INMR83-Consulting Project

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Placement opportunity: Micro placement
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Vaughan Michell

Email: v.a.michell@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module develops student skills in project planning and development, consulting capabilities and client communication. It is focused on an individual problem solving exercise of relevance to a real client who has specific needs and requirements. It also enables the student to select and study in detail a specific part of the programme and enables them to demonstrate specific skills developed in other parts of the programme.


Aims:
The aim of the consulting project is to enable students to apply the knowledge from the taught modules to real-life cases in a structured and systematic manner. Students can select from a number of types of project. Project are where possible made available from consultancies and other organisations working with the programme (subject to business conditions). This provides a list of real-world problems that relate to their clients or their strategic and tactical consulting needs. Alternatively the student may choose a project suggested by IRC academics/the course director or other organisations, relating to current leading-edge research and business challenges. Or the student may opt for a project they or their sponsor has suggested. In all cases a sponsor or owner requiring the project must be separate from the student and should specify the outline requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to investigate and meet the client needs and complete the project within 8–10 weeks. This echoes the nature, time and workload challenges of consultancy practice. The module is designed to allow students to develop necessary knowledge and skills to collect and analyse the needs of clients and provide the most appropriate objectively analysed and pragmatic solutions to improve the business performance via the application of business technology and consulting techniques. The module includes a mandatory one day project introduction course that provides essential background and guidance for the project structure and includes the opportunity to ask questions regarding potential projects. Being able to respond well to time and complexity pressure whilst analysing a project problem and developing a solution is a fundamental ability taught by the module.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On the completion of the module, the students will produce a written report with a detailed business technology solution proposal in response to the problem. This will include a detailed analysis of the problem and proposed solutions and a roadmap or project plan for application of the recommended solution. This should meet the business requirements and problem definition and improve the business performance for the specific customer or sponsor of the problem. The student will also be required to deliver an oral presentation of the problem and solution.

Additional outcomes:
The student is also required to complete a reflective learning log to identify what they have learned from the project and how they can improve in problem solving and consulting skills.

Outline content:
The content of the report is determined by the user requirements with, where possible, a real live case (subject to business conditions). It will include the problem definition, the business requirements and constraints, the analysis of the business problem using the tools and techniques learnt during the course of the programme, identification of the technical solutions, details of the recommended proposed solution and the execution roadmap. The work must be conducted in an ethical and professional manner as per consultancy practices. The text of the report should not normally exceed 8,000 words but it may be supported by ancillary materials. An academic supervisor from the university and an industrial supervisor from Capgemini will be assigned to each student for the consulting project.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The project is normally conducted by an individual student guided by supervisors from the university and where appropriate a sponsoring organisation or consultancy such as Capgemini, or Accenture et al. Although the actual sponsor type and disposition will vary with business conditions. The student will have regular weekly meetings with the academic and industry supervisors and be responsible for contacting them both through electronic or social network media as appropriate. The student is expected to spend significant time on individual research and study necessary to enable them to develop sufficient expertise to understand the problem, analyse the problem, develop a solution and execute the project. It is the student’s responsibility to use and develop their critical reasoning to explore and develop the project.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 7
Project Supervision 16
Guided independent study 377
       
Total hours by term 400.00
       
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Assessment will be divided into four sections:

Final Report (80%) comprising
• Main body (explaining the analysis and proposed solution) 60%
• Executive summary 10%
• Log of student experience and learning points from the student perspective 10%

Presentation of the analysis and proposed solution – (20%)

The recommendation from the industry supervisor will also be included in the assessment of the module as an aid to improving the student’s consulting and practical problem solving skills.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
None

Requirements for a pass:
Students will be required to obtain a mark of 50% to pass.

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment will be to resubmit the project report according to recommendations from the supervisors.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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