables are the outcomes achieved by scholar after completion of research. In this research, deliverable will be the ways used by company to cope up with challenges of digital disruption and transformation.

Background of the study

In this competitive environment, digital technology is widely adopted by organisation in their business models and processes to attain competitive advantages in market. These technologies have incurred various changes in business and provided recognition to products and services in market.

Digital transformation is considered as the profound transformation of business and various organisational activities, competencies, processes and models to fully leverage changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies (Rotman, 2013). In retail industry, company has provided major focus on application of various new technologies in their business because it is beneficial for them to attain objectives.

Main objective of business is to maximize profits and they must implement digital technologies to transform their business (Pardo, 2013). However, digital disruption and transformation have created major challenges for these enterprises to operate with new business models. In this research, Scholar has carried out an analysis on M&S which is a retail business enterprise. There are some issues and ways to cope up with these challenges for cited organisation will be identified by scholar in this research.

Literature Review

According to Buguin and et.al, (2013), digital disruptions are usually analysed as issues which occurs after involvement of technologies in any business model. Organizations undergoing digital transformation have achieved increased market share, customers’ engagement, and increase in employee morale and rise in customer revenue. Participants in the study reported that their companies have faced various challenges after this transformation.

Hirt and Willmott, (2014) stated that, employees pushback is the major challenge which has created issues for enterprise after implementation of digital technologies for completion of different business activities. This digital transformation has provided a feeling of threat of lay off to employees because technologies have continuously reduced requirement of employees. Further, lack of expertise to lead the digitalization initiatives is another challenges for enterprise because organisation also needs qualified employees at workplace who are capable of implementing and adopting new technologies (Piercy, 2016). In retail sector, companies having more than 5000 employees are also facing this issue as they do not have expertise who can lead and implement initiatives of digitalization of business process and initiatives. Actions of organisation to resolve these challenges provide threat of retrenchment and lay off to existing employees at workplace.

According to Bharadwaj and et.al, (2013), Digital transformation is considered as substantial initiative and usually require changes in more than the employees daily routine. This can be interpreted as transformation of roles, departments and overall organisation structure. Changes in overall structure is very critical for organisation as it creates conflicts between management and employees at workplace.

Huge requirement of budget and resources is also considered challenge of digital disruption and transformation for businesses. Implementation of new technologies requires wide technical resources and expertise which needs to arranged by organisation.

According to Brynjolfsson and McAfee, (2012), in order to cope with the challenge of employee pushback, it is essential for company to completely resolve doubts and uncertainty from employee's mind and they can also certainly alleviate them. Being consistent and transparent in front of employees is the key to face this challenge. Company should keep their employees informed and involved through whole process of digital transformation (Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee, 2014). By providing training for developing experience and competencies have provide support to retail business enterprise to achieve employee satisfaction.

According to Loebbecke and Picot, (2015), it is important to develop a company wide digital transformation strategy in which company need to clarified a vision, set goals to reach that vision and providing a purpose to whole team. This aid the management to resolve redundancies and increase the involvement of employees to attain the business goals and vision effectively. Further, company should hire expertise who able to operate technology and provide support to organisation by attracting more customers (Buguin and et.al, 2013). It is also essential that organisation structure will be fluid because the new frontier of technology and customer experience will require it to be like this. Further, when company build strategies of digital transformation, it should use budget as reality check to consider how much they can handle and create a plan for appropriate utilization of resources.

Project cost

There are various important expenditure have been considered which needs to be incurred by scholar for execution of research. Some important expenditures are travelling, stationery, licensing, technical resources and expertise. In this research, a specific budget has been prepared by scholar to control the cost and completing the project in appropriate manner.

Particulars

Amount (In GBP)

Cost of material purchased

1700

Licensing fees

2300

Cost of licensing for data base

500

Expenditure on purchase of equipments.

1700

Cost of hiring personnel

1000

Internet charges

800

 Acquisition of secondary sources

2100

Cost of stationary

1400

Questionnaire design and travelling expenses

2400

Expenditure on sourcing secondary artciles

1100

Total

15000

Project communication

It is considered as most important element in the process of investigation. Communication of continuous progress of research to academic supervisor is important for scholar to analyse effectiveness strategy and directions. In this, communication elements within research plan provides clear understanding about the techniques or methods which are used by scholar for interacting with team members.

Sr. No

Communication (Weekly)

Format

Frequency

Distribution

Presentation

1

Progress update

Email or

Presentation

Twice in a week

 Stakeholder and project team members

Determination of outcomes to team members and supervisor

2

Follow up of research strategies

Email, call and messaging

 Once in a week

Team members and participants involved in research.

Effective of strategies towards achievement of objectives is measured

3

 Research rationale and issues discussion

Presentation

 In 2nd week

Team members and stakeholders

 Challenges faced in sourcing literatures is discussed.

4

 Budget discussion

Meeting

In 3rd week

Team members and stakeholders

 Resources required for accomplishment of research will be discussed.

5

Risk analysis and update

Email, meeting

Weekly

Supervisor

Discussion of risk mitigation strategies

Resources

Important element use for execution of activities described in project management plan and accomplishment of research objective. Some resources which are needed for facilitating research involves technology, human resources, capital and other important treat member. This element in research plan help scholar in ensuring data appropriate utilisation of resources during the process of investigation.

Project risk

Various kinds risk have been occurred while execution of investigation such as inappropriate response from respondents, less reliability of data, Lack of understanding bout data analysis and risk of wastage of useful resources and other redundancies etc. Various important strategies have been implemented and all these issues have been resolve d appropriately.

LO2

P4 Small scale research by qualitative and quantitative research methods

Research methodology

These are analysed as specific procedure or techniques which are used by scholar to identify, selection, processing and analysis of information about research. It allows scholar to critically evaluate overall validity and reliability of research in appropriate manner (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault, 2015). In this research, Scholar has utilized various research methodologies to explore the ways for M&S to cope up the challenged of digital disruption and transformation. It involves both qualitative and qualitative research which are mentioned below:

Research philosophy

It is considered as belief of scholar about the direction and method through which data related to the phenomenon will be collected. These research philosophy usually deals with the source, nature and development of knowledge (Mackey and Gass, 2015). Mainly there are two kinds of research philosophy which is mostly used for conducting research such as Positivism and interpretivism. In this research, interpretivism philosophy is used by scholar for accomplishment of research in appropriate manner. It is also considered as appropriate research philosophy which helps the scholar in accomplishment of research objectives (Iordanova and Cunningham, 2012).

Research Design

It usually refers to the overall strategies which scholar has selected in this research for integrating various components of study in logical manner. It also implies to ensuring that scholar will address research problems in appropriate manner (Lewis, 2015). It also combines a blue print for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. Generally there are two kinds of research design which are mostly used in research such as Exploratory and descriptive research design (Lushey and Munro, 2015). In this research, descriptive research design has been employed by researcher as it helps in identification current issues faced by organisation due to digital disruption and transformation through the process of data collection and enables scholar to determine situation more completely (Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee, 2014).

Research Approach

It is analysed as a plan and structure that involves stage of wide assumptions taken by scholar to detailed method of data collection, analysis and interpretation. There are two kinds of research approaches such as deductive and inductive which are mostly used by scholar for conducting research (Silverman, 2016). This research is carried by scholar to explore the ways for business to cope up with the challenges of digital disruptions and transformation. Deductive research approach will support in testing assumption of scholar addressing research problems in appropriate manner.

Sampling

It is analysed as specific principle which has been utilized by scholar to select members of target population which needs to be included in research. Sampling has been classified in to two categories such as probabilistic and non probabilistic (Ledford and Gast, 2018). For completion of this research, probabilistic sampling method is used by scholar in which sample size will be selected through simple random sampling technique. Highly employee support will be taken to complete research in appropriate manner (Nieswiadomy and Bailey, 2017). 30 Employees of Marks and Spencer has been selected as sample size from different departments.

Data collection

It is the process which is used by scholar for gathering relevant data and information related to study by using various tools and techniques. Generally there are two method of data collection such as primary and secondary (Humphries, 2017). In this, primary data is gathered by scholar through questionnaire survey method from selected 30 respondents. Further, Literatures, articles, books and journals is used by scholar for gathering secondary information to identify ways for business to cope up with challenges of digital disruption and transformation.

Data analysis

 It is the process of transforming data collected from various sources in to useful information in order to determined the findings of research (Panneerselvam, 2014). There are usually two methods of data analysis such as Qualitative and Quantitative. In this research, Thematic analysis method is used by scholar which is qualitative methods, Various charts and diagrams have been used for collection for interpretation of outcomes.

LO3

P5 Analysis and findings

Theme 1: M&S has implemented digital technologies at workplace

1) Do you think that M&S has implemented digital technologies at workplace ?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Yes

50.00%

15

(b) No

33.33%

10

(c) Not sure

16.67%

5

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: From this, it is analysed that there are 15 respondents who think that M&S has implemented digital technologies at workplace. 10 Respondent have stated “No” because they think that M&S is using traditional method in business operations whereas 5 people was not sure about the statement. Therefore, it is clear that M&S has implemented digital technologies at workplace.

Theme2: employees are satisfied with implementation of digital technology in business.

2. Are you satisfied with implementation of digital technology in business ?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Yes

53.33%

16

(b) No

33.33%

10

(c) Not sure

13.33%

4

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: 16 respondent have stated yes as they are satisfied with implementation of digital technology in business. 10 respondents are not satisfied with digital transformation whereas 4 were not sure about the statement. However, it can be said that employees are satisfied with implementation of digital technology in business.

Theme 3: Lack of expertise is the major challenge faced by organization due to digital disruption and transformation

3. From the above, which is the major challenges faced by organization due to digital disruption and transformation?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Lack of expertise

50.00%

15

(b) Employee Push back

16.67%

5

(c) Organizational structure

16.67%

5

(d) lack of overall digitization strategy

16.67%

5

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: 50% respondents have stated that lack of expertise is the major challenges of digital transformation. 5 respondents have stated this for employee push back, 5 respondents stated this for organisation structure whereas five stated for lack of digitalization strategy. Thus, it is clear that lack of expertise is major challenge face by organisation due to digital transformation.

Theme4: Hiring new employee is the method used by M&S to gain expertise at workplace

4. Which method is high used by company to gain expertise at workplace?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Hiring new employee

40.00%

12

(b) Provides training

26.67%

8

(c) Outsourcing

33.33%

10

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: from the above response, it is clear that 40% respondent have stated that organisation hire new employees to gain expertise. 26 respondents stated that organisation provide training. 33% of respondents have stated that company outsource to gain information at workplace. However, it clears that M&S hire new employees to gain expertise.

Theme 5: Development of digitization strategy

5. For the above, which method is used by M&S to cope up with challenges of digital transformation?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Development of digitization strategy

53.33%

16

(b) Handling employee push back

26.67%

8

(c) Findings expertise

10.00%

3

(d) Managing organization structure.

10.00%

3

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: It clears that majority of 53% respondent have stated that organisation develop digitalization strategy to cope up with challenges of digital transformation.

Theme 6 digital transformation is beneficial for M&S

6. Do you think that digital transformation is beneficial for M&S ?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Yes

66.67%

20

(b) No

20.00%

6

(c) Not sure

13.33%

4

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: From the above analysis, it is clear that digital transformation is highly beneficial for M&S as it was stated by majority of 67% respondents.

Theme 7:Marketing department in M&S is highly facing challenges of digital disruptions

7. Which department in M&S is highly facing challenges of digital disruptions?

Responses (%)

Frequency

(a) Marketing

66.67%

20

(b) production

16.67%

5

(c) Operations

16.67%

5

Total

100.00%

30

Interpretation: In this, it is clear that marketing department of organisation is facing major challenges due to digital transformation at workplace as it was stated by major of 67% respondents.

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P6 Conclusion and Recommendation

In this report, it is analysed digital transformation and disruption occurs when the changes occur due to implementation of digital technology will affect the values of products and services. There are various important strategies like development of overall strategy and hiring new expertise are the ways through which M&S have cope up with the challenges of digital disruption and transformation. Further, it is recommendation to organisation that it should focus upon providing training to existing employee rather hiring new expertise because it will save their time and reduce challenges of employee pushback and dissatisfaction.

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LO4

P7 Reflection on the values of undertaking research.

In this research, I have carried out analysis of various important tools and technologies used to carry out research on analysis of the ways for business to cope up with challenges of digital transformation and disruption. There are various research methods which have provided understanding about methods which can be used to make research more relevant and reliable. Analysis of secondary resources and critical analysis of arguments has provide support in development of conceptual understanding and knowledge to conduct research. However, through this, I have become able to achieved relevant outcomes from the study. 

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REFERENCES

  • Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O., Pavlou, P. and Venkatraman, N., 2013. Digital business strategy: toward a next generation of insights.
  • Brynjolfsson, E. and McAfee, A., 2012. Race against the machine: How the digital revolution is accelerating innovation, driving productivity, and irreversibly transforming employment and the economy. Brynjolfsson and McAfee.
  • Buguin, J., Dobbs, R., Bisson, P. and Marrs, A., 2013. Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy.
  • Buguin, J., Dobbs, R., Bisson, P. and Marrs, A., 2013. Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy.
  • Hirt, M. and Willmott, P., 2014. Strategic principles for competing in the digital age. McKinsey Quarterly, 5, p.1.
  • Humphries, B., 2017. Re-thinking social research: anti-discriminatory approaches in research methodology. Taylor & Francis.
  • Iordanova, D. and Cunningham, S., 2012. Digital disruption: Cinema moves on-line. St Andrews film studies.
  • Ledford, J.R. and Gast, D.L., 2018. Single case research methodology: Applications in special education and behavioral sciences. Routledge.
  • Lewis, S., 2015. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), pp.473-475.
  • Loebbecke, C. and Picot, A., 2015. Reflections on societal and business model transformation arising from digitization and big data analytics: A research agenda. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(3), pp.149-157.
  • Lushey, C.J. and Munro, E.R., 2015. Participatory peer research methodology: An effective method for obtaining young people’s perspectives on transitions from care to adulthood?. Qualitative Social Work, 14(4), pp.522-537. 
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