4.2.3 Restating the problem

If your analysis of the problem and its possible causes is thorough, it should enable you to rewrite the problem statement to include the causes. If you can clarify your objective by defining a desired end-state, you are more likely to produce a good solution.


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4.2.2 Identifying possible causes

The possible causes of a problem can be written onto Post-it notes or similar, and arranged on a flipchart or whiteboard in the form of a ‘fishbone diagram’. This can be a useful method to help a group to examine causes of problems, and perhaps also to clarify your own thoughts. Figure 4 shows a fishbone diagram prod
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2.7 Tracking progress

Gantt charts and critical path diagrams are useful for tracking project activity and for making necessary changes to the project plan. Project-planning software may also be used; the original chart is kept as the standard and any modifications are superimposed.

The example of the joint strategy for commissioning training services demonstrates how tracking produced information that led to a change of plan.

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2.2.1 Gathering information

Successful control of a project depends on the flow of information, so it is important to have systems in place to make sure that you get feedback on what is happening. If the project team is meeting regularly to review progress, monitoring becomes more dynamic and changes to the plan can be achieved by consensus. Involving the team not only helps to keep everyone on target – it also builds commitment.

Monitoring is the most important activity during the implementation phase of a proj
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • contribute to the implementation of project activities

  • monitor, and recommend adjustments to activities, resources and plans

  • maintain communications with project stakeholders

  • contribute to developing solutions to project problems.


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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Computing and IT. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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2.8.1 A case study

Figure 18 shows part of a critical path for converting surplus retail space into a warehouse. Each task is represented by an arrow; the length of an arrow does not relate to the duration of the task. The junctions (called nodes) where arrows meet would normally be num
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1.2 Time series line graphs

In time series line graphs, data are plotted or organised along a time dimension. Time series graphs are used for displaying data that show cyclical fluctuations or changes, such as growth, over time. Suppose that you wanted to present the data shown in Table 2 as a gra
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6 Course questions

Try to answer the following questions:

Question 1

What is meant by ‘social cognitive theory’?

Answer

Social cognitive theory describes how an
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3.4 The importance of understanding attitudes

One of the most important phenomena for a social marketer to understand is that of ‘attitudes’. Having said this, this is not a straightforward issue as there is much disagreement about the nature of attitudes, how they are formed, and how they determine our behaviour. Attitude theory research is a key focus for consumer behaviour theorists and derives from the field of psychology.

There are many definitions of attitude, for example, ‘the predisposition of the individual to evalua
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3.3 The importance of understanding motivation

Personal characteristics in Figure 1 combine both psychological and personal factors. Two important factors which drive behaviour are motivation and attitudes.

MacFadyen et al. (1998) (see Author(s): The Open University

3.1 Introduction

Andraesen (1995) states that for the social marketer ‘consumer behaviour is the bottom line’ (p. 14). In order to understand how to develop programmes that will bring about behavioural change we need to understand something about the nature of behaviour. The consumer behaviour literature typically borrows from the fields of sociology, psychology and social anthropology amongst others. There is a vast, and growing, body of knowledge on the subject and a few of the main elements will be dis
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4 Identifying deliverables

The project brief will identify the goals of the project and may express some of these as key objectives. At an early stage of planning you will need to identify all of the project objectives and the deliverables that are implied or required from each objective.

Each objective will identify a clear outcome. The outcome is the deliverable. In some cases, the outcome will be some sort of change achieved and in other cases it will be the production of something new. In either case, the pro
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3.3 Using a logic diagram to identify key stages

To use a bottom-up approach to planning, the activity schedule is best compiled by drawing on the collective experience and knowledge of the project team that is going to carry out the tasks. Grouping their ideas into related tasks will remove duplication and you can then start to identify activities which have to run in series and those that could run concurrently. Some tasks have to be sequential because they are dependent on one another: you can't put the roof on a house until you have wal
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3.2 The project plan

Although there are many approaches to planning a project, there are seven elements that are normally included in a project plan:

  • a work breakdown structure to show separate tasks and activities;

  • the team structure and responsibilities of key people;

  • an estimate of effort and duration for each task;

  • a schedule to show the sequence and timing of activities;

  • details of resources to be allocated t
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2.2 The classic six-stage project management model

This model also consists of stages, but, unlike the sequential flow of the project life-cycle, the six-stage model assumes that some stages are carried out simultaneously. In particular, the model (Figure 3) assumes that communications will take place throughout the project. It also assumes that team building, leading and motivati
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce materia
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Business & Management. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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1.2 Staying private – private equity and venture capital

For many companies – particularly in Europe and Asia – private equity together with retained earnings have been a sufficient source of capitalisation, allowing these companies to avoid listing on a stock exchange. (Retained earnings are the post-tax undistributed – i.e. not paid out in dividends – profits of a company.) The capacity to remain private has been assisted by the rapid growth of private equity in recent years. Private equity has been employed not just by newly established
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