The Special Industry Project course aims to create and mimic the real-world business environment, providing opportunities for students to take on the role of “consultants” in solving and addressing current business issues. This is a high-intensity, demanding and rigorous course requiring a high level of commitment and high-quality output. The course is application only and team-based.
One industry partner will act as the “client” and will provide the relevant business issue/problem/opportunity for which our students will be designing and developing a solution.
A second partner within the consulting industry will contribute “mentors” who will be in regular contact with the students, supervising each team to support the quality and applicability of their outputs as they develop their final reports. (*NOTE: Mentors do not contribute ideas for solutions, simply supporting the critical thinking and creative problem solving process.)
BENEFITS FOR INDUSTRY PARTNERS
- Having a direct impact on the skill development of ANU students to meet changing workforce needs;
- Access to a large base of students in the areas of Business and Economics and across ANU (long-term) for networking, career development events, membership (if relevant) and recruitment purpose;
- Goodwill generated through internal and external communication about the partnership with ANU
- Low-cost, high-quality business solutions under the supervision of a mentor industry partner
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM INDUSTRY PARTNERS
This course is intended to be highly competitive with the anticipated output to be practical and applicable to your organisation’s issue, thus providing a product equal to that of a paid consulting team. Therefore, we are requesting that a reward is offered to the winning team commending their achievement. Potential prizes could be:
- A cash stipend award in your organisation’s name (for winning team)
- All expenses paid trip to your HQ to pitch to executives
- Internship placement in your organization
- ** OR A prize of your suggestion**
This course will run in Semester 1 (late February – late May) or Semester 2 (late July – late October).
Upon successful completion of the requirements for this course, students should be able to:
- Identify the critical components of the business unit’s issue and/or problem.
- Establish the search strategy to acquire compelling evidence that fosters creative problem solving;
- Apply the appropriate and relevant methods to address the problem;
- Analyse critically the information and data gathered to assist in effective decision-making;
- Construct a professional industry proposal;
- Communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders; and
- Generate awareness of learning (gaps and growth) through critical self-reflection on experiences.
CLIENT BUSINESS PROBLEM
The problem statement helps to define the problem and to focus on the key elements of the project – a clear statement that everyone understands equally is necessary.
A problem statement needs to be SMART:
- Specific - Problem object and owner are clearly defined, without room for interpretation
- Measurable - Problem scale is quantified
- Action-oriented - Problem to be solved clearly is defined as an action to be executed
- Relevant (to the key problem) - Only comments and points directly relating to the problem are mentioned
- Time-bound - Problem timeframe is defined specifically
Problem statements do not include:
- Symptoms -Describes consequences of the problem (e.g. “Yogurt sales have been decreasing”)
- Method - Suggests solution to the problem (e.g “Increasing costs should be limited using cost benchmarking“)
- Solution - Limits possibilities to solve the problem differently, in a more efficient way (e.g. “Revenue decrease should be stopped by targeting middle-aged customers with new products”)
Example Problem statements:
- Bad - Should the Company B improve its deteriorating market position?
- Good - How can the Company B gain market leader position with 30% market share in next 2 years?