Project Management & Consultancy Skills
Course Co-ordinator: Graham Rand
Graham Rand (x 93849; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Richard Eglese (x93869; email@example.com)
Course Website: https://mle.lancs.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=935
Term Taught: Lent
This course is for majors in the Department of Management Science only. It is NOT available to any other student.
This is a very unusual course. There are only 3 lectures! It is therefore essential that all students are present at the first lecture.
The overall objective of the Project Management Skills courses is to introduce and practise in a progressive way some of the key communication and technical skills needed in project work.
Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes
The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of team-work and interviewing in project situations and the use of oral presentation skills to help persuade management to accept your findings. This experience is gained in the context of a case exercise. The case may build on selected quantitative skills covered in first-year courses and requires a management report to be written. There will be a small number of lectures but the main emphasis will be on the conduct of the case exercise.
Subject-specific learning outcomes:
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Understand how different skills can come together in a team to allow the team to function effectively
- Apply material taught in lectures on interviewing managers, writing reports and making presentations
The initial lectures will cover the important skills of teamwork and interviewing and introduce a case exercise, presenting a managerial situation. Teams will be selected by the tutors partly on the basis of the results of a teamwork questionnaire undertaken in the first lecture.
During the next part of the course the teams will need to obtain the required information by interviewing each of the appropriate managers, role-played by the tutors. After the interviews there will be a session which gives feedback and also offers guidance to help you on the technical aspects of solving the managerial problem, if that is appropriate. There will then be the opportunity for teams to make further appointments with either of the tutors (either in or out of role) before handing in the report. With your report, each member should submit, on a separate piece of paper, a summary of what has been learnt about the interviewing process, working as a group and the management of the task. Each group will make a presentation of their work in the last week of term.
There may be a final session, in the summer term, presenting an outline of a recommended solution to the case exercise and feedback on performance. Marked coursework will be handed back at this session.
The course is scheduled for two hours per week but in fact the contact time is very variable. In some weeks there will be no formal contact whereas in others we may need to use an extra hour.
The estimated workload for this course is around 80 hours with a high proportion of the time devoted to the case exercise, including team meetings, interviews, analysis and report writing.
I hope that you enjoy the course and I welcome feedback informally or via course reps.
The course will use the Moodle site for posting lecture notes, assignments and general information.
The undergraduate secretary for the Management Science department is Helena Greenwood, in A68 Management School. Her office hours are 10 - 12 and 2.30 - 4.30.
There is also a departmental web board giving answers to frequently asked questions at:
Report (content) 20%
Report (presentation) 5%
Individual assessment of learning experience 5%
Group oral presentation 10%
All coursework marks, except the assessment of the learning experience, will normally be allocated equally to all members of the team.
Interview marks will initially be based on the first set of interviews. However, there will be the opportunity for further interviews if you wish. If your team's performance here is significantly better than before the tutors may raise your interview marks by a small amount. Under no circumstances will the marks be reduced as a result of further interviews.
In the exam there will be two questions. One of these questions will relate to aspects of teamwork,interviewing, report writing and presenting, and the other will link directly to the technical aspects of the case exercise. Typically this latter question will be in a 'what if?' style, i.e. possible changes to the situation faced in the case exercise will be described and you will be asked to describe an approach to solving the new problems faced. The exam is open book.
For the report and individual learning experience records, standard departmental penalties will apply for late work unless you have been given an extension by the relevant lecturer for exceptional reasons.
Some of the background material on teamwork is based on the work of Belbin (1981) "Management Teams" (Heinemann, London).
Material on the three presentations (interviewing, presenting, report writing) will be available on the web board.