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Review of Assignment




You are the VP of Franchise Development for a large "fast casual" dining franchise (i.e. Chipotle). You have 100 franchisees operating restaurants and are expected to adhere to the corporate processes and procedures.


You have developed a Franchisee Forum of 15 owners organized by geographical regions who will act as your governing and process improvement team for the remainder of the franchisees.


The Franchisee Forum provides a platform to communicate between franchisor and franchisee. The Forum members will have the responsibility to communicate with their peers in each region of the US and share with the rest of the Forum members as to the types of problems they are experiencing.


A suggested list of Web 2.0 tools needs to be chosen to communicate training issues, marketing ideas, policies and procedures concerns, operations challenges etc.




Reach consensus on the best process to use for this type of problem:

- WHICH Web 2.0 tools would be most effective for this type of organizational challenge and

- WHEN would the tools be used in the process.

Post the solution on the provided wiki page.




STAGE ONE: Spend 10-15 minutes sharing your initial thoughts on the best way to complete the project. (Analyze the problem, discuss the challenges, divide responsibilities etc.) Use a conference call, discussion group or blogs for this.


STAGE TWO: Post initial written solutions. Take 10 minutes to read the written solutions of the other participants. HINT: You might check My Web for tags like "Chipotle" or "fast casual".


STAGE THREE: Use your group's discussion group for a total of 10-15 minutes to exchange comments about the entries. Build on each other's work.


STAGE FOUR: Collaborate on the Wiki. Spend about 10-15 minutes entering and editing text explaining the team's final solution.


CONCLUSION: Take 5 minutes to fill out a Plus/Delta evaluation that we will provide near the end of the week.




Kenneth and Tony's Thoughts


We've approached this problem in a slightly different way and will answer the original questions below.


Overall we see that there are several opportunities here with the goal of gathering information from the franchisees and helping to find solutions and opportunities through communication with franchisees.


We like the brand "Franchise Forum" and would expect to use that heavily to help sell the concept and to let the members know that they have a special role and responsibility.


We see the following activities occuring as part of the Frachise Forum:


Initial Launch

Initial Survey

We would send around a survey (via SurveyMonkey) to find out what are their most pressing issues divided by departments (Operations, Marketing, Training, Supply Chain, Facilities, License).

Initial Virtual Meeting

We would hold an initial meeting to discuss how the Forum will operate, our expectations, etc.

Tool Introduction Exercise

We would use an exercise that will introduce the Forum members to the different tools. We might use this as an opportunity to prioritize their issues so that we may prioritize them into issues to work on in the next three months, six months an 12 month period


Facilitated Learning Cycle


Based on the initial survey results, we would repeatedly execute a series of activities that will help to gather information, get input on possible approaches, etc. We will help to illustrate how this will work using an example of an issue that might have been identified in the initial survey:


The new chicken salads utilize too much restaurant space and the food cost has increased by 5% of sales and the operators are not seeing a return on the investment.


Gather Additional Information


Generally, this step involves having members of the group comment on the general problem to get consensus on whether it's a real issue, how it affects them, and any other information relative to the problem. We could use several tools to have this initial information gathering results, but we currently recommend just using discussion groups. This will always be done relative to some questions such as:


Are you having issues with the new chicken salad? What is the impact?


A facilitator will combine these dicussions into a list of specific issues to try to address and this will be posted on the Forum's Wiki.


Break into teams to discuss specific plans for improvement


We will have 16 members of the Forum, and sub-teams of 4 people who are spread across geographies. Each sub-team will be assigned to identify specific opportunities to address the problem. Each sub-team will have its own discussion group and it's own area of the Wiki.


How does your team think we can address these problems?


We might expect a team to come up with something like:


Explore the idea of pre-cut veggies to reduce labor and preperation time to make the salads.

Reduce the cost of pre-packaging salads.

Reduce the cost for the containers (bottom, lids, folk,knive,napkins, pre-packaged dressing, croutons, etc.)

Explore the cost of a small display refrigerator to store salads.

More Point-of-sale- information to advertise the salads.

More training on how to train staff on what to say to customers about the salads - A full training program


Present and Discuss


Each team would present their ideas and recommendations to the larger group via a virtual meeting. The facilitator will try to reach consensus on particular aspects and voting may be required to prioritize. The consensus would be posted on the Wiki.


VP / Facilitator Summarizes


Given the input, the VP and Facilitator would be responsible for combining the results into a statement from all of the teams. This would be open for review and input from all Forum members. This would then be presented by the VP to the appropriate parties in the Franchisor organization.


In this case, it may be that:


The VP of Marketing formulates a plan of action and shares this information via a blog.


Ad Hoc Discussions


In addition to the Facilitated Learning described above, we also would have a discussion group available to group members to ask ad hoc questions to the group.


Norms, Rules, etc.


We would also need to establish rules around how Franchisees are added to the Forum, removed (terms?), what our expectations are of them, etc.



Which Web 2.0 Tools Would Be Most Effective?


We have primarily used: Wiki (Forum, Issue specific, Sub-team), Discussions, Virtual Meetings. We did not use Blogs, but could have. In this case, I might ask the Forum members to use blogs to post comments about things that are going well or issues they had as a kind of Journal. Similarly, the Forum Facilitator might have their own blog to inform the group. One really good idea was to use SiteMeter on the Wiki and/or Forum Blog in order to have simple tracking of who has been visiting (and who hasn't). It can show us geography.

When Would the Tools be Used?


See above.

Plus/Delta -- Please fill out this survey.




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