An Addendum to the Risk Assessment Matrix
The new project that seeks to increase the number of telecommuters at Xemba is a very ambitious strategy that is meant to lower the cost of operation and increase the efficiency of the employees. However, this project has a number of risks that may affect its applicability at this firm due to the sensitive nature of the information this firm is handling. In this section, the researcher will analyze the risks that the Xemba Translation Telecommuters project would face if it is implemented. The table below shows an evaluation of the major risks.
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|Risk Description||Impact of Risk||Risk’s Probability||Degree of Impact||Initial Action if it occurs||Members Responsible||Mitigation Strategies|
|Lack of computer functionality among the telecommuters||The inability of the telecommuters to do their tasks normally||High||Very high||To install the relevant software in the telecommuters’ home computers||Elizabeth and Hugh||To ensure that those allowed to telecommute have the relevant software installed in their computers|
|Telecommuters’ poor internet connectivity||The inability of the telecommuters to share their data and communicate effectively with the relevant authorities||Medium||High||To recall the affected telecommuter back to the offices until the problem is fixed||Hugh||Before allowing anyone to telecommute, it should be confirmed that one has an adequate internet connection. The system should be reviewed from time to time to address any malfunction|
|Intruders accessing classified information||If the intruder has ill intentions when accessing the data, the impact can be devastating based on the action taken with the stolen data.||High||Very high||To shut down the connection between the affected workstation and server, and to reach out to the affected employees on phone immediately.||Ben and Malinda||To prevent such occurrences, the management should install software that can detect when an intruder accesses the system. The system should automatically shut down when accessed by the wrong individual.|
|Hackers accessing the system||When hackers access the system, they may retrieve important files for malicious use, or tamper with the data within the system. This may not only affect the clients, but also the entire operations of the firm.||Very high||Very high||To shut down the workstation the hacker uses to access the system and then report the issue to the relevant authorities.||Malinda, Phoebe, and Hugh||The system should be supported by an effective firewall that can prevent such intrusions. The system should be able to detect and issue warnings whenever one tries to access the database from unauthorized channels.|
|Telecommuters may lack back-up computers at home||In case the computer that a telecommuter uses develops some mechanical breakdown, it will mean that all the operations will be brought to a halt.||Medium||Medium||To find an alternative workstation for the affected employees or repair the affected computer||Elizabeth, Kimberly, Zeke, and Willis||To encourage all the telecommuters to have a back-up plan in case their workstations develop problems.|
As shown in the above table, the management team will need to find a way of dealing with the above possible risks that may affect Xemba Translation if left unchecked. Some of them may pose serious problems to this firm’s normal operations. For instance, when hackers access the system, they may corrupt the system or steal important data that may jeopardize this firm’s operations. Developing proper mitigation measures is vital in addressing these risks.
Metrics Used to Measure the Project’s Performance
The aim of the Xemba Project was to improve the efficiency of the system, reduce costs of operation, and boost the output of the employees. It will be appropriate to measure the performance of the project based on these three baselines. The stakeholders will want to know how the project is performing in terms of meeting the intended objectives. It will be important to identify the proper metrics that should be used for each of the three objectives identified above. The appropriate metrics for the efficiency of the IT system will be the speed. That for cost reduction will be benchmarking, while for employee output will be revenue per the employee
The justification why the metrics are appropriate
It is important to have a clear justification for each of the above metrics that will be used to measure the performance of the new system. As Dinnocenzo (2009) says, the stakeholders will need a clear method that will help them determine if the newly adopted system is working efficiently or not. For this reason, it would be important to define and justify the three matrices that will be used.
Speed of the system
Pemba Translation has experienced an increase in demand for its products, especially at schools and institutions such as churches. One of the most important issues that matter most to this firm is to meet the increasing demands for its products in an efficient way that will not jeopardize the quality given to the customers. The system should have the capacity to produce more products of the same or even better quality in order to improve the levels of customer satisfaction.
This is a very simple metrics that can be used by the stakeholders to determine if the new project is delivering on its promise. To do this, the management will need to have the records of the system’s output before the project was implemented. The management should then determine the current output after the implementation of the project. With this information, the management can determine any increase in the output that can directly be linked to the new project. The stakeholders will be able to determine if the project is worth the cost.
According to Dinnocenzo (2009), one of the main reasons why many companies are considering telecommuting is the fact that it lowers the cost. The need to reduce the cost of operation was one of the reasons that motivated this firm to come up with this project. The stakeholders will be keen to determine if it has succeeded in lowering the cost of operations. A number of methods exist that can be used to determine if this has been achieved.
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However, the most appropriate metric that is simple to use and easily understood will be benchmarking. The management can identify one of the best performing systems within the industry and determine their cost of operations. The identified system will be a benchmark of what this new system should achieve. The management will then review the cost of operation and determine how close it is to its benchmark. The management may consider developing new benchmarks if it is the industry leader and work towards it.
Revenue per an employee
According to Martin (2007), employees form a very important component of an organization’s resources. They are responsible for the tasks that will define the success rates of an organization. The telecommuting project was meant to improve their efficiency and levels of satisfaction. The metrics that will be used to determine the productivity of the employees will be the revenue per employee. Using these metrics, the management will determine the revenue per employee before the project was initiated. The management will then determine the current revenue per employee after initiating the project and then get the difference.
Project’s current status based on the metrics
In terms of the speed of the current system, the report by Ambrol (n.d) shows that it is currently running below the expected capacity. The report shows that 76 days of the planned 123 workdays scheduled for the project are already spent. This means that only 47 days are left, but the amount of work done is not commensurate with the time left. The scheduled work hour was 2693, out of which 1788 hours have been spent.
These statistics show that the system is not performing as per the expectation. This may be attributed to the fact that the stakeholders are yet to understand the new system. They are in the process of changing from one system to another, and it may take time to understand the dynamics. Analysis of the current status of the firm reveals that it is not using benchmarking as one of the ways of improving efficiency.
This should not be the case because many firms have used telecommuting as a way of improving operational efficiency, and using them as a benchmark would have been appropriate for this firm. The current report gives a detailed description of the working hours of the individual employees and their associated costs. However, it has failed to give their output, making it difficult to earn revenue to the firm
Problems that currently exist
Based on the three matrices, a number of problems have been identified that may need the immediate attention of the relevant stakeholders within the management. In terms of speed, it is clear that the new project is not running as per the intended capacity. This slow speed may increase the time needed to complete the project. It may also increase the cost of operation after the project has been initiated.
The management will need to train all the affected employees so that they may understand how to manage the new system while they are at home. Training will also be necessary for those who will be responsible for the management of the database so that they can coordinate easily with all the employees located in different regions. It is apparent that the management is not using benchmarking as a way of managing the cost of operation. As Johnson (2009) notes, setting a benchmark is like defining a vision. The management will need to visualize the best practice that should be achieved by the new system.
If the management can find the most appropriate benchmark, then it can set its own benchmark based on the facts about the new system, and what it intends to achieve through it. The management has done a commendable job in defining the cost of the employees in terms of hours and finance. However, it has failed to give a clear output for these employees, making it difficult to determine the revenue per employee after introducing the new system.
Xemba Translation Telecommuting Project was an ambitious plan to transform the workplace at Xemba Translation. In the case study, it is apparent that the management was focused on three main things as a way of elevating its position in the market. The management wanted to improve efficiency, cut costs of operations, and improve the output of the individual employees. For this reason, it decided to introduce telecommuting at this firm.
This meant that the employees could work while at home using sophisticated telecommunication systems. Although very ambitious, this project presented a number of risks to this firm. Lack of computer functionality among the telecommuters, their poor internet connectivity, intruders accessing classified information, hackers accessing the system, and telecommuters’ lack of back-up computers at home are some of the risks that this new system faces. These risks have a varying degree of impact on this firm, and it is necessary to find a way of managing them before they occur.
The management will need to measure the performance of the project so that it may know if it is operating as per the expected capacity. To do this, it is necessary to identify the appropriate metrics that can help determine the capacity of this project. As discussed in this paper, the performance of the project can be measured into three metrics. The new IT system that has been installed will be measured in terms of speed.
The metrics to measure the cost reduction will be benchmarking, and that for the employees’ output will be the revenue generated per employee. The new system being introduced through the project must have the capacity to produce output at a faster rate than the initial one in order to meet the increased demands in the market. As per the report provided by this firm, it is apparent that the desired speed is yet to be achieved. The system is running below expectations. As discussed in the paper, this may be attributed to the fact that the employees are yet to understand the concepts of the new system.
It is recommended that the management should introduce in-house training sessions for its telecommunicating employees so that they may understand how to improve their performance through the new system. The management should also conduct a regular review of the entire system to help identify problems that could hinder its normal operations. The report also lacks a clear benchmarking system at the firm, meaning that it has not been considered as an important method that can help Xemba to get more value out of this system. Other firms are already using telecommuting as a strategy for managing the workforce.
The management of Xemba should identify some of the best cases that it can use as a benchmark. This way, it will have a vision and a clear path to follow in order to achieve the best results. In case the management considers the existing cases to be appropriate, it can set its own benchmark and develop strategies for achieving it. The firm also needs to use the employees’ output to determine the real financial benefit of the new system. To do this, the management will need to conduct a review of the output of the employees to determine how the new system has improved their efficiency.
Ambros, R. (n.d.). MGT2 Xemba Translations Case Study: Telecommuting Expansion.
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Dinnocenzo, D. A. (2009). 101 tips for telecommuters: Successfully manage your work, team, technology and family. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Johnson, N. (2009). Telecommuting and virtual offices: Issues and opportunities. Hershey: IGI Global.
Martin, P. (2007). Telecommuting, the ride of the future. Honolulu: Legislative Reference Bureau.