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n this forum we will discuss items related to the assessment. I will start with some key information, Please post questions as they come to you, and I will do my best to address them
The focus of this assignment is on an actual change project – not just the strategy for implementation but the identification of a problem, the suggestion of the solution, an assessment of how ready the business is to implement the solution and what you think the outcome will be.
Imagine that a business has brought you in, told you that “something is not right” and asked for your ideas. They want a report that contains a full state of play analysis, a specific action that can be taken, the work they need to do to make sure everyone is ready to implement that change and an idea of what the impact of that change might be. This report is the assignment.
The assignment has four sections, which count in the word count of 6000 words (and you will need them all), plus an Executive Summary, a list of references, and any Appendices you want to include, which are not included in the word count.
There is no specified word count for each section. The key point is to make sure you address all four sections which are clearly identified in your work.
1. A critical review of the current position of an organisation of your choice, reflecting on the problem environment and providing an analysis of emergent objectives.
This section provides the context in which your planned project is being carried out. In the Strategic Consulting module you were advising the client about their strategic options. In this High Impact Management Consulting module, the assumption is that top management have looked at those strategic options and have now decided the strategies they wish to pursue. Now, in this assignment, you are helping them implement a particular strategy.
For exle, for the context you might write about how the company has chosen a strategy to minimize production costs. They know what the big picture is – the end goal, but your job is to help them to operationalise it – define the problem environment and identify actions that they can take
2. A critical analysis (using a method, or methods, of your choice) of the problem and presentation of the solution process. You should justify any recommendations.
This section is in effect your project design. Continuing the exle from above, you might state that what is needed is to find out from relevant stakeholders what they think is needed, to find out what has been done in other organisations and what works and what doesn’t, and to design a project that will really work. And in Part 2 here is your plan for how to do it.
Parts 1 and 2 go together. Have a look at the SCQA framework developed originally for McKinsey e.g. https://www.powerusersoftwares.com/si… Some people use this framework to present proposals for change to clients. This is not an obligatory framework, but you could consider using it as a structure for Parts 1 and 2.
Your choice of problem analysis tools is ‘situation dependent’ but the range includes tools like: issue analysis, root cause, fishbone, soft systems and rich pictures, Kipling’s six honest serving men, and…… more you can search for.
You must show that a) you can diagnose the cause and not just the symptoms of the problem, and that b) you can examine the impact of the problem and its solution on the wider environment e.g. through a tool like the 7S or Weisbord’s 6 Boxes or soft systems.
Scope the project using the classic time, costs and quality ‘iron triangle’ e.g. https://www.stakeholdermap.com/projec… and develop SMART objectives, and sub-objectives, and KPIs for the steps. Look at Gantt charts e.g. https://venngage.com/blog/gantt-chart… If you don’t have access to all stakeholders then you should at least propose a credible outline project plan that can be put on the table for discussion in due course.
3. A critical analysis (using a method, or methods, of your choice) of the organisations capability and capacity to implement the solution. You should justify any recommendations.”>>>
A stakeholder analysis would give you a good idea of the willingness of people to support the project. e.g. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/artic… An analysis of what what forces are in play is also important. e.g. https://www.change-management-coach.c…
There is plenty of research and ideas available on ‘change readiness’ and how to assess it e.g. http://lencd.org/learning/how-to/how-… and http://www.ascd.org/publications/book… and many more. You can adapt the ideas to suit your situation.
Some projects need to have certain things in place before they can be done. Just as you need to be able to read and make notes, organise your time, manage relations with the family, etc. in order to be a successful student, so it is with some projects. An exle, introducing a new ERP system e.g. https://www.projectline.ca/blog/asses… and http://www.jise.ir/article_3952_0f223… So, what has to be in place for your particular project to be successful?
And what are the CSFs? Can you and the organisation ensure the necessary factors are addressed? e.g. https://www.nutcache.com/blog/how-to-…
4. A critical reflection on expected results.
This is where you step back and take a long, hard view of the project and its expected results. Some find the Six Thinking Hats a useful framework. And you should use the results of that to do a risk assessment. e.g. https://exploringyourmind.com/edward-…
For this section you can research similar projects examined in the academic literature and professional journals to identify the typical things that can go wrong and how they can be avoided.
Some other thoughts:
– I strongly recommend you address an actual issue in an organisation that you know personally.
– You must anonymise the organisation, and any names of people
– You must use correct in-text referencing, and match the in-text references with the list of references.
– Check the grading criteria in the handbook.
– Write the ‘Executive summary’ only when you have finished the assignment. Like an Abstract, it should say in a paragraph or two all the key points that are in the paper. (Imagine a busy senior manager who only has time to read the Executive summary. They should get all the essentials they need to know from the Executive Summary, and if they then want more detail they can read the whole document.)
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