will be a group project which consists of several reports focused on
a research task you will perform for a specific client. The project
will take place partly in a real-world setting and partly as a simulation
Documents and Grades
documents included in this project are the following:
Plan (group) 10%
Report (group) 5%
report and Presentation (group) 25%
will be assessed on an individual basis depending on the contribution
of each student. The documents themselves, as well as your final
assessment memo for the project will serve as the basis for determining
both individual and group contributions.
particular, individual grades will be based on the following:
informational and argumentative quality of the report (e.g., relevance
and usefulness of information provided, argument in support of
documentary quality of the report (e.g., its organization, clarity,
readability, design, etc)
quality of the research conducted (e.g., quality and relevance
of information collected, sound methodology used, care taken with
quality of group work (e.g., coordination and cooperation within
the team; fair and equal participation of all)
- Your Company:
313 class and your instructor will form a new company called BCIA,
Business Communication Information Associates. This company exists
to provide its clients (other companies and organizations) with information
useful for improving their communication, especially with regard to
specialty area is computer networking as an aid to business communication.
We tend to focus on how uses of email and the world wide web can
help companies improve internal communications and communication
with their customers.
- Your Role
are a Research Analyst in the Division of Information Services for
BCIA. Your instructor is the Manager of Information Services. Your
primary job function is to locate clients who can benefit from our
services and to write research reports which provide our clients with
useful and relevant information about how to make their organization
- Your Client
first task is to locate a client. Find a company, business, or other
organization (profit or not-for-profit) that might have a use for
our information services. Any company or organization you work for
currently or have worked for in the past would be good places to start.
by thinking of the problems or needs you see in this organization.
You next task is to describe your client's needs or current communication
problem. This will be written up in the form of a proposal to your
manager in BCIA (your instructor) who will decide which projects
the division can accept.
- Getting Started
client's problem or need should drive this project, as it would in
most real-world situations. However, you should also think about a
project you'd like to work on too! The greater your interest and possibly,
the greater you current expertise in the area, the easier this project
will be. Try to pick a company or organization that you have access
to (so that it will be easy to conduct first-hand research). Also,
be sure to pick a problem that is significant, but one that is manageable
to deal with in the short time we have.
you define your client's need, try to develop "researchable"
questions, that is questions that define a specific area of research
of relevance to your client's need to problem. A few examples are
listed below to get your mind thinking in the right direction.
do companies comparable to my client use computer networks?
restaurants, travel agencies (add other companies here) use networked
computers? For what purposes?
frequently do employees in manufacturing use email? Why do they
use it? How vital is it to their day-to-day work?
many hotels use the web? Why do they use it? How integral is it
to their day-to-day operations?
forms of technology are not being used in my client's company
that may benefit them? Should my client implement an email system
or a web site?
- The Proposal
individual proposal should include the following: description of the
client organization (location, size, services/products provided);
the client's specific need or problem; your qualification to conduct
research on this project (either through client knowledge or technology
knowledge); your rationale for the feasibility of this project (discuss
why the division should accept this project, how it is manageable
in the timeframe, why the project is worth pursuing). The proposals
are usually 1-2 pages in length (single-spaced, typed).
that each class member will write a proposal, but the projects will
be group projects after proposals are accepted. This is a competitive
process (about 6-8 of 25 will be accepted) and your proposal must
establish that the project is worth doing, that it's manageable,
and that your are qualified to work on the project.
- The Project
team will need to complete a project plan after work has begun in
order to show the manager they have a plan for completing the project.
This plan should include a plan for conducting research into the client's
need or problem, a schedule for the project, and a task list for assigning
project responsibilities to team members.
plan usually identifies the client and the problem or need being
investigated, the team members involved in the project, the main
research questions the team will pursue, the research sources and
strategies the team will use, any foreseeable problems the team
may encounter, a Gantt or PERT chart outlining their schedule, and
a request for approval of the project. The project plans are usually
2 pages of text with additional pages attached for the schedule
and any other information needed.
- The Progress
progress reports will be completed individually. These should give
an account of both group progress on the project and also individual
contributions to the project thus far. It should contain a discussion
of work completed and work remaining, in addition to any other problems
encountered. A good progress report provides key findings to date
and should give the manager an accurate picture of the project. The
progress reports are usually one page in length.
- The Final
Report and Presentation
will produce a final recommendation report that is ready to hand to
your client. The type of recommendation report you write may depend
on the client you work for, their problem or need, and the status
of your research at the end of the term. You may choose a feasibility
report, which discusses one possible solution in detail, or a comparison
report, which examines several options for their relative advantages.
The final reports average 3-5 pages in length, with additional pages
for visuals, tables, graphs, bibliographies, etc.
will also present your report and research findings to the entire
Information Services Division during the last week of the term.
This will be a group presentation and should last from 10-15 minutes.
It should cover the highlights of the entire report and must include