Organisational Analysis Assignment 2 Brief

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Organisational Analysis Assignment 2 Brief

1          Introduction to the Assignment

The example of a mining company has been provided by Astral from one of their case studies. The information provided gives you an appreciation of how complex organisations can be.

This mining company has identified the following functions and related areas that support the business, across all their mining sites. This document provides separate sets of information for your case study, (i) List of Organisational Functions (ii) List of Locations (iii) List of Artefacts.

This assignment develops two analytical perspectives taught in the course, namely the Functionalist and Social Relativist.

1.1        Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Students must understand the course learning outcomes and how this assignment is linked to these outcomes. Use the opportunity in class to seek clarification; when the assignment is submitted, it is assumed you have understood the CLOs, and that your assignment demonstrates achievement against the relevant CLOs.

CLO Description Relation to the Assignment
CLO1 Identify different analytical perspectives employed to understand organisations at the individual, social, structural and systemic levels. Partially addresses. This assignment does not fully address the social relationships of the organisation. This assignment addresses the social through a functional perspective.
CL02 Interpret and apply these multiple perspectives to empirically analyse specific organisations and the contexts in which they operate. Addresses this CLO, in the mining context.
CLO3 Draw on different analytical perspectives as the basis for a multidisciplinary approach towards organisational functionality, political and social relations. Partially addresses this CLO. This assignment does not focus on the political aspects of the company context. It focuses on the social relations of the project team (students).
CLO4 Evaluate knowledge assumptions and come to recognise their management implications and practical consequences. Partially addresses. This assignment does not fully address the Radical Structuralist and Neohumanist implications.
CLO5 Assess and judge how organisational analysis can be used to engender solutions to organisational challenges that are socially responsible. Partially addresses. This assignment does not address the socially responsible considerations from a Radical Structuralist perspective.


2          The Assignment Brief

The challenge is for your team, as business analysts, to (i) design an organisational taxonomy; (ii) design a process model that makes information searching and storage intuitive (explained further below); and (iii) write a report presenting and justifying your taxonomy and process model, by drawing on the Functionalist and Social Relativist perspectives and showing how these perspectives were used.

2.1        Deliver to the Client an Organisational Taxonomy

Review your lecture – Data, Information, Knowledge

This part of the assignment is about creating a structure through which an organisation can create order and manage its knowledge. You are required to set up a taxonomy for unstructured or disorganised artefacts (explained below) and information that is being created, stored and used across different locations of a mining company. You have been asked to develop an organisational taxonomy that is managed centrally (e.g. by the corporate office), but provides a structure that captures organisational functions that are relevant to each site location that the company operates. Your taxonomy should be easily understood across all locations.

2.1.1        Applying a Business approach to Taxonomy Development

Organisations tend to endorse a functionalist approach (Lectures 1 – 3) to​ classifying information and records, which ensures that “records​ and their search terms (meta-data descriptions) accurately​ represent the business processes that created​ them”.

A taxonomy is a law for classifying information. The purpose of a taxonomy is to create rules around how something should be classified. Taxonomies are designed to make sense with users, and to reduce the possibility of multiple interpretations. As organisations become buried in business complexity, it becomes essential for organisations to develop taxonomies to simplify complexity, to optimise and manage the knowledge needed to carry out organisational processes, and to enable organisational members to find crucial information within their holdings.

Applying taxonomies to content and records contributes to organisational efficiency and compliance in three powerful ways:

  1. navigation,
  2. ‘findability” (or discoverability), and

Further, technology now enables multiple methods of knowledge discovery:

  1. Browse folder;
  2. Metadata (keyword) search;

How would you design a business-relevant structure that would utilise the above technologies? Do not be technologists, think business!

2.2        Deliver to the Client a Process Model

Review your Lecture – Organisations as Functionality

Selecting a process modelling formalism, propose how members of the organisation might use your hierarchy, or search terms (which in modern social media platforms may be referred to as tags) to share information and knowledge across the organisation.

For this part of the assignment, your team should develop a process model to communicate the value of the taxonomy to the mining company and its organisational members, and how organisational members should use this taxonomy to ensure its value is realised.

Remember from your lecture, how a process functionalist classification can involve nesting. An example may be multiple levels of what organisations perform, e.g. function, sub-function, and activity:

A functional classification involves three levels of classification: function, sub-function, and activity:

  • “Function” is defined as any high-level purpose, responsibility, task, or activity which is assigned to the​ accountability agenda of an organisation by legislation, policy, or mandate. Policies and mandates may be established or imposed by bodies external to an organisation (regulators or funding bodies, for example), or by the management team within the organisation. Typical functions include​ common administrative or operational activities that are core to an organisation fulfilling its purpose, such as policy and program development, and the delivery of goods or services.
  • “Sub-functions”are a set or series of activities (broadly speaking, a business process) which, when​ carried out according to a prescribed sequence, will result in an individual, team, or unit​ producing the expected results, in terms of the goods or services it is​ mandated or delegated to provide.​
  • Activities”are the next level of the system, taking the form of actions or transactions. ​

2.3 Communicate, Relate and Write a Methodology

The group will produce a report justifying your taxonomy and process model, showing how the analytical perspectives were used. In this report, use the methodology section to critically discuss how the Functionalist and Social Relativist perspectives were used.

To assist you in writing this section, you should draw on and include:

1.         The Four Paradigms of Information Systems Development

2.         The Functionalist Reading

3.         The Social Rela1tivist reading

Remember, these are from Assignment 1.


3 Assignment Resources

Remember, the challenge is for your team to design a taxonomy that makes information searching and storage intuitive, and therefore easy for members of the organisation to navigate, and to store, find, and retrieve information. By “intuitive”, we mean that the taxonomy appeals to “common sense” and can be easily navigated by organisational members, rather than requiring extensive training or explanation. Functionalist classification is based on an analysis​ of the unique business functions and activities of​ an organisation, their​ administrative structure and processes. ​

3.1        How the Mining Company is Organised

Usually, a consultant will conduct several dialogues with the client involving site visits. You may see that the outline below is what has been provided to as, which the consultants have collected based on their site visits. Although the following are a relatively disconnected list of business functions and other information that you should draw on to create your proposals.

Business Communication and Branding 

  • Branding
  • Communication
  • Internal Communication

Business Development 

  • Integration
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Project Methodology

Business Management and Compliance 

  • Auditing
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Governance and Reporting
  • Information Management
  • Legal Obligations, Compliance and Licences
  • Management of Change
  • Planning and Meetings
  • Risk Management


  • Finance
  • Financial Services – Accounting
  • Legal Obligations, Compliance and Licences
  • Planning and Analysis
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Product Stewardship
  • Insurance

Community and External Stakeholder Relations 

  • Community Relations
  • Cultural Awareness and Heritage
  • Government Relations
  • Human Rights
  • Incident Management
  • Investor Relations
  • Land Access and Clearing
  • Media Relations
  • Public
  • Resettlement
  • Stakeholder Relations


  • Design Practice
  • Drawing Control
  • Fabrication
  • Specifications


  • Admin and Management
  • Air Quality Management
  • Biodiversity Management
  • Closure Planning
  • Energy and Green House Gas Management
  • Hazardous Chemicals and Dangerous Goods
  • Incident Management
  • Land and Rehabilitation Management
  • Mineral Waste Management
  • Non-Mineral Waste Management
  • Water Management


  • Geoscience
  • Land and Permits
  • Mine Districts Exploration
  • New Discovery Exploration
  • Project Generation
  • Resource and Reserves

Facilities and Services 

  • Accommodation
  • Aviation Management
  • Building and Property Services
  • Communications Systems and Mail
  • Entertainment and Lifestyle
  • Food and Catering
  • Laundry and Cleaning
  • Office equipment and Supplies
  • Security
  • Travel Management


  • Core Management
  • Hydrogeology – Bore Management
  • Land Access and Clearing
  • Mineral Resource
  • Open Pit
  • Resource Development
  • Underground

Health & Safety 

  • Admin and Management
  • Hazardous Chemicals and Dangerous Goods
  • Incident Management
  • Occupational Health and Hygiene
  • Permit to Work and Isolation
  • Personal Protective Equipment – PPE
  • Remote Work
  • Work Area Inspections

IT Services 

  • Consulting Services
  • Development
  • Production Support

Laboratory Services 

  • Equipment
  • General
  • QA and Reporting
  • Sampling
  • Testing


  • Contracts
  • Employee Policy
  • Matter Management


  • Admin and Management
  • Fixed Plant
  • Infrastructure
  • Mobile

Mine Operations

  • Admin and Management
  • Ancillary Operations and General
  • Backfill
  • Crushing
  • Drill and Blast
  • Ground Support
  • Hoisting & Winder
  • Load and Haul
  • Mine Control
  • Water Management & De-watering

Mine Planning – Engineering 

  • Drill and Blast
  • Geotechnical
  • Land Access and Clearing
  • Mine Development
  • Mineral Waste Management
  • Ore Reserve
  • Ventilation
  • Water Management


  • Change Management
  • Employee Files
  • HR Services
  • Induction and Training
  • Issue Resolution
  • Manage Performance
  • Manage Workforce Availability
  • Organisational Structure
  • Recruitment and Termination
  • Rewards and Benefits
  • Rosters


  • Admin and Management
  • Ancillary Operations and General
  • Crushing
  • Dewatering
  • Electro Winning
  • Filtration
  • Flotation
  • GeoMetallurgy
  • Gold Extraction, Smelting
  • Grinding
  • Leaching and Elution
  • Load out and Shipping
  • Oxygen Plant
  • Pressure Oxidisation
  • Process Control
  • Process Water
  • Pumping and Pipeline
  • Reagent
  • Solvent Extraction
  • Storage
  • Tailings and Water Discharge
  • Thickening
  • Transportation

Strategy and Planning 

  • Business Planning
  • Business Strategy and Roadmaps
  • Initiatives
  • IT Architecture
  • Life of Asset
  • Operating Model
  • Research Library

Supply Chain 

  • Contractor Management
  • Customs and Excise
  • Inventory
  • Logistics
  • Procurement
  • Vendor Management
  • Warehousing and Supply


  • Equipment
  • General
  • Open Pit
  • Surface
  • Underground

3.2  Locations – Where business functions are carried out

The mining company maintains operations across the following locations. The following information shows you an additional layer of complexity when managing a company of this size, where location-specific functions are being performed.

  • Group Office (Melbourne)
  • Western Australian Mine Site 1
  • Queensland Mine Site 2
  • Sepon Regional Office Site
  • Laos Mine Site 3
  • The Congo Mine Site 4
  • Johannesburg – Regional Office
  • Tasmania Mine Site 5
  • Hong Kong Regional Office
  • Vancouver Regional Office
  • Queensland Mine Site 6
  • Latin America Mine Site 7
  • Americas Regional Office Vancouver
  • Alaska Mine 8


3.2.1        Organisational Artefacts

The Mining Company has identified the following types of documents that are used as either input to or outputs from the different business processes that are undertaken as part of the functions described above. These should also be taken into consideration when designing the Organisational Taxonomy.

Hint: Hierarchy of artefact types

For management of disorganised information the following ideas are included in this example taxonomy:

Artefact Types and Sub-Types:

o    Policy

o    Procedure

o    Work Instruction

o    Document

      • Report
      • Contract
      • Plan


For your assignment, Astral has provided a list of artefact types are used to drive functionality in the mining company. The following are examples of artefacts that organisations produce. Artefact sub-types can be added to provide complimentary classification and functionality. Please create your own taxonomy based on the artefacts from the table below.

Type of Document Sub Types
Administration, Meetings, Planning Agenda
Terms of Reference
Agreement Compensation
Insurance Policy
Controlled Document Assessment Guideline
Position Description
Information Sheet
Instructional Presentation
Management Plan
Company Policy
Company Standard
Company Strategy
Process Definition
Reference Material
Training Module
Work Instruction
Drawing Instrument Loop Diagram
Piping and Instrument Diagram (P&ID)
Single Line Diagram (SLD)
Reticulation Switching Diagram
Termination Diagram
Schematic Diagram
DCS Block Diagram
Site Layout Plan
Process Flow Diagram (PFD)
Correspondence Email
Bulletins, Posters, Flash – IEM
Design and Data Data Sheets
IT Architecture
PLC Ladder
Financial Authorisation
Budget – Forecast
Tax Technical Reference
Reasonably Arguable Positions
Purchase Order
HR & Training Personnel Record
Induction or Training Record
Permit, License or Consent Authority or Appointment
Physical Item Artefacts
Vendor Manual
Bulletins & Posters (Flash – IEM)
Report Audit
Health & Safety
Inspection, Test or Calibration
Risk Assessment Enterprise
Major Hazard
Social and Environmental Impact Assessment
Manual Handling – ergonomic
Hazardous Chemicals and Dangerous Goods
Design Reviews
Other – Plant, Noise, Confined Space, Radiation


Assignment Instructions

In groups of 3 to 5 students, respond to the problem presented to you, producing a report of no more than 4,000 words, excluding references. Your group reflection counts towards the 4,000 words. Your group reflection component must be no more than 1,000 words.

  1. Each group member will follow the steps of the RSD to help manage their assignment.
  2. Collectively, you will go through a process of enquiry, clarification and problem definition and problem solving.
  3. The problem solving and clarification process must also involve interviewing one another and role playing what analysts do when executing a project for a client. Follow the interview guide and contribute additional questions that you develop on your own.
  4. The report must contain:
    • a model showing your business taxonomy, identifying how the functional and social relativist perspectives were used to develop your process model, that show, for example: In developing your taxonomy, your team can leverage all of these or a combination of these to make it easier to discover the information you are looking for to create a fundamental structure that determines how people search for relevant information. There are, both, the practice (how) of developing the taxonomy, as well as the actual taxonomy (outcome) that you are creating.
    • a justification of your taxonomy and process model, based on a synthesis of the literature that shows how the Functionalist and Social Relativist perspectives were used to develop your taxonomy and process model.
    • a reference list showing your group’s independent research into different areas that inform the context and solution. Do not indulge in descriptive writing, but be incisive and critique the literature. If the literature becomes too long, you may relegate your literature summaries to the appendix of the report and include highly relevant literature critiques to support your design and considerations.
    • an Appendix, which contains a critical group-reflection that analyses your learning (lessons learnt) throughout the assignment (this appendix must be no more than 1,000 words).
  5. As individuals, maintain your own learning and self-reflection notes, e.g. a learning diary. Actively think about what readings influence your thinking and how and why your outlook has changed or become influenced as you read.
  6. Ensure you review and update your class leader on your weekly progress.

Interview Guides

To assist your self-reflection and group-reflection, and to follow the steps of the RSD, use the following as guides.

5.1        Interview guide (Team Mates)

You are playing the role of analysts in a project team. Use these interview questions for your team mates.

In developing your taxonomy, your team can leverage all of these or a combination of these to make it easier to discover the information you are looking for to create a fundamental structure that determines how people search for relevant information. There are, both, the practice (how) of developing the taxonomy, as well as the actual taxonomy (outcome) that you are creating.

1.       Have you read the briefs about the organisation’s functions, artefacts and locations?

2.       Which of the four stories from Hirschheim and Klein’s reading do we draw upon for this assignment, as analysts?

3.       What university discipline are you studying? Example, are you marketing, management, engineering, human resources?

4.       For this assignment, do you feel there is a particular area of the mining company’s functionality the team should focus on?

5.       For this assignment, by looking at the functional structures provided in the brief, can you identify what a taxonomy is, or the beginnings of a taxonomy?

6.       Looking at the mining company brief, function, location and artefacts are separately defined. How would you combine the three into one taxonomy?

7.       Looking at the mining company brief, what would be the best way to find information most efficiently? E.g. a person is looking for an artefact. Where should they be stored for someone to find intuitively?

8.       From the mining company’s brief, what information or knowledge is in danger of becoming hidden and hard to discover?

9.       In reviewing the list of artefacts, do they adequately capture the experiences and knowledge of organisational members?

10.   Which business function would you appoint to manage this taxonomy? If this function does not exist, what new business function would you create?

11.   How would you promote knowledge sharing between separate functions?

12.   Is there a function that you consider to be the most appropriate for managing this taxonomy?

13.   What kinds of information are privileged in the organistion’s hierarchy? Example, should there be access based on role or organisational position?

14.   Have we considered whether functions will be empowered through this hierarchy?

15.   What conclusions would a stranger, i.e. someone completely detached from the organisation, conclude from reading the taxonomy, whether adequately addressed organisational social responsibility challenges?

16.   ……..add other questions you think about



5.2 Self-reflexive Questions (Keep Your Own Learning Notes)

Interview guide with questions to ask yourself.

1.       Were the stories from Hirschheim and Klein’s reading that our group drew upon for this assignment relevant? Why, why not?

2.       Which perspective resonates most with me?

3.       Do I tend to accept different perspectives? In what contexts or circumstances?

4.       Have the readings influenced or changed my thinking?

5.       Have the readings broadened my perspective?

6.       How did my disciplinary background affect my input into this assignment?

7.       ……..add other questions you think about



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