briefing report addressing a current operations management process

| January 10, 2016

The purpose of this assessment is to be able to assess your written skills in both an academic and business context. It will also provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate relevant professional skills that employers will expect to see from potential employees.

You are to prepare a briefing report addressing a current operations management process/topic that is an issue for the ‘customer’. Within the report, you are to provide evidence of your investigations into the issue, identify the challenges that the issue poses and propose relevant solutions/recommendations that are relevant and appropriate to the evidence presented.

Your target audience will be management personnel of a local SME. Within your briefing report, they will want to see evidence of current research, both industry related as well as relevant academic research.

When writing your briefing report for the company that you have identified, you must ensure that:

• within your report there is also a focus within the field/industry that you are studying as part of your course (i.e. the company and report must be in some way related to what you are studying).

• the briefing report is written in such a way that it will be of interest and relevance to the sector(s) as a whole.

• The company you choose is not one that you have used within previous assessments, nor an issue that you have previously investigated, for any other Level 4 or 5 assessments.

General Information
Students will be required to investigate and research additional information to that covered in lectures and seminars in order to make practical recommendations and demonstrate application of relevant concepts and theories. This means that you will be expected to provide evidence from a range of sources. You will also need to identify an issue that is substantive enough (ie a major operational issue) for you to research and make credible & relevant recommendations about.

Formative assessment opportunities will be provided during the seminars through the completion of case study exercises, presentations, draft online submissions etc.

This must be your own work; i.e. you cannot submit work that is the same as other students or those that you may be working with for other assessments. If you do so, then any such work will be subject to our academic misconduct guidelines & procedures, ie replication, collusion, plagiarism etc.).

The briefing report should be approximately 2500 words and should be written in the 3rd person.

At a minimum, the briefing report should contain the following sections:
• Background Information (company)
• Identified issue (industry & academic research into issue)
• Challenge(s) facing company (as a result of issue or potential issue)
• Conclusions
• Recommendations

However, depending on the nature of the issue you identify and how you want to present the information, you may feel that you want to include additional sections.

You must cite your sources within the briefing paper as well as at the end (in the Harvard method of referencing)
Assessment criteria
For the report, students will be allocated one overall mark. The marking scheme is attached to this assessment brief and students are advised to look at the different categories in detail.

A summary of the key marking areas are as follows:
• Background Information – 15%
• Current ‘Issue’ Research – 20%
• Current Issues & Challenges etc – 20%
• Conclusions & Recommendations – 20%
• Clarity, Professionalism of Report etc – 15%
• References – 10%

% A1 – A2 A3 – A4 B1 – B3 C1 – C3 D1 – D3 F1 – F3

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
• Background to company/sector etc
• Report aims & objectives

Learning Outcomes:
K1, P2
15
Exceptionally clear background of company provided, with report aims & objectives clearly presented. This section very clearly sets the scene for the purpose of the report and would be of interest to the company as well as other companies, both within the sector and in other sectors.
Very clear background to issue and company with report aims & objectives clearly presented. This section very clearly sets the scene for the purpose of the report and would be of interest to the company as well as other companies, both within the sector and in other sectors.
Clear background to issue and company, with good presentation of report aims & objectives. This section clearly sets the scene for the purpose of the report and would be of interest to the company and the sector in which they are operating in.

Relatively clear background to issue and company with report aims & objectives appropriately presented. This section attempts to set the scene for the purpose of the report and would be of general interest to the company, but not necessarily to the wider sector.
Somewhat adequate background to company, with limited clarity to report aims & objectives presented. This section only somewhat sets the scene for the purpose of the report, but is not necessarily aimed at a wider audience.
Inappropriate background to company, with limited to no report aims & objectives presented. This section does not set the scene for the purpose of the report and the audience that it should be targeted for.

IDENTIFIED ISSUE
• Current industry & academic research into identified business issue
• Evidence of additional research

Learning Outcomes:
K1, C1, P2

20
Exceptional use of credible industry and academic research relevant to issue.

Very clear evidence of additional research to support overall arguments being made.

Very good use of credible industry and academic research relevant to issue.

Very clear evidence of additional research to support overall arguments being made.
Good use of credible industry and academic research relevant to issue.

Good evidence of additional research to support overall arguments being made
Some use of credible industry and academic research relevant to issue.

Some evidence of additional research to support overall arguments, although sources somewhat limited in relevance.

Limited use of credible industry and academic research relevant to issue.

Limited evidence of additional research to support overall arguments made.
Limited to no use of credible industry and academic research relevant to issue.
Limited to no evidence of additional research to support overall arguments being made.
CHALLENGES FACED AS A RESULT OF IDENTIFIED ISSUE

• Identification of challenges faced by company
• Implications to company / sector
• Application of research to issues
Learning Outcomes:
K1, C1, P2
20
Excellent identification of current challenges (relating to issue/s identified) faced by company. Resultant implications to company /sector clearly identified & discussed. Excellent application of key theoretical concepts to challenges & implications identified.
Very good identification of current challenges (relating to issue/s identified) faced by company. Resultant implications to company/sector clearly identified & discussed. Very clear application of key theoretical concepts to challenges & implications identified.
Good identification of current challenges (relating to issue/s identified) faced by company. Resultant implications to company/sector identified & discussed. Good application of key theoretical concepts to challenges & implications identified.
Some identification of current challenges (relating to issue/s identified) faced by company. Resultant implications to company/sector generally identified & discussed. Generally appropriate evidence of application of key theoretical concepts to challenges & implications identified.
Somewhat limited identification of current challenges (relating to issue/s identified) faced by company. Resultant implications to company/sector vaguely identified & discussed. Somewhat limited application of key theoretical concepts to challenges & implications identified.
None to limited identification of challenges & implications, nor any discussion.
None to limited additional research to support overall arguments being made.
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT – STR348 INDIVIDUAL REPORT MARKING SCHEME 2015-16

CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMEND’S
• Relevance & appropriateness of conclusions & recommendations to company

Learning Outcomes:
K1, C1, P2
20
Excellent conclusions with range of recommendations that are clearly relevant & appropriate to the company itself, the sector in which they operate, as well as other sectors.
Very good conclusions with range of recommendations that are relevant & appropriate to company itself, the sector in which they operate, as well as other sectors.
Good conclusions with range of recommendations that are relevant to company and the sector that they are operating in.

Appropriate conclusions. Range of recommendations that are generally relevant, but not necessarily to the wider sector.
Somewhat adequate conclusions. Recommendations with limited relevance and not necessarily aimed at the wider audience.
Unacceptable level/range of recommendations made to no recommendations made.
CLARITY
• Overall professionalism of report ‘appearance’
• Organisation of material
• Effectiveness of message to targeted audience (SME’s)

Learning Outcomes:
P1, T1
15
Excellent presentation of key information. Material very clearly organised, with overall arguments and line of reasoning extremely easy to follow. Briefing report presented in a very professional manner and suitable for targeted audience.

Very good presentation of key information. Material very well organised, with overall arguments and line of reasoning easy to follow. Briefing report presented in a very professional manner and suitable for targeted audience.

Good presentation of key information. Material well organised, with overall arguments and line of reasoning easy to follow. Briefing report generally presented in a professional manner suitable for targeted audience.

Acceptable presentation of key information. Material generally organised, with overall line of argument somewhat logical.
Information within briefing report presented acceptably, although not all of it in a professional manner suitable for targeted audience.
Somewhat adequate presentation of key information, although overall arguments & message somewhat confusing to follow.
Evidence somewhat structured, although not necessarily in the coherent or logical manner suitable to be presented to targeted audience.

Unacceptable presentation of key information. Report not presented as a briefing report. Material contained is unorganised and not suitable to be presented to targeted audience.

REFERENCES
• Range of references within the text
• References at the end of the text (ie reference list)
• Harvard method used
Learning Outcomes:
P2
10
An excellent range of references provided (within the text and at the end of the text). All in accordance with the Harvard method of referencing.
Very good range of references provided (within the text and at the end of the text). Very few referencing errors in accordance with the Harvard method of referencing.

A good range of references provided (within the text and at the end of the text). References generally in accordance with the Harvard method of referencing.
An acceptable level of references provided (within the text and at the end of the text). Some errors made with the Harvard method of referencing.
Some references provided (within the text and at the end of the text) with some to many errors with the Harvard method of referencing.
References not provided (within the text and at the end of the text.

Learning Outcomes
This assessment will enable students to demonstrate in full or in part the following learning outcomes identified in the unit descriptor:

Knowledge and Understanding
K1 Acquire and develop an understanding of the process and practice of Operations Management in a range of sectors & situations, including the application of theories to practical business situations.

Cognitive Skills
C1 Apply Operations Management techniques and critically assess them.

Practical and Professional Skills
P1 Actively contribute to group work / discussions, including the ability to present information in a professional manner.
P2 Research key topics using the library, electronic databases and other industry related sources.

Transferable and Key Skills
T1 Acquire and develop relevant employability skills such as teamwork, communication (both written & verbal), problem solving & application of IT skills.

Guidance for submission of work through Turnitin
Students will be required to submit a copy of their work via the Turnitin link on the myCourse STR348 unit page. You are advised to submit your work early in order to ensure that you allow enough time to successful submission.
Extenuating Circumstances
The University’s Extenuating Circumstances procedures are in place if there are genuine circumstances that may have affected students’ academic performance. Remember however students need to be ‘fit to study’, this means that students can either submit their assessed work or declare extenuating circumstances, but cannot do both.

A summary of guidance notes for students is given below:
http://blade2-5.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNSExact=AS/AH/1250002309
Academic Misconduct
Any submissions must be students’ own work and, where facts or ideas have been used from other sources, these sources must be appropriately referenced. The University’s Academic Handbook includes the definitions of all practices that will be deemed to constitute academic misconduct. Students should check this link before submitting their work.

Procedures relating to student academic misconduct are given below:
http://docman.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNS=AS/AH/1234570157

Ethics Policy
The work being carried out by students must be in compliance with the Ethics Policy. Where there is an ethical issue, as specified within the Ethics Policy, then students will need an ethics release or an ethical approval prior to the start of the project.

The Ethics Policy is contained within Section 2S of the Academic Handbook:
http://docman.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNS=1234569791
Anonymous Marking
A copy of the University’s Policy on Anonymous Marking, process details and student guidance on submission sheet completion can be found on the following links, which are also uploaded on the Student Portal. The guidance ‘fact sheet’ will be available at Faculty Reception Points.

Policy: http://docman.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNS=ASQS/AH/1234574213

Process: http://docman.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNS=AS/General/1250004357

Fact Sheet: http://docman.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNS=AS/General/1250004356
Grade marking
The University uses a letter grade scale for the marking of assessments. Unless students have been specifically informed otherwise their marked assignment will be awarded a letter grade. More detailed information on grade marking and the grade scale can be found on myCourse. The guidance ‘fact sheet’ is available at Faculty Reception Points.

Policy: http://docman.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNS=ASQS/AH/1234569864

Fact sheet: http://blade2-5.solent.ac.uk/DocMan8/rns?RNSExact=AS/AH/1234576014

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