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Operations and Project Management Assignment Sample

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1.1 Introduction and Operations Management Challenges that Marks & Spenser currently faces

Introduction

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Marks & Spencer (M&S) began in 1884 as just a stall in a Leeds open market (Narasimhan, 2020). Then known as Marks' Penny Bazaar, this was Michael Marks', a Jewish immigrant from Poland, household items, haberdashery, toys, and sheet music store. In 1894, he partnered with Thomas Spencer. Simon Marks converted the company from a series of outdoor stalls in different markets throughout northern England to a series of retail shops, and he introduced the St. Michael brand name, which remained successful for decades. Marks & Spencer Group PLC, the parent company, acquired Brooks Brothers, the first clothing chain in the United States, in 1988, but sold the division in 2001. By this time, the business had expanded to over 300 retail stores in the UK with additional locations in dozens of countries, like France, Germany, Spain, etc.; a decade later, the number of UK locations had more than tripled to approximately 700. Marks & Spencer is a multinational retailer which sells clothing, home goods, and food products with its label. In Britain, this British retailer has never made a pre-tax profit of over £1 billion, however, and everyone was taken by surprise in the 2000. In November 2009, Marc Bolland took over as CEO, replacing Stuart Rose who had previously served as chairman (Swinney, 2019). Following its brand change in recent years, clothing sales have declined while food sales have risen.

Some operational management problems through which M&S is going through are-

  1. Market Trends

 M&S is constantly evolving, making it challenging for market participants to remain current on trends, customers, and market needs. Players that can adapt to change over time have been the only ones that can remain in the match for an extended period. In today’s shopping age, millennial and Gen Z are more interested in the virtual environment than ever before, allowing them to access more knowledge than ever before. They are not interested in picking anything; they are interested in picking the right items, from the right place, at the right price. Consumers desire information about the products, fabrics, and models in which they are interested. They have an insatiable appetite for high-quality goods. It's extremely difficult for M&S to keep up with changing customer behaviour, patterns, and preferences (Narasimhan, 2020). “Consumer preferences are shifting toward greater openness, compassion, and sustainability.”

  1. The durability

M&S is implementing more sustainable activities. Additionally, customers are favouring sustainable fashion over all others (Leite, 2020). However, this is insufficient to tackle the huge amount of wastage produced. While millennial and subsequent generations are demanding immediate change to achieve sustainability. A push for sustainability also increased the number of current and innovative fashion brands like M&S which are fully sustainable. These companies are committed to reducing apparel use by reinvesting in second-hand, circular, and recycled clothing.

  1. The digital revolution

M&S has suffered setbacks in recent years as a result of ineffective technical strategy and execution (al Habibi, 2019). The company is increasingly embracing technology to meet consumer needs and demands. Beyond customer buying habits and preferences, M&S is confronted with deeper problems, and at the transactional stage. It must adopt a digital approach to cross the divide between fashion and technology (Leite, 2020).

1.2 Critical Discussion of the Application of Operations Principles and their Impact on the Organisation’s Success.

M&S’s business model is based on outsourcing non-core activities to concentrate exclusively on the core business. To do this, M&S sources outfits from a diverse range of manufacturers and does not operate its factories.

Their primary objective is to provide “fashion and quality at an affordable price.” They can concentrate on the production of their garments and the shopping experience by removing intermediaries and outsourcing production. This provides customers with trendy products of superior quality and value. Having said that, they closely monitor the production techniques to ensure that customers receive sleek, fashionable commodities at an affordable price (Leite, 2020). Their manufacturing operations are reliant on good collaboration with clients and on manufacturing techniques that minimize lead times to keep their trendy products current.

Strong supplier relationships:

It’s all about the partnerships M&S builds through cooperation and partnership with their suppliers. Including over 30 production supervision offices located around the world, these offices serve as a liaison between customers and local suppliers, ensuring efficient contact. Additionally, these offices serve as a check and balance on the company’s efficiency, pricing, and compliance with its code of conduct. Additionally, M&S develops partnerships with suppliers by placing a premium on security and integrity. As an example, they were named the World’s Most Ethical Company in 2015 by the Rating Agency, a global leader in identifying and advancing ethical business principles.

Even more remarkable, they are pioneers in assisting factories in emerging markets like Bangladesh to serve as models for others. They emphasize the importance of operating an environmentally responsible, quality-conscious, safe, and profitable plant, which benefits both manufacturers and M&S. The M&S route map is based on strategic alliances with factories that produce two-thirds of the company's goods. This reflects a major change away from an enforcement paradigm centered on inspections and toward the industrial production process for improving working conditions. To be certain, it would be simpler for M&S to handle such benefits if it purchases 100% of a factory's output rather than if it purchases from a factory alongside many other brands." Just at end of each day, M&S is compelled by economics.

This is where a plan for inventory management comes into play. They place bulk global exposure to manufacturing approximately 80% of the retail inventory, while the remaining 20% are quick-to-market products to keep up with market trends. Placing such bulk orders also contributes to economies of scale, which helps keep manufacturing lines full and prices low. Every year, M&S releases a fall and spring collection, with sub-collections for each season to keep inventory new (Alhuraish, Robledo, and Kobi, 2017). The fall and spring collections are comprised of conventional long-lead pieces, while trendier products have a shorter lead period. The information technology infrastructure links all stores to corporate logistics, procurement processes, and the M&S central warehouse. The framework combines the packaging and process development departments, ensuring that the commercialization process is transparent. Clothing is a highly competitive industry, and M&S’s company and operating models place them as a market leader. Outsourcing their activities enables them to concentrate on bringing the hottest designs at the best rates, lowering their costs, and increasing their resourcefulness. M&S is establishing a long-term market and business model by cultivating relationships with manufacturers, promoting compliance for prospective suppliers, handling inventory, and placing bulk orders.

1.3 The Quality Management Framework of the Organisation and Description of its Role in Ensuring that the Organisation meets its Strategic Goals

A quality management framework is composed of written and regulated instructions and procedures that serve as the basis for all other procedures (Peng, Prybutok and Xie, 2020). A well-organized quality management framework establishes the steps for critical processes and establishes procedures for avoiding errors in a timely way. It is designed to safeguard the brand, the organization's operations, and the interests of its customers. The Quality Management Framework establishes the good services in which the M&S works, as well as the collection of rules, techniques, plans, policies, processes, and procedures used to ensure, maintain, and monitor quality (Martin et al.,2021).

The aim of a quality management system in manufacturing and service is to ensure that the same knowledge, processes, skills, and controls are used and implemented consistently each time a process is performed. If any process problems or opportunities are identified, they are fed into the quality control process to ensure continuous improvement. The tactical aims of Marks and Spencer incorporate the company's organizational goals. This defines what the company is and should be. It articulates the goals of the company and also provides details about the business's values. M&S's core businesses are described as food and clothing. Its financial goals are to maximize shareholder capital through increased returns, but also through increased retail revenues and market share. Its beliefs and values are summarized as follows: "Our customers continue to regard Marks & Spencer as the spot to shop for artisanal food produced to the highest standards." (Swinney, 2019). M&S also views its staff as a critical component of its strategy and views store modernization as a critical corporate priority.

Implementing a quality management framework in M&S leads to numerous long-term financial benefits. The following are a few of the advantages of a successful Quality Management Framework implementation in M&S:

  • It contributes to the achievement of organizational objectives.
  • Reduces the likelihood of costly mistakes.
  • Customer satisfaction is increased.
  • Increases the effectiveness of company marketing (al Habibi, 2019).
  • Effectively manages development.
  • Increases the accessibility of documents.
  • Corrects deficiencies to enhance goods and services.
  • Increases market share in emerging markets and industries.
  • Establishes a tradition of excellence.
  • Integrates vision into all programs.
  • Internal coordination is improved.
  • Produces consistent goods.
  • Personal and team success is quantified.
  • Compliance is increased.

The quality management framework of M&S fulfills the strategic objectives of the company and by doing this it safeguards the success of M&S.

For instance, Chanel, a renowned brand, has designated "Quality" as a focus area. To establish boundaries and provide some structure, Chanel established a general Quality Framework that applies to practically everything the company does.

Task 2

2.1 The Impact of Productivity and Workflow on the Organisation’s Competitiveness

Productivity seems to be the only metric that matters in determining competitiveness. Thus, an increase in efficiency translates into an increase in competitiveness. The efficiency metric can be used in place of competition at M&S. In the business world, productivity creates coherence between organizational objectives and societal expectations through input-output relationships.

It is important to analyze the output of productivity to track the behavior of the relation between production and resources. Productivity analysis is an important tool for evaluating results and assisting in the quest for alternative methods of change. The equilibrium constant can be used to describe the levels of effectiveness of production processes that use inputs to produce outputs; inefficiency is implied by the lower tiers of the output system when the same input source is used.

Productivity in an economy is the ratio of what is generated to what is needed to produce it; it is calculated by comparing the variables of assets. Typically, that ratio is expressed as an average, and it equals the cumulative output of a particular category of goods separated by the total inputs. In general, every input could be used as a productivity denominator. Productivity metrics, in their simplest form, are measurements of the inputs and outputs of specific, or combination of, inputs that allow for comparison over time, between plants, or about some model. Whichever method is used is determined by the intent of the productivity calculation and the accessibility of services.

In this context, productivity indicators may be classified as partial or absolute (Omoush, 2020). Partial productivity quantifies the relationship of inputs and outputs, including those associated with the process, such as labor and energy consumption. That is production per man or production per hour. Total productivity, on the other hand, is the ratio of total output to total inputs, taking resources into account. Thus, the productivity steps for M&S are linked to the efficient processes; in this way, when output errors are resolved promptly, productivity losses are avoided. Thus, increasing the company's efficiency needs an effort to recognize and analyses inefficient capital, to function in the context of reducing unnecessary expenses, and to improve M&S’s economic and financial results. It is possible to assume that there is a connection between competitiveness and competitive advantages in highly profitable companies and that their assets include high-quality processes, high-quality materials, reduced inventory, rapid production, and the ability to adjust goods. Productivity metrics convey information about the relationship between the goods or services provided and the capital accumulation resources employed.

Businesses are gradually substituting automated workflows for paper-based processes. This saves time and minimizes the possibility of error, which is an extremely effective opportunity to find time for productivity.

Automation of workflows used within M&S to streamline procedures and increase performance.

Considering accounts payable automation entails collecting and extracting critical data from invoices, linking purchase orders to invoices, handling permits, incorporating all information with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and completing project payments. It mitigates the chance of human error and enables employees to concentrate on responding to the business’s success. Additionally, it ensures that critical projects cannot be overlooked or left unfinished.

There are six critical ways in which workflow automation can assist companies in gaining a competitive edge.

  • Time is money: As employees are directed toward core activities and creativity rather than mundane administrative tasks, the company benefits from their collective effort and brainpower (al Habibi, 2019).
  • Minimize errors: When individuals must manually enter data, the possibility of typos and some other errors exists. Capture extraction methods like optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent applications, as well as automated workflows, help prevent these errors from creeping in.
  • Take advantage of promotions: The majority of vendors receive discounts for prompt payment. By automating processes like accounts payable, companies may ensure they never miss payments or miss payments, allowing them to benefit from on-time discounts.
  • Eliminate duplication: Certain suppliers send invoices via postal mail or email. Manually processing them creates uncertainty about whether invoices were paid. This may result in unintended non-payment or double payment, both of which have detrimental effects and divert employees’ attention away from more productive tasks, while also lowering the penalty
  • Keep track of data: Automated workflows provide monitoring features and version control, which enables M&S to view critical data such as process bottlenecks, additional savings opportunities, and key performance indicators.
  • Work expeditiously: Automated workflows notify individuals when they need to intervene in a process, such as providing approvals. Automated reminders ensure that people are aware of what is expected, reducing the likelihood that they will forget or miss the action (Gitkind and Singh, 2019).

Work efficiency has been defined as a system that consumes the fewest resources to deliver the greatest amount of output. Working efficiently leads to a larger volume of output from the same number of input resources. For instance when in M&S the automated reminders keep the employees updated regarding their change.

2.3 Critical Evaluation of how key Operations Strategies of the Organisation Contribute to the Business Strategies of the Enterprise.

The Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) model is an I/O strategy that is assumed to be the primary determinant of M&S strategic behavior (Swinney, 2019). I/O theory as a framework for a competitive strategy that describes the impact of market structure on firm performance. This structure illustrates how the business is perceived as a series of strategic activities aimed at adapting the industrial sector in the pursuit of an interesting role in the market arena. The performance of a business is determined by the industry and the company's impact (market position). Porter asserts that industrial structure has an impact on the company's output consistency, while place represents the company's ability to assess competitive advantage. After acquiring an interest position, the business will use market power to gain an advantage. This advantage stems from the company's ability to defend itself against the competitor (defensive effect) or to influence the competitor (hostile impact). Additionally, Policy can be viewed as a means of defending against industrial power or establishing a secure role.

According to I/O theory, market structure as a foundation strategy competes with operations management in terms of improving firm efficiency (Müller, Buliga, and Voigt, 2020). The operations strategy of M&S is logically deduced from the competitive strategy. Choosing a competitive strategy also is a way to choose an operational strategy. For example, if a competitive strategy emphasizes low prices, operations tasks must priorities cost reduction and control, high technical competence, intense pressure to avoid losing supply, a high degree of production standard, product sect, and top-level machine operation of M&S. If a strategic strategy emphasizes differentiation, operations tasks must emphasize the development of high-value products and services, the complexity of high-value products, the variety of end products, high-value technical skills, and the versatility of scheduling high-value products in operation. Competitive strategy evolves into a mechanism for mediating the relationship between domain dynamics and manufacturing strategy (Narasimhan, 2020). These models indicate that competitive strategy has a direct effect on manufacturing strategy. As a result, those models demonstrate that the climate, competitive strategy, and manufacturing strategy all affect efficiency.

2.4 Description of how Supply Chain Network Design was developed to align with (or to contribute to the Overall Business Strategy.

Supply Chain Network Design of M&S is the systematic, strategic coordination of conventional business functions and tactics within a single organization and through industries in the supply chain, to enhance the long-term success of the specific company and its supply as a whole. Supply chain management seems to be the network of interconnected businesses that connect one another through upstream and downstream connections between various processes that generate value in the form of products and services (Li and Zobel, 2020). Supply Chain Management is the systematic, strategic coordination of conventional business functions and tactics within M&S and through industries in the supply chain, to enhance the long-term success of M&S and the supply chain overall.

It acts as reservoirs that can be described using the preceding description. The supply chain of M&S seems to be the network of interconnected businesses that connect one another through upstream and downstream connections between various processes that generate value in the form of products and services of M&Ss

M&S employs a variety of supply chain techniques for its various goods. M&S operates its supply chain by consumer needs and product sources. Additionally, the logistics strategy of the company is determined by the product’s origin. Thus, to enhance the company’s supply chain efficiency by the use of two distinct supply chain strategies. The M&S supply chain’s objective is to maximize the company’s earnings. Profits from supply chain operations are described as the ratio between revenue produced by sales and total costs incurred in the supply chain. Product requirements and origin have a significant influence on the design and preparation of supply chains. M&S’s supply chain decisions are guided by the company’s strategic, tactical, and operational priorities (Esoimeme, 2020).

Marks & Spencer is attempting to achieve strategic alignment through an appropriate combination of responsiveness and performance. However, in the real world of market competition, this balance is influenced by logistical and cross-functional factors. Although the leather bag range and abbey love seat use an efficient supply chain, inventory levels remain balanced, alleviating pressure on M&S operational activities. Supply chains become more responsive as goods such as wine and leather bag objects are transported more quickly. Though M&S’s transport modes of sourcing decisions for items.

M&S has benefited from the impact of sources on the supply chain. M&S’s Project 2020 goal is to simplify the supply chain, thereby increasing consumer availability and establishing a more productive platform for development.

Examples of necessary performance indicators-

  1. The margin of gross profit

Gross profit margin is a goldmine of financial metric information. This is a profitability measure that calculates how much of each dollar remains after M&S pays for products sold. Gross profit margins can be used to determine whether M&S is selling its products and services competitively. Gross profit margins should be sufficiently high to cover operating costs. Anything else is purely commercial.

  1. Net profitability

Net profit is located on the income statement’s final line, which is why it is often pointed to as the result. While the Net Profit of M&S is poor, it suggests much more than just a lackluster stock market (Duneva, 2021). Additional data collection throughout all business sectors is important to assess the issue's weak link(s).

  1. The margin of net profit

The net profit margin is the percentage of sales of M&S left after deducting all operating costs, interest, taxes, and financial expenses.

  1. The ratio of debt and assets

If M&S has some debt, the debt-to-assets ratio is important. It indicates the proportion of the total assets that have been funded and are now incurring debt. The objective is to have a low number, meaning that the majority of the company’s assets are held by shareholders, not creditors.

Task 3

3.1 Critical Discussion of the role of Management Information Systems (MIS) in assisting Management towards Achieving their Strategic Goal and Operations Success within Marks and Spenser.

The MIS concept is synonymous with man, computer, marketing, and techniques for gathering data from external and internal sources and analyzing it for the sake of assisting the company in its "decision-making" process. MIS is not a modern concept; just the "computerization" of it is. Before the advent of computers, MIS strategies existed to provide administrators of Marks and Spenser with the knowledge necessary to organize and implement business operations (Evans et al., 2018). The machine has added parameters like speed, precision, and enlarged data volume, which enables the decision-making process to consider a greater number of alternatives.

A management information system (MIS) is a set of interconnected components or organizations that work together to accomplish a specific purpose, objective, or goal. Thus, it is a computer-based framework that offers information for making important decisions about the planning, coordination, and regulation of the activity of the firm's subsystems and, in the process, creates a synergistic organization (Cooper et al., 2019). Marks and Spencer employ an accountant to compile "profit and loss statements" every month as well as a "balance sheet". That is an excellent start; however, this is insufficient for an entrepreneur to run a business effectively. The leaders of Marks and Spenser require a management information system that provided insight into the company's current operations.

The MIS system aims to establish "performance standards" and to warn the company leaders about deviations from those standards in time for decisive action to be taken for the sake of correction (Kazan et al., 2018). An efficient management information system defines and gathers data on all critical operational indicators for Marks and Spenser.

For instance,MIS provides information about sales, consumer profitability, and market presence.

Managers and staff are provided with reports on efficiency, sick leave, and payroll expenses. This information is used to assess the performance levels of employees and determine which employees are due for raises (Jha-Thakur and Fischer, 2016).

Manufacturing managers are kept aware of product cost analyses, production schedules, and "raw material inventory" levels. The management information system (MIS) enables planners to align sales and schedules of production. To become more efficient, a management information system is needed by a company (Shah, McMann, and Borthwick, 2017). It highlights and categorizes successes and failures. With the knowledge this information provides, companies can make better business decisions and provide their workers with the necessary training.

Therefore, Management Information Systems (MIS) are collections of interconnected processes that make use of the information system resources in a business organization to produce and distribute the requested information. This mechanism means to assist those involved with the organization in making decisions necessary to accomplish the enterprise's strategic goals.

3.2 Critical Evaluation of the Role of ICT Applications in Supporting as well as Enhancing Operations Management within Marks & Spenser

In the past five years, technology has altered the way businesses operate. The introduction of technologies into operations management has improved the efficiency of Marks and Spenser. Over time, the application of technology has expanded from product creation to design, maintenance, and advancement of operating processes and procedures (Urba?ski, Haque and Oino, 2019). Over the years, technological advancements have reshaped critical facets of operations management. The operation and design of service and production processes also benefited from the use of new techniques and technology.

With the application of technology to operations management, companies have been able to minimize costs, consolidate vendors, optimize distribution processes, standardize and improve consistency, and concentrate on customization, thus generating value for consumers (DeStefano, Kneller and Timmis, 2018). The following sections address the major areas of impact:

Supply Chain Management

A well-managed supply chain connects vendors, retailers, sellers, and consumers via an appropriate information system for cross-border communication in order to maximize efficiency, overall loyalty, and joyful relationships at the lowest possible expense. A rapid and accurate information system enables managers to comprehend consumer reaction, their needs, the product in-store, the quantity to be manufactured, and when and when to supply. Here comes the internet's position as the cheapest inter-organizational knowledge system, assisting in aligning the interdependent policies in order for supply chain management participants to play a cooperative rather than competitive role (Eze et al., 2018). ICT in SCM is expected to ensure convergence and efficient knowledge exchange within and outside the organization. Organizations are migrating toward a virtual supply chain as a result of exponential advancements in technology and information and communication technologies (ICT) applications, such as "Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)", "Electronic Data Exchange (EDI)", "electronic commerce", "barcodes", "decision support systems", and "enterprise resource planning (ERP)" software are also exampling of these technologies. Additionally, it is readily applicable to mitigate "e-risks".

Cost Reductions

With the help of ICT, it is possible to collect data on material prices from a variety of sources and to compare them in real-time. No longer is it necessary to conduct manual source searches, make quote requests, or wait for responses through a sluggish postal system. The internet provides instant access to ready-to-use content from around the world, and resources can be accessed from the most cost-effective outlets (Kassem et al., 2019). Similarly, manufacturing activities should be carried out worldwide, anywhere labor costs or manufacturing and operations costs are the lowest. This has resulted in significant cost savings associated with transactions and processes.

Management of Customer Relations

With the newest technologies available, it is possible to monitor each customer’s preferences. Consumer data can be mined and applications configured to not only meet but exceed customer expectations. Customization of goods is possible to a greater extent (Eze et al., 2018). For instance, Dell Computers will assemble and produce computers within hours based on the requirements specified by customers.

Productiveness

The development of ICT has resulted in an increase in productivity as a result of the advent of new tools and applications. This significantly increases production and efficiency.

3.3 Analysis of Several Requirements, Appropriate Methods, and Technologies that could help in the Optimisation of Operations within Marks & Spenser

To optimize its operation, Marks and Spenser can implement the following steps:

Enhance Forecasting

Any company, whether it is selling goods or services, buying and handling inventory, regulating a supply chain, or appropriately staffing, attempts to predict demand and capacity (Zhang et al., 2016).

Introduce a Customer-Centred Mentality

If a firm’s processes and policy are geared toward embracing clients and making them happy, it can quickly navigate the road to business growth.

Concentrate on Quality

The goal is to minimize duplication and rework, thus saving money, and increasing results, thereby increasing the company's effectiveness in managing its product (Li et al., 2017).

Take a Lean Approach

The “Lean approach” is an organizational concept that emphasizes continuous improvement of the operations that result in the delivery of goods and services valued by the internal and external customers.

Over time, the scope of technology and operations management has expanded from software creation to design, management, and advancement of operating systems and processes (Yan et al., 2019).

With the application of technology to operations management, Marks and Spenser have been able to minimize costs, optimize distribution processes, standardize and improve consistency, and emphasize on customization, thus adding value to consumers (Senabre Hidalgo, 2018).

Technology is increasingly being used to personalize design goods and services (Wang, Zeng and Tu, 2017). Computers and associated electronic devices are a necessary component of modern manufacturing and service industries. Current strategies can be divided into the following general categories:

  1. CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing): Precision is critical when running any system, which is why Computer Numerically Controlled computers are used to ensure the maximum degree of precision possible (Wachter, 2016).
  2. Computer-Aided Design (CAD): It enables the precise joining of two more complicated design elements, resulting in increased efficiency.
  • The standard for the Exchange of Product Data: As the name implies, three-dimensional product design is transmitted between CAM and CAM. The “Standard for the Exchanging of Product Data” facilitates product sharing during the product’s life cycle and acts as a supportive file exchange (Zhang et al., 2016).

Numerous automated applications are available to combine operations and production processes with the organization's other business functions. "Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)", "Supply Chain Management (SCM)", "New Product Development (NPD)", and "Customer Relationship Management (CRM)" are all examples of "Common Software Programmes (CRM)" (Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2017).

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a digital interface that connects all corporate functions such as engineering, marketing, human resources, and finance (Kolokotsa, 2016). The primary advantages of an ERP approach are that it not only minimizes database bugs but also adds value to the consumer experience by quicker execution and order fulfillment.

Automation eliminates the need for human control in the production process. It improves efficiency and lowers the margin of error, enabling economies of scale. There are many disadvantages to automation, including unemployment, a high failure cost, and high initial capital investment (Gunasekaran, Subramanian, and Papadopoulos, 2017). As a result, automation cannot be appropriate in all cases, and compliance with Marks and Spenser's general mission is critical.

Artificial intelligence, or machine learning, is a method for training computers to perform semi-supervised tasks by using large data sets. This is true for the entire product life cycle, from problem discovery to coordination and resolution (Layton, Ostermiller and Kynaston, 2020). Automating routine tasks such as scheduling and rescheduling, preparing, and data monitoring is important.

Thus, the two crucial functions that AI has are as follows:

  • Predictive study of several data points in order to anticipate operational/functional abnormalities: This will go a long way toward bringing anomalies to light and thereby averting difficult situations. These AI-enabled systems must be implemented for inventory, machine, and equipment upgrades, as well as the systems in which they communicate, such as customer orders and supply-chain management (Gablas et al., 2018).
  • Automate repetitive decisions, allowing bandwidth to be freed up. By outsourcing routine tasks to 'smart' computers, staff can concentrate on more value-adding tasks, and the company can operate more efficiently with fewer resources.

AI pervades all facets of the manufacturing supply chain, from the factory floor to management and capital allocation processes (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016).

Task 4

For undertaking the project for addressing the issues associated with operations and quality management processes of Marks and Spenser, the “Agile Project Management” framework will be employed.

4.1 Project Objective

The chief objective of the project is to critically evaluate the costs associated with the mitigation of the issues concerning the operations management and quality management of processes in the case of Marks and Spenser.

4.2 Commercial Objectives of the Project

The commercial objectives of this particular project are as follows:

  • To cut the supply chain expenses by 30% within a year’s time
  • To enhance the quality of operations of Marks and Spenser by lowering the expenses of waste management by 25% within 9 months
  • To reduce the cost of risk mitigation by making use of technological applications for being prepared to handle potential risk factors

4.3 Project scope

This project primarily focuses upon the various factors affecting the wide array of processes involved in the operations management and quality management activities of Marks and Spenser, specifically taking into consideration the commercial aspects associated with it. The “Agile Project Management” moidel11 will be employed for executing this project and producing optimal results by minimizing the waste of resources and paying attention to completing the project in a streamlined manner.

4.4 Project Life Cycle

The “Agile project management (APM)” methodology is a coherent approach to project management that ensures successful project management throughout the project’s lifecycle. It effectively combines conventional project management techniques with new standards within the project’s framework.

Rather than concentrating only on the production of the finished product under the restrictions imposed, the APM framework emphasizes the importance of delivering both quality and performance under the same circumstances (Layton, Ostermiller and Kynaston, 2020).

The APM Framework divides the whole project into smaller, more manageable goals that are completed iteratively. Quality management is integrated into the process, and teams review the quality of their completed project milestones after each cycle.

  1. Envisioning:

This is the APM Framework's initial phase, which corresponds to the PMBOK's Initiation phase. This process conceptualizes the project's purpose and goals and identifies all project stakeholders. This process also includes the determination of the project's future priorities and the assessment of the customer's needs (Gablas, Ruzicky, and Ondrouchova, 2018).

  1. Speculation:

This corresponds to the preparation process of the PMBOK’s revised edition. It entails developing a feature list for the final deliverable and outlining the team’s approach to achieving it. Typically, the speculation process is divided into two distinct activities:

  • Breaking down the project into a set of high-level goals and establishing the project's planned timeline;
  • Developing an initial view of the project's essential activities. This process prioritizes some types of tasks over others, and the team members determine how to maintain the consistency of the final project deliverable (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016).
  1. Exploration:

This process runs concurrently with the project implementation phase, and team members consider different options for meeting all of the project’s criteria while remaining within the given constraints. The primary emphasis is on adding value and ensuring the final deliverable is of high quality.

Like in virtually all other Agile methodology, teams concentrate on a particular milestone and iterate before perfection is reached (Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2017). This process runs concurrently with the “Adapt” phase when teams will be required to alter their schedule and implementation style in response to client demands or unexpected input.

  1. Adaptation:

This is probably the framework’s most distinctive step. The team’s ability to respond to changing situations enables them to be prepared for something that comes their way.

By soliciting input from the project board and ensuring that any part of the project meets the project goals, teams will greatly improve their performance and efficacy (Senabre Hidalgo, 2018).

  1. Closure:

This is the concluding stage. Teams make sure that the job is finished in a timely and error-free way. The finished deliverable is compared to the project’s revised specifications, and teams reflect on their errors in order to prevent them in the days to come (Senabre Hidalgo, 2018).

4.5 Project Assumptions

The following are the assumptions of this project:

  • Skills of important project members
  • Availability of important project members
  • The output of key project members
  • Vendor turnaround times
  • Maintenance of the project’s timetable
  • Problems with vendor results
  • Delays in the Initiation of the project
  • Cash Flow Problems

4.6 Project Life Cycle Plan

The Envisioning stage if the project will be initiated in the firth month and be completed within the third. The speculation phase will begin from that very month and continue till month 5. Months 6 and 7 will be dedicated for the exploration phase of the project, which will be followed by adaptation in months 8, 9, and 10. In the final stage, the closure will be dealt with in the last two months of the one-year project.

4.7 Gantt Chart showing Project Phases and the Estimated Timescales

Duration

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Month 7

Month 8

Month 9

Month 10

Month 11

Month 12

Activities Breakdown

Envisioning

Speculation

Exploration

Adaptation

Closure

Figure 2: Gantt Chart

4.8 Risk Management Plan

It is almost certain that in the process of execution of a project, there are multiple risks that may arise. To mitigate them in time, it is important to recognize them beforehand and analyze their probability. The template below will show some of the risks that may arise in the course of the project, along with their threat levels and probability.

The potential risks are as follows:

  • Performance Risk (A)
  • Operational Risk (B)
  • Strategic Risk (C)
  • Market Risk (D)
  • Cost Risk (E)
  • Schedule Risk (F)
  • External Hazard Risks (G)
  • Legal Risk (H)
  • Governance Risk (I)

Rare

Unlikely

Possible

Likely

Almost Certain

Catastrophic

Major

Moderate

C

A

D

Minor

F

B

E

Insignificant

I

H

G

Figure 3: Risk Management Template

4.9 Importance of Stakeholder Management

Stakeholders in a project have a concern about a project’s outcomes. Certain individuals are more critical to the project’s success, such as the “sponsor”, “steering committee”, or “project team members”. Others, such as” subject matter specialists”, “cross-functional supervisors”, and “vendors”, are equally important but are involved in only a portion of the project (de Oliveira and Rabechini Jr, 2019). However, regardless of their position, all stakeholders are significant, and effectively managing stakeholders can make a significant difference in the project’s success.

A good project manager begins by recognizing stakeholders, comprehending their roles in the project, defining their project-related objectives, and, concerning other stakeholders, confirming shared expectations while addressing conflicting expectations. If this is accomplished, the real work of stakeholder management begins.

Stakeholder management is critical because it is what makes successful project partnerships possible (Nguyen, Mohamed and Panuwatwanich, 2018). This requires not only an awareness of the stakeholders but also of their specific contact requirements at different stages of the project. These needs include developing a strong relationship, feeling respected and important, and comprehending how their work contributes to the project's success.

4.10 The Contribution of Project Leadership towards a Successful Project

In every project, there ought to be a person entrusted with the responsibility of directing the selected team toward achieving the project’s objectives. This type of person is referred to as a project leader or manager (Aga, Noorderhaven and Vallejo, 2016). Their primary responsibilities or positions include the following:

  • Decision-Making: A project leader is responsible for making important project-related decisions. Every procedure that must be followed or action that must be taken in any specific aspect of the project must be approved by the project leader as the ultimate decision-maker.
  • Planning: The project leader is ultimately responsible for the project’s overall strategy. They are accountable for the expenses, schedules, and process plans (Iqbal et al., 219).
  • Management: Project leaders are responsible for overseeing the whole project; they are responsible for hiring teams, allocating tasks, and approving payments, among other administrative responsibilities.

The three important positions of project leaders emphasize the critical nature of leadership in project management. As a result, there are certain characteristics or types of leadership that leaders should use to assess the success or failure of a specific project.

Conclusion

In the discussion presented in the preceding sections of this report, the various nuances of operations and quality management processes were explored in elaborate detail, paying close attention to virtually every crucial factor that is relevant to the subject matter. The information presented in the first chapter provides the issues faced by the chosen company Marks and Spenser, along with the principles of the operation that influence its success and its quality management framework. The second section demonstrates the importance of productivity and workflow, and also talks about the company's supply chain and some key performance indicators. The third section presents a voluminous discussion regarding MIS and ICT and their role in the operations of the company. Finally, the fourth task, involved with project management, provides details about the objectives of the project, its different phases, its timelines, risk factors, the important stakeholders, and the significance of project leadership, thus presenting a holistic insight into the full scope of the concerned project.

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