MIT 510 – “Elijah's”

Elijah's Restaurant

"Elijah’s Front-End Analysis and Project Proposal” project was completed as a partial requirement for MIT 510: Design and Development of Instructional Technology. This course was completed in the spring of 2009 under the supervision of Dr. Mahnaz Moallem. Throughout this project, I worked with a fellow MIT classmate, Kim Whitfield. To complete this project, we designed and conducted a front-end analysis. After the front-end analysis, we used the information gleaned from the analysis to help propose an instructional solution to the current performance problem at Elijah’s.

In order to conduct a thorough front-end analysis, our project team contacted the managers that work for River Enterprises. After gaining access to Elijah’s restaurant, our team conducted extant data analysis, interviews and observations. Determining the components of the operating system was the next step in our analysis process. By completing an operating system analysis, we were able to determine the gap between how the operating system currently functioned versus the desired function of the operating system. Part of the operating systems analysis consisted of determining possible causes for gaps in performance. Once the causes were identified the project team proposed instructional solutions that would provide training materials to employees. A project proposal was created that included design specifications for instructional materials that would be developed. The project proposal also outlined the project plan which included the budget, the resources needed to complete the project, the staffing plan, and the project timeline (complete with milestones and activities).

After completing the front-end analysis our project group determined that an instructional/training solution was the best solution for the performance problem at Elijah’s. It was determined that the training materials utilized by Elijah’s managers were outdated. Also workflow problems, lack of employee supervision, and lack of employee motivation were identified as issues that resulted in the decline of Elijah’s clientele, revenue, and customer satisfaction. Due to some much needed revisions to the building, Elijah’s decided to remodel. During the downtime, the managers came together and set new goals for the restaurant. So, the project proposal took into consideration the new goals and provided recommendations to managerial staff on how to utilize the proposed instructional materials to better train employees. The proposal was submitted in May of 2009, but due to budget restrictions the client chose not to develop and implement the instructional materials.

I assumed multiple roles throughout the life of this project that were often collaborative in nature. Given that there was only one other project team member, we both served as system analysts, instructional designers, and project managers. As system analysts, we analyzed the operating system to identify the gaps in performance. As instructional designers, we determined the design specifications for the instructional materials. As project managers, we defined the scope, timeline, budget, and deliverables for the project.

Prior to this project, I did not have experience with Microsoft Project. My partner on the other hand utilized Microsoft Project daily at her job. With her assistance, I was able to learn how to navigate the software in order to effectively manage a project. I would have liked for the opportunity to actually develop the instructional materials. That way I could have determined whether or not the proposed solution met the client’s needs.