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A modular system

framework for efficient

and cost-effective
business planning and
Research proposal

A modular system approach for cost-effective and efficient business planning & management
A modular system approach
for cost-effective and efficient
business planning &
1. Research overview

1.1. Key concepts of the research

1.2. How are the research contents presented?

2. Introduction

2.1. An overview of current challenges in business environments

2.2. Introduction to business planning and frameworks
2.3. Failure story of current business planning systems: where and
2.4. An introduction of modular system planning
2.5. Research insights of modular system

3. Aims and objectives

3.1. The primary aim of the research

3.2. Why is this research important?
3.3. Primary and secondary objectives
3.4. Limitations of the research and future potentials

4. Methodology

4.1. Data overview and summation

4.2. Primary and secondary data collection
4.3. Data preparation and primary analysis
4.4. Data presentation methods

A modular system approach for cost-effective and efficient business planning & management

The current multi-diverse and complex business environment poses significant

challenges to companies in competition, sustainability, quality, business
performance, compliance, risks etc (Orozco, 2015). Companies respond to
these challenges in multiple ways. New methods and techniques are emerging
regularly focussing on larger picture of these challenges or individual
challenges. Enterprise resource management (ERP), Customer relationship
management (CRM) are Standardization frameworks are the few all-inclusive
approaches to comprehensive business management systems (BMS). A more
focussed approach include supply chain management (SCM), Key accounts
management (KAM), Operational performance management, Quality control
management etc (Munir and Pinedo, 2013).

The uprising of the digital technologies (data-based) that includes business

intelligence (BI), automation, intelligent data researches, complex system
modelling etc. clearly demonstrates the modern approach of managing these
various challenges. Yet, we are still stuck with the objective of developing
organized management of business system that are versatile, functional and
less complex (Alenizi, 2015).

Virtually a large number products and services exist in todays business world
as a solution to our business challenges. However, the rate of success with
these systematic approaches is still debatable. In fact, a plethora of researches
and fact-based evidences available that vindicate notorious failures of
implementing such systems. The consequences of such failures have been
very significant and in many cases, it unrooted the very financial stability of
organizations(Hailu and Rahman, 2012).

True that, the number of researches that throws insights of the performance
effectiveness of these BMS are quite limited. However, with the available
information from various sources and composite induction hypothesis (refer
methodology note), it will not be bad to claim that most of the business planning
and management platforms largely fail to meet its objectives (Moohebat, 2011).

The aforementioned observations persuade the need to call for a changed

approach to business planning and systemization. Therefore, this research
focuses on devising an experimental business planning platform (framework)
that aims to adopt a minimalistic, modular approach for managing some of the
major challenges. Some of the key prioritizations in this conceptual system are:

Customized and modular approach for individual businesses

Minimalistic approach in resource utilization (particularly finance)
Larger integration of alternatives

Focus on the flexibility and easiness of integration
Evolutionary approach rather than revolutionary
Adaptability to new technologies and methods

Research overview
It is important to start by declaring that the aims and objectives of devising the
conceptual system is highly experimental. It attempts to adapt the best of the
available techniques, methods and information within the available business
context. Therefore, a higher level of subjective approach to inferences will be
visible throughout the context of the research. A good attention is given to data
collection, analysis to minimize the subjective interference to the research
quality. This is achieved through the best available practices in data collection,
analysis, modelling and predictions. Additional extensions to the data
qualification is achieved through matrix analysis, quasi statistics and
metaphorical analysis (Refer methodology section).

The research through its contents and psychology adopts a highly critical
approach to the existing BMS. Therefore, one of the primary objective of this
research is to critically evaluate the throttles and insufficiencies of the current
BMS. This approach is expected to narrow down the scope of research by
focusing on what does not work and what is most important so that
planning and designing of the conceptual framework is very specific in its

The importance of quantitative and qualitative data in making conclusive

comments are as important as method selection. A general understanding and
initial research indicates that the availability of strong datasets for this research
is very limited in the target study area (United Arab Emirates). However, a good
attempt is imparted to ensure that data is collected from a variety of primary,
secondary and other associated sources.

Finally, as indicated earlier, the research is highly experimental conceptual

proposal. The process of designing this system starts with primary research
into the existing limitations with the current best available BMS platforms. This
will be applied within a functional business organization (A concrete
manufacturing company) based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Through this,
a comprehensive audit is performed in the company based on the framework
parameters. This will help in identifying critical factors that will help the company
to achieve its objectives and manage the challenges.


Research overview
The primary focus on the research is to design and develop a modular business
planning and management system, that attempts to address the current
challenges that businesses face, the limitations of the existing management
platforms. The system aimed to work on 5 principles


These 5 principles are derived from the understanding of limitations with the
existing BMS platforms. A comprehensive critical evaluation of these 5
principles will be the foundation for the research. Introduction chapter 2 and
appendix A provides detailed information on the major challenges faced by
businesses. Further sectors in introduction and Appendix B provides detailed
overview of BMS platforms and its major limitations. As mentioned earlier,
these limitations forms the foundational block for designing the conceptual

The design components of the conceptual system concentrates on 7 major


The current objective/objectives of the target organization

Key prioritization matrix (what is really required for the organization?)
Maximization of resources (human resources, quality, technology)
Embracing change (agility)
Improving operations (production, services, functions etc.)
Integration of research and developments
Promoting transparency and ethics

Appendix C discusses in detail of the 7 aspects mentioned above. However, 7

aspects defined here are very comprehensive and broader in its scope.
Therefore, the designing of BMS based on these criteria will be a herculean
and unrealistic task. This is true at least at an experimentation level. Therefore,
a minimalistic approach is taken to reduce the extensiveness. This is done by
the procedural approach

Performance of a comprehensive audit

Development of key prioritization matrix
Setting objectives and goals
Implementing system design meeting prioritization matrix

Research overview
The contents of this essay is arranged into various tiers for readability

Body notes: This will contain all the terminologies, definitions and
detailed explanations.
Appendix will contain associated information relating to key references
to content context.
Reference data. Reference data will represent the base of the

The essay will also make use of case studies examples as references to the

Research overview
Aims and objectives


The primary aim of the research is to design and develop a modular business
management system (BMS) that aims to address the key challenges in the
current business environment (chapter 2 introduction). This development of the
proposed BMS will be carried out in the context of Company


As indicated earlier, the modern businesses face enormous challenges and
problems. The development of various business management systems and
frameworks such as enterprise resource planning(ERP), quality management
systems(QMS), customer relation management (CRM), supply chain
management (SCM) are the response to these challenges faced by
businesses. Additionally, these systems were also focused to establish a higher
standard of operation.

However, as detailed earlier, the existing management systems suffer from a

number limitation. Much case studies/ researches had proven the inefficiency
on these systems to successfully meet the objectives and milestones.

Despite the troubles with the existing systems, the number of businesses
adopting such systems are still on the rise. This could be resultant of a number
of factors such as the increased need of business management for companies,
limitations in understanding the drawbacks with the systems, lack of
performance monitoring and measurement etc.

These in turn makes it very important to have refined operational system for
business management that address the limitations of the existing systems. The
proposed system aims to adapt the best of the current systems with additional
philosophies of making it simpler, flexible, scalable and customized. The
conceptual BMS is not a complete re-engineering of the existing best norms,
but instead it adapts the wealth of knowledge and experience with existing

Aims and objectives

systems and tailor it specific to organizational needs rather than an all-inclusive
generic approach.

This research focuses on companycustomized need for business process

change through the design stage procedures. On identifying the key objectives
and priority goals, a system design is implemented to achieve them.


Critically evaluate the challenges and drawbacks of existing system

management frameworks through primary and secondary data
Performing comprehensive auditing and evaluations to identify the key
prioritization matrix.
Development of goals and objectives for business management based
the prioritization matrix.
Establishing performance measurements and system audit tools
Setting up progressing development tools for future developments and


One of the major anticipated limitation of this research is the lack of data
availability for the conceptual BMS. However, as indicated before, the process
of system development focuses on the wealth of knowledge and information
from the current systems.

This research does not represent a larger picture of business optimization or

standardization. The development of conceptual BMS only focuses on the
business aspect of companyas a foundation for prioritization and objective
setting. However, these will vary significantly across various industries, sectors,
geographical, political and social background. Nevertheless, the very
significance of the research is establishing the philosophy that, a customized
modular BMS system.

Aims and objectives

Data collection and analysis plays a crucial role in this research. United Arab
Emirates is the geographical area chosen for the study. It is however,
unfortunate to note that, UAE does not have the privilege of having better data
infrastructure. Therefore, it becomes very important for a researcher to select
appropriate data collection and analysis methods for a quality research. This
essay gives utmost importance to the qualitative and quantitative data

Primary quantitate data are collected from the direct sources such as account
statements, company audit reports, performance monitoring reports, quality
management system reports, stakeholder accountability reports etc.
Additionally, data will also be collected from individual departments such IT,
human resources, purchasing and procurements, accounts etc.

Secondary quantities data are collected from the public data sources such as
reports, research papers, publications, newspapers. Other quantitative data
sources include, data archives from Chamber of commerce, Dubai, Ministry of
Interior, Data bank inventories. Additional relevant data will also be collected
from international data accesses and Kaplan library database.

A coding tree is developed based on the quantitative secondary data. These

are divided into different types of codes. Attribute codes reflect the respondent
or focus group participants and often convey demographic information about
that individual or group. Substantive codes reflect the content of the
session(Bernard and Russel, 2002).

An inventory of data sources, data format and characterization will also be


Qualitative datasets play the important part in this research. An upfront

understanding of the limitations in quantitative data makes it important to devise
best methods. Focus group semi structured interviews are used one of the
important data collection method. The __company __ staffs from -- -- -- are
taken as the candidates to the focus group interview. A snowball sampling will
be used for expanding the available interview candidate source. This helps in
identifying the right candidate for the interview.

For semi structured interview, quintamensional protocol is used to record data

as well the intensity of respondence opinion and attitude(Harrel et al., 2009).

The qualitative data collected are exclusively analyzed with the help of 4
important data analysis methods

Analytical induction: It formulates a hypothesis for a topic or a question

in mind and evaluates the hypothesis with the available data
Logical or matrix analysis: This is an outline of generalized causation,
logical reasoning process, etc.
Metaphorical analysis (Harrel et al., 2009)


The research method uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data.
For better structure, all the quantitative data analysis is carried out with the help
of Microsoft Office Tools (Excel) and SPSS. Additional data visualization is
done with the help of Tableau offline version and cloud version.

Additionally, a combination of data models is used for analysis with the help of
business intelligence modules of IBM many eyes. Appendix will also contain
public domain data access points for data. Further qualitative data abstraction
and analysis will be presented in various graphical schemes as appropriate to
data modules.

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