Assessment 1: Business Investigation Report
Worth : 20%
Member : Individually developed and submitted
Business Investigation Report
You are to visit a business (see below for your allocated industry), conduct an initial
investigation and prepare a report to the MANAGER OF THE BUSINESS. The report
is to suggest a way in which your client (the owner of the business you have chosen)
can obtain value from use of technology.
Your report should use the following 6 headings exactly. You may include sub
1. Executive Summary: This section introduces yourself (as the employed
business analyst) and tells in a nutshell. Start with: “This report is prepared by
….”, include a very brief description of what you intend to introduce into the
business (summary of the section 5 below) and a couple of sentences that
says what the value of your change will be (e.g., the system will improve your
business by ….”). Executive summary should be minimum 200 words and
maximum 250 words. DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS PAGE
EXCEPT THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
2. Introduction: A description of the business in general terms: Brief discussion
about the industry as a whole (globally and in Australia). Then discuss about
the company – what do they sell, what is the customer base, range of
products offered, how is it different from their competitors. Start “Your
business …” You must use this section to clearly articulate the current
competitive advantage of the store. Make sure this advantage forms part of
your plans for improvement.
Then, identify at least one business process and discuss the business
process by using a BPMN diagram. (If you identify and wish to explain two
business processes, then use two BPMN diagrams and so on). Remember,
this business process will later be improved by using a technological solution
Note. Remember to write the whole report for the manager of the business.
Try and focus on the individual business, not the whole industry. For example,
you need to discuss McDonalds, not the whole fast food business. You
should use “as you know your company has an annual turnover of …” NOT
“the industry of .. has an annual turnover …”;
Between 250-300 words.
3. Business opportunity: First conduct a SWOT analysis – do a single SWOT
for the one business you are analysing. At the END of the SWOT you must
identify explicitly what opportunity you see for the business to benefit from
technology. In other words, identify at least one ‘opportunity’ in the current
business which can be exploited using a technology or technological
innovation that would yield some benefit to the business (e.g., improved
customer experience or saving costs or efficiency gains for the business). The
‘opportunity’ should be aligned with the process you described in section 2.
For example, you explained the “purchase products” process of Coles in
section 2. In section 3, you identified an opportunity that as the customers are
educated and technology-savvy plus most of the customers use mobile apps.
Also, the fishbone diagram identified a steady congestion of the traffic in
checkouts (where there a couple of root causes including lack sufficient
number of checkouts, cashiers).
i) Do not explain your solution in this section – just identify the
opportunity and have a relevant discussion about the opportunity. This
section should be supported by literature including some information
about trends in the industry concerned.
ii) Moreover, identify a current problem/issue of the business and find out
the root cause(s) by developing a fishbone diagram – go at least
third level of detail. Discuss explicitly the causes and their effects.
Your proposed solution (which will be presented in the next section 4)
should solve the root cause(s) of the fishbone analysis. At the end of
this section, you should refer that the proposed technology can
address the problem you identified and presented in this section. For
example, “The fishbone analysis shows that ….. are causes of …. And
these can be addressed by new technology.”
iii) Remember to write the whole report for the manager of the business.
“The SWOT analysis identified opportunities for your business are
available by …”.
4. Technology solution: Recommend a technological change to the business
and describe the way the business might gain benefits from including a
technology within the processes. Start with “I recommend that your business
should change the … process by …”. Discuss the effect of the new
technology on the business, for example, by showing how it will improve a
business process (you identified in section 2). From the given example as we
discussed in section 3, here you suggest self-checkout and checkout-free
shopping (similar to AmazonGo). Here, by using a BPMN diagram, show
where and how the process is improved by your solution. In other words, your
answer should include a new BPMN diagram (fragment) showing new
activities and the old ones that need to be connected – at least one activity
that changes (or is added), one that is altered and one that stays the same.
Be specific about the way the technology will be used and the exact type of
benefit (how will efficiency be gained, what new business will be generated,
how will the customer experience be improved. Not all but at least one of
5. Current System Integration: In this section you take a small part of the
business and indicate which activities will be affected by the new solution.
You should clearly indicate the activities that will change, that will be
eliminated and at least two that are connected but will not change. Start “The
part of your business our recommendation addresses is ….. The diagrams
below indicate the way you currently …”. You should place a BPMN of the
business at the end of your report in a section headed “Appendix A” showing
at least a couple of activities that will be affected by the new way of doing
business. For example, from our example, how the self-checkout system
affects the traditional tasks associated with checking out.
6. References: at least 5 references from a selection of academic and trade
journals, textbooks, business and IT magazines, and newspapers. Additional
references can include web sources, such Wikis, websites, and blogs. Of
course your report is to the manager so the references are to show your
professional competence and that you are not just making things up.
Marking Criteria and Distribution
● Introduction (5 marks). The extent to which the business is analysed in terms
of overall discussion about the industry and business (supported by statistical
data, for example) and how the business process(s) has/have been analysed
by using the BPMN diagram (detail level of diagrams and completeness).
● Business opportunity (5 marks) – The extent to which this has been identified
from the competitor analysis and process descriptions (SWOT and Fishbone
for problem identification). You may BPMN to show you understand the
business and fishbone to show you understand the problem. You must make
reference to the value proposition you identified in section 2.
● Technology solution (5 marks) – relevance and description of the technology
solution – the extent to which the business value of the new technology has
been placed in the context of the business process and the justification of
business value of the change. Your change must build on the identified
competitive advantage. High marks will be reserved for those who have a
solution that clearly meets an opportunity identified in section 3.
Diagrams that only show user experience will not attract high marks. You are
telling the manager what to do for the business, not how you imagine a
customer being pleased.
● Process integration (3 marks) – Your solution must be described fully in the
new BPMN – what new staff activities, what new management activities, what
old activities are required (it would be unusual for a new system not to interact
with the finance system, for example).
● Professionalism (2 marks). This is a business report showing your manager
that you are professional and have earned the money paid to you for the
analysis. This is demonstrated with a professional looking report. Professional
presentation including referencing and executive summary.
NB: This is a report to the owner of ONE business. You will lose marks if you
do not write to the owner, if you insult their current practices or your report
looks like a last minute “top of the head” idea. Most reports would indicate in
some way that the analyst (you) has done some work on understanding the
industry they are consulting into (like some statistics or other market relevant
data, and some references).
YOUR allocated business type:
The last digit of your student number determines the industry to be studied.
0 Find a pop-up shop repair shop (for mobile phone, tablets, watch). There are
many in the corridors of Melbourne Central (selling phone cases, jewellery, etc.).
1 Find a convenience store. You should not choose a chain store (e.g., 7-11); the
other stores rather may be easier for you to find an improvement.
2 Find a small hardware store or $2 shop. NOT Bunnings, but smaller stores like
the one at the Russel Street end of Melbourne Central or a store in the Vic Market.
3 Find a fast food shop/restaurant; do not choose McDonalds or such chain stores.
4 A pharmacy – not a big chain such as Chemist Warehouse.
5 Find a small fashion store. Not H&M or any of the big chains, but a store with less
than 20 staff.
6 Find a souvenir store. There are many at the Flinders end of Elizabeth and
7 Find a hair dresser. You may use an expensive or cut price. The most promising
change to suggest is a new product for them (new service involving hair that they do
not currently offer, such as home visits).
8 Find a camping goods or surplus store. There is one in Elizabeth and another in
9 Find an Asian food retail store. There are many of these in the Vic Market and
near RMIT. You may NOT use a restaurant, nor a large supermarket.
– you cannot change the industry as you are a consultant and paid to do THIS job.
There are examples of all these shops within a short walk of RMIT, so please don’t
tell me you cannot find one.
Where possible you should find outlets which are smaller and less automated to
allow you some room to find an improvement or application of technology. Please do
not limit yourself – consider the whole business from attracting customers and
obtaining goods and services to sell all the way through to after sales service. ANY
part of the business can be improved. You can use a big retailer as an idea
generator for your small store by looking at how they do things differently from the
Remember this is to be non-intrusive observation in the store. Do not interview the
manager nor interfere with the running of the store. JUST observe some interactions
with customers and the way the shop works.
Use TURNITIN to ensure the originality of your report. (Check the RMIT website for
how to use TURNITIN on blackboard instructions)