The final project for this course is the creation of a SWOT

As the final step in your journey toward your Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management, you will complete a capstone that integrates the knowledge and skills that you have developed in previous coursework by conducting an analysis of an organization and applying continuous improvement practices for achieving sustainable operations and effective resource management. You will also reflect on your journey through the Operational Management program and how you plan to position yourself professionally. This capstone will be assessed somewhat differently than other courses you have taken online at SNHU. There are three separate components that operate together to comprise the whole capstone experience. For the capstone evaluation, you will be evaluated on all three as a unit. Your instructor will guide you through this process, keeping a running narrative of your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the outcomes as you progress through the class. The project is divided into two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three and Five. The final project will be submitted in Module Seven.
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DECEMBER 14, 2017
CSX SWOT
QSO-489
BRANDON GRIMES
SNHU
SWOT Analysis
Positive Strengths
•
CSX is one of the nation’s leading transportation suppliers.
a) CSX provides an important link to the supply chain, having approximately 21,000
route miles.
b) These miles serve 23 states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia and
some Canadian province.
c) CSX serves over 240 short line and regional railroads
•
CSX is a dedicated company for doing things the right way, at CSX they know their
reputation is an important part for their success.
a) In 2016 CSX made the G.I Jobs list, this makes it eight years in a row. At CSX one
out of five employees is a veteran
b) In 2017 CSX took second place in Fortune worlds most admired company.
c) In 2013 when CSX implemented more policies to protect the environment, they won
the e U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The award recognized their greenhouse
gas improvement, over 2006 levels.
•
Great Fuel efficiency
a) In 2016 CSX fuel efficiency increased because they started shutting down engines
when they were sitting to long
b) CSX can move a ton of freight an average of 474 miles on one gallon of fuel
Negatives Weaknesses
•
CSX generated revenue fell 11.8b in 2015 to $11.1b last year
a) Csx had a drop of 21% in coal traffic
•
CSX does not expand in the West of the USA
a) Since CSX stops in Louisiana and does not head west there is a unteach market that
they could reach out to.
•
New CEO has taken over
a) Less production because of training for new policy
b) Push back form employees that disagree with the policy’s
c) New CEO brings reputation that could tarnish what CSX has built its company on.
d) Job cuts to increase operation ratio
Opportunities
•
The opportunity to expand
a) CSX can buy or negotiate terms to expand out west
b) Working with new and untouched customer and industries that could use their service
c) Double stack more trains to move more freight
•
More intermodal traffic
a) Opportunities to reach out to move more freight with truck by opening more
intermodal.
b) By doing this it can to expand in to moving the freight over the highway and still
make a profit
•
Better opportunity for customers
a) Build on their relationship
b) Keep customer inform of their product and that it is moving safely
Threats
•
Federal Regulation
a) More strenuous regulation and laws on certain commonalties. Like the loss of coal
was a big hit to CSX
b) Limited to federal regulation and laws, some of these things is out of CSX hands and
hurts production.
c) PTC, is something that is costing the railroad millions right now and if not
implemented and up and running by the end of 2017, every railroad will be fined till
it is operational. This is a system implemented by the government for safety.
•
Strong competition
a) Losing customers to their competition, which is something they are facing right now.
b) Norfolk southern, Canadian Pacific, and Union Pacific
c) Also losing freight to Big truck
•
Derailments
a) This is something that can happen any time anywhere.
b) This can coast million and hurt the company reputation and cause laws suits
Improvements
Need to find other ways to increase revenue, reach out to it loyal customer to see if they
can grow their current business with them. Meet with new potential customers and try and see if
you can be of service to them. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel, if you have something working
expand on it, you don’t always have to start over. Stay on top of employee training and
involvement. Employee’s is the greatest tool that a company has and needs to spend time
training them and keeping them involved.
Operations of CSX
In the operations of any company, problems are deemed to arise. These problems range
from the decrease in revenue, should a company reach out to its loyal customers to help to grow
their current business with them are just among the problems the management of a company
struggles with for the company to survive. The problems and their alternative solution provide
some elements of change which the company must adapt. Projects are established to implement
these changes, and there is always some responsibility for its successful implementation. Every
project is unique regarding the challenges it is likely to encounter, the priorities and resources
assigned to it, its operation environment, the manager’s attitude as well as the guide and control
of all the activities. In the present case, CSX is one of the nation’s leading transportation
suppliers. The company has very important supply chain with at least 21000 route miles. These
miles serves 23 states east of Mississippi River, the district of Colombia and some Canadian
province (CSX.com, 2016). Given the problems faced by the company the proposed solution is
to develop a plan aimed at the increase in the quality of service delivery to the customers and to
increase revenue generation. In this regard, this paper seeks to discuss the above solution as
suggested, the project management plan for its implementation as well as the tasks and the
analysis.
Chosen Solution
The proposed solution to the challenges facing the company is to come up with a plan
which will improve the quality of the services delivery by the company as well as increase the
revenue generation. The solution will be implemented regarding planned undertakings of several
related activities to attain the highest quality of services offered and improve revenue generation.
Project Management Plan
This will include the application of different techniques and tools to direct the available
resources to improve the quality of services offered and promote revenue growth in the
company. This will be done with the quality, time and cost constraints. In this regard, it is good
to recognize that each of the task required in this project will require a particular set of tools,
techniques to implement (Maserang, 2002). Proper project management techniques will ensure
there is no disruption of the routine activities of the company by placing under one command all
the requirements to implement the project. The improvement of the service delivery will require
different skills and resources from those who will be required to enhance revenue growth. In this
case, the form of project management required is unique and will keep on changing throughout
the implementation process. The project management process for the above project will
incorporate four processes namely, the initiation, Planning, execution, and closing of the project.
•
Initiation Phase
Under the initiation phase, the first step will be coming up with a team to spearhead the
initiation of activities aimed at improving the customer service and to enhance revenue growth in
the company. This team should also establish a good relationship between CSX and the
customers and foster a strong relationship. The team should identify the initiation plan for the
project and define the necessary tasks for the organizing the team while at the same time work to
promote the goal and the scope of the project (Maserang, 2002). Under this phase, there should
be established the management procedures which includes the development of the team
communication and reporting procedures, the assignment of the responsibilities in the project,
the procedure of making any changes in the project as well as the funding. Finally, under the
initiation phase, there should also be the focus on the collection and organization of all the tools
required in the project management.
•
Planning Phase
On the second phase which includes planning, there will be a description of the scope,
feasibility, and alternatives of the project. In this case, the focus on the customer services and
revenue growth will be analyzed. This will include the results which are to be achieved, what is
to be done and the measures of the attainment of the goals. Secondly, under this phase, the
project will be divided into tasks, resources will be estimated and a resource plan crafted.
Thirdly, there will be the development of the preliminary schedule which includes the
assignment of task estimated to the time available. Further, there is the formulation of the plan
for communication plan, determining the procedures and standards of project, identification and
assessment of the risks, the creating of the preliminary budget, formulating the work statement
and setting the project baseline (Maserang, 2002).
•
Execution Phase
The third phase is the execution of the project. This will include the execution of the
project baseline, monitoring the progress of the project against the baseline, management of the
changes to the baseline, maintenance of the workbook for the project and the notification of the
status of the project.
•
Closing of the project Phase
The final phase is the closing of the project. This includes giving notice to all the
interested parties of the completion of the project, conducting the reviews after the completion of
the project, and finally ensuring the all the contractual obligations of the project are met
(Crawford & Pennypacker, 2003).
Tasks
•
Project management can be a complex and challenging undertaking. However several
tasks which adhere to the industry-driven principles can help in the project completion.
•
The first task is the start of the project which also includes the identification of the
specific activities and milestones in the project.
•
Second, is the analysis of the project requirements, conducting a feasibility study,
development of the project proposal. It starts with the determination of the sequence of
the activities including the determination of the exact order in which other tasks should
be done.
•
The third task is to do an analysis and develop the activities sequence to establish the
interrelationship between tasks and the order in which they are to be performed.
•
The fourth task is the estimation of the time required for each task to be completed.
•
The final last is the design of the project review, preparation of the specification
document and determination of the route to take to complete the project. Under this task,
there should be regular monitoring of the project implementation and adjustment of the
schedule (Maserang, 2002).
Analysis
If the solution is implemented well, the company stand to gain a lot. First, the quality of
customer services will be greatly improved. CSX will not experience strong competition for the
customers with its competitors, and the company will stop losing customers to the competitors.
The company will also be able to reach out to its loyal customers to help to grow the business.
Second, the implementation of the solution will make the company financially healthy and have
the ability to expand its operations. Apart from further expansion, the company can put more
resources to streamline its operations by engaging more employees and training those already in
the company. Finally, the implementation of the solutions is likely to boost the competitive
advantage of the company and make the company an established brand in the market.
References
Crawford, J. K., & Pennypacker, J. S. (2003). Put an end to project mismanagement. Optimize,
73-73.
Maserang, S. (2002). Project Management: Tools & Techniques. Retrieved November, 15, 2013
The CSX Advantage – CSX.com. (2016). Retrieved from: https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/aboutus/the-csx-advantage/
References
The CSX Advantage – CSX.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from
https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/the-csx-advantage/
CSX sees 21% drop in coal traffic – Railway Gazette. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/n-america/single-view/view/csx-sees21-drop-in-coal-traffic.html
Projects and Partnerships – CSX.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from
https://www.csx.com/index.cfm/about-us/projects-and-partnerships/
QSO 489 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric
Overview
The final project for this course is the creation of a SWOT analysis, project planning outline, and professional and personal reflection.
As the final step in your journey toward your Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management, you will complete a capstone that integrates the knowledge
and skills that you have developed in previous coursework by conducting an analysis of an organization and applying continuous improvement practices for
achieving sustainable operations and effective resource management. You will also reflect on your journey through the Operational Management program and
how you plan to position yourself professionally.
This capstone will be assessed somewhat differently than other courses you have taken online at SNHU. There are three separate components that operate
together to comprise the whole capstone experience. For the capstone evaluation, you will be evaluated on all three as a unit. Your instructor will guide you
through this process, keeping a running narrative of your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the outcomes as you progress through the class.
The project is divided into two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final
submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three and Five. The final project will be submitted in Module Seven.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
•
•
•
•
•
•
QSO-489-01: Assess and apply operations management theory and best practices effectively in a global environment to achieve operational goals in
support of business strategies
QSO-489-02: Evaluate and apply appropriate continuous improvement practices for achieving sustainable operations in a given environment
QSO-489-03: Utilize quantitative and qualitative techniques for solving problems with processes, procedures, and products
QSO-489-04: Evaluate the internal and external factors that influence business sustainability and competitive advantages in business
QSO-489-05: Make operations-management decisions that create value while minimizing risk for the purposes of meeting specified customer
requirements
QSO-489-06: Develop and apply appropriate resource management techniques for promoting accountability, sustainability, and organizational
effectiveness
Prompt
You will select an organization in operations management that is currently facing competition from other service industries in the same area (e.g.., Verizon vs.
Sprint, Apple vs. Dell, Longhorn Steakhouse vs. Outback Steakhouse, Chrysler vs. Chevrolet, etc.). After laying the foundation for understanding the selected
organization by analyzing data from both quantitative and qualitative sources, you will then apply continuous improvement techniques for identifying potential
solutions by developing a SWOT analysis on the selected organization, ultimately contributing to its long-term planning and sustainability.
You will then develop potential solution(s) for addressing the identified weaknesses or threats (outlined in the SWOT) that would add value to the organization
with minimal risk. This will also be accompanied by a project planning outline that will highlight how and when the proposed solution will be introduced, which
should adhere to common industry-driven project management principles. Finally, you will reflect on your journey through the Operational Management
program and how you plan to position yourself professionally through a third component in the form of a personal and professional reflection.
Capstone Component One: SWOT Analysis
For the first of three capstone components, you will develop a comprehensive, professional SWOT analysis that will help form long-term planning and
sustainability strategies, outlined in a project management plan (PMP).
First, you will want to lay the foundation for conducting your SWOT analysis by comprehensively describing the selected organization and discussing the issues or
problems that the organization is facing. Overall, it is important to include information that is pertinent for comprehending the organization and its problems. It is
up to you to establish a robust context for understanding and responding to the organization’s need(s).
Part of establishing a solid framework for analyzing the organization is incorporating information that supports why the problem(s) exists and how it is valid. For
instance, based on your chosen organization, you should include both a quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis that speak to the organization’s need and
identified problem. After conducting a SWOT analysis, you will bring your analysis together by synthesizing the results and identifying potential solutions.
The following sections should be included:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
Strengths: Identify the strengths of the organization.
Weaknesses: Identify the weaknesses of the organization.
Opportunities: Identify potential opportunities that the organization should explore in order to expand.
Threats: Identify external factors that could potentially negatively affect the organization.
Improvements: Develop potential solution(s) addressing the identified weaknesses and threats that are listed in the SWOT that would add value to the
organization with minimal risk.
Capstone Component Two: Project Planning Outline
After identifying necessary improvements in Component One, you will pick one solution to expand upon in a professional project plan. Here, you will develop an
abbreviated project management plan (PMP) that showcases the essential steps you think would be effective in implementing your proposed solution. Based on
your SWOT analysis, your abbreviated PMP should be presented in an outline format with proposed tasks needed for implementation that adhere to industrydriven project management principles.
• What tasks are needed in order to implement the proposed solution in the organization? Each task must be written out with thorough detail
and should be organized chronologically, based on logical and appropriate start and end times for each task.
• In closing, identify the overall value added if the solution is implemented. For instance, the solution may be developed to increase service
quality for customers or to increase revenue, increase product quality, and so on.
Capstone Component Three: Professional and Personal Reflection
For the third and final component of your capstone, you will write an essay in which you discuss the process and outcomes of this project, as well as how your
coursework culminated in the capstone project. This may include discussions of unforeseen problems or obstacles, as well as any surprises. The essay should also
discuss your identified strengths and problems that you encountered while completing the project. Finally, the essay will examine how the capstone project will
be useful in the job market or in furthering your education.
You should envision this component as a personal reflection on the capstone and your experience in the Operations Management program as a whole. For
instance, relative to the capstone, you could discuss what you did (or intended to do), and then consider what worked well, what challenges you faced, and what
you would do differently to make your experience better. In reflecting on your time here at SNHU, you might discuss where you started, where you are now, and
where you see yourself going. Note that this component is not about evaluating the capstone itself but rather your experience within the capstone project.
Some of the issues that you could address in this final component of this capstone may include:
•
•
•
•
•
Overall, what was your capstone experience like?
Reflect on the significance of the capstone in relation to your own experience at SNHU.
What connections do you see between your capstone and your academic program?
How can learning about the analysis of qualitative and quantitative dat …
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