You currently work as an independent senior computing consultant, with a focus o

You currently work as an independent senior computing consultant, with a focus on business analysis. You have just been successful in attaining a contract for Australia’s leading agribusiness, Elders Ltd., where you’ve been tasked to devise a stakeholder engagement strategy for use in developing the business case to consider replacing an inventory management system.The current system was developed in-house by Elders IT. It has provided great reliability (including uptime of 99.99%) over many years and is heavily integrated with other systems throughout the organisation. Some examples of this include:The forecasting system (which uses mathematical models to determine the numbers of items needed for different regions)The warehousing and logistics systems that would align with just in time (JIT) supply management of stock, andThe managerial reporting system, which provides C level executives real time information such as money tied up in inventory levels across the nation.Elders is now considering adopting a cloud-based inventory management system (SAP) for the organisation, to replace the existing in-house system. To assist them in making that decision (one way or the other), senior management at Elders need to be well advised on the advantages & disadvantages of both approaches, in the context of their own organisation. In other words, a business case is required.There are many Elders Units that require continued 24 x 7 access to the inventory management system for regular business function and the system is deemed as one of the organisation’s critical systems. As such any actual change over to a new system (including migration of all inventory – which is changing regularly) must consider business impact and timings. There must be as little business impact as is possible, as this is a key concern for the organisation.If the change is to be made, Elders will need to select and engage a local company (there are many such companies in South Australia) to implement the change. While the Elders IT staff are highly skilled there are always challenges in adopting different software, which specialist third parties can help to address. As Elders’ trusted adviser on this project your company will be disqualified from taking on the implementation contract (to avoid potential conflicts of interest), so if the change is to proceed then Elders will need to go to market again for the implementation contract. Also it is envisaged that Elders would need to continue to maintain the existing (in-house) system in parallel while any new solution is implemented & tested.Some stakeholder lobbyists (e.g. the existing Elders IT staff) believe that introducing cloud software could pose data security risks and are fearful of transmitting / storing inventory and sales information within the cloud, while others are concerned about the data not being backed up adequately. On the flip side, some cloud (and SAP) advocates have pointed out a wide range of benefits in moving to an industry standard solution.The business case will take a stakeholder-driven approach to assessing the options.Your task in this assessment is NOT to write the business case, but rather to develop the stakeholder engagement strategy & plan to be undertaken as one of the key elements of producing the business case.It is therefore vital that there is a detailed communication plan within your report, to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are consulted, together with a framework for assessing the issues which will be raised by different stakeholder groups. It is important to indicate how you will elicit, assess & address potential stakeholder issues in your strategy.There are a number of expected key elements within your stakeholder engagement strategy paper, such as:An analysis of the current environmentA detailed brief of the proposed changeStakeholder identification analysisPreliminary change impact analysisStakeholder relationship / risk analysisCommunication planProposed governance frameworkIn this formal strategy paper you are expected to review and understand potential stakeholders, benefits (both direct and indirect, both for the proposed change and for continuing with the status quo), consequences and actions required to implement this stakeholder engagement strategy for this project. Your strategy paper should draw on a number of the topics that have been discussed within this course. You must provide supporting reference to any assertions made within this strategy paper. As this is a professional business paper (directed to the Elders CEO, CFO and COO), your paper should include:A title pageA table of contentsAn executive summaryAn introductionA main section (or sections) discussing the approaches you are taking, any alternatives considered, any frameworks or models adopted and in each case whyA conclusion including clear recommendations and plan of actionA reference listAny further attachments / appendices as requiredYou are encouraged to raise queries and questions when analysing this brief and project (as would be expected in any professional engagement).

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