Behavior Change Matrix

Introduction

According to Rowe (2005) one of the most disturbing habits that face many teens and young adults is eating habits, which also affects me. The eating habits need to be shaken up a bit in order to live a healthy life and also lose weight (Roblin, 2007). Below is a chart showing a week long changes in the eating habits. The table will record aspects at two different periods in the day that the habits have the greatest impact.

Date Time Situation Emotions Thoughts Consequences
Monday 10 AM Break Adding frozen vegetables to everything Confused

Inspired

Anxiety

Will I ever get used to eating these veggies Feeling like re-eating something sweet
Lunch break Order first when eating with others Apprehensive

Uncomfortable

How will my judgmental friends think about me A lot of questions from friends

Some sense of independence

Tuesday 10 AM Break No eating Uncomfortable

Hesitant

Will I make it to lunch break Very hungry
Lunch break Plate with full of veggies and protein and less curbs Optimistic

Determined

Interested

Are veggies supposed to be eaten this regularly Getting used to vegetables
Wednesday 10 AM Break No eating Uncomfortable

determined

Failing to eat during 10 AM is not that bad Hungry but less compared to the previous day
Lunch break Eat veggies first on the plate Uncomfortable

Determined

Inspired

These veggies have become a common place but they are not all that bad Appreciating vegetables are not that bad
Thursday 10 AM Break Sweetening coffee using almond milk Uncomfortable

Nervous

The tea is not all that sweet.  The tea is not as sweet as before
Lunch break Avoiding destructions when eating Comfortable Actually concentrating while eating is not that hard and it is comfortable  Better metabolism and more comfort

Good manners

Friday 10 AM Break No eating Determined

Optimistic

Feeling good without eating Not hungry
Lunch break Eating steamed food instead of fried ones. Uncomfortable

Hesitant

Doesn’t taste that good. A little fat can suffice  Lacking taste
Saturday 10 AM Break Drink green tea instead of coffee regularly Uncomfortable

Nervous

Green tea is rather uncomfortable to drink but it has health benefits Lack of taste, very uncomfortable
Lunch break Use mister for olive oil Positive

Surprised

It’s quite surprising that mister has low calories and is an awesome substitute. Food tastes more flavored and has fewer calories.
Sunday 10 AM Break No eating  Determined

Pride

Now am used to it Not hungry
Lunch break Eating a little Contented

Determined 

A little can be enough only if you eat a balanced diet Comfortable and relaxed.

 

The chat above shows the desired change in the first week. The desired change is to heat more health and reduce the frequency of eating per day. The main criteria used is introducing of more vegetables in the menu, not eating in all 10 AM breaks and choosing more steamed food rather than fried ones. Discomfort and nervousness are felt most at first due to changing of the status quo (Dennett, 2014) but with time determination and optimism start to show up which is a positive sign. Exercise will be included later when proper eating habits are established.

 

CVS Caremark

Introduction

CVS Caremark is the largest healthcare providers in the United States. CVS has over seven thousand retail pharmacy stores countrywide. The company is divided into pharmacy services and retail services. The mission statement: improve the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access. Vision statement: We strive to improve the quality of human life. Strategy: reinventing pharmacy. Purpose: helping people on their path to better health. Values: Innovation, collaboration, caring, integrity, and accountability (Nathan, n.d.). This paper is going to center on CVS Caremark’s objectives for improving its financial position, the performance metrics, targets, and actions.

Three objectives can be used to improve the financial position of the company. Firstly, the company should aim at improving its working capital so that it cannot become bankrupt by being unable to settle debts in the short term. The working capital ratio for CVS Caremark is 1.37 as at 31st December 2014 (corp, 2015), which is relatively low. The second objective would be to increase equity financing and reduce debt financing. Debt financing has an effect of reducing the earnings and can lead to additional interest expense. As at 31st December 2014, the Debt to Equity ratio for CVS Caremark was 0.96, (corp, 2015). Lastly, the company should increase its revenues and reduce the cost of goods sold. The gross profit margin for CVS Caremark as at 31st December 2014 was 18% (corp, 2015). This is relatively low. 

The objectives that are set can be measured using financial metrics. Financial metrics are mainly concerned with the financial statements of CVS Caremark i.e., the income statement, the cash flow statement and the balance sheet. For the first objective, the financial metric to be used is the liquidity metrics which address short term financial obligations. The company’s working capital ratio is referred to as current assets divided by current liabilities. The working capital of the company is not that off, but it needs to improve in order to meet short term obligations efficiently. The second objective’s financial metric is leverage metrics i.e., the debt to equity ratio (D/E). The D/E is used to measure the degree to which a company either uses debt financing or equity financing. A high debt to equity ratio is not good for business as it may lead to insolvency. The third objective financial metric is profitability metric i.e. gross profit margin. As stated earlier, the gross profit margin for CVS Caremark is relatively low, and it needs to increase it to provide a better health care. 

The target for the first objective is to increase the working capitals that will in turn increase the working capital ratio. The working capital should be greater than or equal to two. In simple terms, this will involve increasing the currents and decreasing the current liabilities. The actions to be taken include; issuing stocks and preferred stocks for cash, selling long term assets for cash and replacing long term debts with short terms debts. All these actions have the effect of increasing cash and reducing short term debts. The target for the second objective is to increase equity financing and reducing debt financing. The D/E ratio should be 0.5 or below, this can be achieved by; restructuring debt, bringing in investors, better management of inventory and, increasing sales revenue and profitability. The target of the third objective is to increase the gross profit margin by more than 50%, this can be achieved by lowering the cost of goods sold (e.g. by finding cheaper suppliers, outsourcing, and quality and cheap raw materials), and increasing both the sales and the selling price.

In conclusion, all the three objectives are meant to enable CVS Caremark to run efficiently by ensuring it is financially sound and able to carry out its day to day operations business. With a high level of profit margin and minimum debts, CVS Caremark will be able to provide high quality health services due to less financial obligations and more funds at their disposal. The table below shows a summary of the study.

Objective 

Measure 

Target 

Action

Improve working capital

Liquidity metric

Increase working capital to greater than or equal to two

  • Issuing stocks and preferred stocks for cash
  • Selling long term assets for cash 
  • Replacing short term debts with long term debts

Increase equity financing

Leverage metric

The D/E equal to or less than 0.5

  • Restructuring debt
  • Bringing in investors
  • Better inventory management
  • Increase sales revenue

Increasing the gross profit

Profitability metric

Increase the gross profit margin by more than 50%

  • Lowering cost of goods sold 
  • Increasing sales volume
  • Increasing selling price

 

Tax Reforms

Tax reforms are defined as the modifying the way that tax are managed or collected. There have been debates that individuals should have a tax choice such that they have controls to tax that they have been allocated; this is significant because it will portray the areas that the population truly value thus enabling the government to offer their services efficiently. American taxpayers are allowed a tax choice between the standard deductions and the itemized deductions. Under the United States law (Burman & Slemrod, 2013), Standard deductions is a dollar amount that reduces ones taxable income that is based on filing status and eliminates the need to itemize actual deductions. Itemized deductions refer to a reduced tax on the taxable income that is reported by an individual on their federal income tax returns. Examples of allowable itemized deductions are; medical expenses, local and state taxes paid investment interest and charitable contributions. This paper will focus on proposed reforms on itemized deductions in terms of costs and benefits and how they compare to the current laws. 

Over the years the Pease limitations on itemized deduction has been subject of country-wide debate. Many individuals think that it does not make any sense. The Pease limitation is meant to reduce the estimation of taxpayer’s itemized deductions by 3% for every dollar of taxable income above a certain limit. The phase-out of the estimated value of itemized deductions is topped at 80 percent of the total value of the itemized deductions (Taxpolicycenter.org, 2015). Many of American taxpayers, this does not make sense because the 80% capping is hypothetical; in an ideal situation majority of the taxpayers will never hit the 80 percent cap. Itemized deductions are directly proportional to an individual’s income i.e. an increase individual’s income leads to an increase in the itemized deductions and vice versa. Therefore, the local and state income tax of an individual will increase with increase in his income because he has to pay more in income taxes. In this case, Pease limitations continually phases out 3% per additional dollar of a taxpayer’s itemized deductions to infinity.

Pease is less efficient in reducing the value of certain itemized deductions as it is connected to the taxpayers Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) instead of the estimated value of the itemized deductions. The cap on the Pease limitation does not change the marginal benefit of deductions. The real marginal tax rate for individuals is 40.8% but not 39.6% as perceived by many taxpayers, this has been brought about by the complexities that came with Pease limitations on itemized deductions. A simple way to increase the marginal individual tax rate for the high income earners would be just increasing the marginal tax rates (Long, 2000).

The first proposal on itemized deductions reforms would be to restrict the tax benefits on the itemized deductions to 28% of their aggregate value. The taxpayers that will be having a statutory rate of more than 28 percent will receive less benefit compared to the individual itemized deductions in the current law. The middle and low income tax payers in the statutory tax bracket equal to 28% and below would not be affected by the tax reforms. The Joint Committee on Taxation gauges that this will increase income by an average of $ 13 billion every year for the next ten years (‘Joint committee on taxation issues tax simplification study’, 2013). 

The second proposal would be to limit the tax benefits of itemized deductions to 6% of the taxpayer’s Adjusted Gross Income. Individuals with savings from itemized deductions at 6% and below will be unaffected by the changes while those with savings from itemized deductions that are more than 6% of their Adjusted Gross Income will receive less benefits from itemized deductions under the current law. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this approach will increase the revenues by an average of $7 billion every year for the next ten years (‘Joint committee on taxation issues tax simplification study’, 2013).

The third proposal would be to alter the current filing status i.e. the restriction of the itemized deductions for married taxpayers who file joint returns to $500,000 and that of other tax payers to half of that for married taxpayers’ i.e. $250,000. These limits should be adjusted for inflation.  The married taxpayers who file joint returns with itemized deductions that exceed $500,000 and for other individuals, who exceed $250,000, would receive less benefit from the itemized deductions than under the current law. Married couples that file taxes jointly with itemized deductions equal to or less than $500,000, and other individual taxpayers with itemized deductions equal to or less than $250,000 will not be affected by the changes. The Joint Committee on taxation estimates that this approach will increase t he revenues by an average of $14 billion every year for the next ten years (‘Joint committee on taxation issues tax simplification study’, 2013). 

In conclusion, the essence of the aforementioned options is to increase the efficiency of the tax code. Increasing the benefits on certain itemized deductions will lead to more of the taxpayers spending more on the favored itemized deductions (Feldstein, Feenberg & MacGuineas, 2011). For example, if the mortgage expenses have more benefits on deductions, then more taxpayers will take more mortgages and this could lead to an economic bubble similar to the 2008 credit crunch. The three alternatives mentioned above are meant to limit the benefits on itemized deductions to an optimal level to improve the tax code equilibrium and efficiency.

 

Literary Works

Introduction

Literary works are simply defined as creative or imaginative writing (Alanus et al., n.d.). Literary works are meant to pass a message across from the author to an intended target or users through the use of figurative language. The deliberate arrangement of words and diction gives the purpose of any literary work. Some literary works are meant to give aesthetic pleasure and entertainment. Rarely does literary work use referential writing because it uses symbolic and figurative language to convey its message. Most literary works are fictions because they are created from imagination rather than an empirical study. Literary works can be broadly categorized into two groups: fiction and non-fiction. Fiction is any work that is not real and is written in prose e.g., folklore, fantasy, legend, drama, short stories, mystery, fable, poetry, etc. On the other hand, non-fiction literature is works that is narrated or written from a real-life experience e.g. journals, autobiographies, biography, textbook, speech, essay, etc. This paper will focus on fiction literature i.e. poems, short stories and drama, with a major concerns of the elements of fiction in each and examples.

A short story is a script that is written but not performed but rather read to an audience. Short stories are brief and are written in a narrative pose (Gioia & Gwynn, 2006). The elements in a short story include setting, characters, point of view, plot, symbolism, themes, tone, and irony. Setting refers to the time, place and atmosphere in which a short story takes place. In most short stories, the setting is significant in the achievement of conveying the message. Most of the settings are symbolic in portraying the historical period, year, time of the day, geographical location, mood and weather or climatic conditions. Character is used to denote the attributes of a person in a short story or the person himself. The qualities of characters in a short story are inferred either from a dialogue or what they do in a short story. The protagonist is the main character in a story, and the story revolves around him or her. A person who is pitted against the protagonist is known as the antagonist and if he/she is evil the he /she is referred as a villain.

Point of view is the angle in which the story is narrated. The story can be narrated by an innocent eye, first-person, stream of consciousness or omniscient. An innocent eye perspective is narrating through the judgments of a child. The first person narrative is told through the protagonist or a close person to the protagonist. A stream of consciousness is narrated so that the listeners can feel they are inside the thoughts of the characters. The omniscient point of view is narrated where the character can shift from one event to another or one character to another. Plot is the unraveling of events that are arranged in a specific sequence. The sequence in a short story is; introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and then resolution. The introduction serves as the revelation of the characters and the setting. The rising action is where the conflict or point of story is revealed. The climax is the highest point of conflict. The falling action is where conflict starts to be resolved. Lastly, resolution is where the conflict is either resolved or not. 

Symbolism refers to the use of one object to represent another in order to add meaning in a short story. Symbolism is used in short stories in alluding to the meaning of something without being obvious. Symbols can be cultural symbols, personal symbols, overt symbols, and intangible objects-symbols. Cultural symbols are used to allude to the surrounding environment in order to understand the setting. For personal symbols they not need to be universal, an author can use a symbol that is best understood to him and explains it to his audience. Overt symbols are symbols that can be obvious, and a reader who is not keen can miss them.

Choice of words or diction is a style of writing of speaking determined by the type of words the speaker or the writer chooses to use. In order to use good diction that the readers will understand, authors of short stories use words that are easily comprehendible by the listeners/readers, the words should be in line with the context they are used, and the words must be accurate and right. The theme of a short story is the main idea that the author of a story is trying to convey. The title of a short story either alludes to the theme of a short story or is actually the theme of the short story. Figures of speech can be used to determine the theme e.g. similes, hyperbole or irony. The tone is the manner in which the author of a short story approaches the theme or subject matter. The tone in a short story can mainly be determined by the choice of words by the author. The attitude of the author towards the subject matter creates the mood of a short story and determines the seriousness that the audience should read the literature. There are different types of tones, some examples include; passionate, sarcastic, reflective, reserved, nostalgic, optimistic, etc. 

Irony is an element in literature that states or implies something but an opposite meaning is meant. There are three types of irony that are used in literature; verbal irony, dramatic irony and situational irony. Verbal irony appears when a speaker states one thing but means the opposite or another. Dramatic irony is a situation where the audience is aware of the situation, but the characters are not. Situational irony happens when a certain situation is expected, but the reverse of the expectation occurs. 

Short story: the dangerous helper

The theme of the short story is tactfulness or strategy when facing the enemy. The plot of the story starts with the introduction of the Swan and the Crab, then the rising action starts when the Snake starts to eat the Swan’s eggs. The climax is the killing of the snake. The falling action is when the mongoose also started to eat the Swan’s eggs. The resolution is to get rid of the mongoose. A situational irony is used in the short story: the Swan and the Crab thought that the Mongoose would solve their problem, but actually, he becomes a problem too. The protagonists of the short story are the Crab and the Swan who can be considered tactful even though their plan backfires at the end. The Mongoose and the snake are the antagonists and they are villains. The topic of the poem is also ironic: the dangerous helper. The snake is symbolic of evil. 

Poetry is a rhythmical composition of literary works that is either spoken or written through creative and imaginative thoughts (Tone Pavček, 2011). Imagery is the use of certain words that appeal to human senses and create visual representations in the human mind. There are two main purposes for using imagery in poems; firstly, imagery embellishes poetry; secondly, imagery is a strong language that is used to pass message to the readers through the various senses i.e. organic, olfactory, visual, gustatory, tactile, and auditory.  

Figurative language is the describing of something or someone by comparing it to another. Figurative languages are used to make certain linguistic points by the use of comparisons and exaggeration (Brooks-Young, 2008). Examples of figurative language are; similes, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, symbolism, idiom, cliché, onomatopoeia, synecdoche, metonymy, and assonance. Symbolism as described in the short story section is the use of a certain object to represent another. The symbolism in poetry serves the same purpose as in the short stories. Also word choice or diction is the use of certain words as preferred by the author. The diction in poetry should be good and accurate in order to convey the desired message in poetry. Theme is the subject matter in a poem that a poet is trying to convey. The theme in a poem may be found in the topic of the poem, the figurative language or any other stylistic device used in the poem.

The tone in a poem is the attitude that a poet feels towards the audience or the subject matter (Tone Pavček, 2011). The tone of a poem can either be one throughout the poem or it can change in the course of the poem. The tone in a poem is mainly determined by; music and rhythms of a poem, the choice of words by the author, how images are represented, and the implications of a statement. Poems can use sound devices to reinforce the message in a poem. The most common sound devices used in poems are; accent, alliteration, assonance, consonance, cacophony, dissonance, euphony, internal rhyme, meter, modulation, near rhyme, onomatopoeia, phonetic symbolism, resonance, rhyme and rhythm. 

Poem: Auto Wreck by Karl Shapiro

The theme for the poem is death; the author compares car crash with other forms of death such as cancer, war and suicide. The mood of the poem is both reflective and gloomy because it tells a story of a sad incident. The author of the poem carefully chooses his words e.g. he uses convalescent to bring a clear picture of a person recovering from an illness. Sound devices are used in the poem e.g. onomatopoeia: “silver bell beating, beating” hyperbole: “ponds of blood.” The irony used in this poem is “grim joke.” Jokes are meant to be funny, not sad. Red light pulsing out in the poem is used to symbolize the light red light of an ambulance.

Drama is a written script that is performed rather than narrated. Sometimes drama is referred to as play. There are many forms of drama, but the common ones include; tragedy, comedy, melodrama, tragicomedy, conflict, action, utile dulce, farce, and interludes. Setting in a drama is used to portray the place, atmosphere and time where the drama is played. The setting in the drama is used to convey a strong message about the subject matter. The characters in a drama are used to refer to the person or the quality traits of persons in the drama. The main character that the drama revolves around is known as the protagonist while the person pitted against the protagonist is known as the antagonist. The author of a drama can use characterization to determine the characters of the cast. Drama mainly uses dialogue and it is from this that the characters of the cast are known. 

Plot is the sequence or chronology of events in a drama. The sequences of events in a drama are; introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The stage directions are the cues used by the author in a drama to signify actions or sounds or any other thing portrayed by a character in a play. Stage directions are usually denoted in brackets/parenthesis. The stage direction assists the audience to better understand the play and also to determine the mood of a certain scene. Symbolism is the use of one thing to represent another. Theme is the subject matter(s) being discussed by an author in drama. Lastly, dialogue is the conversation between two or more people in a play. The dialogue is used to develop the plot in a play, and it is through the dialogue that things like mood, character traits, and subject matter are determined. 

Drama: Trifles

The theme for Trifles is gender differences and isolation. The setting of the play is during a time when women’s opinions did not count i.e., the late nineteenth century. The play is set in the winter which symbolizes the gloomy farmhouse of the Wrights. The play is set in the kitchen which is a domain for the cab. The plot of the play starts with the introduction of the characters, then the rising action starts when the men leave the kitchen and the women started to collect the evidence. The climax occurs when Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peter discover the dead canary and they definitely knew that Mrs. Wright had killed her husband. The falling action is when the men came back to the room and were sure John was killed by the wife, but they could not find the motive. The women resolved not to resurface the evidence as they empathized with Mrs. Wright. An example of symbolism used is the noose that symbolized death. An example of a stage direction is when the county Attorney says that Mrs. Wright is not much of a house keeper ( as he kicks his foot the dirty pans under the sink) (Glaspell, Winchell & Glaspell, 2004), showing his frustration.  

Values are the personal or generally acceptable standards while the moral is the rightness or wrongness of an action. In the short story dangerous helper, one of the morals of the story is what goes around comes back around. The snake used to eat the eggs of the swan, and he was killed by the Mongoose. Another important value is friendship, Crab helped Swan through his trying times. In the poem Auto wreck, the morale of the poem is how technology has made life more dangerous and how humans have perceived accidents caused by technology as normal thus not a cause of concern. In Trifles, it was not morally right for the women to hide the evidence and also for Mrs. Wright to kill her husband. The men in Trifles dismiss the opinions of the women, which is a rather primitive way of acting. 

Of all the three literary works, Trifles stands out. Firstly, there is the three aspects of the setting, i.e. the domain which is the kitchen where the women spend most of their time and they are experts at their field. Secondly, the winter climate setting is used to display the conditions of the farmhouse i.e. gloomy. Thirdly, the era in which the play is set is when women were not allowed to vote; therefore, their opinion did not count, also during this period, women’s place was at home to take care of the domestic chores. What is intriguing about this play is how Susan Glaspell uses a simplistic approach to send a very strong message. She uses a simple farmhouse and kitchen setting to explore the topic on gender difference which is a thorny issue even in the modern world. The play trifles has a rather confusing ending, Mrs. Wright is guilty, but the women justify her actions by stating that her husband drove her to killing him. The best lesson that one can learn from this play is that women should not be treated as second class citizens and should have equal opportunities as men as they are capable of doing what men can do. Secondly, teamwork is important; if the men could have teamed up with the women, then they could have come u with a better solution. 

In conclusion, literature utilizes creative and imaginary events and people to bring out the best in a subject or theme. Literature uses styles such as figurative language and symbolism to convey a strong message in a simple way that is comprehendible to the audience. Literature also brings new perspectives in how we view things in the world. 

 

Hypothetical Research Approaches

Introduction
Research approaches refers to methods that are used to conduct a research. Research is carried out for exploratory purposes, descriptive purposes and explanatory purposes (Creswell, 2003). Explanatory research seeks to explore new theoretical ideas either through a new topic or a new angle. Exploratory research sets precedence for future research in areas or angles that have never been exploited before. Descriptive research involves adding “meat to the bone” that has already been created by the exploratory approach. This research delves into more details into providing adequate information on a specific topic. Lastly, explanatory research looks at the relationship between variables i.e. cause and effect. It shows how variables affect each other and how a certain phenomenon came to be. There are three main types of hypothetical research approaches, they are qualitative, quantitative, and mixed (pragmatic approach to research). This paper delves in developing the three hypothetical research approaches from an emerging prospective research topic’s problem statement and purpose, how the approach is applicable to the purpose and the pros and cons of the different hypothetical research approaches.

Quantitative approach: In the research paper “Approach to holistic security in wireless sensor network (WSN)” the purpose statement is that there are issues that are affecting the efficiency of wireless sensor networks and they include; loss of information from unaware locations, problems of latency and problems of huge energy consumption (Bilouham and Gupta, 2011). The purpose of the study is to investigate these issues and mitigate them. A quantitative approach can be used to collect the data that is required for analyzing the information. This being a technical subject, the information would be manufacturers and installers of the wireless sensor networks. A random sampling plan will be used to choose the participants in the subject to obtain a diversified and objective view on the subject. The main research collection methods will be surveys (Questionnaires and structured interviews), non-participant observation, experiments and tests. The surveys will be based on the magnitude of the security threats on the physical layer, data link layer, network layer, transport layer and application layer. The participants will answer on the layers that think affect the latency, energy consumptions and loss of information. The statistics will be collected to determine what layer has the highest degree of all the three problems in order to determine the best holistic approach to curb the problem.

The researcher can use non-participant observation by monitoring the target population in and collecting his own data from the information and experienced from the natural environment. The researcher will sample different subjects in order to obtain statistics on the validity and degree of credibility from the different sources. Lastly the researcher should carry out experiments and tests on the wireless sensor networks with the help of an expert in the field, for example plotting a graph of simulation time against energy consumption by using different models of the simulator i.e. battery, radio and CPU models.

This approach will help to determine the quantity of energy consumed by wireless sensor networks and the quantity of energy consumed that is acceptable to operate the WSN effectively. The approach will help to determine the time period between the stimulation and response during latency in the transmission.

Qualitative approach: In the research paper “Approach to holistic security in wireless sensor network (WSN)” the problem statement is that security is the biggest problem facing WSN and there is a lack of collaboration in adopting a holistic approach to the security threats instead a layer-by-layer approach has strong support. The purpose of the study is to determine the different problems facing the WSN, the security threats and the best method to mitigate the threats. The target population will be random techno-savvy individuals who are experts in WSNs. The data collection methods utilized include; unstructured interviews, diaries, case studies, document analysis, and ethnographic studies.

Unstructured interviews will be used to obtain other problems facing WSNs other than security threats e.g., longevity and connectivity, for the purpose of comparison. Ethnographic studies can be carried out by observing how different WSNs perform depending on the layer, components, time, duration, and other observables; this can take months to obtain accurate information. A case study may be used to represent the wide setting of the topic, for example, a case study of energy efficiency. Lastly, document analysis and diaries are used to research on previous information on the topic that has been already documented and might be helpful in the subject.
The qualitative approach will achieve the purpose of the study by exploring the unique characteristics of the subject area, reducing subjectivity in the research topic and in-depth research through the use of secondary resources to come up with the different problems affecting WSNs, the security threats that are faced at the different level and a holistic approach to remedy the threat.

The mixed hypothetical approach is a pragmatic method that is versatile in using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In the above research it can mix different data collection methods, for example, experiments and ethnographic studies, to achieve a desired result. The mixed approach will enable the researcher to achieve the purpose by drawing the strength of the result from the different methods (Bergman, 2011).

Qualitative research is used to obtain people’s perceptions on a specific subject through in-depth analysis in order to construct a comprehensive hypothesis. Qualitative research does not require empirical support but rather it requires human reasoning on a subject area. This approach utilizes unstructured interviews, which are important in engaging the respondents and build their comments more actively compared to a structured survey. Qualitative approach analyses issues in details giving the researcher and the user of the research report adequate information on the topic (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). Qualitative research enables the researcher to probe his/her respondents more, enabling him to gain more information and rationale on the subject. There is information that cannot be quantified, such as human desires, emotions, and needs, qualitative approach plays an important role in filling this gap in research (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1984). You cannot validate trends using statistical analysis e.g. using the p-test; this can only be done by the use of a continuous qualitative research. The structure of a qualitative approach is flexible as the surfacing of new information can be easily included in the research. The data in qualitative approaches are more compelling as they are narrated from human experience compared to empirical studies.

On the contrary, qualitative approaches have their own weaknesses. It is quite expensive and time consuming to collect a large amount of data because it is not possible to automate qualitative data collection. It may be difficult to preserve confidentiality in qualitative researches especially during presentation of findings as this may compromise on the confidentiality. The presence of the researcher during information gathering may pose leading questions and also force answers which increase biasness. The absence of the researcher during data collection may lead to wrong interpretation of data due to lack of clarification. Poor skills on the side of the researcher may compromise the credibility of the research. The scope of the research is limited due to the time consumed and resources required during an in-depth analysis.

The Quantitative research methods strength is brought about by the use of numerical data in analyzing of information. The structured case studies and surveys enhance comparability and assessment because the respondents answer similar questions. It is quite simple to compress a huge set of data using numbers that are easy to comprehend and easily convenient (Vogt, 2011). Compared to qualitative research, in quantitative research, the researcher is not a participant; therefore he cannot influence the research. Quantitative research collection methods are relatively easy to complete and consume less time due to the strict structures of the methods. Quantitative research the production of data statements through the use of statistics such as ANOVA, multiple regression, standard, deviation, mean, t-tests and mean.
In complex situations, research using the quantitative methods can be confusing for both the researcher and the purpose that the research is intended for. Having a small sample size may cause a researcher not to obtain a statistical significance level. Sometimes a huge sample size may cause the significance level to lose meaning. Quantitative research may not display a broad view of the subject matter, and it may be difficult to interpret the data, especially when respondents provide insufficient information due to the structured surveys and interviews.

It can sometimes be difficult to use of the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods because one has to do solid research using to methods, this can be quite cumbersome. The mixed-methods help in the triangulation of the different results that helps in providing rich data sets and in-depth analysis. If a researcher has not planned how to integrate both methods, then he cannot be able to achieve the purpose of the study, or rather, it will produce an incomprehensible and an inconclusive study. It is difficult to find a researcher that is good at both designs (Onwuegbuzie, Collins, Frels & O’Cathain, n.d.).

Investment Potential In The Healthcare

Introduction
The healthcare system in the United States can be described as a disease management system rather than a healthcare system. Despite spending a whopping $2.7 trillion annually on the health system, the United States is one of the poor performing health systems among the developed countries. A recent research discovered that in the $2.7 trillion invested in the healthcare sector, $750 billion is wasted annually; this is a crisis of massive proportions. The amount that the United States spends on health per person is twice the amount per person of any industrialized country in the world. In the advent of the Affordable Healthcare for America Act, it came with hope and promises, but it never lived up to its name because millions of Americans still do not have access to affordable and quality healthcare plans (Motti, 2008). This paper will look at the current status and the investment opportunities of the United States healthcare sector.
The US spends an average of $8,500 per capita on healthcare; this is more than half of per capita than any other country in the world spends on healthcare (Washington Post, 2015). These countries are the likes of Germany, Australia, UK, Italy, Spain, Canada, China, Japan, France and Brazil. As mentioned earlier, the Americans do not get value for their taxes as they lose close to $750 billion annually in the healthcare sector: this is due to outright fraud, prevention failures, and inefficient management of the delivery of care, unnecessary services, inflated prices and excessive administrative costs. The Americans are medically impoverished as most face difficulties in settling their medical bills due to lack of insurance or underinsurance (Blendon, Leitman, Morrison & Donelan, 1990). It is saddening to see Americans becoming bankrupt due to medical bills. The American hospitals are expensive compared to other industrialized Countries i.e. up to thrice the amount. The largest defrauder in the healthcare sector in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, a normal saline costs 45 cents per dollar to manufacture, but upon reaching the pharmacy, it costs an astronomical $540.
The United States is only second to Australia when it comes to high rates of acute diseases. The high rate of chronic diseases can be attributed to a lack of preventive care in the healthcare sector. The public health care should be concerned with the eating habits of its citizens to prevent the ever increasing rates of diseases such as obesity. Many children today in America eat processed foods that lack nutrients and are full of chemical additives and sugar. It is disturbing to find out that more than 7000 individuals die every year because of floppy physician handwriting. The poor coordination in the healthcare sector is prevalent due to the gaps in communication, double testing and poor access to medical records (Ruggie, 2004).
Preventable medical mistakes is on the rise in the United States as an average of 1,000 individuals die every day due to issues like; adverse drug reactions, surgery on a wrong body part and infections acquired while in the hospital. These errors are preventable by the government by sanctioning those responsible and implementing strict laws on negligence. These calls have gone unheeded by the government. The rate of primary care givers to 1,000 people in America is very low; it stands at 0.5 per 1,000 people compared to an African country like South Africa which is 0.8 per 1,000 people (Data.worldbank.org, 2015). Many developed countries have a rate of more than 2 physicians per 1,000 people.
Lastly, Americans are hugely dissatisfied with their healthcare system. Accessing medical assistance after-hours is difficult. The health sector should be a 24 hours/ 365 days a year service because of its criticality, just as the military. Americans need to be served at any time, be it a weekend, early in the morning, late in the evening and on a holiday. Physicians ought to be paid commensurate to their quality of care (Williams, 2011). UK has a stunning 95% rating in remunerating their physicians incommensurate to their quality of care compared to a meager 30% in the United States.
There are some quite commendable areas in the US healthcare sector, but it needs a total overhaul. The healthcare has shorter waits for surgery compared to other healthcares in the world. The United States has the highest number of specialist physicians. One of the greatest advantages of the health care is freedom of choice: the doctors can practice anywhere while the patients can choose the doctors they want to see. The insurance plans are divided into private insurance, public and employee based plans. The private and the employee based plan have worked so well for the Americans, but the public plan that is mainly composed of Medicaid and Medicare has lagged behind in terms of performance and efficiency.
The Health sector just like any other sector is a viable for investing. The sector is made up of various industries such as the health insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals. The United States being a laissez-faire, it has little or no control when it comes to matters of economic growth. More so, the government has failed enormously in providing quality and affordable healthcare to its citizens. The private sector has showed their might and capacity to provide quality medical care even though it comes with a higher price (Kelly & Teufel, 2011). The government should change its role from participating in the provision of healthcare services to oversight i.e. monitoring and control. The government should be less involved in the health sector as a business opportunity because this will lead to a rise in the number of hospitals, insurance packages and pharmaceutical, this will trigger improved quality of services by the service providers in order to have a competitive advantage and eventually this will lead to lower prices due to the increased number of entrants. Despite the myriad investment opportunities in the health sector, health care stocks have a brighter future. Firstly, the aging population percentage in the US is on the rise, and this means that the old will need more health-care related products. Secondly, there is increased in cost of treatment in the US and what this means is that money definitely goes to a certain company. Thirdly, in the pharmaceutical sector, impressive discovering has led to health stocks soaring very high to even more than 500%. Lastly, when the government makes a big change to a deteriorating healthcare, there are those who always benefit e.g., when the $800 billion economic stimulus plan was launched in 2009, health record system vendors benefited, and the health care stocks soared. With the currently troubled health care system, the government is poised, sooner or later, for a big change.
In conclusion, technology is inseparable from the healthcare sector for the provision of quality and efficient services. The benefits of technology in healthcare far outweigh the risks. For example, electronic health records is a good investment in the sector because records are easily accessible, comprehensive, authentic and convenient, compared to the paper based health records. Despite the benefits of technology, measures should be taken to integrate and monitor technology, for example, hackers can access or alter medical records of patients breaching their confidentiality or even compromising their health. Systems should be put in place to prevent the risks that may arise in using technology.

Business Model and Strategic Plan

Introduction

The University of Phoenix should bring Starbucks within its premises; the students spend time and money to go outside the University premises to receive quality coffee, tea, drinks, and other foodstuffs. Starbuck is the largest coffee house serving cold beverages, hot beverages, and snacks. The company is well renowned for its quality products, and bringing them to the University of Phoenix will be convenient for the University community.

According to research, despite being the most important beverage on the planet, coffee has a myriad of benefits to humans, and introducing it to the cafeteria would be a plus in terms of returns for the cafeteria and physical benefits for the clients. The most important benefits of coffee are; coffee is good for the liver as it prevents cirrhosis and other liver-related diseases, it can prevent or reduce the chances of contracting Alzheimer and dementia, caffeine in the coffee can help in increasing the metabolic rate to even 10% more, it contains vitamin B2 and B5 that are necessary for survival and it contains antioxidants that helps the body fight diseases (Duarte & Reis, 2015).
Making known the benefits of coffee to the human body will ensure the customers to the cafeteria double or even triple because of coffee. Coffee drinks are of various types meant to serve a wide base of clientele. The most famous coffee drinks that will be introduced in the cafeteria are; espresso, macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, red-eye and caffe latte. The main objectives of the cafeteria are having yearly increase in its earnings and customer satisfaction. In order to achieve this, the cafeteria will strive to provide a wide array of coffee drinks, offer the finest coffee beans e.g., gourmet beans from different distributors.

The mission for the University of Phoenix is to give access to advanced education opportunities that empower students to acquire knowledge and abilities important to accomplish their expert objectives, enhance the performance of their organizations, and give leadership and services to their communities.

The purpose of the University of Phoenix is to encourage intellectual and affective student learning—information, aptitudes, and values—and to advance utilization of that information in the student’s work environment. Secondly to create fitness in correspondence, basic considering, cooperation and data usage, together with a pledge to deep-rooted learning for upgrade of students’ opportunities for vocation achievement. Thirdly, to give guideline that conquers any hindrance between theory and practice. Fourthly, to provide general education and functional instruction that prepares students for the University curricula. Fifthly the use technology and innovation for enhanced student learning. Sixthly, the University aims at providing scholarly excellence and quality to foster an innovative culture. Lastly, the University aims at generating more resources in supporting the University’s mission (Phoenix.edu, 2015).

The mission statement for Starbucks is to inspire and nurture the human spirit-one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time (Starbucks Coffee Company, 2015). The company is aiming at having a positive impact to the community through the provision of quality services and using this as the stepping stone to greater heights. The mission statement for the company will be in line with the parent company.
The main business for the Starbucks cafeteria will be the sale of coffee and tea. Other business will be the sale of soft drinks and snacks. In order to satisfy the consumers and obtain a competitive advantage, the cafeteria will utilize the use of quality products, skilled baristas and converting the consumers to connoisseur. To provide quality products, effort need to be invested in the equipments and raw materials that are needed to prepare the coffee. The equipments can either be for a hot beverage or a cold beverage. Some of the hot beverage equipments include; coffee pressers, coffee urns, coffee warmers, coffee grinders, commercial coffee brewers and espresso/cappuccino machines. For the cold beverages, they include; commercial iced coffee dispensers, commercial iced coffee brewers and granite machines. The main raw material for coffee drink is the coffee beans. The cafeteria will seek to procure beans that well-grown, properly roasted and fresh coffee beans. The cafeteria will procure these beans from the reputable manufacturers in order to ensure quality. The presentation of coffee is important in ensuring customer satisfaction e.g., the use of latte art, which is the art of creating patterns with milk on top of espressos, will be used to serve the clients.

The baristas should know where the coffee comes from, the name of the roaster, the flavor, style of blending and the freshness of the coffee. The criteria used to choose the barista would be thorough, from how he they pre-heat their handles to how they handle their coffee. A good barista should grind the coffee fresh for every coffee and use fresh milk, they should have a correct timing for brewing, and they should have a good taste for coffee (Keogh & Nelson, 2011). All these qualities will ensure that the consumers come back for more.
Lastly, the cafeteria will endeavor to convert the clients to connoisseur; this will be achieved by producing fine coffee that will tantalize the teeth of the clients, enabling them to detect between good coffee and bad coffee.
The mission and purpose of the University blends in properly with that of the cafeteria. Both the University and cafeteria are committed to quality and excellence; the cafeteria will endeavor to provide quality drinks and snacks, which is in tandem with the University, which aims at providing quality education to produce skilled individuals in the market who will uphold competence. The cafeteria will be committed to innovative ways in order to support the mission of the organization it is operating in and ensure customer satisfaction. The students will have an opportunity to learn from the division of a world class company whose services are second to none in the industry. The University of Phoenix will be earning rentals and practical knowledge that will help in supporting the University’s mission.

One of the major aspects that cafeterias and coffee shops have is the connection to Wi-Fi. Once the cafeteria has expanded, it will install Wi-Fi connectivity so that the clients can double up by working and at the same time eating or drinking. A university is comprised of people with a wide different gap, from young adults to the elderly. The cafeteria aims at expanding its features to not only include the middle-aged individuals but to include people with different age, this will be made possible by introducing more food and drinks for the different age brackets and having comfortable area e.g. for women who might have kids.

The cafeteria is planning to be a one-stop-shop where the students can work using their PCs upon introduction of WI-Fi and also be able to carry out other supplementary services such as printing, scanning, and lamination. The cafeteria will equip the premises with the necessary gadgets that will increase the profit margin of the business and improve the customer satisfaction. 3-D printing is trending, especially in coffee shops (Grub Street, 2015). The cafeteria will purchase 3-D printers where clients can make their own gadgets and food. In line with the mission of improving customer satisfaction and increasing the profit margin, the cafeteria plans to open delivery services for products within the University premises. The cafeteria will introduce online and mobile phone services for the delivery services.

The vision of the cafeteria clearly states that the company endeavors to be the cafeteria of choice. The mission statement states that the company is committed to the product, clients and the employees. The values that are going to drive the cafeteria to success are honesty, competence, due diligence and value for money. The strategic direction that the cafeteria that is following is quality orientated. Quality is the core of any successful business: quality products and services attract a wide number of clients, which in turn translates into profit, the cafeteria especially in the offering of coffee, is determined to convert clients into connoisseur by providing the best coffee they ever had. The cafeteria will be committed in procurement of the best coffee beans from reputable manufacturers as it is committed to the satisfaction of its consumers. The cafeteria will also be committed to its employees by recruiting skillful employees and training them to be the best in what they do.

The cafeteria is consumer oriented because it plans to operate with due diligence, honesty, and competence and give the clients value for their money. The cafeteria will be open ears to comments, compliments, and complaints that the clients may raise. Honesty is the best policy, and this also applies in business, the cafeteria is committed to honest services to its clients by accepting faults where they are noted. Employees are employed according to their skills and this will definitely ensure that there is competence. Lastly, if a client drinks a well prepared coffee and come back for more, then he has earned value for his money.

In conclusion, the guiding principles of the cafeteria will be in line with the parent company core values. The cafeteria will create a culture of warmth through welcoming employees and good services. The cafeteria will endeavor in challenging the status quo by being innovative in their business operations in order to grow the company, its customers and the community. The cafeteria will operate with dignity, transparency and respect to all. The cafeteria will be accountable for all its results by trying to deliver the best in everything it does. Lastly, the cafeteria will owe to the community by providing quality services, reduce sound and air pollution, proper disposal of waste materials.

 

OPERATIONAL CHANGE

Introduction

This is a case study of a company that is involved in IT services. Its major business is providing telecommuting services for companies with individuals working at home. The telecommuting services are provided through virtual private networks (VPN), teleconferencing, Voice over IP (VOIP) and virtual call centers. The use of telecommuting services has been made possible as many individuals can access broadband connections from anywhere, also telecommuting services are efficient as they lower the cost of commuting to an office space and saves time. The company utilizes client server computing and local area networks that promotes the sharing of resources and decentralizes information. The IT Company itself has workers who are teleworkers/telecommuters who work from home or rather away from the office to increase the reach of the company’s services. The business operation areas of the company are; finance and accounts, human resource, production, Administration/IT support, customer services, marketing/sales, and research and development. Over the past few years there has been increase in the telecommuters and therefore the company need to upgrade their systems and technology in order to capture the growing market. Lately, the company has been having issues in its three operational areas; marketing/sales, research and development and human resource.

In the human resource area of operation, there is resistance to change because the organization needs to expand its operations therefore it has resulted into reduce the working hours to give space for the expansion of a new infrastructural framework that will accommodate the increasing demand in telecommuting. The reduction of hours means the reduction in remuneration as well. This has irked most of the employees who think that they have been alienated in decision making process. Many of the employees think that their wellbeing is not being considered because all what the organization thinks of is the end profits but not the welfare of their employees; this is a best case scenario where a means justifies an end. The worst hit by this expansion is the employees who work from home as their services have been terminated indefinitely. The employees are resistant to the new changes and they have resolved that if this is executed, then they will take an industrial action. The threats by the employees have halted the efforts of the organization as they deliberate on the matter further.

The research and development area of operation is responsible for innovation and creation of new products as well as scientific or any other research that may lead to future product development.  This is an important division in the company considering that it is an IT company that should invest heavily in innovative ways and products. The all over sudden need to improve the infrastructure is because the research and department did not adapt to the processes of local and international markets to view that the market was growing. The products/services offered by the company have also fallen out of client’s tastes and specifications. A survey carried out by the company indicated that most of the clients who terminated their contracts with the company were because the services were not tailor made to suit the customers with the emerging trends; others noted that some of the services were outdated. What this basically means that the research and development team has been sleeping on the job. If the technology of an organization is changing slowly and the market is growing fast, then there is not enough time for in-house development.

The marketing and sales division is responsible for identifying and luring potential customers in order to increase the sales. The department should work hand in hand with the research and development department in order to identify the needs of the customers and satisfy their needs. The company has been using the same infrastructure since its inception eleven years ago. The marketing department has spent their time in advertising and publicizing the same old product over the years, this has taken their years of the goal which is to be dynamic. They have spent a lot of time marketing the same product making the company struggle in planning new products (Park, 2014). The company is less market and client driven because they have spent quite a considerable amount of energy in trying to improve the sales of the same product for eleven years now. The employees are spending more time in developing the same product not enough time to bolster sales. The sales representatives have run out of leads, therefore they spend much of the time cold calling. The marketing group is disorganized thus the company is not getting the most out of investing in marketing.

The marketing and sales department is important in identifying potential clients and luring them to purchase the products of a company as stated earlier. The company faces challenges in their marketing department and they need to improve this that’s why the need to adopt market strategies. Some of the market strategies that are available that can be used to increase sales can be categorized into; market introduction strategies, market growth strategies, market maturity strategies and market decline strategies.

 During the introduction stage of a product, the sales are usually relatively low because of; clients taking time to accept the product, lack of established distribution channels and technical problems that are associated with new products. Any business that is propelling a new item needs to value that this beginning stage could require noteworthy speculation. This isn’t to say that spending a great deal of cash at this stage will promise the item’s prosperity. Any interest in exploration and new item improvement must be weighed up against the probable returns from the new item, and a powerful advertising arrangement should be created, keeping in mind the end goal to give the new item the most obvious opportunity with regards to accomplishing this arrival. Difficulties of the Introduction Stage; firstly, little or no product market: When a new item is dispatched, there is commonly no market for it, or if a business does exist it is liable to be little. Actually this implies that sales will be low to begin off with. There will be events where an extraordinary new item or incredible advertising crusade will make such a buzz, to the point that business take off straight away, yet these are by and large unique cases, and it frequently requires significant investment and exertion before most items accomplish this sort of energy. Secondly, high expenses: Very couple of items are made without some innovative work, and once they are made, numerous producers should put resources into showcasing and advancement so as to accomplish the sort of interest that will make their new item a winner. Both of these can cost a great deal of cash, and on account of a few markets these expenses could keep running into numerous a great many dollars. Thirdly, lack of profits: With every one of the expenses of getting new product to showcase, most organizations will see negative benefits for a period of the initial Stage of the item life cycle, in spite of the fact that the sum and length of time of these negative benefits does vary starting with different markets. A few producers could begin obtaining benefit rapidly; while for organizations in different parts it could take years. The marketing strategies that can be used during the introduction stage include; rapid skimming, slow skimming, rapid penetration and slow penetration strategies. In rapid skimming strategies, products are introduced with a high price and a high promotion level, this type of strategy is used for products that are new and don’t have a brand in the market. The slow skimming strategy is for the new products which already have a well-known brand in the market thus are introduced with a high price but at a low promotion level.  In rapid penetration strategy, a new product is launched with a low price and a high promotion level, this is used where the market is large, customers are price sensitive and the market competition is high. Slow penetration strategy introduces a new product in the market with a low price and a low promotion level, this strategy is used when the market is large, the market is price sensitive and the market is highly aware of the product.

The growth stage is associated with high sales volumes. The high profits are as a result of low production costs and low production cost as the product is spread over a large volume of products.  The Growth stage is the second of stages in the product life cycle, and for some producers this is the key stage for setting up an item’s position in a business sector, expanding sales, and enhancing overall revenues. This is accomplished by the proceeded with improvement of customer request through the utilization of advertising and limited time movement, consolidated with the diminishment of production costs. The pace at which a product moves from the introduction stage to the growth stage, and how quickly sales increase, can differ from one business to another. Difficulties of the Growth Stage include; Expanding Competition: When an organization is the first to bring an item into the business sector, they have the advantage of practically no rival. Notwithstanding, when the interest for their item begins to rise, and the organization moves into the growth period of the item life cycle, they are prone to face expanded rivalry as new producers hope to profit by another, creating business sector. Secondly, lower Prices: During the Introduction stage, organizations can frequently charge early adopters a premium cost for another item. On the other hand, in light of the developing number of contenders that are prone to enter the business amid the growth stage, producers may need to bring down their costs keeping in mind the end goal to accomplish is increasing sales (Fildes and Lofthouse, 1975). Thirdly, diverse Marketing approach: Marketing promotions amid the Introduction stage have a tendency to profit by all the buzz and buildup that encompasses the dispatch of a new item. Be that as it may, once the item gets to be built up and is no more ‘new’, a more advanced advertising methodology is prone to be required with a specific end goal to capitalize on the development capability of this stage. The strategies used by companies during the growth stage include; conducting surveys to get feedback from the clients, offer better after sale services, reducing prices to attract more customers, increase advertising, and add new features/qualities to the existing product line (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006).

 The maturity phase is characterized with stable sales that might either increase or decrease by a very small margin; this is caused by availability of new products in the market and new entrants in the market causing customers to switch to other substitutes. After the introduction and growth stages, an item goes into the maturity stage. The third stage of the item life cycle stages can be very much a testing time for producers. In the initial two stages organizations attempt to set up a business sector and after that develop offers of their item to accomplish as extensive an offer of that market as could reasonably be expected. Then again, amid the maturity stage, the essential center for most organizations will be keeping up their piece of the pie even with various distinctive difficulties. Difficulties of the maturity Stage; peak in sales volume: after the enduring increment in sales amid the growth stage, the business sector begins to wind up soaked as there are less new clients. Most of the customers who are continually going to buy the item have officially done as such. The second difficulty is diminishing market share: Another issue for the maturity stage is the expansive volume of producers who are all going after an offer of the business. With this phase of the item life cycle regularly seeing the largest amounts of rivalry, it turns out to be progressively trying for organizations to keep up their piece of the pie. The third difficulty is profits start to decrease: while this stage may be the point at which the business sector overall makes the most benefit, it is frequently the piece of the item life cycle where a considerable measure of producers can begin to see their benefits diminish. Benefits will be shared amongst the greater part of the rivals in the business, and with sales liable to top amid this stage, any producer that loses piece of the overall industry, and encounters a fall in sales, is liable to see a resulting fall in benefits. This reduction in benefits could be intensified by the falling costs that are frequently seen when the sheer number of contenders drives some of them to have a go at pulling in more clients by contending on cost. The three main strategies used in this stage include; market modification, market-mix modification and product modification. Market modification is an attempt by an organization to increase the lifecycle of a product by making small or big changes to a product, this include; find new users, find new uses, increase the frequency of usage and change the product packaging. Market mix modification launching survival tactics like cutting prices to lure customers, better advertisements, use improved services and use better channels of distribution. Product modification is the change or adjustment of an existing product for a better attraction e.g. changing the shape, packaging.  

The decline stage is associated with decline in sales that are caused by increased competition, change in client tastes, increased price cutting and better substitutes. The decline stage in the item life cycle is the point at which an item breaks down as an aftereffect of diminished or negative development. The inception and development stages gave the quality to the accomplishment of the item to this point, and with most items the decline stage is an aftereffect of lower interest, which eventually comes about because of new innovations and innovation progressions. For the organization, gainfulness will reduce to a level at which it is no more sensible to create and appropriate the item and production activities will stop (Malshe and Sohi, 2009). For huge numbers of customers, this action offers a few advantages, since organizations that can’t keep up the item will slice the costs to dispense with inventories or stop the item by and large, which makes limited time deals and clearances for the purchasers. As rivalry in the business increases and numerous organizations begin to overwhelm the business sector, it is hard for the battling organizations to keep up satisfactory deals and development. Purchaser inclinations additionally change with the headways of new advances which at last may make items out of date. The strategies at this stage are; maintaining investments in research and development, dropping unprofitable products selectively, mergers or acquisitions, divesting the products.

In order to bring a change in the marketing and sales of the company then the company needs to concentrate on creating a new product that will need to utilize the inception stage strategies while at the same time improve on the existing products that have already attained the maturity stage.  A general marketing technique ought to incorporate four unique procedures: A business infiltration/penetration technique. This method for growing the organization may include: an interior technique, for example, how to expand the HR, a procurement methodology, for example, purchasing another business, an establishment system for spreading out, a flat procedure where the company would give the same kind of items to diverse clients, or a vertical method where the company would keep giving the same items yet would offer them at distinctive levels of the circulation chain (Glass, 1997). Decisions for appropriate channels of distribution could incorporate unique hardware producers, wholesalers, or retailers.  Communication with the customers is an important strategy in identifying what they require and what need to be improved.

There needs to be sales strategies that need to be included in the company in order to improve the operations. The first strategy suggests the use of both internal and external sales representatives. The company uses only internal representatives who have run out of leads, the external representatives will bring in dynamism and help the internal sales representatives refresh their skills. The second strategy calls for breaking down the sales strategy into activities, the company has to make a list of prospects and prioritize them (Cardone, 2010). The organization needs to identify the number of sale calls over a certain period and average calls to make per sale.

The continual improvement (Kaizen) can be defined as the actions that progressively improve the functions of all the employees in an organization. The continual improvement is a mode of change that requires employees, who detect a problem in a business area to stop production and make the necessary corrections: these methods of change calls for employees to improve the operations of an organization, have performance indicators, measure operations, standardize operations and activities and the cycle should be ad ifinitum (Kamińska, 2015). On the other hand, radical change is like a total overhaul of things where new systems are introduced radically. Radical change (kaikaku) is a large jiggle, like an earthquake, when it strikes; it can throw you to a totally different location (Bodek, 2004). The radical change majorly comes in when the continual improvement gets stuck, but this system of change is risky because it introduces a new system to an organization that may come with teething problems that are unique to an organization. Sometimes radical change is unavoidable if continual improvement is not working.

This company is at a critical stage where it has to improve its services on a very big scale in order to retain the existing clients and cajole new ones. Continuous improvement change cannot get the company there. The main thing to see about radical change is that the outside environment – innovation, regulation, rivalry, the economy – is constraining change upon the entity. The organization is a part of a bigger framework, and it must adjust its frameworks to the outside world. Now and then that outside environment requests fast change that may be uncomfortable for everybody. Second thing to know is that each entity is an entire framework. Lean administration, as continuous improvement change is referred, is everything from the authoritative structure, the data framework, the choice making procedures, the human asset frameworks, and so forth. 

 

Most organizations that have attempted to embrace continuous improvement change have disaggregated that entire framework and actualized a few bits of it. They have actualized work groups or critical thinking gatherings and have regularly experienced disappointment. The human body is an entire framework contained separate organs or sub-frameworks, and they fit together as bound together structural engineering. The heart depends on the lungs for oxygen, and they both depend on the digestive framework for food. On the off chance that you remove any of those sub-frameworks from the entire, that organ will rapidly fail. 

 

In the same path, bits of continuous improvement frequently kick the bucket like organs expelled from the body on the grounds that they rely on upon alternate organs for their survival. You can’t actualize an lean administration structure, with solid groups at each level, without changing the choice process, the data stream, and the prize frameworks. You can’t actualize in the nick of time work stream without changing the data stream, the choice making procedure and without reclassifying employments at the first level. What’s more, you can’t actualize continuous improvement without changing the capacities and structure of administration. These are all organs of the same body. 

 

Third thing to know: Sub-frameworks of the entire framework must be adjusted. When adopting a continuous improvement it consumes more time and money when adjusting. The adjustment involves training of new employees or the existing one to perform the new functions, the start can be very cumbersome and tedious. What many organizations don’t realize is that they will tend to ignore the risks of areas that work very well but may have future impacts.

In conclusion the company needs to keep up with the radical market that keeps changing very rapidly and a rapid solution is required, as much as it involves in getting the process right it may take a lot of time to implement it due to the lengthy process that may find the company in a more compromising situation that it is now. The radical change will enable the company to get back to it foot in a short span of time by implementing a total overhaul especially by bringing in a new infrastructure to accommodate the increasing number of telecommuters and updating the obsolete infrastructure.

 

Xemba Translations Case Study

Risk assessment of any project is imperative for its success. Risk identification requires analysis, synthesis, and mitigation. This is referred to as risk management and assists in ensuring the fact that the project operates within the cost, quality, and time constraints (Holmes, 2002). Xemba Translations is a company that deals with the provision of IT solutions and consultancy. This case study is about the Xemba Translations’ project of expanding infrastructure to accommodate the increase in telecommuters. The following will identify, analyze, and mitigate the risks involved in the project, the metrics used to measure the project performance, and provide the analysis of the project sponsor.

Addendum

Risk 1: Security Threat 

The first threat is a security risk which can be due to security openings which may be available in the advancements chosen for the framework, it might be associated with the programmers’ assault (Wysocki, 2013). This impact will compromise the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data and the usefulness of the system. Programmers could take the framework assets or information, apply vindictive malware or infections into the framework, affecting only one client or the whole system. However they may also negatively influence each gadget they interact with. The likelihood of this event is low, while the effect degree is high. In case it happens it is essential to contact specialized backing. It is important to quickly isolate a negative influence of a hostile framework if a security string has been distinguished by means of programming or manual techniques. The same should be done with the help of warning against the staff’s suspicious actions or conduct. 

Natural disasters can also pose security threat to the Xemba translations project. The acts of god cannot be stopped when they start to take their cause. Some of the natural disasters include; floods, lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, terrorist attacks, riots and wars. There are few safeguards that can be put in place to prevent these disasters from happening. The impacts of natural disasters can be catastrophic as they can cause total destruction of both the hardware and the software. Contingency and recovery plans are the best ways to tackle security threats caused by natural disasters. Non malicious employees can be a security threat to the project through ignorant actions. Employees who have access can bring viruses and other malwares into the system without knowing. Some of the methods that pose security threats include; worms, Trojan horses, viruses, e-mail hacking, password hacking, impersonation, eavesdropping, social engineering and network spoofing. The security vulnerabilities occur in passwords, file transfer protocol, telnet protocol, frame relay and modems.

Malinda is the project team lead responsible for the firewall task. She deals with making the customers’ sites secure, testing the vulnerabilities of the protocol, and monitoring the systems. Strategies for aversion and alleviation involve an exhaustive investigation of the web-instruments utilized as a part of the arrangement. They should be connected to a specific end goal. This would incorporate the NIST consistence because of the vicinity of personally identifiable information in the framework. Amid the questions and answers related to the segment of the WBS implementation, it is important to address all concerns, acceptance steps, and obliged agreeability. A segment on tackling security issues needs to be included as a preparation subject for the remote workers by the staff preparation. Therefore they see how to perceive and report security breaks. All work done by the home staff should undergo this preparation on a regular basis. It is essential to utilize fake information to guarantee the agreeability with the security necessities that precede execution. The company should expand the firewall quality by moving its firewall cost into the IT spending plan. Xemba translations should write a security plan to address all the security threats that it faces. Employees should only have access data that they need to do their work and beware of Trojans which are highly sophisticated and can steal passwords.

Risk 2: Reliability and Access to the ISP Connection

The second threat is related to the reliability and access to the ISP connection. The Internet administration of some undertaking staff or remote workers may not be quick or sufficiently dependable on the new framework. As a result they have an opportunity to keep up or expand their viability and productivity over current measures. This can influence the process of execution and the take off stage. In addition it can have a noteworthy effect on the venture timetable and assets. Remote workers may not comprehend the necessities of the data transfer capacity. They are essential and guarantee high proficiency and execution in the document exchange operations. This could bring about expense increments amid a pilot and usage stages. The occurrence likelihood of this event is medium. The level of impact of this threat is also medium. In case this threat becomes real it is necessary to contact technical support and reference the FAQ. It will incorporate the data related to the transfer speed necessities for working from home and enhancing tips for home utilization. It is essential to reference all ISPs in the district and identify the offered transfer speed and bundles for all known and expected remote worker areas. The people responsible are Hugh and Elizabeth. Hugh is the lead in technical support task and helps the employees with their connectivity and computer issues. Elizabeth is responsible for the procurement of computers. She helps the staff to solve the issues related to the remote system access. It assists in finishing the undertaking work and moving up to a superior internet service provider and/or bundle. The staff should be aware of the tips and best practices that may wind up in the FAQ for all remote workers and help them arrange the fitting bundle for the framework similarity. For the exception of the execution, the mentors should have a segment on technical support that conveys the data on the transfer speed necessities of the Internet service provider to enable remote workers comprehend the confinements. It also prevents them from switching the arrangements that do not work. The technical support team can investigate any issues of the framework system network and conceivably propose alternatives to alleviate. These include suppliers, directing record exchanges at off-peak times, and the additionally conceivable asset use improvements. 

Risk 3: Staffing Threats 

The third threat is related to the fact that the organization may not have enough personnel to handle their tasks and duties responsibly. This may have an effect on the project failing to meet its targets due to dependencies (Kendrick, 2009). The other staffing threat is the inability of the workers to perform. Xemba translations being in the IT industry needs to be competent and innovative to have a niche in the dynamic technology market. Staff who do not possess skill and creativity are putting the company at risk of losing the competitive advantage.  The probability of this event occurrence and the influence is high. In case this event occurs the organization should take steps to improve the regular work performance. Some of the steps include training of the available personnel to better perform in their work positions and replacement of the staff members who have vacated a post or who are under-performing. Staffing and personnel is the responsibility of the project manager. Before the project manager can think of any other solution he should think about mitigating factors, such as screening and reviewing employees on skill and qualifications, and the ability to work as a team to create cohesion and efficiency. The staff should be closely monitored (Leland, 1998). It is essential to keep an eye on the employees who are considered to be non-performing. Due to the constraints of time, quality, and costs any staff found that under-performing should be dealt with accordingly. The recruitment process is important in identifying the potential employees through their work experience and academic level of education. Xemba translations should set performance indicators and performance targets for their employees to mitigate staffing threats.

Risk 4: Catastrophic Failure

The fourth risk is a catastrophic failure. Things like loss of a hard drive, improper system management, and other inefficiencies can cause a catastrophic failure and have a great impact on telecommuters (Osborne, 2010). This can also significantly influence the project by the data loss and a lot of time wasted. Catastrophic failure is mainly caused by lack of proper management. A good management will ensure that Xemba translations is organized and systems are working properly with different departments having different heads who are answerable about their departments. Irresponsible and incompetent behavior can lead to the system crushing due to negligence.  The probability of this event occurrence is medium while the influence level is medium. It is essential to notify the technical support team in case of the event occurrence. Hence they will be able to recover any data improving the situation at hand. This situation can be mitigated by having a stand with the help of a technical support team. The technical support team should ensure that the data is stored safely, providing a backup of the data. The project personnel should be adequately trained on the operations of the system to be able to complete the project work. The project should have a manual or instructions on how to contact the technical support team in case of any catastrophic failure. In addition, it is important to take the emergency steps before the arrival of the technical support team. The data can be moved to software. The project manager should ensure that systems are in place to ensure efficiency. These systems include human resource management, procurement management, acceptance management, issue management, time management and quality management. 

Risk 5: Client Acceptance Risk

The fifth threat is a client acceptance risk. Clients may not have any desire to adjust their support of the new working from home situations. Some clients may communicate concerns over the changed plan of action and expenses required after the execution of the toll line. Other clients may communicate their prerequisite to have an interpreter on site with a specific end goal to perform abundantly required crisis interpretations. Change is difficult to adopt and it may come with expenses and technicalities. Clients will find it hard to pay for the new telecommuting rates due to the upgrade while some may find it difficult to understand some concepts which might vary from the previous framework. Understanding this new concepts may take time which might be costly in terms of time, personal computer upgrade and need for an instructor. The influence of this risk is the loss of customers. The probability of the event occurrence is medium. The level of the threat occurrence influence is also medium. In case of the threat, it is essential to contact project management. The person responsible for such issues is a project manager. This threat can be mitigated by working with the customer proactively to guarantee they are fine with the new plan of action (Larson, & Gray, 2010). It will enable the criteria acknowledgement. Xemba translations should provide free tutorials and instructors to help those who have a challenge with the new framework. The new framework should be able to work on different PCs to avoid any inconsistences on the clients’ side.

 

B: Performance metrics

Constant improvement is an essential for any entity’s prosperity. A nonstop change process, likewise frequently called a persistent change procedure is a progressing push to enhance items, administrations, or procedures. These endeavors can look for incremental change after some time or achievement change at the same time. Delivery procedures are always assessed and enhanced in the light of their proficiency, adequacy and adaptability.

Metric is characterized as standard of estimation by which proficiency, progress, execution, profitability, nature of a deliverable, process, undertaking or item can be evaluated. Measurements help in building consistency, enhancing entity’s decision making capacity, and lay out what is working and what is not meeting expectations inside of the entity and help control the administration concentrate in the right bearings. The performance metrics help project managers in anticipating any potential dangers, deal with issues before they get serious, survey status of the venture regarding calendar, expense and benefit, survey efficiency of group and survey nature of work items to be delivered. It is necessary to take into consideration the current venture status and the overhauled system outline to uncover any progressions to critical path status by using the historical data (Armstrong-Wright, 1969)

The three main metrics that can be used to measure the performance of the project include; schedule and Effort/Cost Variance, percentage complete

  • Earned value management

The objective of this metric is to gauge the execution and additionally advance of the venture against marked baselines. This metric is critical and is the base for productivity of venture (Nokes, & Kelly, 2007). The EVM (Earned Value Management) idea is the normally the utilized system to track this metric. It coordinates venture degree, cost and timetable measures to help the Project Manager to survey and measure venture execution and advancement. The standards of EVM can be connected to all tasks, in any industry. Under this strategy, at any given point in time, venture execution to date is utilized to extrapolate the normal expenses and length of time at undertaking fruition. The most precise computation of the EV is the entirety of all finished WBS work bundles costs from the start of the undertaking through the reporting period (Miller, 2009). 

This system utilizes past performance to all the more precisely forecasted future performance. EVM monitors three key measurements of every work package:

  1. Planned value (PV)

Means the amount you wanted to spend for the work you wanted to do i.e. it is the approved spending plan doled out to the work to be refined for an action or work breakdown structure segment. 

PV at any stage = (Planned % Complete) X Budget at Completion

  1. Earned value (EV)

This is the estimation of work performed communicated regarding the endorsed spending plan allotted to that work for an activity or work breakdown structure. It is the approved work that has been finished, against the approved spending plan for such finished work. EV is the amount you wanted to spend for the work you really did. 

 

  1. Actual cost (AC)

This is the aggregate cost really acquired and recorded in finishing work performed for an action or work breakdown structure segment. It is the aggregate expense caused in achieving the work that the EV measured. I.e. the amount you spent for the work you really did.

  • Cost variance and scheduled variance.

The three variables; PV, EV, and AC, can be used to derive the cost variance metrics and the schedule variance.  These two metrics are used to depict if the project is running ahead or behind schedule or under or over the budget.

Scheduled variance (SV) = EV –PV; if SV is negative then the project is behind schedule, if positive then it is ahead of schedule.

Cost variance (CV) = EV-AC; if CV is positive, then the project is under the budget, but if negative then the project is over the budget. 

If the scheduled variance is zero, this means that the project is on schedule. When the project is completes, schedule variance becomes zero, this is because planned value has been earned at the end of the project.

  • Percentage completion

The percentage of completion technique includes the continuous acknowledgment of income and pay identified with longer-term ventures. Thusly, the project manager can perceive some increase or misfortune identified with a task in every bookkeeping period in which the undertaking keeps on being dynamic. The strategy works best when it is sensibly conceivable to evaluate the phases of venture finishing on a progressing premise, or if nothing else to assess the remaining expenses to finish an undertaking. 

Alternately, this strategy ought not to be utilized when there are noteworthy instabilities about the rate of finishing or the remaining expenses to be incurred. The assessing capacities of a project manager ought to be viewed as adequate to utilize the percentage of completion technique on the off chance that it can appraise the base aggregate income and greatest aggregate expense with adequate certainty to legitimize an agreement offer. 

The capacities to make trustworthy project assessments may be impeded when there are conditions available that are not typically experienced in the evaluating procedure. Illustrations of these conditions are the point at which an agreement does not seem, by all accounts, to be enforceable, there is suit, or when related properties may be denounced or seized. 

Generally, the percentage of completion strategy permits you to perceive as wage that rate of aggregate wage that matches the rate of fulfillment of a venture. The percentage of completion may be measured in any of the following ways: 

  1. Cost- to-cost technique. This is an examination of the agreement expense brought about to date to the aggregate expected contract cost. 
  2. Efforts expended technique. This is the extent of effort exhausted to date in examination to the aggregate effort anticipated that would be used for the agreement. 
  3. Units-of-delivery technique. This is the rate of units conveyed to the purchaser to the aggregate number of units to be conveyed under the terms of an agreement

B 1: Justify why these metrics would be appropriate to use for this project.

This project has all around characterized constraints on timetable and resources, so staying up with the latest metrics will guarantee the project manager to see any issues that may affect the limitations. Estimations have been taken consistently. 

These moderately basic measurements are suitable for little tasks to guarantee they are on track. More convoluted recipes or examination is not prudent as will waste time and assets for negligible addition. The Quality Metrics are imperative to the project accomplishment, as meeting customer’s acknowledgment criteria, and in addition the benchmarks of pre-execution quality and convenience of delivery is fundamental for partners to acknowledge the deliverables. Security is especially essential as there is a considerable measure of PII information in question.  The EAC has a few distinct approaches to appraise. The most precise which is base’s up estimation, will be the system picked when the information is given, nonetheless it is prolonged to have these assessments determined, so it is prescribed to just have this done at the mid-path point to check against the estimations inferred utilizing alternate techniques and re-level the venture if or as essential.

The project completion technique is essential in measuring the project performance in terms of amount of time consumed and approximate time required to complete the project. As much as the metric measures the overall project percentage completed, it also measures the percentage completed for the various tasks. 

The cost variance and scheduled variance are used to measure the cost used and the time consumed respectively. The two are used to keep the project in check to prevent cost overruns and time delays.

The Earned value management has three variables that are used to measure or rather gauge the performance of the project against preset/estimated budget, this helps the project manager make informed decisions on the progress of the project.

 

  1. Earned Value Method (EVM):

Baseline costs Percentage complete Percentage that should be complete by today Actual amount spent Actual cost
Computer inventory and requirement 25,021.43 100 100 375.95 27,715.16
Technical support 11,500.00 81 101 160.67 9,313.33
Computing support 11,310.00 74 81 192 10,365.00
Document servers 18,964.00 68 92 242 13,658.00
Shared drives 17,844.00 65 88 228.8 12,733.20
FTP sites 42,310.00 37 98 230.87 16,181.33
Firewalls 31,800.00 23 101 97.6 7,320.00
Web based meetings 14,580.00 60 62 260 15,300.00

 

The above table shows the actual costs for the various tasks.

 

Planned value

Planned Value = (Planned % Complete) X (BAC)

 

Planned % complete BAC Planned value
Computer inventory and requirement 100 27,715.16 27,715.16
Technical support 101 11,380.00 11,493.80
Computing support 81 13,500.00 10,935.00
Document servers 92 20,148.00 18,536.16
Shared drives 88 20,224.80 17,797.82
FTP sites 98 43,133.34 42,270.67
Firewalls 101 31,320.00 31,633.20
Web based meetings 62 24,480.00 15,177.60

 

  1. Earned Value (Labor)

Method 1: Sum of Completed PV

EV = Sum of all completed PV = $83,505.43

Method 2: Percentage Complete x Budget

EV = 59% x EAC= approx. $103,374.94, or $19,870 more than method 1.

 An average of the two methods gives Cumulative EV of $93,440.

 

  1. Cost variance (CV)

Cost variance is the difference between a cost’s actual amount and its budgeted or planned amount. When an actual cost is less than the budgeted amount, the cost variance is said to be favorable.

The above chart is used to depict the cost variance, cumulative earned value, cumulative actual cost and the cost performance index. The CPI of the project is very low, at 0.83. The CV of the project is negative and is growing over time which means that the project is running more over budget. The cost variance stands at -$16,891.86 at 4/9/15.

 

  1. Percentage completion

As shown, the project shows a completed 69% (which is the % of Work completed plus hours remaining) of total work to date. 

Task # Task Work % Completed Hours Remaining
1 Computer Inventory and Requirements 375.95 100 0
7 Technical Support 197.33 81 37
11 Computing Support 258 74 66
15 Document Servers 356 68 114
21 Shared Drives 351.2 65 122
27 FTP Sites 321.67 37 391
47 Firewalls 417.6 23 320
52 Web-based meetings 430 60 170
Totals All 2707.75 69% 1220


To check this for accuracy, the leads reports were entered into a table and the totals compared. 

  1. Tasks Work Table

Task # Task Name Critical? Work Completed Remaining Work Total Work Baseline Finish Actual Finish Completed?
2 Inventory computers in use by new telecommuters yes 151.60 0.00 151.60 29-Jan 29-Jan yes
3 Determine requirements to use current computers yes 72.00 0.00 72.00 19-Feb 19-Feb yes
4 Identify computers for upgrade yes 72.00 0.00 72.00 26-Feb 5-Mar yes
5 Determine requirements for technology yes 48.80 0.00 48.80 5-Mar 12-Mar yes
6 Report outcomes for inventory and requirements yes 31.55 0.00 31.55 12-Mar 12-Mar yes
8 Determine technical support needed no 104.00 0.00 104.00 9-Apr 2-Apr yes
9 Identify staff requirements tech support no 53.33 0.00 53.33 9-Apr 9-Apr yes
10 Report technical support needs and staff reqs no 3.33 36.67 40.00 30-Apr NA no
12 Identify required computer support relative to inventory no 152.00 0.00 152.00 5-Mar 2-Apr yes
13 Identify staff requirements no 40.00 26.00 66.00 30-Apr NA no
14 Report of computer support needs and staff reqs no 0.00 40.00 40.00 30-Apr NA no
16 Determine server management requirements no 114.00 0.00 114.00 9-Apr 26-Mar yes
17 Determine server requirements and locations no 48.00 0.00 48.00 16-Apr 2-Apr yes
18 Install document servers no 80.00 14.00 94.00 30-Apr NA no
19 Test document server connections no 0.00 60.00 60.00 7-May NA no
20 Implement document servers no 0.00 40.00 40.00 14-May NA no
22 Determine shared drive management requirements no 48.00 0.00 48.00 5-Mar 19-Mar yes
23 Determine shared drive requirements and locations no 67.20 0.00 67.20 2-Apr 2-Apr yes
24 Install shared drives no 96.00 0.00 96.00 9-Apr 9-Apr yes
25 Test shared drive connections no 17.60 82.40 100.00 7-May NA no
26 Implement shared drives no 0.00 40.00 40.00 14-May NA no
28 Determine location of FTP Services yes 68.00 0.00 68.00 5-Mar 26-Mar yes
29 Disable Anonymous Access yes 44.00 0.00 44.00 2-Apr 9-Apr yes
30 Enable Logging yes 47.00 0.00 47.00 9-Apr 9-Apr yes
32 Set permissions no 14.67 0.00 14.67 30-Apr 9-Apr yes
33 Set log-on time restrictions no 8.00 12.00 20.00 11-Jun NA no
34 Limit log-on attempts no 0.00 20.00 20.00 4-Jun NA no
35 Enable account lockout no 0.00 20.00 20.00 18-Jun NA no
36 Limit IP address range access no 0.00 20.00 20.00 18-Jun NA no
37 Audit log-on attempts no 0.00 20.00 20.00 11-Jun NA no
38 Set strong password requirement no 0.00 12.00 12.00 14-May NA no
40 Determine settings for each user yes 18.00 18.00 36.00 16-Apr NA no
41 Configure settings for each user yes 0.00 60.00 60.00 30-Apr NA no
43 Identify quotas for each disk no 31.20 4.80 36.00 16-Apr NA no
44 Identify quotas for each user no 0.00 36.00 36.00 30-Apr NA no
45 Test connections yes 0.00 128.00 128.00 14-May NA no
46 Implement FTP sites yes 0.00 40.00 40.00 21-May NA no
48 Determine protocols no 73.60 0.00 73.60 9-Apr 9-Apr yes
49 Implement selected protocols no 24.00 0.00 24.00 9-Apr 9-Apr yes
50 Test vulnerabilities yes 0.00 160.00 160.00 28-May NA no
51 Finalize filters and monitoring systems yes 0.00 160.00 160.00 25-Jun NA no
53 Test and evaluate web-based meetings with pilot group no 260.00 0.00 260.00 19-Mar 9-Apr yes
54 Develop software updates for computers no 0.00 0.00 0.00 30-Apr NA No
55 Test web-based meetings with larger group no 0.00 160.00 160.00 7-May NA No

 

The result is a difference of 10 hours of work incorrectly reported. The corrected percentage complete for the project is 59% completed based on the leads data.

B 3: Three problems that currently exist based on these metrics

  1. User adoption

The task scope record neglect to say Acceptance Criteria for telecommuters that are gotten out as concerns among the partners. The CFO notices his most prominent concern is to utilize an online tool that charges per minute, or obliges a specific sort of telephone. Second the firewall security concerns noted by the CEO ought to be called out expressly in the Acceptance Criteria. There is a present difference where the Charter specifies in the Project Boundaries segment that the framework shouldn’t be so mind boggling as to be a hindrance for utilization by the remote workers. The CEO plainly states however the significance of the firewall to be capable so as to defend the inside frameworks from breach. The CEO notice the expenses connected with an unstable firewall can’t be known in light of the fact that the loss of business because of web-vicinity can’t be surveyed however can be thought to be non-zero. This criteria around firewall usage ought to be re-assessed and as he specified, if the expenses put the venture destinations and monetary spending plan at danger, potentially moved to the IT spending plan. 

Ultimately Xemba customers have had worries over the expenses and nature of administration connected with the change of plan of action. Particularly one customer is worried about charges changing, and another with loss of capacity to have a promptly open on location individual to perform interpretations immediately. These are not got out as Acceptance Criteria, however there is a venture limitation that says Customer Satisfaction is needed, too that the nature of the administration ought to offer the same or better administration as was finished by in-office interpreters. 

  1. Procurement management

The project does not represent the Procurements administration, other than expressing that the buys will be done outside the undertaking group. This implies that if anything turns out badly with acquirement it will be difficult to rapidly evaluate downstream ramifications from dependent errands (as happened when the PC seller encountered a flame and pushed out their delivery estimate 2 weeks). Additionally it is harder to screen and control the dangers connected with the procedure of securing hardware and programming without having an arrangement. A detailed procurement arrangement ought to be made and kept up all through whatever is left of the undertaking, and additionally included into the calendar when obtainments are requested and acquired, when, and what expenses are connected with them. Just along these lines can the financial backing for the acquisitions be followed and monitored appropriately.

  1. Fire wall tasks

For the Firewall Critical Path tasks 50 and 51 beginning from May thirteenth rather than the expected 5/21, and including the span for these undertakings of 160 hours, we end June eleventh instead of June eighteenth. It ought to further be specified that this will get the free slack of the remaining undertakings that were to end at the very latest Critical Path due date of 6/18 to another due date of June eleventh. So for undertaking 55 in Web-based gatherings, the poor start of 6/14 ought to be acquired 5 days from June eleventh, so to June fourth.

 

Executive Summary

Summary

As indicated by the investigation, the task will come in on or around calendar culmination of before July first 2015, in spite of setbacks, yet will oblige asset re-assign, an extra arrangement of funds of between $4,631 or $7431, and require the Firewall costs of $20,000 to move out of the venture spending plan. Business requirements process and in addition Procurements Management arrangement should be finished with a specific end goal to meet calendar and scope prerequisites. These measures will guarantee that scope and schedule confinements are met and that the monetary allowance doesn’t keep on encountering set-backs. 

Details

The undertaking experienced significant spending plan issues which unfavorably affected the anticipated budget at completion. One of these issues was an extreme weather pattern that brought about the online testing to take longer than expected because of vitality lines being intruded on irregularly amid the testing period. Another was an unforeseen cost for 12 extra PCs should have been be redesigned on top of the 35 effectively assigned for in another spending plan, which should have been be caught up in the framework spending plan to oblige.

Dissecting the present undertaking information it is anticipated to take extra funds of $13,230 in labor, and either $11,400 or $14,200 in frameworks keeping in mind the end goal to effectively meet the venture scope. The aggregate costs including workers and frameworks are either $24,631 (if desktops are requested), or $27,431 (if portable PCs are requested) on top of unique spending plan. 

Since the CEO has officially said he would support moving the $20,000 in firewall costs to the IT spending plan it is prescribed to do this keeping in mind the end goal to recover the task in-accordance with reason. This would mean an overrun of just $4,631 (desktops) or $7431 (portable PCs).

Cost performance

The project efficiency is decreasing over time as shown by the CPI trend-line in the downward projection. 

 

Completed Actual cost Remaining 

Cost

Total cost Work

completed

Remaining work Total work
No $12,188.33 $79,315.27 $91,503.60 198.13 1,209.87 1,408.00
Yes $95,056.49 $0.00 $95,056.49 1,589.75 0.00 1,589.75
Grand total $107,244.82 $79,315.27 $186,560.09 1,787.88 1,209.87 2,997.75

Final Project Costs
% complete 59.64%
BAC $173,329.43
EAC $186,560.09
ETC (EAC – BAC)             $13,230.66
EV = % complete x BAC $103,374.94

 

Schedule Performance

The project effectiveness was relatively stable at the start of the project, began to increase at about 2 months in and has been on the decline. The SPI trend-line indicates effectiveness will continue to slip. 

To alleviate this risks it is fitting to spread the remaining FTP workload crosswise over another minimal effort asset that has accessibility (Kendrick is prescribed). This will expand the adequacy of finishing the FTP Critical Tasks on time, and really empower a 6 day time reserve funds. It is assessed that the venture will finish at the latest Tuesday, June 18th. This is at danger however because of not knowing when the 47 PCs on request will really come in. This is because of a flame at the seller area which has postponed their capacity to dispatch by 2 weeks. This danger is being moderated presently by getting offers from different sellers and working with the present merchant on any conceivable approach to surge the request.

Scope

With a specific end goal to guarantee the clients will acknowledge the amended plan of action, it is encouraged to lead a business prerequisites social occasion procedure to approve that the scope and acknowledgment criteria are adequate for their needs. There have been concerns communicated about both expense increment and additionally administration diminish that must be moderated suitably to alleviate the potential loss of business. A few resources are being reassigned so as to expand viability of group deliverables administration and guarantee that the task meets due dates.

Next steps

The venture is as of now at 59% completion. It is prescribed to not have the venture group concentrate on base up estimation exercises going ahead as this denies them of time spent on real venture assignments. Moving forward estimations will be made utilizing past and current execution estimations and utilizing trend line analysis.

 

PCAOB AND SEC ANALYSIS

Introduction

The Public Company Accounting Oversight board (PCAOB) is a non-profit making organization that was established by the United States congress through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to regulate and provide standards for independent audit reports provided by accounting professionals in publicly traded companies (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2012). The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the mandate of regulating the securities industry (Dodd, 1947) e.g. enforcing the laws, proposing securities rules and regulating the nation’s option exchange and stocks. Among other statutes the SEC is responsible for enforcing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.  The SEC is the oversight body which monitors, controls and regulates PCAOB in its activities.

The main purpose of SEC and PCAOB is to protect the investors interests especially when it comes to financial auditing. The protection is attained through; setting of standards, inspections, enforcements, dealing with international independent audit firms and, research and analysis. The PCAOB is responsible for setting audit standards I to protect the investor, some of the standards involve; audit documentation, evaluating consistency of financial statements, reporting on whether a previously reported material weakness continues to exist, audit risks and audit planning, supervision of the audit engagement, evaluating audit results, materials misstatement and auditing supplemental information accompanying audited financial statements.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires the PCAOB to conduct annual inspections on public accounting firms’ compliance with the ACT, professional standards and the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (Salzberger, 2003). Then they are required to provide a report for the issuers in detail to the SEC and other regulatory authorities. Portions of the detailed reports of the companies can be made public by the SEC while some can be withheld or delayed for varied reasons. If an auditing firm receives a quality control criticism from the PCAOB, then they provide remedial actions to streamline the auditing industry.

As provided by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002, the PCAOB has the mandate to investigate registered public accounting firms. The PCAOB has to investigate if the firms are complying with the Act, the SEC, and any other relevant law governing audits of public companies, dealers and brokers. The PCAOB can and should provide disciplinary actions, such as sanctions, to registered companies that are found to be in violation with the statutes. The investigations and disciplinary proceedings are normally non-public.

The PCAOB accepts the registration of non US audit firms. The body has allowed for non US audit firms to audit US companies but under its oversight in conjunction with the home country rules concerning audit of firms. The PCAOB has adopted a cooperative framework between them and home country regulators of non US audit firms. The participation of the PCAOB in outside US firms has helped to universalize the audit practice standards and protect the investors on a global level by ensuring cooperation and uniformity in auditing. The cooperation reduces administrative conflicts and other legal conflicts that may occur during auditing by a non US audit firm. The PCAOB also provides a helping hand to non US audit firms to companies that are subject to dual oversight (Pcaobus.org, 2015).

In the PCAOB there is an Office of research and Analysis (ORA), which is responsible for risks and trends involved in auditing the registered public companies. The ORA provides the PCAOB with audit areas which require close consideration. ORA conduct inspections that identify high risk audit and data analysis which is important in the planning process (Pcaobus.org, 2015). ORA investigates and researches on development and trends that affect investors, this helps the PCAOB in setting of standards, enforcement of laws and statutes, and risk-based inspection program.

The PCAOB needs to do more in their endeavor to protect the investors and providing credible and transparent audit investigations. The PCAOB Inspection reports are disparaging of audit partners for not monitoring those staff doing the greater part of the work. In one occasion, it reports how a partner spent only two percent of the hours allocated for the audit. That is a huge issue that would influence review quality and the believability of the audit report. A couple of years prior, the PCAOB recommended that financial specialists be told the name of the audit partner, like in Europe and different parts of the world, this should be possible either through the partner signing the report or having the auditors name be uncovered as some have proposed. 

Financial specialists are requested that vote on and endorse the auditor as a component of the intermediary voting procedure for some organizations. Yet today, the PCAOB keeps on withholding from financial specialists, the name of the organizations whose audits the PCAOB assessment reports raise doubt about, those audits of sketchy quality and believability, and which have not been done as per expert norms. The PCAOB has additionally neglected to follow up on the proposition to give financial specialists credibility as to who audit partner may be. Financial specialists are left absolutely not able to observe which of these reviews/audits they ought to be worried about, when voting on the inspector sanction. The PCAOB is just constraining financial specialists to act visually impaired on that vote. 

While the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 does preclude the PCAOB from uncovering certain data on an auditor that emerges as a consequence of a review, it doesn’t disallow in any manner the PCAOB from revealing the name of the Company (Pcaobus.org, 2015). What’s more, it would not deny the revelation of the names of these partners who perform inadequately if the PCAOB were ever to follow up on its own proposition. Maybe, a greater part of the PCAOB board individuals have chosen to act in a way that decreases straightforwardness regarding audit quality for financial specialists/ investors.

Firstly, the PCAOB should have auditor’s discussion and analysis, as the information provided in the discussion and analysis will be more protective and provide more useful information compared to the pass or fail audit reports. Secondly, information outside financial statements do not have assurances and rather are not legally binding, the PCAOB should ensure that’s these information have assurances because they can be helpful in providing insights to investors even more than information found in disclosures in management. Thirdly, financial reports should have a universal standard language that is understandable to all, but this is not possible. Therefore, the PCAOB should provide mandatory clarification to the diverse group of investors in order to ease their decision making process. Lastly, auditor rotation should be mandatory in order to provide assurances to the company investors and creditors, and also it ensures that financial reports of a company are looked at afresh (Jones et al., 2012).

The case of Enron is one of the biggest bankruptcy cases that have ever been filed and it involved an accounting firm known as Arthur_Andersen. The accounting firm was independent and was responsible in auditing the books of Enron. Enron sustained itself by systematic account fraud where it overstated its profits in order to lure investors. Arthur_Andersen were complicit in these misstatements and did not carry out their due diligence by being honest. The accounting firm did not fulfill its professional responsibilities in auditing Enron’s financial accounts. In 2002, it was also discovered that Arthur_Andersen was responsible for shredding documents related to Enron auditing (Markham, 2006). Due to the Enron scandal, the accounting firm had to surrender its CPA license and terminate business because it could no longer carry out business with US Security and Exchange Commission.

A preliminary audit strategy speaks to the auditor’s preparatory judgments around an audit approach and is in view of specific presumptions about the behavior of the audit. It is not a detailed determination of inspecting techniques to be performed (Gibbins, 1988).

There are four techniques that can be used in preliminary audit strategy; a basically substantive methodology stressing tests of subtle elements, a principally substantive methodology underscoring logical strategies, a lowered assess level of control risk methodology and an emphasis on inherent risk and diagnostic techniques (Boritz, Gaber and Lemon, 1987). The fundamentally substantive methodology emphasizing tests of points of interest may be savvier for statements relating to records that are influenced by rare exchanges or modifying entries. In such cases, the expense of performing extra methodology to acquire a comprehension of inside controls and tests of controls to bolster a lower surveyed level of control risk would frequently surpass the expense of performing more broad tests of subtle elements.

The lower surveyed level of control risk methodology offers the potential for expense reserve funds when utilized for attestations relating to records influenced by a high volume of exchanges/transactions (Ma and Wang, 2013). At the point when controls identified with such statements are all around composed and exceptionally compelling, the expense of performing the more broad methods to get the comprehension of inside controls and to test the controls will frequently be more than offset by expense investment funds from performing less broad tests of subtle elements.

An essentially substantive methodology underlining analytical systems offers the potential for expense reserve funds when utilized for statements relating to records influenced by a high volume of exchanges that fit in with an anticipated example. For this situation the expense of performing the more broad strategies to get a comprehension of the business and industry and to perform solid investigative methodology will regularly be more than offset by expense reserve funds from performing less broad tests of subtle elements (Giove, 2012).

An accentuation on inherent risk and logical techniques is regularly powerful for statements where intrinsic risk can be surveyed at moderate and systematic methods are successful at distinguishing material misstatements (Peters, n.d.). The expenses of performing the more broad systems to get a comprehension of the business and industry and to perform solid systematic methods will regularly be more than offset by cost savings from performing insignificant tests of subtle elements.

An audit risk is the risk that an auditor may inadvertently fail to modify his opinion statements that are materially misstated. Audit risk is divided into; control risk, inherent risk, test of details risk and analytical procedures risk.

Inherent risk is the defenselessness of an affirmation to a material misstatement accepting that there are no related interior errors. When an auditor decides to forego evaluating characteristic risk for a declaration, he or she is accepting it is at the most extreme. An auditor may pick this choice when he or she reasons that the exertion needed to assess inherent risk for a declaration would surpass the potential lessening in the examining systems got from utilizing a lower appraisal.

Control risk is the risk that a material misstatement that could happen in an attestation won’t be avoided or distinguished on a convenient premise by the element’s internal controls. Control risks can never be zero in light of the fact that inner controls can’t give complete certification that every material misstatement will be anticipated or identified. To support an appraisal of control risk, the auditor must confirm on the adequacy of the configuration and the operation of interior controls through; strategies to acquire a comprehension of inner controls and tests of control. To bolster s lower level evaluated level of control risk for a statement, the auditor must make more broad utilization of systems to perform test controls and understand the internal controls.

The auditor has an obligation to evaluate the risk of material misstatement because of misrepresentation, paying little attention to whether the auditor generally plans to survey inborn risks or control hazard at the most extreme. The risk of misrepresentation because of deceitful financial reporting identifies with purposeful errors or exclusions of sums or exposures in finance related articulations to delude financial statement users. On the other hand, the danger of misrepresentation emerging from misappropriation resources includes the robbery of a substance’s benefits where the impact of the burglary causes the budgetary explanations not to be exhibited in similarity with GAAP. The auditor may survey the risk of material misstatement because of extortion by evaluating internal risks and appraisal of the risk of false financial statements reporting and the risk of misappropriation of assets.

Analytical procedure risk is the risk that the auditor won’t identify a material misstatement that exists in declaration through the use of explanatory techniques. The auditor decides the arranged satisfactory level of diagnostic systems risk construct for every affirmation situated in light of the appraisals of inherent risk, control hazard, and audit method for utilizing expository techniques and tests of points of interest. The arranged levels of scientific strategies risks are thusly reconsidered taking into account proof from viability of inner controls or particular audit discoveries acquired while performing systematic methodology and tests of points of interest.

Test of details risk is the risk that the auditor won’t identify the material misstatement that exists in a declaration through the use of tests of subtle elements, for example, tests of exchanges/transactions. The auditor decides the arranged worthy level of tests of subtle elements risk construct for every declaration based on respect to the appraisals of inalienable risk, control hazard, and logical methodology hazard. These three appraisals influence audit procedure for tests of subtle elements. The arranged levels of tests of points of interest risks are in this way updated taking into account proof got about the viability of inner controls or particular audit discoveries got while performing substantive tests including explanatory strategies and tests of subtle elements.

The audit risk model shows the relationship between the audit risk components. It takes the form below: 

    AR = IR X CR X AP X TD (Vinten and Chong, 1993)

Where AR = audit risk

            IR = inherent risk

            CR = control risk

            AP = analytical procedure risk 

            TD = test of details risk.

The preliminary audit strategy relates to the audit risk model in the following ways. Firstly, in the primarily substantive approach emphasizing tests of details, lower assessed level of control risk and the primarily substantive approach emphasizing analytical procedures, the inherent risk is assessed at or near the maximum. In the emphasis of inherent risks and analytical procedures, the inherent risk is assessed at moderate or low. Secondly, in the primarily substantive approach emphasizing tests of details, control risk is assessed based on procedures performed to understand internal controls. In the lower assessed level of control risk, control risk is assessed on an understanding and tests of control made to bolster a control risk assessment of moderate or low. In the primarily substantive approach emphasizing analytical procedures, control risk is assessed based on procedures performed to comprehend inner controls. In the emphasis of inherent risks and analytical procedures, the control risk is assessed based on techniques undertaken to comprehend internal controls. Thirdly, in the primarily substantive approach emphasizing tests of details, the auditor does not plan to acquire significant evidence from details test, the same case applies in the lower assessed level of control risk. In both primarily substantive approach emphasizing analytical procedures, and emphasis of inherent risks and analytical procedures, the analytical procedures provide significant evidence about the declaration/assertion. Lastly, in the primarily substantive approach emphasizing tests of details, the auditor plans to obtain significant evidence from the test details. In the lower assessed level of control risk, the auditor can limit the evidence required from tests of details, this is the same case in primarily substantive approach emphasizing analytical procedures. In the emphasis of inherent risks and analytical procedures, the auditor expects to obtain little evidence needed from tests of details because of the lower inherent risks and the evidence obtained from analytical procedures.