LO1 Establish project aims, objectives and timeframes based on the chosen theme
What is project management and what does it involve?
The key stages of project management.
The advantages of using project management and why it is important.
Initiation of the project and project planning phase:
Scoping a project − defining objectives, scope, purpose and deliverables to be produced.
Steps and documentation required in the initiation phase.
Developing the project plan, including planning for timescales and time management, cost, quality, change, risk and issues.
The work breakdown structure.
Use of Bar and Gantt Charts for effective planning.
LO2 Conduct small-scale research, information gathering and data collection to generate knowledge to support the project
Project execution phase:
Selecting appropriate methods of information gathering, data collection and material resourcing.
The distinct phases which support a coherent and logical argument.
Use of secondary research to inform a primary empirical study.
Qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Selecting a sample of the consumer market, businesses or individuals (those who meet certain characteristics relevant to the research theme) is used to gather data (qualitative or quantitative).
Sampling approaches and techniques, including probability and non-probability sampling.
Ethics, reliability and validity:
All research should be conducted ethically − how is this achieved and reported?
Research should also be reliable (similar results achieved from a similar sample) and valid (the research should measure what it aimed to measure).
Analysing information and data:
Using data collection tools such as interviews and questionnaires.
Using analytical techniques such as trend analysis, coding or typologies.
LO3 Present the project and communicate appropriate recommendations based on meaningful conclusions drawn from the evidence findings and/or analysis
Consider the method (e.g. written, verbal) and the medium (e.g. report, online, presentation).
Both method and medium will be influenced by the project research and its intended audience.
All findings/outcomes should be convincing and presented logically where the assumption is that the audience has little or no knowledge of the project process.
Developing evaluative conclusions.
Critical and objective analysis and evaluation:
Secondary and primary data should be critiqued and considered with an objective mindset.
Objectivity results in more robust evaluations where an analysis justifies a judgement.
LO4 Reflect on the value gained from conducting the project and its usefulness to support sustainable organisational performance
Reflection for learning and practice:
The difference between reflecting on performance and evaluating a project − the former considers the research process, information gathering and data collection, the latter the quality of the research argument and use of evidence.
The cycle of reflection:
To include reflection in action and reflection on action.
How to use reflection to inform future behaviour, particularly directed towards sustainable performance.
Avoiding generalisation and focusing on personal development and the research journey in a critical and objective way.
Many studies result in generalised findings. Research which has its basis in a specific field such as Human Resource Management (HRM) and in a specific context should avoid generalised conclusions. Outcomes should be specific and actionable.