You must complete eleven assignments for this course, as listed here and described in detail below.
1. Group Project
a. Mission and Vision Fit
b. Project Organization Scorecard
c. Group Project Plan
d. Group Project Plan Presentation
e. Group Final Report
f. Group Final Presenation
g. Self Evaluation (to be completed by you independently)
2. Case HWs (four total, to be completed by you independently)
**All written assignments are due in class at the beginning of class, printed in hard copy, double-sided, no cover page. Email copies in lieu of hard copies will incur a 5% penalty. Late work, by contrast, can and must be submitted by email.**
A main vehicle for your learning in this course is the completion of a group project in an external organization. I have arranged four projects so that you will lose no time in finding one of your own. You will hear a description of each project the first day of class and choose a project at that time.
Seven assignments involve this group project. For written assignments, make sure you follow good practice in labeling all graphics and referring to them explicitly and thoroughly in your text. Allow sufficient white space around all graphics to enhance their effect. Use section headings to help organize and break up text, being consistent in formatting for headings at the same level. Proofread your work diligently. Although multiple team members will contribute to the text, the assignments should flow with a single voice; thus, you need to allot time for the smooth integration of contributions. Similar admonishments hold for your verbal and visual presentations.
In addition, you must hold a minimum of three meetings with your field sponsor as follows:
First Meeting (prior to 1/27). At this meeting, you should introduce yourselves to your sponsor and communicate your enthusiasm for this project and your appreciation of the sponsor’s time and effort in working with you. Retrieve, at a minimum, the organization’s mission, vision, and values statements (try to find these on the web prior to your meeting, then confirm them), the organization’s balanced scorecard (if they have one) and related strategic planning materials, and a more complete understanding of the project. Go over the course timeline with the sponsor and arrange your second meeting. Your sponsor may wish to meet more frequently than I specify, perhaps weekly; remember that these interactions are key opportunities for your learning.
Second Meeting (prior to 2/10). At this meeting, you should confirm your understanding of the project’s scope, fit with the organization’s strategy, expected deliverables, timeline, and the like. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that all parties are on the same page with respect to the project plan. You may invite your sponsor to your class presentation if you like; I would welcome his or her presence.
Third Meeting (prior to 4/21). At this meeting, you should confirm your accomplishments, their meaning and impact in preparation for your final report and presentation. Seek the sponsor’s judgment of your performance. If you faced obstacles that proved problematic, do not avoid discussing them with your sponsor; rather, take this opportunity to gain his or her perspective on what tactics might have worked better. You may invite your sponsor to your class presentation if you like; I would welcome his or her presence.
I expect that you will devote several hours each week per team member on this project in addition to your reading and case assignments for class discussions. Your commitment to, and resourceful performance on, this project will not only greatly aid your learning, but will also reflect well on you and the school. You will have one scheduled group meeting with me (in class, week 9); others can be arranged if desired.
Mission and Vision Fit
Your first project assignment is to write a statement (300 words minimum) showing how the project that your group has taken on fits with the mission and vision of the parent organization. Why is this project important to the organization? How does it map onto their strategy? What will it help them achieve? Use no cover sheet and indicate word count.
Project Organization Scorecard
For this assignment, you must create a balanced scorecard for the parent organization of your project. If the organization already has one, please do not examine it until you have completed your own. Then, you might compare the two, note differences and similarities, and discuss which one you think is more accurate or useful. Submit your scorecard with a narrative describing it. Use no cover sheet and indicate word count (300 words minimum).
Group Project Plan
In this document, you should describe the purpose of your project and its fit with the organization’s strategy; you should include a description of the organization, its mission and vision. (You may borrow here from your first two assignments.) Lay out the scope of the project: What will it include? What related activities or tasks will it not include and why not? Detail your plan of work, including a Gantt chart; describe how you will divide work amongst your team members. Describe your expected interactions with your sponsor (how often will you meet, what will the sponsor’s role be). Finally, list and describe the expected deliverables from your project. How will you, your parent organization, and the class come to understand whether or not you are successful in this project? Use no cover sheet and indicate word count (600 words minimum).
Group Project Plan Presentation
Prepare and give a verbal and visual presentation to the class that relays the information included in your written project plan. You may use whatever presentation technologies you wish, with the caveat that you should practice their use prior to the presentation day to ensure they work smoothly. Plan to give no more than a 15-minute presentation to allow ample time for questions and answers afterward. You are limited to one handout, which may be double-sided. Employ a layout that will facilitate retention and later reference, not one that will cram in additional, uncovered material. I alone will evaluate your presentation according to the metrics listed on the evaluation sheet at the end of the syllabus.
Group Final Report
Write up thoroughly your project, including material from the project plan, expanded now to include details of what you did, how you did it, and what the results were. Describe obstacles you faced not as an excuse for suboptimal achievement, but as a demonstration of the kinds of issues that arose and how you dealt with them (successfully or not). Include a discussion of what you learned as a team. For this assignment alone, you may use a single cover sheet (but no folder, paper cover, or special binding); indicate word count (1500 words minimum).
Group Final Presentation
Prepare and give a verbal and visual presentation to the class that relays the information included in your final report. You may use whatever presentation technologies you wish, with the caveat that you should practice their use prior to the presentation day to ensure they work smoothly. Plan to give no more than a 15-minute presentation to allow ample time for questions and answers afterward. You are limited to one handout, which may be double-sided. Employ a layout that will facilitate retention and later reference, not one that will cram in additional, uncovered material. The class and I will evaluate your presentation according to the metrics listed on the evaluation sheet at the end of the syllabus.
Write an essay (minimum 500 words) describing your performance in your group. Use no cover sheet and indicate word count.
Note, I am not asking for a summary of how your group performed nor do I want an accounting of which tasks you did and which others did. Rather, I am looking for in-depth reflection about your performance as a group member: I want to know about the group’s dynamics and your role in them.
For example, if you had a personality conflict with someone that led to problems in your presentation, summarize what happened and why you think it did. Where did you fall down in dealing with this person? I don’t want to read about someone else’s inadequacies; I want to read about the challenges this person posed for you and how you successfully or unsuccessfully dealt with those challenges. What might you try differently next time? What do you need to think about in terms of your own behavior and performance in groups going forward?
If everything went really smoothly, why was that? Think about your group’s interpersonal interactions, personality types, project planning, use of time, strategies, skills, and so on. Do not assume in this positive case that you simply were a great group member with great colleagues; instead, think about what went well so that you can be on the lookout in future groups for ways to establish similar conditions.
Statements like, “I learned that not everyone works as hard or as fast as I do so I am going to have to take on more of the work,” reflect a lot less self-discovery than statements like, “I recognized – too late – that people have different ideas of what a comfortable timeline is and that I get really anxious and angry when I think work is late. I need to learn how to communicate my worries so that I don’t end up being irritable with and resentful towards my teammates.” In short, focus on improving the situation not by expecting others to change or by you taking on a disproportionate share of the workload, but by communicating openly with your team to develop work routines and project timelines that work for everyone.
These four assignments are meant to foster your understanding of the business cases that we will read and discuss by asking you to consider specific questions relevant to the case prior to coming to class. Answer the questions below. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Use no cover sheet and indicate word count for each assignment (200 words minimum each).
Case HW #1 Otago Museum
In class, we will build a Balanced Scorecard for the museum. To that end, answer these questions:
- What is the museum’s strategic objective?
- From a learning and growth perspective, what does the museum want to achieve?
- How might the museum measure the public’s satisfaction with its performance?
- What does the museum want to achieve with respect to:
- Its permanent collection and special exhibits?
- Its physical environment?
- Its retail operations?
- What funding and revenue opportunities exist for the museum?
Case HW #2 Museum of Fine Arts Boston
- What is your evaluation of Malcolm Rogers’ leadership of the MFA since his arrival in 1994?
- Were Special Exhibitions a good way of attracting a larger audience pool to the museum? How successful were they at the MFA?
- What should the museum do to address the decline in the core audience over the years? What can we infer from Exhibits 6, 7, and 8?
- How should the museum position itself for the 2010 opening of the American Art wing? For example, should it stay the course, drastically reposition around American History and Art, incorporate a heavy dose of avant-garde works of art, expand the interactive program in music and theatre, or some other option?
Case HW #3 Let’s Talk Science
- What marketing challenge does LTS face?
- Does the training package (Science with Impact) meet the needs of its target audience? Does it fit with the company’s overall strategy?
- What does LTS need to consider when determining the price of Science with Impact? Do you agree with the proposed price? Justify your position.
- Will the proposed promotion plan be effective? Why? What else could be done to promote the product?
- Should LTS sell SWI in the Unites States and the United Kingdom? Why or why not?
Case HW #4 Financial Department Restructuring at the Field Museum
- What impact can large-scale organizational change have on everyday management, as illustrated in this case?
- What is the role of leadership in a crisis? How well did Jim Croft carry out this role?
- What were Croft and his change team attempting through their use of the congruence model?
- What are some of the challenges inherent in informal personnel networks?
- Why do you think the team looked for some quick wins?
Group Project Presentation Evaluation
Group Topic ___________________________________________________________
Provide a score for each area below according to the following scale:
10 Absolutely, Well Done, Perfect!
9.5 Excellent, Just Needs a Little Tweaking
9 Very Much So, But One or Two Non-Critical Issues
8.5 More or Less So, But a Couple Key Weaknesses
8 Not Exactly, Multiple Problems
7.5 Absolutely Not, Far Below Expectations
Delivery, Visual Aids, and Engagement Score ______
- Was the verbal delivery good in terms of pace, volume, intonation and the like?
- Was the nonverbal delivery good in terms of confidence, gestures, movement, use of space, eye contact, and the like?
- Were the visual aids helpful, supportive, clear and easily understood?
- Did the presenters engage the audience’s attention?
Content, Organization, and Goal Achievement Score ______
- Was the content appropriate and sufficient?
- Was the material organized coherently, with clear relationship between ideas, sound segues between sections, and strong introduction and conclusion?
- Did the presentation meet its intended objective?
Total Score (max 20) ______