MBA Global - Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship in a Global Context
Module Leader: Dr Dominic Page
Assessment Brief: Consultancy Project
Submission Date: Friday 7th February 2020
Word Count: 3500
This does not include references, tables or appendices.
You decided to tender for the opportunity to work as a consultant for British Telecom and provide advice regarding the successful change management of the organisation as it looks to respond to an increasingly uncertain external environment. In particular, BT are interested in supporting them in the creation of a transformed operating model. They are in the process of creating a leaner and more agile organisation. In particular, they are interested in having fewer, bigger, more accountable leadership roles, simplifying, and delayering their management structure in order to create an innovative and responsive organisation. BT have taken significant steps towards this ambition stating:
“Our investments are delivering for the business and we expect them to support our goal of sustainable, profitable revenue growth. Combined with a continued focus on cost transformation across the group, we aim to grow our EBITDA. This will drive long-term cash flow growth for the business. We will continue our prudent financial policy of investing in our business, reducing net debt, supporting the pension fund and paying progressive dividends.”
Further details are available here: https://www.btplc.com/Thegroup/Ourcompany/Chartingourprogress/index.htm
Strategically, BT has recently focused on directly addressing the potential offered by Digital Transformation, an 9th October 2019, BT launched a range of new products, services and skills programmes to help boost the UK’s potential.
The announcements were part of BT’s ongoing transformation and is aimed at improving mobile and fixed connectivity, set a new standard for customer experience, and provide digital skills for 10 million people and businesses. BT is also changing the way people and businesses interact with its products and services on the high street, in communities, within the workplace and even in people’s homes.
“We’re helping families and communities across the UK, and companies in Britain and around the world, to remove the barriers of today to realise the potential of tomorrow,” said Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT. “We’re starting a journey today with real changes that will have a positive impact for people and businesses - connecting more customers to full fibre, boosting customers’ speeds right across the UK, keeping customers connected wherever they are with our new converged Halo products, and helping to give them the skills to make the most of today’s connected world.”
Full details of the new strategic approach adopted by BT can be found here:
In support BT have also provided you with full details of their current position, market context, and digital transformation, here; https://www.btplc.com/Sharesandperformance/Financialreportingandnews/Quarterlyresults/2019-2020/Technologybusinessbriefing/Downloads/Slides/Technology-BusinessBriefing-25June-final.pdf
Importantly, they recognise that the most important element that is necessary to facilitate success in this journey to deliver this strategy is Leadership, Culture and Mindset. In particular, they are seeking support in the following key areas:
- Part 1) Please evaluate and provide a summary of BT’s current strategic position. BT are seeking support in identifying the key challenges that are faced by the leadership team at BT in the immediate future.
- Part 2) BT wish to strengthen capability through strategic and disruptive hiring of people into key leadership roles. BT which to create a culture of innovation, flexibility and intrapreneurship, through all elements of their business. They wish to seek advice and guidance as to the key leadership capabilities necessary to operate in the context of BT’s current internal and external environment. Please provide advice as to how this can be achieved.
- Part 3) BT operate in a global competitive environment and in multiple countries across a range of cultures. Please provide advice as to an appropriate model suitable for operating in a global context.
- Part 4) BT is seeking to undertake a range of significant acquisitions and/or mergers to maximise their competitive advantage in a challenging market. Please provide advice as to how to manage this change process effectively.
What is a Consulting Project?
A consulting project is a multi-week, project between a client and a consultant/ team of consultants whose goal is to solve a key problem faced by the firm. The project is created to provide the client with an external expert opinion on a matter of an operational or strategic importance. The project may target long term strategic planning (for example, a ten-year product strategy plan), or more immediate goals such as cost reduction, mergers or acquisitions, or corporate restructuring. The value a consulting team provides not only includes an in depth and external analysis of the problem but also an assessment on the ramifications associated with implementing a particular plan.
Stages of engaging in a consultancy project:
Defining the Problem
One of the most critical stages in a project’s life cycle is defining the problem that needs to be solved. An erroneous definition, or misalignment of expectations during the early stages of a project may lead to months of futile work. Although a client will hire a consultant with a defined problem in mind, a good consultant can quickly differentiate problem symptoms from causes and work with the client to expand or redefine the project scope. Moreover, at the outset of a project it is very important to define what questions need to be addressed, what work methods will be employed, what data sources and corporate resources are available, and what ultimately will be the final work deliverable.
Data Gathering and Research
During the project’s early stages, the consultant’s primary objective will be to familiarize themselves with the organisation, the challenges it faces and the market context of the organisation. Research will help define the key strategic problems that need to be addressed. In parallel, in-depth research regarding industry and market trends will be conducted alongside a review of previous projects of a similar nature. A strong consulting team will leverage its research skills to identify similar projects in order to obtain a larger perspective, and apply best-practice from the academic literature.
Upon completing the data gathering and analysis exercise a final presentation will be composed summarizing the efforts, results, implications, and recommendations. One of the core assets consultants develop, and make them highly prized in industry, is the ability to take complex information and analyses and boil them down to straightforward presentations with recommendations.
Along with an individual written proposal, groups will present their findings initial in the final seminars. This is your formative assessment to support your individual write up.
Assessment for Consultancy Project
The assessment for this project is worth 50% of the final module mark and as outline above is a maximum of 3500 words. A template is provided below:
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (Max 150 words: does not count)
This section should summarise the key points of your proposal including;
• Brief summary of the clients requirement
• Summary of what you propose
• Principal strengths of your company/proposal
• Budget and time estimates or quotation
2. Introduction (Max 250 words)
Description of customers business and principle issues or requirements. Part 1 of project
3. Project Details (parts 2, 3, 4 of project) 3250 words max.
This may require several sections depending on the scope of the project. Try to keep paragraphs to a reasonable length (no more than a third of a page long) and don’t go in for too many levels of sub-heading, any more than 3 levels of heading is very difficult to read. Use bulleted or number lists and tables to set points out clearly.
4. COST ESTIMATE (tabulated)
Set out a detailed estimate for effort, timescales, costs etc. broken down so the client can see what each part of the project will cost. If there are any unknown factors that might increase, costs state these here.
4. Project Plan (tabulated) – this is not included in your word count
Set out when tasks will be done and by whom.
Assessment Criteria and weighting for Consultancy Project.
For each criterion you will be assigned a grade from A – F.
1) Do the consultants clearly outline the organizational problem that is at hand?
a. Have they fully understood the issues outlined in the case study?
b. Have they identified the client’s requirements? (20%)
2) Have the consultants identified their own relevant strengths and experiences?(10%)
3) Have the consultants effectively engaged in research (both academic and organizational) to support recommendations made?(25 %)
4) Have the consultants presented meaningful findings and recommendations based on the literature and organizational/ industry research?(25%)
5) Have the consultants effectively presented their work to the clients?(20%)
Criteria A B C D E/F
Outlining the organizational issues at hand Excellent capture and presentation of organizational issues, drawing on the case and further pertinent sources. Full and realistic comprehension of client requirements. Very good articulation of organizational issues. A good and robust understanding of customer requirements Adequate coverage of the organizational issues, some understanding of customer requirements but with omissions Limited coverage of the relevant organizational issues and customer requirements. Poor coverage of both organizational issues and customer requirements, overly broad and descriptive presentation
Identifying own strengths and weaknesses Pragmatic evaluation of strengths and weaknesses, reflecting on key issues and ways to improve. Good attempt to assess own strengths and weaknesses with some effort to reflect on key issues and ways to improve. Some effort to assess own strengths and weaknesses but with need to develop it more. No development beyond a limited description of strengths or weaknesses. No link to project requirements made. No consideration of personal strength and weaknesses
Engagement with research Clear evidence of wide reading and a willingness to draw on and effectively use a range of academic and professional sources construct a balanced, persuasive pitch. Evidence of wider reading, beyond course materials, and an ability to draw on this to construct a generally convincing pitch. Some effective use of course materials, some evidence of reading although not always used effectively and/or wider reading needed. Limited use has been made of the course material and/or there is a lack of understanding in places. Very limited wider reading and/or inappropriate sources drawn upon.
Insufficient evidence of reading and /or understanding of the literature. Over-reliance on inappropriate sources.
Meaningful findings and recommendations informed by relevant literature Clear and convincing. Recommendations are firmly grounded and supported by literature. Clear demonstration of the benefits and potential limitations of proposed recommendations. Clearly based on managing people Clear but at times a lack of evidence to support recommendations made. Some critical evaluation but at times descriptive. Recommendations are rather descriptive and are not based sufficiently on evidence base. Recommendations made, but often fail to consider people management. No meaningful recommendations made. No consideration of the role of people management
Presentation Excellent and professional presentation. Clear and concise material. Convincing argumentative strategies adopted. Effectively structured presentation Professional, clear and well-structured presentation, but areas could have been more convincingly presented. Clearly structured presentation but lacking in sufficient evidence to develop an effective argument for the presentation to convince clients of proposals. Unclear and at times the link to the requirements of the clients is not clear. Muddled and confused presentation. Relevance to client requirements not apparent