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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

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 w
hat
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 w
hat 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 w
hat 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 w
hat 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 w
hat
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 s
et 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

 

 

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