Assignment 2 Overview A2 gives you a wide choice of assignment topic. As you Reflect on the assignment choices consider: – What is of most interest to you? – What is of most relevance to you? You have a choice between one of three assessment areas: 1. A business/part of a business key issue, challenge or opportunity to address 2. A company/part of a company key issue, challenge or opportunity to address Page 1 of 5 JANUARY 2022 SEMESTER – ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS 3. A new business model idea for your organisation or for yourself Most students base the assignment on their own organisation (where they have a good grasp of the operation and data access) or for a new business model for themselves. A2 Start, Structure, Style, Finish (the Management Agenda) ? Review the A2 Rubric to ‘tune into’ what the marker is looking for ? The assignment starts with an incisive background context (so your marker can ‘tune into’ the situation) and a clear/precise management question – what the assignment is going to address ? The assignment should have a logical structure/progression of analysis/argument (reference ‘Structuring Assessment – the Staircase’ video/slides) ? Avoid being general, ASM leads from an “Analytic Fact Based Decision Making” style supported by “Curiosity, Imagination and Creativity” ? The Highlight of your assignment should be the Management Agenda – the way forward o What to do? (with justification in lead-up analysis/argument) o How to do? (implementation with clear milestones, resource allocation, responsibility outlined) o Expected payoff/risks (cost:benefit, how to mitigate risks) A2 Choice 1 Business/part of a business, key issue, challenge or opportunity to address ? You can base the assignment on the whole of a business or narrow down to a part of the business (i.e.: a geographic region, customer segment, part of the product/service offer) ? Initially give background to the company and the role and significance of the business in the portfolio. Additional relevant comment may include current objectives, resource support from the centre/division, reporting relationships etc. ? Provide background on the business, i.e. its geographic, customer, product/service scope, performance trend, position in the industry/market vs. competitors, the business model (tables showing performance and trends are usefully employed) ? If you have narrowed down to a part of the business you should have more background context on the selected sub-set of the business than the overall business (tables showing performance and trends are usefully employed) ? Given the background context what are the key issues, challenges, opportunities the business/part of a business faces now and going forward? Page 2 of 5 JANUARY 2022 SEMESTER – ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS ? Select one important issue, challenge or opportunity as your Managerial Question to address: How to …? ? Given the theme of the Elective the majority of assignments select a topic such as: How to grow revenue/share, improve innovation, go to market capabilities etc.? But as the selected topic relates to the business/part of business context, and your own interests, many other topic areas are valid, such as: How to improve profitability, productivity, cycle time etc.? ? The assignment then addresses the selected Management Question and culminates with a Management Agenda for the way forward. A2 Choice 2 Company/part of a company key issue, challenge or opportunity to address ? You can base the assignment on the whole company or on a major part of its operations (i.e. a division, region etc. – but the selected part of the company needs to be broader in scope than a business) ? Give background to the company. What is the company’s mission, scope of operations, performance trend, portfolio make-up trend etc.? (tables showing performance and trends are usefully employed). If your assignment narrows down to a part of the company for more in-depth analysis you should still provide company background context, but you should provide more background context on the part of the company you have narrowed down to for more in-depth analysis ? If your assignment narrows down to a part of the company for more in-depth analysis initially outline the significance, role, reporting relationship of the unit to the company. Then proceed to outline the scope of the unit’s operations, the trend in performance, portfolio trend etc. (tables showing performance and trends are usefully employed) ? Given the background context what are the key issues, challenges, opportunities the company/part of a company faces now and going forward? ? Select one important issue, challenge or opportunity as your Management Question to address: How to …? ? Given the theme of the Elective, the majority of assignments select a topic such as: How to build the company/part of company portfolio over different time horizons, how to develop a Portfolio of Initiatives to do this? But as the selected topic relates to the company/part of company context, and your own interests, many students select topics such as: o Industry context: How to manage decline? How to prepare and manage for high growth/disruption/digitization?; How to prepare for different future scenarios; how to respond to pandemics? etc.? o Company context: How to better engage staff: How to build and evolve an ecosystem, etc.? Page 3 of 5 JANUARY 2022 SEMESTER – ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS ? The assignment then addresses the selected Management Question and culminates with a Management Agenda for the way forward. A2 Choice 3 Develop a New Business Model ? Have you an idea for a new business, whether for your existing organisation or for yourself? (historically the vast majority of students who selected this A2 Choice of subject selected a new business they would like to launch themselves) ? The assignment has several components:
o The Evaluation of the idea – is it a good idea? How to test it, reduce uncertainty? o How to put the business model together? (Here we advise using the Business Model Canvas) o How to put the team, finance together to put the Blocks of the Business Model Canvas together?
o If the new business model is potentially attractive how to go to market, scale?
o What are the potential economics, financials, cashflow forecasts? Note: Much of the literature outlines that you should start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and get feedback from potential customers to learn, adjust, pivot in an iterative development process. This approach is included in step one of your assignment: The Evaluation of the idea. The assignment brief hence looks for considerable progression from the initial evaluation of the idea. Bibliography The assignment finishes with a bibliography. All sources referenced in the assignment should be covered, including internal and external sources of data, literature/concepts. The length of the bibliography has little bearing on the awarded grade, but: – Marks will be deducted if the bibliography is missing or referencing is incomplete NOTE: When you extract word for word from a source, including previous assignments, you should use “ “ and note the source in the main text and in the bibliography. Please avoid any plagiarism issues. – A lengthier Bibliography could indicate reading around the subject and a more comprehensive assignment Page 4 of 5 Confidentiality Concerns
ASSIGNMENT QUESTIONS ? Data/analysis needed to complete the assignment cannot be excluded on the grounds of confidentiality ? If you are concerned about confidentiality, bear in mind: o At most three markers will review a script: first marker, moderator, external examiner unless there is a case of plagiarism to investigate o You can change the name of the company/business o You can use a disguise factor (i.e. multiply or divide data by a percentage) ? If you still have concerns about confidentiality select a different assignment topic