Digital Media Technology Research and Research Paper

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Table 2

Use Case No. 1: Will, Hotel Franchises Owner

Use Case Feature


The actor or actors involved

Will owner of five hotel franchises, routinely accesses the occupancy levels for each facility, determines projected supply needs and ensures that adequate preparations are in place to satisfy anticipated demand.

The system being used

The hotel chain's proprietary room occupancy and enterprise management system will be used for the data needed by the i-phone digital media product.

The functional goal achieved by the actor or actors

Access to franchise occupancy rates, staff performance and status data will be faster and easier for the business owner with the proposed digital media product, facilitating management decisions and the prioritization of supply chain requirements for all locations in coordination with individual hotel managers.

Table 2

Use Case No. 2: Jill, Hotel Manager

Use Case Feature


The actor or actors involved

Jill, the hotel manager, needs to keep track of room occupancy and staff performance levels to ensure that sufficient staff is scheduled and supplies are ordered in a timely fashion.

The system being used

The hotel chain's proprietary room occupancy and enterprise management system will be used for the data needed by the i-phone digital media product.

The functional goal achieved by the actor or actors

Jill is better able to schedule the hotel's five full-time and four part-time housekeepers as well as ensuring that rooms are cleaned on time preparatory for arriving guests as well as the inventory coordination needed to support these services.

One storyboard based on the two use cases for the proposed digital media product

The storyboard illustrating the general operation of the proposed digital media product is provided in Figure 1 below, followed by a graphic storyboard illustrating a representative interface with a hotel manager, Jill, in Figure 2 below.

Figure 1. Storyboard schematic of proposed digital media product

Jill, a busy hotel manager, walking to car on way to work

Jill thinks, "How many housekeeping staff do I need to schedule?

Jill using smartphone to check hotel occupancy rates for past 7 days. Data is displayed in various formats.

Jill then needs to check housekeeping performance data to ensure all rooms have been cleaned.

Jill is satisfied with performance data but identifies a problem with linen delivery and contacts vendor to work out details for urgent arrangements.

Jill, the busy hotel manager, likes the new digital media product!

Figure 2. Storyboard illustration of hotel manager using proposed digital media product

Evaluation of the effectiveness of an evaluation plan for the product based on DECIDE framework

In the business world, it is axiomatic that in order to improve something, it must first be measured. Therefore, it is important to develop an evaluation plan to measure the effectiveness of the digital media product envisioned herein using the DECIDE format as outlined further below.

Determine the overall goals that the evaluation addresses:

The overall goals of the evaluation are three-fold as follows:

1. Implement the digital media product envisioned herein in five budget-level hotel franchises.

2. Develop appropriate benchmark performance data based on historic data. This goal is congruent with the guidance provided by Mason, Chang and Griffin (2005) who advise, "Traditionally, organisations use benchmarking to evaluate their employee opinion survey data. This approach is useful for identifying strengths and weaknesses in organizational performance, but it does not tell us how to bring about improvements on those indicators" (p. 127).

3. Because the benchmarked data does not identify opportunities for improvement, the final goal will be to develop quantifiable metrics such as the costs associated with the solution compared to current practices, as well as mobile app's impact on customer (internal and external) satisfaction to evaluate the effectiveness of the digital media product proposed herein.

Explore the specific questions to be answered.

1. How effective, if at all, is the digital media product's performance compared to the existing housekeeping management protocols that are in place?

2. What are the anticipated expenses associated with the implementation and administration of the digital media product?

3. What training requirements are needed? Will these be provided in-house or outsourced?

Choose the evaluation paradigm and techniques to answer the questions

The evaluation paradigm to be used to develop informed answers to the specific questions outlined above will be a quality management approach that uses benchmark performance data and quantifiable metrics to assess the performance of the solution according to the three goals outlined above.

Identify the practical issues that must be addressed, such as selecting participants

There are three practical issues that must be addressed in order to achieve the above-stated goals as follows:

1. Clearly, in order to use a mobile app, all stakeholders must possess a mobile handheld device. These must therefore be provided or otherwise acquired by all affected staff members if they do not already own one.

2. The mobile app must operate as intended without flaws; therefore, a pilot test at one hotel would be appropriate to work out any bugs and identify user interface problems.

3. Not everyone will possess the same level of expertise with mobile apps; an inservice may be required or this function may need to be outsourced, depending on the level of available in-house expertise.

Decide how to deal with the ethical issues

The main ethical issue involved in implementing the digital media product envisioned herein is the need to identify who already owns a mobile handheld device to ensure that all stakeholders have access. To avoid possible embarrassments at "not keeping up with the Joneses" among hotel staff, the hotel owner should furnish appropriate smartphones or i-pads to everyone who will be used the solution.

Evaluate, interpret, and present the data

The evaluation of the performance data based on historic benchmark data compared to operations post-implementation will provide an indication of the cost effectiveness of the solution, but an employee satisfaction survey may be required to assess staff's perception of the utility of the mobile apps in their day-to-day operations to ensure that the solution is achieving its goals and functioning as intended. This approach may also be helpful in identifying future opportunities for improvement in the app's functionality as well as improving employee satisfaction with the mobile app in ways that contribute to their organizational loyalty and commitment. Therefore, by emphasizing the "what's-in-it-for-them" aspects of the digital media product to all of the affected stakeholders, such as improved scheduling, the take-up rate will be facilitated. In this regard, White (2007) emphasizes that, "Flexible and work-life balance policies will create a more positive perception of you. This can lead to greater loyalty, commitment and motivation, reducing turnover and recruitment costs" (p. 37). In fact, researchers have shown that the use of technology to make work more "fun" or easier can significantly promote employee retention (Frank, Finnegan & Taylor 2004). Likewise, Wiley, Brooks and Lundby (2006) recommend that following the implementation of technological solutions, employees should be canvassed concerning how they believe the initiative has affected internal and external customer service. According to Wiley and his associates, "Most employee surveys ask employees how they feel about their job, their manager, or their company. To gain fresh insights into the workings of your organization, try asking your employees what they think about how well you serve your customers" (p. 15). To illustrate, one straightforward approach to evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed solution is to compare performance data on room cleaning rates in a before and after fashion. This performance data would have to be interpreted based on several weighted factors, such as season, supply chain disruptions and staff scheduling problems which could be incorporated in the presentation of the data to identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement in the hotel chain's operations.


Current predictions indicate that by 2020, mobile apps will become bigger business than the Internet, but these predictions are based on the assumption that fifth and sixth generation technologies will continue to rely on the same infrastructure that has been built in support of the proliferation of mobile devices. Recent trends, though, suggest that because Moore's Law continues to hold true, ubiquitous computing may be achieved far sooner than anyone might expect today, making these technologies interim at best. Nevertheless, the digital media product described in this report represents a cost-effective solution for a wide range of small- to medium-sized hotel operations that can be readily implemented and evaluated for effectiveness. In the final analysis, it is reasonable to conclude that not everyone will readily appreciate the attributes and advantages of the mobile app described above, but this constraint can be overcome in large part through training and management oversight to identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement.


Cusick, W.J. (2009). All Customers Are Irrational: Understanding What They Think, What

They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back. New York: American Management


Guenther, K. (2006, September/October). 'Developing Personas to Understand User Needs.'

Online, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 49-51.

Mason, C.M., Chang, a.C., & Griffin, M.A. (2005). Strategic…[continue]

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