Important Note: due on Canvas on Tuesday, 11/10/2020, at 8:00AM (Tuesday Morning)
General Instructions for all problems:
Note: The Microsoft Case Study (required for Problem 1 below) is available on Canvas.
First, be sure to read the instructions at the top of this page, and follow them as you work on this problem. Also, read and use the “Microsoft 1995” case study on Canvas as the main source of information for this problem.
It is late 1995 and Microsoft, having heard about your expertise in the management of technology, has hired you to help them develop an integrated business, technology, product/market, and competitive strategy for the next 3 years, namely, 1996-1998.
Microsoft wants you to apply the systematic analytic framework (for which you are famous) in this strategy development task.
(Hint: The framework might include the following: the three stage framework on Pages 17-19 of the “Lecture Notes on Competitive Strategy” (on the class website); the appropriate functional maps (required in stages 1 and 3) created from the information in the MS case study; aggregate project plan; etc.)
Note: You may use the Internet to obtain suitable revenue/financial information for Microsoft and the markets and industries in which it operated from 1975-1995, if this information is needed as part of your framework, or your problem-solving approach.
Read the instructions at the top of page 1, and follow them as you work on this problem.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, a software giant has decided to diversify its “product portfolio” by venturing into the enterprise software (i.e., CRM, SCM, ERM) space as part of its (business) growth strategy. As a first step in this venture it has acquired a small company that develops and sells “finance/accounting” software for the small business sector. After considerable product/market and technology analysis, five development projects in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) space have been proposed, as follows:
For each project, two decisions need to be made: (1) “Should a technical feasibility (or proof-of-concept) study be carried out?” and (2) “Should the product be developed?” The outcome of the feasibility study and the outcome of the product development effort are uncertain events. The table below shows the cost and the probability of success associated with (1) the technical feasibility (proof-of-concept) study and (2) the product development for each project.
p(TF) = probability of success of the technical feasibility (TF) study.
p(PD) = probability of success of the product development (PD) effort.
The last column of Table 1 shows theprofit for each project in the absence of any risk.Since there are two separate sources of risk, technical feasibility risk, and product development risk, the expected monetary value (emv) or expected profit for each project will be significantly lower than the values in the last column. You will, therefore, as part of your overall solution, need to calculate the emv or expected profit for each project using an appropriate Decision Analysis Process.
Table 1: Potential Development Projects
|Project/ product||Technical Feasibility (TF) Study||Product development (PD)||Time to market
|Cost ($M)||p(TF)||Cost ($M)||p(PD)|
|R&D||4.5||0.7||50 per year||0.8||20||650|
|P2||1.25||0.7||20 per year||0.75||15||400|
(All costs and profits in $M)
Carefully study the HOQ process developed in Lecture. While studying the HOQ process, review the 1-page “Car Door” HOQ handout. It is also highly recommended that you read the following two chapters in U&E, PD&D: “Identifying Customer Needs” and “Product Specifications”.
Note: you are permitted to use the Internet to obtain information relevant to solving this problem. You must clearly cite all sources used, and indicate the information you obtained from each source.
As part of its growth strategy (in the late 1990s), the software giant decides to enter the gaming industry/market with a product (tentatively) called “EXbox”. To this end, you, as part of the R&D/product development group, are asked to perform the following tasks, and then present the results in the form of a carefully structured and written report:
Write a computer program (in C, Java, or Python) to implement and solve the capital budgeting integer-programming optimization problem in Problem 2 above. Use your program to check the result obtained in Problem 2.
Alternatively, you can attempt to solve this problem using Excel Solver.
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