- October 3, 2015 at 7:09 am
@denisel – apologies for delayed reply I have been away and needed to catch up on many fronts. However as you will see from the existing Topic 2 forum some of your queries have been answered above.
As you work for the organisation you should have plenty of info to work from so completing in under 7 weeks is feasible (normally it is the research that takes most of the time) and personally I think a couple of weeks needs to be spent on background tasks and planning which you have already done, to produce a good quality RAP 🙂
Your approach appears very sound. The main problem with some topics is that students get carried away with describing what went on rather than doing real analysis, whereas evaluation of the data/information (in this case assessing the actual benefits of the new system) are vital to achieve a pass, however you seem to have factored this aspect in.
My only other suggestion at this stage is that you produce some clear diagrams and/or flow charts so that the reader can flow ‘the trail’. Again students especially those familiar to the process forget that other people have to understand what is going/ has gone on. Where processes are complex this can be taxing for someone who is just presented cold with pages of text. I suggest that you present your work for a review to a friend or relation outside the business a week or so before submission to get them to see if they can follow things as if they can’t there is a high chance the marker won’t be able to either – and a frustrated marker will then be inclined to fail on communication or presentation of the data (assessment criteria 4 or 5).October 3, 2015 at 11:55 am
Thank you for your advice and I certainly will take it on board. Because of my topic a lot of my research is from internal documents i.e. internal audit report giving the recommendations in the first instance, terms of reference from consultant to implement project, internal PI’s showing the improvement or not of invoice processing etc. I am unsure how to reference these documents. I was planning on adding as an appendix, so do I reference both the appendix and the author, year ie (appendix1, Pringle, 2013) or just the appendix. Also, I was thinking on doing a cost benefit analysis, getting the actual costs is not too difficult but for benefits, I would have to apply an estimate of cost i.e time saving, less paper, better control etc. Do you think this would be OK to do.October 4, 2015 at 8:58 am
@denisel – I suggest you reference them as you would a normal document e.g. (Pringle, 2013) in the text and put Pringle, 2013 in your ref list. You could then if you wish additionally insert a footnote against the in text reference (Pringle, 2013) and say at the bottom of the page where it can be found in the Appendices. [Any other problems with referencing refer to the article on our homepage http://www.opentuition.com/obu – the Golden Rules and FAQs (particularly Q10) should help you]
By the way you will have to upload a brief letter from your company stating that they have given permission for you to use their internal reports etc.
Cost benefit analysis sounds good and yes often the benefits are difficult to quantify exactly so estimates provided the assumptions you are making are stated, sensible and reasonable, would be acceptable. Remember too where you can, use graphs rather than copious figures in the text, this will always be preferable.October 5, 2015 at 7:25 pm
Your advise is really good thanks. This question may have been answered before but looking through other posts I can’t find. Do I include the SWOT analysis i.e. the table show the SWOT as part of my RR or do I just give a summary of my findings based on the SWOT in the RR and add the actual table of SWOT as an appendix? Also, same question for a cost benefit analysis?October 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm
hi i decided to do this topic 2 and have chosen a industry leader in the telkom industry.they have introduced a system of mobile money transfer.what primary data would I need to collect and have chosen the business model of porters generic strategy.could you advise if this is an appropriate model. i have not worked in this company nor have access to inside info .
furhanaOctober 6, 2015 at 10:29 am
@furhana-whilst I am the first person to encourage students to choose the topic and company for themselves (rather than a mentor imposing one) you must give a lot of thought to this decision before going ahead.
The main problem here being that as you don’t work for this company you will probably be heavily reliant on the information they put out which might limit your ability to do an effective and objective analysis. This being the case you will need to do as much research as you can to find independent articles that discuss some of the cons as well as the pros of the system so that your report is balanced and does not just describe the benefits.
You may need to do some primary data collection so that you acquire some independent evidence from users of how successful this money mobile system is from their side. I cannot stress too much how important it is that when conducting such a survey to plan it well. With questionnaires it really is garbage in -> garbage out. So many students fail their RAPS because of ill thought through badly worded, ambiguous questions, inappropriate questions, asking people what others think (this then is not evidence of fact but merely a perception of other people’s opinions) and then using what in statistical terms is useless, invalid and unreliable information to try to ‘prove’ something (something clearly, which a poor questionnaire is never going to do). So read Phil Clarke’s article in the Info Pack, and study how to design about 8 to 10 sensible reliable questions (which you should test out first before the main survey to ensure they are not ambiguous and can easily be understood and answered). You will also need to include your raw data in the appendices. I haven’t myself used survey monkey but this might be one way of conducting such data collection.
As for the model chosen, you have to apply this so you should see whether the key features of your chosen company and its strategies are appropriate (read the last few CEO and Directors reports in the last 2 annual reports to see what the company direction is and how it views itself in terms of strategies). Remember some theorists’ models only fit companies producing a tangible product not a service so no one model can be prescribed for T2.
I hope I am not coming over as too negative but I want you to be aware of potential problems and difficulties upfront so you can avoid them and are fully aware of any pitfalls. (Tutors from The Learning Luminarium have set out a good article on their website listing 5 commen causes of failure which is well worth reading)
https://learningluminarium.com/2015/07/03/5-main-reasons-failure/October 7, 2015 at 9:33 am
thank you for giving me a lot of food for thought. u were a great help.January 13, 2016 at 6:02 pm
Thanks to opentuition for this platform.
Hello, Please, I chose topic 2.
Project title: AN EVALUATION OF HOW THE INTRODUCTION OF A NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CAN ASSIST THE EASTERN REGIONAL BRANCH OF HFC BANK GHANA TO ACHIEVE ITS BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to assess how the introduction of IT has helped banks to create more satisfied customers. Specific objectives include;
1. To examine the usage of IT products among the customers of HFC bank in the Eastern region of Ghana.
2. To identify the satisfaction level of customers with regards to the use of HFC bank information technology products.
3. To examine the challenges customers encounter with regards to the use of HFC bank’s IT products.
The study seeks to answer the following questions in order to achieve the above objectives:
1. How are customers of HFC bank in the Eastern region using the IT products of the bank?
2. What is the satisfaction level of customers of HFC bank with respect to the use of the bank’s technology product?
3. What challenges do customers encounter with regards to the use of HFC bank’s IT products?
Is there any problem with my project title?
Are there any problems, omissions or additions to the study objectives and research questions above?
Finally, can electronic banking(such as the use of ATMs, E-switch, Telephone banking, internet banking,mobile banking and funds transfer) be a new information technology?
Thank you so much.June 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm
@Trephena@HammadAhmed Qureshi wanted to use the PESTEL and SWOT models should I apply this on the organisation or the New technology only. I find it hard to use the PESTEL and SWOT analysis on the technology only without linking it with the organisation e.g they have been an outcry from some taxpayers on the authority enforcing the use of the new technology only those taxpayers who are not politically connected to the people in govt.July 14, 2017 at 8:10 am
l have chosen topic 2,is it possible for me to use an a car assembly company that has just introduced a modern piece of equipmentJuly 16, 2017 at 6:53 am
Apologies for the delay in responding. Yes this is probably suitable for Topic 2. Bear in mind the full topic title so you will need to connect back to the company objectives when reviewing the analysis.
However you could also look at whether what you are planning to do fits more comfortably with Topic 14, as depending on what the new technology is it could also be a strategic investment decision. (Sometimes depending on the company there can be an overlap between project titles so consider which meets the circumstances better).
I’ll search our archives for any other previous queries on T2 and as you opened (probably accidentally) another thread on the same topic I’ll merge it with our existing archived material so it will appear as a current topic. In the meantime if you decide to go with Topic 14 let me know and I can similarity being the archived material back. 🙂July 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm
thank you very muchFebruary 27, 2018 at 5:25 am
@trephena Hello, I’m thinking to choose Topic 2, hope you could help me with my question. I wonder whether a School/Faculty of an University is considered an organization? For example, I’m working in one Faculty/School of the University, but the University has total of 12 Schools/Faculties. My question is, is it ok if my RAP only focus on the school that I work with? Because I won’t have access to all information to the entire University, but only the school I’m employed.
The University is planning to implement a new Finance/HR system, but it still at the very early stage. I could gather the information about the new system, and data about our current status, but will not have any end results of the implementation as it will take 3-4 years for the entire University to roll it out. Do you think I could do my RAP with current information?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!February 28, 2018 at 10:50 am
Sorry but from the information you have supplied I don’t think this would result in a successful outcome.
The reason I say this is that you must submit a Research and ANALYSIS Report whereas it sounds as if most of your proposed report would be just research. You really need some end results to analyse and evaluate and demonstrate some original input from you otherwise you are just describing the set-up and situation. The Information Pack makes it very clear that you cannot just report what you found. See my article on Evaluation and Analysis on our homepage http://www.opentuition.com/obu
Sorry but I don’t want you to end up wasting your efforts and being frustratedMarch 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm
@trephena Thank you so much for your advice! I think I need to reconsider other topics then. Could you also answer my the other question? I wonder whether a School/Faculty of an University is considered an organization? For example, I’m working in one Faculty/School of the University, but the University has total of 12 Schools/Faculties. My question is, is it ok if my RAP only focus on the school that I work with? Because I won’t have access to all information to the entire University, but only the school I’m employed.
Thanks again for your help!March 6, 2018 at 10:44 am
This would probably depend on topic chosen. For example there would be no problem using your department for Topic 6 on motivation provided you just mentioned in the limitations to your research that as it was confined to this one department the findings may not necessarily be applicable to the whole organisation.
If there had been a strategic investment decision that only affected this one faculty then again that might be acceptable as long as you considered the limitations in the data and any inferences drawn. However as with your original proposal you need to have sufficient data to work with, develop and produce some original analysis / critical thought of your own rather than just report secondary data obtained from research.April 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm
What are the business models which can be used to evaluation of the T2
I’m hoping to do Evaluate the introduction of card-less transaction system to a local bank to achieve their business objectives.
Please help!April 4, 2019 at 8:39 am
GillianM – OBU Registered MentorModerator
Do a search on ‘Change Management Models’ . Also go to ‘Google Scholar’ to look for relevant theoretical information as you should make some reference where appropriate to the work of Kotter, Lewin, McKinsey etc or some other well known writers on the topic.April 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm
I have chosen Topic 2 for my RAP and have selected a certain company . It is a printing and publishing company (manufacturing company) . They print flyers, newspapers and books from the start(planning and ideas) , up to final product.
They have had high competition from similar printing companies,and clients also move away from their services to that of neighboring countries, whose services seem cheaper due to exchange rate differences, and realized that their production capacity and services were not up to date.
So they have invested in a large scale machinery imported from Germany with high cost, but promising results of higher speed, quality and capacity, with the ability to package print on cardboard and glasses as well.
However, the results achieved were not in line with expectations as sales have not increased, and moreover there were high costs due to the need for a large scale retrenchment( financial objectives), though higher speed, quality and capacity have been achieved (non-financial objectives).
My question is, is this type of company relevant to the topic, and please assist me in forming the right questions to be able to gather the necessary information to write 7500 words.
For example what sort of documents would I need to ask for, how can I asses whether objectives have been met,what sort of models can I apply, and any any other relevant data I need to gather to write my report?April 22, 2019 at 9:17 am
Sorry for the late response but I assume you are preparing for a P39 submission? I am wondering if this scenario might be more appropriate to Topic 14. Normally for either T2 or T14 you need detailed financial information and access to internal Information to help you evaluate the consequences of the change in technology / investment decision. Forecasts and budgets would often form part of this and with possibly some application of sensitivity analysis of the forecasts.
Take a look at change management and that might give you some ideas on appropriate models.
From a practical point of view neither Topic 2 nor 14 are popular topics (because the majority of students do not have direct access to first-hand info) and you will find most mentors will try to push you into another topic… on one of our forums a student found herself handing over a not inconsiderable sum (for mentioning on one of the more unusual topics) and then being shoved into doing Topic 8 because the mentor was incapable of doing any other topic.
If you need a high grade then ensure you establish some of the parameters before you part with your cash and get a reputable mentor -it will take an experienced mentor to help you achieve a high grade.April 22, 2019 at 9:14 pm
@trephena Thank you for replying. Now that you mentioned it, I like the idea of doing T14 with the same company.
Please explain to me what exactly T14 is asking for.
However, will it still be relevant for T14 in regard to the following:
1) Is buying technology which costs around P25m considered strategic investment?(isn’t strategic investment like investing in another company?)
2) The company has agreed to give access to every info like feasibility report, proposal plans and such, however, with regard to having access to detailed financial information, since the company has other activities including printing the weekly advertiser branches and many others, they said that without giving the overall consolidated accounts, they can only give the relevant departmental accounts which will show performance before and after implementation of technology.
Is it okay if I use only certain departments comparative figures?
3) Would T14 still be relevant if, even though a strategic investment was made, it hasn’t had much impact on the company sales and such?
4) Are PESTEL and SWOT relevant models to use for T14?
RegardsApril 23, 2019 at 4:04 pm
A strategy is a course of action taken by a company to help it fulfil the objectives of the company.
A strategic investment is a material amount spent on a specific strategy. It does not necessarily mean that it has to be in another company as it could be about entering a new market, developing a new product or diversification or in your company’s case to try to ensure survival (by the sound of it).
There does tend to be an overlap between some of the topic titles so in normal circumstances you could probably make a case out for either Topic 2 or 14. However Topic 2 ‘An evaluation of how the introduction of a new technology can assist an organisation in achieving its business objectives’ seems to anticipate that the new technology will have brought the desired results (more sales and profit)
Whereas Topic 14 ‘An appraisal of the business and financial objectives of a strategic investment decision made by an organisation and its impact on key stakeholders’ seems to cater for a negative outcome (even though of course a positive one would have been desired)
Whilst you can do a preliminary SWOT and PESTEL I would expect as part of the financial evaluation to see use of breakeven analysis, payback periods (perhaps with discounted cash flow if the project was funded by borrowing), so if the data you would have access to would allow you to do some of this then you would be in OK. The trick with doing many of the more ‘unusual’ topics is to ensure that you do adequate analysis of this type and not just describe what went on. However with the ability to access a lot of primary data you do seem to have most of what is required to produce a decent report provide you can extrapolate the relevant figures.April 23, 2019 at 8:57 pm
1) So the topic is asking, how the strategic investment decision has achieved their business and financial objectives( whether profits/sales increased or not, position of company in the market, and so on) and impacted their key stakeholders?
2) Since the company has not undergone any change with their departments or operations since the new machine was parallel running with the old machines until full implementation, change management models would not be necessary right?
3.1) Right now I only gave access to the primary data that they will give. When I have to reference something from their financial accounts, can I just say (PPCB, 2018) without including the copy of accounts in the appendix since the accounts are not the main requirement in the question?
3.2) In relation to information from reports or project proposals also, do I reference it as (PPCB, 2018)?
3.3) Are the words, for example, “(PPCB, 2018)” included in the word count as 2 words?
3.4) After entering “(PPCB, 2018)” in the report, do I have to include a copy of the page of the project proposal in the appendix since it is a private ltd company and OBU won’t know whether I am making a proper reference?
4) When collecting information for the project, it is best to get it from a variety of sources including web search and books…can you please recommend me any methods to get other secondary research methods or any websites with good articles to refer to?
Sorry for the overwhelming number of questions. Your assistance is highly appreciated.
RegardsApril 25, 2019 at 7:50 pm
2. No but you will be expected to demonstrate business techniques such as break-even, payback period as mentioned previously
3.1 You will be expected to supply a letter from the company on their company letterhead to certify that you have been given permission to use company data. You will be expected to include some raw data otherwise your figures cannot be checked
3.2 Yes but remember each document has to have a unique reference (see our reference guide on our homepage)
3.3. Yes that would be 2 words
3.4 Normally the documents need to be included – you may redact anything that is ultra sensitive
4. Not specifically but you could look for articles about different approaches to investment appraisal. You mightalso find something relating to academic papers on investment appraisal using the search engine ‘Google Scholar’May 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm
Is it possible for a successful topic 2 where the implementation is only now in early stages, so would focus on analyzing the many reasons for change, the benefits that the system will/should bring to companies business objectives and steps taken to be ready for the change. I work for the company I am thinking of focusing on so access to information is not an issue, many thanks in advance
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