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You have been asked to plan your relationship management approach for the project, which is expected to be delivered within the next 12 months.

In this paper, you are required to shed light on the elements of collaborative working, relationship management, and conflict management. You have to complete the tasks that are linked with the given situation that focuses on the following points in detail:

  • To make customers order online from the company’s existing website
  • To trace the orders and deliveries precisely
  • Streamline customer service processes to alleviate staffing hours/wage budget in the customer service unit
  • Explain the purpose and benefits of stakeholder mapping
  • Discus the roles of IT Partner, Customers and  the  Head of Marketing
  • Define collaborative working and management challenges with references

Purpose of Assessment

 

The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relationship management, collaborative working and conflict management.

 

The assessment comprises a scenario and a number of tasks, each aligned to the assessment criteria of the unit. When completed, these tasks should generate the evidence the Assessor will need to make a judgement on whether the learner has passed the unit.

 

A Result Sheet is provided at the end of this brief to support Assessors in assessing each assessment criterion and to record the final outcome of the unit.

 

Scenario

 

Vine Organics is a wholesaler of fair trade, organic, ethical, ecological and natural products. Established 25 years ago, the company sells directly to small independent retailers across the UK. The company has experienced steady growth, and recent accounts reported a £10M turnover, although costs have risen, and margins are reduced by 5%.

 

As the Operations Manager for Vine Organics, you have been asked to lead the implementation of a new information technology (IT) system within your organisation. The company has a loyal customer base, however, in the last year the sales generated by several key customers have fallen by around 50%. The Customer Service Team carried out a telephone survey to establish the reasons for the drop in sales. Key findings indicated that customers were buying from competitors because they liked to order online, at a time that suited them, rather than phoning in their orders during standard office hours.  Additionally, customers want to be able to access records of previous orders so that repeat orders will save them time.

 

After some consideration, the company director decided to commit a significant budget to replacing the current IT system. The objectives of the project are to implement an IT system that will:

 

         Enable customers to order online through the company’s existing website.

         Track customer orders and deliveries accurately.

  Streamline customer service processes to reduce staffing hours/wage budget in the customer service team.

 

The project will include replacing the existing software systems that the Customer Service Team have used for the last 10 years to take orders over the telephone. It will also involve building a new area on the website, where customers can log in securely to order products. The Head of Marketing is responsible for the current website, and  has expressed concerns about the proposed new system, saying  that  this may cause maintenance problems and  additional work

 

for the Marketing Team.  The Customer Service Team are also worried about the changes, and their job security.  However, there will be fewer changes for the Finance and Warehouse Teams.

 

Rather than using an off-the-shelf solution, the company has agreed a partnership with an IT company called Alpha Ltd. They plan to develop a customised IT system to meet the needs of Vine Organics, which in the longer term could be adapted and sold to other wholesalers. This partnership arrangement has enabled Vine Organics to purchase the system at a significantly

lower price.

 

Tasks

 

You have been asked to plan your relationship management approach for the project, which is expected to be delivered within the next 12 months. This will cover a range of different stakeholders, and consider the most effective ways to work collaboratively with each of them. You also need to think about the potential risks and conflicts that may arise, ensuring that you can apply relevant conflict management models if required.

You have produced a stakeholder map as part of your initial preparation, and this is shown below:

 

The following  tasks must  be completed:

 

Task 1: Using the  stakeholder map  provided, explain the purposes and  benefits of stakeholder mapping.

 

Task 2: The stakeholder map  includes a range of different people. Consider the  IT Partner, Customers and  the  Head of Marketing.

 

  • Evaluate the  approach you would  take  to build and manage relationships with each, considering their different needs/expectations and  the formal/informal networks required to be effective.

 

  • Analyse the  key skills that  are required to ensure that  your approach for all three is effective.

 

 

Task 3: You have decided that  the  project is suitable for a collaborative working approach, which will enable the  Vine Organics Customer Service  Team  to extend their expertise, by sharing information, resources and  knowledge with the  IT Partner.

  • Analyse at least two factors that  are important for effective collaboration to achieve the  project goals, considering the differences in your techniques when working with internal and  external teams.
  • Explain how you would manage the  factors  to maximise effective collaboration and  minimise  the  potential for friction and  conflict.
  • Describe how you would  share good practice.

 

 

Task 4: You will be responsible for managing risks, and  dealing with any relationship problems that  arise during the  project.

  • Evaluate the  risks involved  in working  collaboratively with the  IT Partner, considering how risk could  be shared and  the  potential implications for knowledge management.

 

  • Identify at least two conflict management models to tackle  different scales  of conflict that  may arise. Analyse how these could  be  applied to manage and  resolve potential workplace conflict during the project.

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