Monitoring and Planning Report
“Congratulations, we have reviewed your proposal and we have decided to move forward with your services as a consultant. However, we would like to propose a few small changes to the project…”
Having successfully secured the consulting engagement for the simulated business environment, your task is now to deliver on the commitments you outlined in your RFP response in Assessment 2 and effectively utilize your consulting skills to manage the project for risk, changes and new opportunities.
This work integrated learning assessment is designed to provide you with an experience that mirrors the real world – and changes in information and requirements is a reality that consultants navigate in most of their work. So, in this assessment, you will receive additional information that you will need to adapt to and address.
- When you win the assignment, you will receive additional information about the company and their requirements and a reduced set of deliverables, as seen below:
“…Obviously, getting the details of what you’ve said that you will be able to work on. In terms of what we are looking for is really more in depth analysis of what you discussed that you can potentially do for us and work closely with us with me and my team to make sure so that we can deliver on those outcomes that we’re looking for….in depth, detailed, data granular, and great focused on those outcomes and benefits and value for the organization…”
- You will also receive a ‘curveball’ of new information that may require you to adjust your response yet again, as seen below:
“…we’ve had some news that changes the nature of the business consulting brief for our client. It seems so a competitor, a very robust competitor, has now entered the market for the country that we’re looking at and it’s changing the landscape a little bit, in terms of going up against this particular competitor. So we need to see what sort of approaches you can think of to help ACET-Global position themselves against a new competitor entering the PNG market. So the PNG market has a lot of opportunity for improvements and sanitation, and in this case where we have a major competitor coming in, we’re really looking for ways in which we can understand the dynamics as a result of the new entry of the competitor, and what that means in terms of our strategy and with strategic alliances in particular, and also how to make sure that the entrance of the competitor does not affect us negatively. The other thing too is to look at: are there some competitive advantages, some issues that make the GSSP stand out significantly against a competitor that you would put forward as being significant. So you need to think through those aspects so that they can help ACET-Global put forward a really strong case to the PNG government, which will mean a fairly detailed competitor analysis to work out ACET-Global’s point of difference and how ACET-Global’s system is a better system for the government to adopt and work with…”
In this assessment you will deliver a report that restates your understanding of the problem based on the revised requirements at the start of the project and then the curveball you receive mid-way through the project. You will need to detail how you effectively addressed the problem, and how you have added value through the work you have provided. You will conclude with a brief reflection on what you have learnt in completing the consulting assignment and how this has changed the professional development plan you outlined in Assessment 1 (attached).
To be successful in this assessment you should demonstrate:
- the consulting skills and capabilities you employed to adapt to the changes experienced throughout the project and ensure you kept your focus on the core problem,
- the value you have provided to the organisation and the additional opportunities your continued engagement could deliver,
- that you have reflected on, and actioned relevant feedback provided by the consulting mentor, instructors, and your peers in the course, and
- a reflection on how the overall consulting experience provided through the course can be translated into future professional opportunities.
This assessment will measure your ability to:
- Critically discuss the application of the Design Thinking and other methodologies and the tools used to understand and solve the problem. (8%)
- Communicate the value of the consulting work presented by elaborating on an action plan to engage the client in potential future opportunities. (16%)
- Reflect on changes that occurred during the project and justify responses made to deliver on client requirements. (8%)
- Demonstrate professional communication skills that engage a business audience. (8%)
Course learning outcomes
This assessment is relevant to the following course learning outcomes:
- CLO1: Apply design thinking to national and international business problems and opportunities, to develop solutions for defined end-users.
- CLO2: Apply interpersonal skills to work in teams and to communicate effectively with clients.
- CLO3: Create solutions and recommendations that add value to the client’s organisation through responding to a client project brief in an ethical sustainable manner.
In this assessment you will prepare a report that outlines your final recommendations to the client based on the changes that have occurred during the project at the project kick-off and then the curveball in Week 5.
The report should detail what occurred during the engagement and how this influenced your final recommendations to the client. Thus, it is important not to wait until you receive the curveball to start work – this assessment is designed to provide you with a work-like experience and provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate the key consulting capabilities that have enabled you to reframe the problem and adapt your solution to deliver outcomes that provide value to business.
The aim of the report is to tell a story that illustrates the value that your work has contributed to the organisation and promotes the idea that you have more insights to offer the organisation. The report should demonstrate how you have reflected on and addressed feedback provided throughout the course, the feedback on Assessment 1 & 2, and the discussions and collaborations with your peers throughout the course.
In addition, you are required to reflect on your key learnings from the consulting experience throughout this course, and consider how, or if, this has changed your strategic development plan proposed in Assessment 1.
- Executive Summary: Key summary points of the report.
- Context/Problem Restatement
- Describe the company and the “problem” the engagement was designed to solve.
- Briefly discuss key opportunities and limitations that contributed to the approach you took to problem solving and the design of the solution.
- Assumptions: We operate in an imperfect world, and all information required is not always available. Briefly discuss the assumptions you have applied in addressing this engagement and the implications these have had on the solution you have delivered.
- Deliverables o Here you will discuss how you achieved each of the deliverables. You can discuss each one individually, or group them in themes. Frame it in terms of what was asked, and how it was different from the original approach design.
- Highlight anything that changed during the engagement that affected your work – how did it affect what you had planned, how did you approach it, and what are the implications to your final output.
- Summary of findings: Summarize your findings from the deliverables and discuss these as parts of the whole picture.
- Recommendations: What do you propose the organisation does with these findings? This can also include more research and further analysis. There should always be an opportunity for follow on work embedded somewhere in the recommendation.
- Next Steps: This is the pitch for your next piece of work (a mini RFP). Drawing on your newly acquired organizational and industry insight, describe the benefits of further development and pick an element of the recommendation (i.e., – more research) that you can help with and provide 2-3 key deliverables, approach and a high-level timeline to deliver the work.