Subject : Leading a Conducting a strategic management project
The unit will involve the Learner in formulating research and methodologies to support a strategic management project. They will be required to critically evaluate options and data sources prior to presenting project outcomes.
Learners may use their own employment context, or that of another organisation with which they are very familiar, to base their assignment. However, in the case that they are not able to do so, please use the below scenario: –
You are a senior manager at a medium sized organisation. You have been asked to conduct a project to investigate the high number of staff absences in your department. In order to understand key issues there are many factors you need to consider. Within the project you need to have clear aims and after your investigation consider options to support the aims and evaluate the impact of the course of action you wish to recommend.
Create a project proposal document which aims to contribute to an organisational strategic objective. The proposal should include as a minimum:-
a. Determination of a topic of investigation with justification for its contribution to strategic objective(s)
b. Discussion of the aim, scope and objectives for the project with justification
c. Develop a suitable research methodology, to fully meet project and sponsor needs, research should consider the research bases suitability to provide the rich data needed to inform your proposals, or Project Initiation Document format, should you wish
The project proposal should clarify why this topic was selected and any strategic implications.
Guideline word count: 700 – 900 words
A.C. 1.1 – Determine a topic of investigation that has a strategic implication
A.C. 1.2 – Discuss the aim, scope and objectives of the project
A.C. 1.3 – Take responsibility for and justify the topic of investigation and its aims, scope and objectives
A.C. 1.4 – Formulate the project research methodology, including the project structure and research base
Assess via qualitative or quantitative means three valid sources which can be used to obtain data and information to support the aim of the project, both internal and external sources should be used. You may present valid criteria for data gathering to support your choice.
Collate the data and information gathered and synthesise it to analyse relevancy to the project. Where possible use tools and techniques to support the identification of options and choices. Look for any clusters, stepping stones, patterns or trends.
Determine two options or alternatives which may be selected to support the project aims. Justify why these two options are suitable from synthesising the data and information obtained.
Analyse the two options and select one which will support the project aims stating why this choice was preferable to the other option. Where possible use a tool or technique to underpin your selection, or valid criteria for selection.
Guideline word count: 700 – 900 words
A.C. 2.1 – Assess sources of data and information that will support the aim of the project
A.C. 2.2 – Synthesise the data and information for options or alternatives that support the project aims
A.C. 2.3 – Critically evaluate an option or alternative that supports the project aims
Critically evaluate the research undertaken and evaluate the key features from the evaluation to draw relevant conclusions, to support positive and negative contributions to project direction and meeting project objectives and purpose. Ensure the evaluation processes are linked to the research analysis. State any constraints faced when analysing the information and how this may skew data.
Create an action plan that will support achieving the project aim stating clear recommendations. Include any resource implication and timescales. Ensure your recommendations are linked to research analysis, evaluation and conclusions.
Critically evaluate the impact of the project, you may wish to use san impact statement format for the purpose. The analysis should clearly critically judge any risks and the difference these will make to the identified project deliverables, and how these deliverables link to the project aims and objectives.
Guideline word count: 500 – 700 words
A.C. 3.1 – Critically evaluate the research analysis to enable conclusions to be made
A.C. 3.2 – Recommend a course of action that achieves the strategic aims of the project
AC. 3.3 – Critically analyse then impact of the recommendations
Describe two possible mediums which could be used to present the results of the project. Evaluate and justify which of the two mediums should be selected. You may wish to consider the nature, category of project, conduct an audience profile, or a merits and demerits of each medium.
Produce an action development statement, which includes a project responsibility matrix to present your accountabilities. You may wish to consider how this mergers with your Job Description, roles and responsibilities.
Critically evaluate how the identified deliverables have contributed to the key elements of the project scoping.
Guideline word count: 450 – 550 words
A.C. 4.1 – Evaluate the medium to be used to present the result of the project and its contribution to strategic objectives
A.C. 4.2 – Take responsibility for the results of the investigative project and the substantial changes and developments it brings about
A.C. 4.3 – Critically evaluate the impact and success of the investigative project
Learners are required to complete all tasks.
Direct quotes should be kept to a minimum, and shown in inverted commas. Models described and other quotes used must be properly attributed and referenced as appropriate. Learners must acknowledge or reference any sources that have been used to complete the assignment, listing reference material and web sites used.
Learners are encouraged to produce a reflective statement of no more than 300 words (which does not count towards the final word count), describing the value and knowledge gained from undertaking this assignment. The reflective statement is not assessed; however it encourages you to review the value and application of your learning.
Overall word count guide: 2500 – 4500
Plagiarism and Collusion
The statement should also include the word count.
Plagiarism and collusion are treated very seriously. Plagiarism involves presenting work, excerpts, ideas or passages of another author without appropriate referencing and attribution. Collusion occurs when two or more learners submit work which is so alike in ideas, content, wording and/or structure that the similarity goes beyond what might have been mere coincidence.
Separate Appendices should not be used. Any use of tables, graphs, diagrams, Gantt chart and flowcharts etc. that support the main report should be incorporated into the back of the assignment report that is submitted. Any published secondary information such as annual reports and company literature, should be referenced in the main text of the assignment but not included.
Where a Learner/Writer is using organisational information that deals with sensitive material or issues, they must seek the advice and permission from that organisation about its inclusion. Where confidentiality is an issue, Learners are advised to anonymise their assignment report so that it cannot be attributed to that particular organisation.
Word Count Policy
In total, the assignment report should be between 2500 – 4250 words. Learners must comply with the required word count, within a margin of +10%.These rules exclude the index (if used), headings and information contained within references and bibliographies. When an assessment task requires learners to produce presentation slides with supporting notes, the word count applies to the supporting notes only.
Referencing and Professionalism
A professional approach to work is expected from all learners. Learners must therefore identify and acknowledge ALL sources/methodologies/applications used. The learner must use an appropriate referencing system to achieve this. Marks are not awarded for the use of English; however the learner must express ideas clearly and ensure that appropriate terminology is used to convey accuracy in meaning.