Essay Instructions: Describe what the nature of the accouting function and the accouting information system in a large company will be like in the year 2020
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Essay Instructions: You are to write a 1-page paper. Respond to each excerpt separately. State the first line and then continue to respond. Each response should be 6 sentences long. Do Not Use Outside Sources!
1. I can think of many examples of focus groups in the work place but I wanted to use an example of one in my community. Our community is participating in Vision 2020. We are putting together teams of community members to decide what we want our town to look like in the year 2020.
We have various community groups: our business association, united ministries, local school district, borough council, our local university, university students and community members. Each of these groups had their own interests to protect. Our first job as a team was to develop a visioning statement. This took a long time to develop, about 4 months. We were very fortunate to have a paid outside representative to facilitate our discussions (she does not live in our community either). I think without her guidance we would have been dead locked on some issues. In the end we became very focused on particular phrasing and wording of each aspect of our vision. I am proud to say that we finally agree to the attached Vision statement. Now it's time to really get to work.
2. Shortly after taking up my current position, I conducted several surveys of the primary audience for our training. The first was devoted to getting the audience opinion of the existing training and desired changes int raining. The second was to elicit views about online education versus classroom training. The last survey ask them to predict what changes would be happening to their training in the next five years. We received excellent feedback about training from the first survey. My favorite voluntary comment added at the end of the survey was "Stop confusing me with so many facts, just tell me how to fix it!" The second survey showed that many of our students were disillusioned with online training - resulting from several years of receiving self-playing power point slides as CBTs. The last survey showed quite a bit of pessimism about what would happen when the "old guard" retired and the newbie’s tried to take over the same roles. "The only reason why we function as well as we do is because our experience overcomes the bad training we receive."
3. As an Intellectual Property expert, I have been involved at the stage of review of the results of product branding focus groups. To take one specific example of a client that is a food and beverage entity: they would use a focus group to test receptivity to both the product itself and the extent to which the name/logo was likely to be perceived by the anticipated consumer market to be 'right on.'
Once the results were reported to the management, they would make a preliminary decision on the top three choices. Then the legal team would come on board to do the Intellectual Property / trademark searches to verify whether anyone else may have prior legal rights to the name/logo, and proffer a legal assessment of the risk. If the risk was sizable, we would move on to the other brands on the list.
What is considered a "strong and legally protectable" brand may not align with what the marketing folks view as an alluring brand, so there may be need for a negotiated compromise between the legal and marketing perspectives.
4. It has been a while, but I participated in a focus group for a computer curriculum we used to use. Every April, the company sponsored a "Users Group" symposium to bring together teachers, administrators, course designers, company management, etc. Most of the sessions were about learning some new feature, or teaching new users how to implement the curricula into the classroom. One year, the company was looking for ways to set up and implement a new interface. They asked 10-12 of us who had been extensively using the program to participate in a focus group to help design the new interface. I was excited to be asked, and thought we would get a preview of what they had in mind. I was surprised when I arrived to find the focus group was to be conducted in a conference room without computers. They put paper flow charts before us and asked us to touch the square indicating the logical sequence of where to go next. I guess it was analogous to clicking the "back" arrow vs. clicking the "home" link. Soon after the symposium, a large educational publisher bought the company. It was a move intended to eliminate the competition, rather than buy a company that had a good model. We never saw the new interface, and have since switched to a different computer curriculum.
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Essay Instructions: The Future of Homeland Security:
You are one of the speech writers for the President of the United States in the year 2020. Currently the staff is working on the President’s State of the Union address and you’ve been tasked with writing the section on homeland security. You have 1,000 words to convey what the current terrorist threats are and the developments within homeland security you can present that will assure the people of the country that they are safe in the face of these threats. To do this well, you’ll want to explain what the primary emergent threats are, and then discuss what the major innovations in homeland security over the past few year have been. As this is not a work of total science fiction you’ll want to be sure to provide citations where appropriate so that claims can be fact checked.
You could identify a change in the situation overseas and how that has impacted homeland security.
You could talk about how terrorist threats are no longer a primary concern because of the effectiveness of this or that reform in the past, though likely you’ll want to suggest continued vigilance.
You could focus on your administration’s efforts to dismantle areas of homeland security that had created major concerns for civil liberties, and what has been done to insure that security is still sound.
Some other tips: Whatever you decide, please make sure the statement represents thoughtful consideration of things discussed within homeland security organizations. A way to do this is to reference the “past” in your examples. If talking about changes in homeland security, for example, you might say something like, “The Homeland Security Council was merged with the National Security Council in 2018 to insure better coordination of international and national directives.” In doing so you are demonstrating that you understand that they currently have separate roles, and that you read at least that part of the book. Or you might say something like, “DARPA was brought under the Director of National Intelligence as part of a multiagency re-organization to insure improved coordination between technology research and intelligence fieldwork.” These might not be great ideas; by the way, I’m just using them as examples.
In other words, this is not a work of total science fiction ??"it should be rooted in current reality and expectations, but then thinking about current trends and where they may lead in 8 years.
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