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Consult temp

  1. 1. MBA CONSULTANCY PROJECT Course Booklet Semester 2b 2011/2012 Full-Time Core Course
  2. 2. Consultancy ProjectContents Page NumberCourse Details .................................................................................................... 3Course Description and Objectives .................................................................... 3Learning Outcomes ............................................................................................ 3Planned Student Learning Experiences ............................................................. 5Teaching Approach............................................................................................. 5Assessment ........................................................................................................ 5Guidelines for formatting and handing in assessed work ................................... 7Failure to attempt or complete assessed coursework or an examination ........... 8Exam arrangements for Disabled students......................................................... 8Plagiarism Statement.......................................................................................... 9Appeals............................................................................................................... 9Feedback ............................................................................................................ 9Consultation........................................................................................................ 9Course Monitoring Surveys ................................................................................ 9Groupwork Issues:............................................................................................ 10Course Website ................................................................................................ 10Advised Preparatory Work................................................................................ 10Course Co-ordinator ......................................................................................... 10Study Programme............................................................................................. 11Level of Input .................................................................................................... 11The Selection of Client Companies and Student Teams .................................. 11Confidentiality ................................................................................................... 12Ownership of IP ................................................................................................ 12Appendices ....................................................................................................... 12Putting you at the heart of business 2 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  3. 3. Course DetailsCalendar Code: BUST11171Title: MBA Consultancy ProjectCollege: Humanities and Social ScienceDepartment: The Business SchoolCourse Co-ordinator: Dr Tony KinderContact Hours: Up to 10 hours of briefing and preparation; approximately 90 consulting hours with clientPre-requisites: NoneCo-requisites: NoneThis is a 10-credit course in the Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF),entailing100 hours of student effort.Course Description and ObjectivesThe MBA Consultancy Project collaborates between a host organisation and the BusinessSchool. The host organisation identifies an important strategic business or managementissue that is then tackled, over a period of between 2-3 months, by a team of two or threeMBA students who apply academic knowledge and industry experience to a ‘real life’business situation. The project findings and recommendations are formally presented to thehost organisation along with a written report. Projects may cover any aspect of managementand may, in principle, be located in any commercial, industrial, public sector or non profitorganisation of any size. Although the MBA Consultancy project tends to be with companiesthat have a local presence, it is possible for more geographically diverse companies to beinvolved if logistically feasible. We aim to offer students engagement with a projectconnecting to their career pathway.Learning OutcomesKey SkillsKey skills for the MBA Consultancy project are as follows.Methodology• The ability to develop and articulate a clear and appropriate methodology that is sound and feasible within the time scale of the project. See appendix under “What a business report should contain” for an outline of methodology considerations.Client relationship skills• Experience in building and sustaining a mutually satisfying client relationship, particularly in terms of communication, negotiation and a flexible response to changing circumstances within the relationship.• To act as a responsibility ambassador from the School into the local business community.Putting you at the heart of business 3 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  4. 4. Ability to deliver value • To interpret and see beyond client requirements, identifying what is relevant. The initial project proposal will be brief and the client may not always give the whole picture about what is required. The onus is on the student team to satisfy themselves that the worked up terms of reference (TOR) are feasible and appropriate for the clients needs. Any changes to the TOR should be agreed with the client. • To maximise value to the client through a clear analysis of the client’s value proposition • To be imaginative and proactive in creating and fulfilling the client’s briefFlexibility • The TOR may need to change due to a change in client’s own requirements or as an outcome of the results of initial project work. Students will be expected to recognise where this will be necessary. • Ability to fit in with the client’s own schedules and in responding to unforeseen circumstances out with the teams or the client’s control. • The ability to negotiate with the client throughout the period of the consultancy in what may be changeable circumstances.Application of team’s own knowledge base • Ability put into practise and thereby test what has been taught on the programme as well as application of own work-based experience in order to deliver value to the client ensuring that programme material, such as strategic models, is strictly relevant.Team skills • The ability to manage time in a team the members of which have competing pressures on their time. • Ability to work out a division of labour and thereby maximise the effectiveness of each individual’s contribution. • Ability to sort out any internal team issues, such as free rider. If not, to resort to course co-ordinator.Cognitive Skills • Ability to filter information and relevant points from data applying analytical rigour to come up with appropriate and implement able recommendations within a tight time frame.Presentation skills • Ability to present clearly and persuasively. • Ability to respond immediately to questions.Report writing • Ability to write a business report clearly and succinctly with appropriate use of diagrams, relevant MBA course material (strategic models for example) and use of referencing of quotes, data and opinions. • Appropriate use of appendices.Putting you at the heart of business 4 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  5. 5. Planned Student Learning ExperiencesThe MBA Consultancy project should provide the student with the following learningexperiences. • Working in a small group on a tightly focussed project • The creation and development of a mutually beneficial client relationship • Experience of “real life” consulting with an external client • Interpretation and understanding of clients needs, often in an evolving environment in order to deliver value • Experience of report writing and presenting to School faculty and external clients and answering questionsTeaching ApproachFollowing a half day consulting seminar early in Semester 2a, an academic advisor isassigned to each project, whose role is to guide and advise the team on factors such asappropriate frameworks and methodologies. There will also be feedback and feasibilitydiscussions round the Terms of Reference submitted by the team in mid-April.AssessmentForm of AssessmentStudents will submit a group report of a maximum 5000 words, not including appendices,and a presentation of 20 minutes. Reports exceeding the word limit will be subject to adeduction of marks.The report is marked by two School staff members who will attend the presentation, possiblyalong with an additional member of staff with specialist knowledge in the relevant area. Theclient is also invited to the presentation, and is formally involved in the Q&A session. Theclient’s opinion of the value added through the report and presentation is taken into accountby the markers who invite feedback from the client. While the client is consulted, UEBSfaculty decide the mark. WE note that some clients may be unduly satisfied or dissatisfiedwith the report, especially in cases where otherwise correct conclusions may not be popularwith the client.The purpose of the presentation and Q&A is to provide a review of the report and its keyfactors, in order to provide the basis for a question and answer session. The presentation isan opportunity to place emphasis on the important elements of the report. The presentationcan include new material, though this must be mentioned as such. All group members arerequired to attend the presentation, and contribute to the at least the Q&A part.Assessment CriteriaPutting you at the heart of business 5 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  6. 6. The report, presentation and Q&A are assessed according to the following criteria. Pleasenote that the proportion of marks allocated to any one section can vary according to thenature of the project.Presentation and interpretation of the client’s requirements (20%). This mark is awarded onthe basis of the group’s ability to identify and specify the client’s problem and subsequentlyset relevant research questions.▪ Quality and relevance of the group’s terms of reference▪ How well did they define the task/problem▪ How well did they define the product/service in questionRelevance and rigour of analysis (20%). This mark is awarded on the basis of the group’sability to select a suitable framework for analysis; correct and relevant methods supported byappropriate evidence, and subsequently execute the prescribed analysis.▪ The group’s ability to follow and/or adapt the terms of reference▪ Relevance▪ Appropriate methodologyValue added to the client (40%). This mark is awarded on the basis of the group’s ability topropose good, relevant solutions to the identified problems. The mark is awarded on thebasis of the relevance of proposals, the ability to be implemented and the stipulated outcomeof the solutions. The outcome of the analysis adds to this, as a means of providing value tothe client.▪ Relevance and ability to be implemented▪ Look at value added in terms of both tangible and intangible outcomes▪ Value provided in analysisQuality of communication, verbal/written presentation of the report (20%). This mark isawarded on the basis of the group’s ability to present and argue their case. Both written andverbal presentation should form the basis for this mark.• How well set out was the report document in terms of: clear and succinct style; structure; use of headings; use of figures and tables; use of appendices; sources acknowledged; bibliography; range of sources; well set out work; grammatical sentences; correct spelling. Referencing to be discrete but to enable both the author, staff and client to track and validate the source of facts, opinions and theoretical statement (note School guidance provided on report writing).• How well articulated was the presentation (in terms of PowerPoint slides, fluency/persuasiveness of the speakers)• How well did the whole team respond to questions (questions can be directed at any one of the members)Contingency marks (a maximum of +/- 10 marks). The Contingency Mark allows marker toadd extra points for a particularly creative piece of work, work prepared in new andinnovative ways. Well-executed work does not come under this category. The ContingencyMark also allows of deductions in cases of late submission, missing members at thePutting you at the heart of business 6 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  7. 7. presentations.• For creativity, ‘thinking out of the box’, going beyond the terms of reference• Also discretionary deduction of marks for late submission of terms of reference, the report and non-show of any members to the presentation.Dates of Assessment:• Report deadline 10am Monday 11th June 2012• Presentations to take place between 18th and 22nd June 2012. A timetable of presentations will be released approximately one month prior by email or on WebCT.• The teams should receive their marks by 5pm on Monday 2nd July 2012, along with written feedback.Guidelines for formatting and handing in assessed workAll completed assignments should be stapled and clearly labelled with the student’sExamination Number. Names should NOT be written on the assignments themselves, so thatthey can be marked anonymously. Students who are unable to submit assignments in personmay mail them to the MBA Admin Secretary, University of Edinburgh Business School; 29Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh EH8 9JS. We recommend that assignments be sent by firstclass post/recorded delivery. Students are asked to attach an assignment Submission Sheetas front cover. The student’s name should be written on this sheet along with theexamination number. A template for this can be found at www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/mybizWhen the assignments are received the Assignment Submission Sheet will be removedbefore the assignments are sent to the relevant lecturer(s) for marking. Students must alsosubmit each assignment electronically by TURNITIN. For the group assignment, once thegroups have been composed, a group member will be assigned as responsible for this.Please see instructions via the Student Portal. This is to enable checks to be carried out forplagiarism on a random basis, or if suspicions are raised.Once received, assignments will be logged in and distributed to the relevant lecturer(s) formarking. Assignment marks will be made available within one month of submission or beforestudents sit their degree examination.The University has a standardised penalty for late submission of coursework. The School willapply a uniform penalty of a reduction of 5 marks for each 24 hours beyond the courseworkdeadline (Saturday, Sunday and University Public Holiday not included) unless latesubmission has been requested in advance of the submission date and approved in writingby the course co-ordinator. For example:- an essay with a mark of 65% which is less than 24 hours late will be given a final mark of60%- an essay with a mark of 65% which is between 24-48 hours late will be given a final mark of55%- an essay with a mark of 65% which is 48-72 hours late will be given a final mark of 50% andso on...Putting you at the heart of business 7 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  8. 8. The penalty will not be applied if good reasons can be given, such as documented illness.Therefore, if you are given an extension then you must ensure that the PG office has writtenproof of this, e.g. in the form of an email from the Course Co-ordinator.COURSEWORK DEADLINES ARE ABSOLUTE AND MUST BE STRICTLY ADHERED TOOTHERWISE THE STANDARDISED PENALTY WILL BE APPLIED WITHOUTEXCEPTION.Extensions to coursework deadlines will normally only be granted in cases of illness or otherextenuating circumstances. An extension can only be granted by the course organiser;requests for an extension to the deadline must be agreed with the course organiser prior tothe coursework deadline. If this proves impossible, students must attach a letter ofexplanation to the coursework, signed and dated. If you are given an extension, you mustensure that the PG Office (Room GF.15, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS) haswritten proof of this, e.g. in the form of an email from the course organiserFailure to attempt or complete assessed coursework or an examinationWhere a student fails to attempt or fails to complete assessed coursework or an examination,the Course Organiser will seek to establish from the student whether the failure is legitimate(i.e. supported by appropriate documentary evidence) or not. A failure to attempt assessedcoursework or an examination without good reason will result in a zero mark being awardedfor that element of assessment. In the case of a legitimate failure to attempt or completeassessed coursework, the Course Organiser may decide to offer an extended submissiondeadline (without marks deduction for late submission). Where a student is able to produceevidence of legitimate reasons for failure to attempt or complete an examination, and where ithas not been possible to offer an extended submission deadline for a legitimate failure toattempt or complete assessed coursework, the Course Organiser will refer the case to theSpecial Circumstances Committee.Exam arrangements for Disabled studentsIf required, specific reasonable adjustments will be made to enable disabled students to sitexaminations, including any written, practice or oral examination, continuously assessedcoursework or dissertation which counts towards the final assessment. Approval of specificreasonable adjustments should follow the normal approval routes (see 3.1, 3.2).Arrangements for degree examinations must be approved in advance by the Registry (6502214), and the Disability Office (650 6828) for dyslexic students, and reported to theexaminers. The Registry requires notification of specific examination arrangements fordyslexic students well in advance of examination weeks and specific deadlines apply (seehttp://www.registry.ed.ac.uk/Student/Dyslexia.htm). For all other disabled students theRegistry must see and accept a medical certificate or similar documentation relating to thestudent or be satisfied that an acceptable certificate will be produced. Such students shoulddiscuss their requirements with their Programme Director and/or the Disability Office at theearliest opportunity.Putting you at the heart of business 8 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  9. 9. Plagiarism StatementPlagiarism and cheating are offences against the University discipline. The full text of theUniversity’s regulation on plagiarism and cheating can be found on the University’s websiteat http://www.aaps.ed.ac.uk/regulations/Plagiarism/Intro.htmNote that computers may be used to detect plagiarism, whether by using something assimple as a search engine such as Google (it is as easy for a marker to find online sourcesas it is for you) or something more complex for specialised comparisons of work. All courseswill use the JISC Plagiarism Detection Service.Please refer to your Programme Handbook for more information on plagiarism.AppealsThe process for students appealing against the assessment of grades is described in theCode of Practice for Taught Postgraduate Programmes.Feedback Feedback on this course th Shortly after 20 Each team to receive feedback on submitted Terms of Reference April 2012 Between 22nd Input and feedback available to each student team upon request, April and 11th through the project’s academic advisor or other UEBS staff. June, 2012 18th to 22nd June, Verbal feedback to student teams from clients and UEBS staff during 2012 presentation Q&A By 2nd July, 2011 Written feedback on projectConsultationStudents are encouraged to raise any concerns of a subject specific nature with the project’sacademic advisor, and may also which to approach a relevant course lecturer; more generalissues of concern should be directed to the Course Co-ordinator (Tony Kinder) or the StudentProjects Manager (Douglas Graham). All but the simplest issues take time to resolve, and soplease raise the issues as soon as you are aware of them.Course Monitoring SurveysBecause the MBA programmes are constantly being streamlined to remain progressive andcontemporary, it is essential that you provide feedback on the courses you undertake so thatthe academic and administrative staff can be aware of your needs and the needs of yourpeers; the only way we can do this is if you let us know our strengths and what can beimproved to make your learning experience with us as relevant and fulfilling as possible.Putting you at the heart of business 9 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  10. 10. At the conclusion of every semester you will be asked to complete anonymous online CourseMonitoring Surveys. You will be notified when the surveys relevant to your programmebecome live. The results of these surveys will then be collated and distributed to the courselecturer(s) who will in turn provide feedback on the course.All information provided by students and course lecturer(s) will be taken into consideration bydecision makers within the Business School – and may alter the way that future courses areadministered. We are providing you with an outlet to voice your opinions and it is veryimportant for the current state and the future of the business school and its students that youdo so.Groupwork Issues:Where group work is involved, should there be any problems with the group dynamic, theseshould be raised by the concerned team member with the Course Coordinator at the earliestopportunity.Course WebsiteLecture materials will be made available online via WebCT, which is accessible from the“quick links” area on MyBiz http://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/mybiz/homeOn the Course Website you will be able to find a copy of this booklet, course handouts,announcements and other facilities. It is important that you regularly check the WebCTsystem in order to keep up to date with the course. You should be automatically registeredfor all your courses; if you are not please consult the Programme Secretary (emailoffice+mba@business-school.ed.ac.uk) to ensure that your records are in order. A UserGuide and full details of how to logon and use the system are available on the Website. N.B.It is vitally important that you check your WebCT mailbox regularly OR set it up so that itforwards messages automatically to your regular e-mail account.Advised Preparatory WorkStudents should consult the study skills handbook about how to reference sourcesmentioned in their report and “What a business report should contain” in the appendix.Students are expected to carry out brief research about their client company as soon as theyare given their client details in early March.Course Co-ordinatorDr Tony KinderThe University of Edinburgh Business School (Room 2.06)Director of MBA ProgrammeUniversity: ++ 44 (0)131 651 3858Mobile: 07775 804708Email: tony.kinder@ed.ac.ukPutting you at the heart of business 10 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  11. 11. Study Programme• February: students informed of which groups they are in and brief details of client organisation and nature of project.• 17th February: half day seminar by external consultant (Jeremy Webster of Silver Pebble consulting) on the consulting process;• 24th February: meet Client Company at Launch event in UEBS.• Between mid March – April 20th: Draw up Terms of reference (TOR), in consultation with client. See appendix for TOR guidelines. Submit copy by 20th April, signed by both parties, either electronically or in hard copy, to Douglas Graham on douglas.graham@ed.ac.uk. Work on the TOR is to be fitted around each individual’s timetable and the client’s timetable• 20th April – 10th June: carry out consultancy work• 10th June 10am: deadline for submission of report. To be handed in to the main office in triplicate, and to Douglas Graham in electronic form (by email).• 18h – 22nd June: Presentations.Level of InputStudents are expected to prepare for their initial meeting with clients by carrying out basicresearch on the company and the nature of the proposed project. Between this date and the22nd April each team will be required to draw up a TOR document which, from experience,usually requires at least a couple of meetings with clients and a thorough analysis of theorganisation including a strong understanding of its value proposition. From 22nd April to 18thMay each team member will be expected to put in an average of 3-4 hours work each week(depending on each students individual timetable) From late May onwards students will beexpected to devote the majority of their study time to the project.The Selection of Client Companies and Student TeamsThe client companies are chosen by the School following an invitation for organisations toapply for a project. The criteria used to select client companies include feasibility within thetimescale; background experience of the students and suitability in terms of how relevant theskills called upon are to the MBA programme.Students are invited to suggest companies to approach, though the School cannot guaranteethat an approach will be made.Students are allocated to the host company by the School. Students will be invitedbeforehand to give general preferences about what sort of organisation and what sort ofproject they would like to be considered for. The School will allocate students to projectsaccording to their suitability and any preferences will be taken into account, althoughallocation on these criteria alone cannot be guaranteed. The School’s decision regardingallocation to projects is final.For many students the MBA Consultancy Project is an opportunity to make contacts in thebusiness community. Some students may continue a relationship with their client forPutting you at the heart of business 11 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  12. 12. Capstone Project purposes and, occasionally, some have taken up positions within thecompany.ConfidentialityPlease note that some client organisations require a confidentiality clause to be drawn upand signed. This is quite usual and the university has a team of qualified professionals whocan advise on this. A template for a standard confidentiality agreement can be found in theappendix and on WebCT. You must make sure the agreement is appropriate for your client’srequirements and be satisfied with the restrictions placed upon you by the agreement. If theconfidentiality agreement is appropriate for you and your client please fill in and bring to besigned by Douglas Graham, Student Projects Manager, GF12. Please also notify the StudentProjects Manager of the fact that a confidentiality agreement is in place.Ownership of IPIn the absence of any specific contract between the students and their client, students willown the IP (or at least, those students who had intellectual input into the work). If theintention is for the client to own the IP in the work, then the students need to sign a letterwhich has the effect of vesting ownership of the project outputs in the client company. A copyof this letter can be found in the appendices, along with caveats which any student enteringinto such an agreement should read first.Appendices1 Responsibilities of a host company2 Template for confidentiality agreement3 Terms of reference guidelines4 What a business report should contain5 Letter of agreement giving ownership of any project IP to the client companyPutting you at the heart of business 12 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  13. 13. Appendix 1Responsibilities of the Host CompanyThe host company will be responsible for the following.• Identifying an appropriate project based on a real management issue, appropriate for a team of two or three MBA students working over a period of approximately two months, with each student spending on average three to four hours per week on the project, their time being fitted around their taught modules.• Discussing and agreeing the Terms of Reference document by the stated deadline.• Meeting all direct project expenses, such as travel and accommodation where appropriate and agreed in advance with the student team.• Providing a liaison person or ‘project owner’ who is easily contactable by the students and who will facilitate access, where necessary, to as much appropriate company material and information as possible.• Notifying and discussing with the team any changes in circumstances that may affect the project.Putting you at the heart of business 13 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  14. 14. Appendix 2Template for confidentiality agreementNote: this agreement is included here for your information only. If your client requires aconfidentiality agreement please see Aidan Hetherington to discuss further.CONFIDENTIAL To:Dear Sirs1. Considering that you hold certain information, whether in written, oral, visual or electronic format, of a technical or commercial information, (including, without limitation, specifications, drawings, designs, computer software and know-how), which is, or would reasonably be expected to be, of a confidential nature, (“Confidential Information”), and further considering your proposed disclosure to us of certain of such Confidential Information for the purpose of carrying out a dissertation with “insert name of client organisation here”, as part of the MBA course at the University of Edinburgh Business School (“the Purpose”), we undertake: (a) to keep all such Confidential Information confidential and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that copies of the Confidential Information made by us are protected against theft or other unauthorised access. (b) not to use Confidential Information other than solely for or in relation to the Purpose, unless (and then only to the extent to which) any other use shall have been specifically authorised in writing, in advance, by you. (c) not to communicate or otherwise make available any such Confidential Information to any third party (other than other students or academic staff engaged in the Purpose who are also subject to similar terms of confidentiality) except with specific prior written consent from you.2. The above obligations will not apply to any Confidential Information which: (a) Has become public knowledge, (other than as a result of any breach of the confidentiality undertaking contained herein). (b) We are able to establish was already known to us or was independently developed by us without recourse to or use of any Confidential Information. (c) Is received by us from a third party who did not acquire it in confidence from you or from someone owing a duty of confidence to you. (d) Must be disclosed by law or by a requirement of a regulatory body. 3. We shall make only such copies of the Confidential Information as are strictly necessary for the Purpose, and shall ensure that all such copies are clearly marked as confidential, and can be clearly separated from my own records. Any copy so made shall constitutePutting you at the heart of business 14 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  15. 15. Confidential Information. We shall, upon your written request, return to you all Confidential Information as is in tangible form (together with all copies thereof within our possession or control) or make such other disposal thereof as may be stipulated by you. 4. This Letter shall be governed by Scots Law.We hereby agree to the foregoing terms:__________________________________ __________________________________Signed on behalf of the University of Edinburgh Witness signature_________________________________ _________________________________Name Witness Name__________________________________ __________________________________Date AddressSigned Witness signature_________________________________ _________________________________Name of Student Witness Name__________________________________ __________________________________Date AddressSigned Witness signature_________________________________ _________________________________Name of Student Witness Name__________________________________ __________________________________Date AddressSigned Witness signature_________________________________ _________________________________Name of Student Witness NamePutting you at the heart of business 15 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  16. 16. Appendix 3Terms of reference guideline document (for students, the client receives an almostidentical version from the School)February 2011The Terms of Reference does not need to be a lengthy document (i.e. one or two pages ofA4), but it should include the following;(1). A statement of the overall project objectiveThis may be a single statement (e.g. ‘To establish the commercial feasibility of pursuing aregional growth strategy’), or composite (e.g. ‘To evaluate the company’s current marketing,identify its strengths and weaknesses, to identify a better method to deliver the brandmessage to appropriate market segments’). In addition, a short presentation of the clientshould be included as regards location, size in terms of number of employees and turn-over,and value proposition.(2). A subdivision of project work into either chronologically sequenced stages OR logical components to be completed separately though concurrently.Where appropriate the project should be divided into phases, with each phase representingthe work required to fulfil the overall project objective or a sub aim of the project.(3). Timeframes and project milestones should be identifiedYou must each identify the available time you have to deliver the consultancy (i.e. theequivalent of chargeable man hours), and the timing of your individual and groupinterventions. You also need to work out a division of labour between yourselves to ensurethat all required work is completed on time. This planning procedure should be shown in theTerms of Reference.(4). Access and co-ordination details.The client should also assist by indicating which members of their organisation will beinvolved and for which components or stages of the project. An overall Project Ownershould be identified on the client side so that the project team have a consistent point ofcontact. The extent of access to company information (where required) should be organisedup-front – who is responsible, what limitations are there, etc.(5). Confidentiality clauseThe Terms of Reference should include an agreement, if required, that all information dealtwith is company confidential and must be treated with the utmost discretion.(6). Statement of ProceduresIf your project requires some out-of-pocket expenses, please discuss with your client andindicate how and when such sums will be reimbursed.Putting you at the heart of business 16 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  17. 17. (7). Statement of OutputThis refers to the type of report that is required by the client. For example, the client maywish a feasibility study or a piece of market research. The client may require an evaluation ofcosts, staffing requirements or technology choices or whatever is necessary to fulfil astrategic plan that you are devising for them. Details of what is required to support theattainment of objectives should be made clear under this section of the Terms of Reference.Please try to make conclusions and their rationale clear. We believe that it is impossible toreach a clear conclusion without a good understanding of the product or service offered.Once again, please remember that you will draw up the Terms of Reference with your client’shelp and advice. This document is intended to establish a clear working relationshipbetween the client and your group. If priorities change during the project and the Terms ofReference need to be modified, with the agreement of your client, this is acceptable as longas the Administration office is notified of any changes in writing prior to the handing in of theproject.Putting you at the heart of business 17 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  18. 18. Appendix 4What a business report should containThe purpose of a business report is to provide a clear, succinct analysis of the issue in handwith recommendations for implementation. The layout of every business plan/report willdiffer according to the requirements of the project. However, each will have a number ofgeneric elements in common in order to achieve its overall purpose. Every businessplan/report should have the following elements.An executive summaryThis is usually the first thing that is read and analysed. It is therefore one of the mostimportant parts of your report. It should be quite brief, no more than 500 words and shouldsummarise all the other sections of the report, including any key financial numbers.Outline of methodologyMethodology in the following refers to the method or approach chosen as the basis for anypiece of work undertaken. The methodology can be compared to the recipe when cooking orbaking: take these ingredients and do like this to achieve the correct result.Relating to the kind of work undertaken, the methodology will often be made up of severalmethods and frameworks and it is important to ensure that all parts of the methodologypoints towards the same shared goal which is to answer certain questions based on reliableresearch. As such, explaining the research approach or methodology will be a case ofexplaining why the outcome is credible, reliable and valid.Students will be expected to present the chosen methodology and argue why this isappropriate. In this they will be asked to:▪ Describe their approach.▪ To explain why this is the best approach, even if other approaches seem less appropriate E.g. why are interviews the best option when seeking to answer the particular question or why is it better to use one model or framework and not another that appears just as suitable?In every instance it is important to remember that examiners may only award marks for whatthe student actually shows that he or she is capable of, not what the examiner thinks theymight be capable of.Articulation of clients’ value propositionIt is vital that the client’s value proposition is articulated in order to provide a context for thebusiness issue in hand and a means by which to measure the relevance/value of the team’srecommendations.Results of research: outline and discussionAll projects will require research to be carried out, in many forms. This may be a combinationof the pure desk-based research and questionnaire/interview-based primary research amongrelevant stakeholders. The results of the research should be set out clearly and concisely,with correct referencing. Remember to make appropriate use of appendices in order tomaintain the flow of the report.The results should then be discussed and analysed according to the remit of the report.Putting you at the heart of business 18 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  19. 19. Recommendations and conclusionWith the executive summary, this is one of the most important elements of the report and willbe the most keenly analysed. Ensure that your recommendations flow logically from theearlier analysis and that they fit in with the company’s value proposition. A plan forimplementation should be articulated, taking into account the company’s resources.Putting you at the heart of business 19 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  20. 20. Appendix 5Letter of agreement giving ownership of any project IP to the client companyUnless otherwise specified, the IP with any project lies with the student team. If theclient wishes to ensure that any IP created by the project lies with them then thefollowing agreement needs to be signed by the student team and client. This agreementis included here for your information only. If your client requires such an agreementplease see Aidan Hetherington to discuss furtherPlease read the following caveats before signing.• The use of the document represents a bind legal agreement. The student team would be obliged to use reasonable endeavours to undertake the defined project.• The letter does not deal with the payment of any monies. If any money is to change hands, then a suitable provision needs to be attached.• The IP in any project outputs would be owned by the client. This means that the students will be giving up ownership of their work. For example, if the students write a report, then the copyright in that report will belong to the client - the students will have no right to copy/reproduce that report without the clients consent.Template of letter follows on the next page.Putting you at the heart of business 20 Core Course: Consultancy Project
  21. 21. Our ref:[Insert Name and Address of Client]STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL[Insert Date]Dear [Insert Name of Client][insert name and address of client] (“the Client”)[Insert title of project]Further to our recent discussions, we are writing to you to set out our understanding of thebasis on which we have agreed to (i) undertake the Project (as defined below) and (ii) assignthe IPR (as defined below) in the results of the Project to the Client.We shall use reasonable endeavours (bearing in mind the limited resources available to us asstudents at the University of Edinburgh) to undertake the project as detailed in the Scheduleattached to this Letter (“the Project”).All written information, reports or data arising directly from the undertaking of the Project byus, along with any IPR therein, shall be the property of the Client. However, we shall beentitled to keep a copy of such deliverables for record purposes. Subject to obtaining the priorconsent of the Client, we shall be free to use such deliverables for academic publication,education or research.For the purposes of this Letter, “IPR” means patents, trade marks, design rights (bothregistered and unregistered), semiconductor topography rights, copyright, database right, andany other forms of intellectual property protection, whether arising automatically at law orotherwise.We should be grateful if you would confirm your agreement to the terms set out in this Letterby signing below and returning one copy of this Letter to us.Yours sincerely,[To be signed by the students]We, [name of client] accept the foregoing terms contained in this Letter.………………………………….SignatureThis is the Schedule referred to in the foregoing Letter from [insert names of students] and[name of Client] [Copy of Project Description to be inserted]Putting you at the heart of business 21 Core Course: Consultancy Project

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