**Business Problem Solving Project Proposal**

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Section

Learning

sources

1. The business client and

their business problem (10%, 250 words):

· A brief summary and history

of your client, including decision-maker who has commissioned this project.

· A short description of the

situation that prevails for your client at the outset of problem solving

(i.e., the state of affairs that are problematic).

· Provide clear evidence of

the business problem, ideally quantifying the problem and illustrating it

graphically.

· A set of

observations or complications around the situation that creates the tension

or dynamic that captures the problem (i.e., what changed or what went wrong

that created the problem).

· In the form of an objective

(e.g., To reduce Coca-Cola’s plastic waste by 50% by 2026 without sacrificing

profit margin), define a specific, measurable and actionable problem.

Topic 1.2

Topic 1.3

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 1

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 2

2. Problem structure and

components logic tree (20%, 500 words):

· Use an initial logic tree

(i.e., factor/lever/component) to break the problem into component parts or

issues (e.g., causes of the problem) to illustrate and define the basic

structure of the problem.

· This should be

evidence-based, using a combination of credible industry and academic

literature, evidence and theory, covering the problem generally (based upon

the academic literature) and the problem in the context of your client (based

upon the industry literature).

· Provide a fully-referenced

commentary of the logic tree.

· It is expected that this

logic tree will have three layers – branches should expand at each layer.

Topic 2.1

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 3

3. Solution drivers and

hypothesised solutions logic tree (30%, 750 words):

· Using the basic problem

structure logic tree as a guide to locate further industry and academic

literature, evidence and theory, produce a more complete logic tree (i.e.,

deductive logic, hypothesis or hybrid of the two) of:

a.

solution

drivers, which help us to see potential pathways to solve the problem,

b.

concluding

with your hypothesised solutions as the leaves of your logic tree.

· Provide a fully-referenced

commentary of the logic tree.

· It is expected that this

logic tree will have four layers – branches should expand at each layer,

although not necessarily for the fourth layer of hypothesised solutions.

Topic 2.1

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 3

4. Prioritisation of

hypothesised solutions (20%, 500 words):

· Using the prioritisation

matrix, consider all of the hypothesised solutions from the leaves of your

second logic tree to prioritise those that have the biggest impact on

solving the problem and which you can most affect to find the critical path

to solving your problem.

· Prune the tree to remove

the ‘leaves’ that are not on the critical path to solving the problem,

establishing the hypothesised solutions that will be taken forward to be

workplanned.

· Provide a fully-referenced

commentary of the prioritisation matrix.

Topic 2.2

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 3

5. Workplan (15%, 375 words):

· Starting from the

prioritised hypothesised solutions established in the previous step, propose

a workplan for how you will test your hypothesised solutions and inform their

implementation via data collection and analyses, so to be able to reach a

conclusion on the solution to the problem.

· For each prioritised

hypothesised solution identify the following columns in a chunky workplan:

a.

a

research question that will guide data collection and analysis to test each

hypothesised solution and inform their implementation,

b.

the

data required and how you will access or collect it,

c.

the

data analysis techniques you will use,

d.

timing

of this work and

e.

the

anticipated analysis end product (e.g., a graph).

· Using a Gantt chart,

produce a lean project plan covering key activities and fixed milestones of

your proposed project over a three month period of work.

Topic 2.3

Topic 3.1

Topic 3.2

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 4

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 5

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 6

6.

One-day answer (5%, 125 words)

· Conclude your

problem-solving project proposal with a one-day answer to convey what

understandings are emerging, what unknowns still stand between you and the

problem resolution and your best guess at a resolution.

Topic 2.3

Conn & McLean (2019) Chapter 4

**Word limit: **2,500 words

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# Grading Rubric

In the following table you will see what is expected of you in order to achieve a certain grade.

The business client

and their business problem (10%)

Problem

structure and components logic tree (20%)

Solution

drivers and hypothesised solutions logic tree (30%)

Prioritisation

of hypothesised solutions (20%)

Workplan (15%)

One-day answer

(5%)

Distinction

(70% plus)

A highly

specific, measurable and actionable problem presented as an objective, which

is fully evidenced. Succinct description of a complicated problem background.

Highly logical

disaggregation of problem into components or issues, which provides excellent

insight to the problem that was not available prior to disaggregation.

Disaggregation

that is connected to and fully informed by both industry and academic

literature.

Highly

logically building upon the basic problem structure logic tree, a fully-evidenced

and referenced more complete logic tree that substantially advances thinking

on the problem towards drivers of the problem solution, identifying highly

clear and practical pathways to solve the problem.

Exceptional

analysis of hypothesis solutions to objectively determine which will have the

biggest impact on the problem and which can be actively managed. Highly

logical pruning of ‘leaves’ of your final logic tree to establish a critical

part to solving the problem.

Highly clear

links between hypothesised solutions, research questions, fact gathering and

critical analysis. Highly clear procedure by which you will rigorously access

data. Highly clear procedure by which you will rigorously analyse data.

Highly appropriate selection of analysis tools to answer research questions.

A highly

detailed and feasible timetable.

A highly

insightful one-day answer that convey what understandings are

emerging, what unknowns still stand between you and the problem resolution

and your best guess at a resolution.

Merit

(60%-69%)

A specific,

measurable and actionable problem presented as an objective, which is fully

evidenced. Succinct description of a complicated problem background.

Logical

disaggregation of problem into components or issues, which provides good

insight to the problem that was not available prior to disaggregation.

Disaggregation

that is partly connected to and informed by both industry and academic

literature.

Logically

building upon the basic problem structure logic tree, a fully-evidenced and

referenced more complete logic tree that substantially advances thinking on

the problem towards drivers of the problem solution, identifying clear and

practical pathways to solve the problem.

Very good

analysis of hypothesised solutions to objectively determine which will have

the biggest impact on the problem and which can be actively managed. Logical

pruning of ‘leaves’ of your final logic tree to establish a critical part to

solving the problem.

Clear links

between hypothesised solutions, research questions, fact gathering and

critical analysis. Clear procedure by which you will rigorously access data.

Clear procedure by which you will rigorously analyse data. Appropriate

selection of analysis tools to answer research questions. A detailed and

feasible timetable.

An insightful

one-day answer that convey what understandings are emerging, what unknowns

still stand between you and the problem resolution and your best guess at a

resolution.

Pass (50%-59%)

A somewhat

unclear problem presented as an objective, but not fully evidenced.

Description of a complicated problem background.

Disaggregation

of problem into components or issues, which provide some insight to the

problem that was not available prior to disaggregation.

Disaggregation

that attempts to both industry and academic literature.

Logically

building upon the basic problem structure logic tree, a fully-evidenced and

referenced more complete logic tree that somewhat advances thinking on the

problem towards drivers of the problem solution, identifying pathways to

solve the problem.

Analysis of

hypothesised solutions to determine which will have the biggest impact on the

problem and which can be actively managed, but with some errors. Pruning of

‘leaves’ of your final logic tree to establish a critical part to solving the

problem, but with some errors.

Somewhat

unclear links between hypothesised solutions, research questions, fact

gathering and critical analysis. Somewhat unclear procedure by which you will

rigorously access data. Somewhat unclear procedure by which you will

rigorously analyse data. Not selecting the most appropriate analysis tools to

answer research questions. A feasible timetable.

A one-day

answer that convey what understandings are emerging, what unknowns

still stand between you and the problem resolution and your best guess at a

resolution.

Fail (49% and

below)

A unclear

problem presented as an objective, not evidenced. Description of a problem

background.

Disaggregation

of problem into components or issues, but which provides no additional

insight to the problem beyond what was available prior to disaggregation.

Use of

irrelevant industry and academic literature

that do not

drive problem solving.

Attempt to

build upon the basic problem structure logic tree, an evidenced and

referenced more complete logic tree but which does not meaningfully advance

thinking on the problem towards drivers of the problem solution, establishing

only unclear pathways to solve the problem.

Flawed

analysis of hypothesised solutions which fails to determine which will have

the biggest impact on the problem and which can be actively managed. Flawed

pruning of ‘leaves’ of your final logic tree, failing to establish a critical

path to solving the problem.

Unclear links

between hypothesised solutions, research questions, fact gathering and

critical analysis. Unclear procedure by which you will rigorously access

data. Somewhat unclear procedure by which you will rigorously analyse data.

Flawed selection of analysis tools that do not robustly answer research

questions. An unrealistic timetable.

A highly

insightful one-day answer that is limited in conveying what

understandings are emerging, what unknowns still stand between you and the

problem resolution and your best guess at a resolution.

Assessment

Criteria

Tasks

1

Marker

2

Marker

Required

content

1. The business client and

their business problem (10 marks, 250 words)

·

Summary

and history of client

·

Situation

for client at outset of problem solving

·

Business

problem and set of observations/complications around the situation

·

Objective

(in the form of a specific, measurable and actionable problem)

2. Problem structure and components logic tree (20 marks, 500 words)

· Initial logic tree (i.e.,

three layer factor/lever/component tree)

· Fully-referenced commentary

of logic tree

3. Solution drivers and

hypothesised solutions logic tree (30 matrks, 750 words)

·

A more complete

logic tree (i.e., four-layer deductive logic, hypothesis or hybrid of the

two) of

a. solution drivers

b. hypothesised solutions

· Fully-referenced commentary

of logic tree

4.

Prioritisation of hypothesised solutions (20 marks, 500 words)

· Full 2×2 prioritisation

matrix

· Fully-referenced commentary

of the prioritisation matrix

5.

Workplan (15 marks, 375 words)

· Full workplan for testing

hypothesised solutions

·

Gantt chart

6. One-day answer (5 marks,

125 words)

· Complete one-day answer

Total marks