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Managing a Successful Business Project

  • Course Code: MNG91217
  • Course Title: Managing a Successful Business Project
  • Country: UK
  • University: University of the Sunshine Coast

Module Information

Aims & Objectives of the Module

This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set project. The project brief will be set by the centre, based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The theme and chosen project within the theme will enable students to explore and examine a relevant and current topical aspect of business in the context of the business environment.

The aim of this unit is to offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skills required for managing and implementing a project. They will undertake independent research and investigation for carrying out and executing a business project which meets appropriate business aims and objectives.

On successful completion of this unit students will have the confidence to engage in decision-making, problem-solving and research activities using project management skills. They will have the fundamental knowledge and skills to enable them to investigate and examine relevant business concepts within a work-related context, determine appropriate outcomes, decisions or solutions and present evidence to various stakeholders in an acceptable and understandable format.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this unit a student will be able to:

  1. Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme.
  2. Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project.
  3. Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis.
  4. Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance.

Essential Unit Contents

LO1: Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme

Project management:

  • What is project management and what does it involve?
  • The key stages of project management.
  • The advantages of using project management and why it is important.

Initiation of the project and project planning phase:

  • Scoping a project − defining objectives, scope, purpose and deliverables to be produced.
  • Steps and documentation required in the initiation phase.
  • Developing the project plan, including planning for timescales and time management, cost, quality, change, risk and issues.
  • The work breakdown structure.
  • Use of Bar and Gantt Charts for effective planning

LO2: Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project factors

Project execution phase:

  • Selecting appropriate methods of information gathering, data collection and material resourcing.
  • The distinct phases which support a coherent and logical argument.
  • Use of secondary research to inform a primary empirical study.
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Field work:

  • Selecting a sample of the consumer market, businesses or individuals (those who meet certain characteristics relevant to the research theme) is used to gather data (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Sampling approaches and techniques, including probability and non-probability sampling.

Ethics, reliability and validity:

  • All research should be conducted ethically − how is this achieved and reported?
  • Research should also be reliable (similar results achieved from a similar sample) and valid (the research should measure what it aimed to measure).

Analysing information and data:

  • Using data collection tools such as interviews and questionnaires.
  • Using analytical techniques such as trend analysis, coding or typologies.

LO3: Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis

Communicating outcomes:

  • Consider the method (e.g. written, verbal) and the medium (e.g. report, online, presentation).
  • Both method and medium will be influenced by the project research and its intended audience.

Convincing arguments:

  • All findings/outcomes should be convincing and presented logically where the assumption is that the audience has little or no knowledge of the project process.
  • Developing evaluative conclusions.

Critical and objective analysis and evaluation:

  • Secondary and primary data should be critiqued and considered with an objective mindset.
  • Objectivity results in more robust evaluations where an analysis justifies a judgement.

LO4: Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance

Reflection for learning and practice:

  • The difference between reflecting on performance and evaluating a project − the former considers the research process, information gathering and data collection, the latter the quality of the research argument and use of evidence.

The cycle of reflection:

  • To include reflection in action and reflection on action.
  • How to use reflection to inform future behaviour, particularly directed towards sustainable performance.

Reflective writing:

  • Avoiding generalisation and focusing on personal development and the research journey in a critical and objective way.

Generalisation:

  • Many studies result in generalised findings. Research which has its basis in a specific field such as Human Resource Management (HRM) and in a specific context should avoid generalised conclusions.
  • Outcomes should be specific and actionable.

Assessment Tasks

Research Topic

What issues and challenges may arise out of equality and diversity in the workplace and what measures could be taken to resolve them?

Submission Format:

What you have to include in your final submissions?

  1. Professional research report
  2. Performance Review
  3. Presentation
  4. Project Logbook

Note: Please add Project Logbook and Performance Review at the end of the Professional research report as appendices.

The submission of Professional research report is in the form of an individual written report. This should be written in a concise, formal business style using 1.5 line spacing and font size 12. You are required to make use of headings, paragraphs and subsections as appropriate and ensure that the report is justified aligned. All work must be supported with research and all research resources should be cited & referenced using the Harvard referencing system. Please also provide a Reference List including all cited materials using the Harvard referencing system.

The recommended word limit

  1. Professional research report is 2500–3000 words
  2. Performance Review is 500 words
  3. Presentation with speakers notes is 1000 words

You will not be penalised for exceeding the total word limit.

Learning outcomes

In order to pass this unit, you need to demonstrate that you can meet all the learning outcomes listed below.

(LO)

Learning Outcomes

ü LO1

Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme.

ü LO2

Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project.

ü LO3

Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis.

ü LO4

Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance.

Scenario

You work as “Research Assistant” in a research firm, McLeod and Partners, which executes different types of research for their clients. One of the clients ( your workplace or an organisation of your choice) is interested in getting a research report on different issues and challenges that may arise out of equality and diversity in the workplace and what measures could be taken to resolve them?

TASK A

Your manager has assigned this task to you for conducting a professional research which needs to conduct primary research along with secondary research and prepare a well formatted research report which must include the following:

  • A brief overview about your chosen organisation;
  • Clear aims and objectives for the project with timeframes;
  • Design an appropriate project management plan (with WBS) that includes relevant actions to meet objectives and timeframes (include a Gantt’s chart);
  • Elaborate and evaluate the methodology you are using to conduct your research and its rationale;
  • Evidence of primary research (questionnaire or interview) and secondary research to generate knowledge which will form the basis for the research topic.
  • Analyse your data and findings using appropriate analytical tools and draw conclusions to form the basis for recommendations;
  • Presentation and produce your project in an appropriate manner for your manager;
  • Communication of your recommendations in an appropriate manner.

TASK B

In part B, you need to reflect on the success of your project and your own performance in a personal performance review.

This reflection account should address the following:

  • What was the project supposed to accomplish?
  • Did the project succeed in its aims? How do you know? Specifically, please outline any evaluation and assessment undertaken.
  • What things do you think worked well and why? Evaluate all aspects of the project (e.g. initial inception, project activities and project outcomes) from a range of perspectives.
  • What problems emerged during the project and how were they tackled? Was there timely identification of issues and resolution during the project process?
  • What did you learn from undertaking the project?
  • How would you rate your performance as project manager?
  • What strengths and weaknesses of your performance did you identify?
  • How will this inform and support your continuous professional development?
  • The success of the project and its usefulness in supporting your chosen organisation’sorganisational performance;
  • Your own performance.

TASK C

You also need to prepare & present 10 minutes power point presentation covering all the salient points of your research report (part A) including conclusion and recommendations. There will be and additional allocation of 5 minutes for questions. The presentation slides and speaker notes should be submitted as one copy. You are required to make effective use of PowerPoint headings, bullet points and subsections as appropriate.

TASK D

You have to create a “Project Log book” as part of your research report. Please see the format attached at the end.

Note:

Your work should be referenced using the Harvard referencing system. Please also provide a bibliography using the Harvard referencing system. The recommended word limit may be in the range of (+/-) 10%, although you will not be penalised for exceeding the total word limit.

Grading Criteria

This table outlines requirements for each grade (i.e. Pass, Merit or Distinction).

Read the assessment grading criteria before attempting the project tasks, as it contains important information about how you should approach your project and how grading is applied in order for you to achieve a pass, merit or distinction.

Pass

Merit

Distinction

LO1:Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme.

LO1 and 2

 

D1: Critically evaluate the project management process and methods applied for gathering information and data collection.

 

P1: Devise project aims and objectives for a chosen scenario.

M1: Produce a comprehensive project management plan, milestone schedule and project schedule for monitoring and completing the aims and objectives of the project.

 

P2: Produce a project management plan that covers aspects of cost, scope, time, quality, communication, risk and resources.

P3: Produce a work breakdown structure and a Gantt Chart to provide timeframes and stages for completion.

LO2: Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project.

P4: Carry out small-scale research applying primary and secondary methods appropriate for meeting project aims and objectives.

M2: Evaluate the accuracy and reliability of primary and secondary methods applied.

 

Pass

Merit

Distinction

LO3: Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis.

LO3 and LO4

 

D2: Critically evaluate and reflect on the project outcomes, the decision-making process and changes or developments of the initial project management plan to support justification of recommendations and learning during the project.

 

P5: Present findings and data using appropriate tools and techniques.

M3: Evaluate the selection of appropriate tools and techniques for accuracy and authenticity to support and justify recommendations.

 

P6: Communicate appropriate recommendations as a result of findings and data analysis to draw valid and meaningful conclusions.

LO2: Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance.

P7: Reflect on the value of undertaking the project to meet stated objectives and own learning and performance.

M4: Evaluate the value of the project management process to meet stated objectives and support own learning and performance.

Solution:

Aim To identify various kinds of challenges that an organization faces in terms of equality and diversity in the workplace. A case study of McLeod and Partners organization, head of marketing of TFL. Objectives To identify various challenges faced by organizations in managing a diverse workforce. To analyse challenges faced by organization in manging equality in workplace. To recommend measures through which equality and diversity challenges at workplace can be resolved.

Research Questions

What are the various kinds of challenges that are faced by organizations in managing a diverse workforce? What are the different challenges that are faced by organization in manging equality in workplace? What are the different measures through which equality and diversity challenges at workplace can be resolved?


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