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1. Using Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (see Appendix A of this document) or an appropriate alternative reflection framework, provide a reflective account of your Icarus activity.

MSc in Professional Accountancy (MPAcc)

Module: PAM006 Strategic Financial Project (SFP)

1. Introduction

This coursework assignment carries 70% of the total of 100% for this Module. It comprises TWO (2) sections, each with their respective weightings as detailed. It is an individual not a group-based assignment. The tasks/requirements are detailed in point 5 on pages 5, 6 and 7.

Section 1 (90% weighting of this assignment)

Your Individual Case Study/Workplace business plan report To complete this assignment you are required to produce a business plan report suitable for consideration by the management team of the case study company/your workplace in the context of the strategic challenges facing the company. This case study will either be the case provided by the module team or a case related to your workplace context.

Your report should be between 4,000 words and a maximum of 4,500 words. Penalties apply for exceeding the word count. No formal penalties apply for using fewer than 4,000 words but in so doing you may be penalizing yourself as it is likely to be challenging to respond to the requirement in less than 4,000 words. When combined with Section 2 the total word count should not exceed 6,000 words. State an accurate word count at the end of this Section or on the title page. Failure to do so will result in a 5 mark penalty.

In producing your business plan/consultancy report you should:

a) Identify, explore and evaluate alternative strategies for developing the business.

b) In undertaking a) above, research the relevant ‘real world’ industry, market and business environment the company is situated in. You should use a combination of relevant real world primary and/or secondary research to provide the basis upon which your strategic choices are made.

c) Arising out of a) and b) above, set out a compelling five-year business plan report designed to enhance shareholder value. You may use your own definition of shareholder value but must explain and justify it. The plan may identify a range of strategies for consideration but should ultimately put forward your recommendation with evidenced justification for why the proposed is the best way forward.

d) Identify specific KPIs to assist in measuring to what degree shareholder value is being enhanced.

e) Review your proposed plan, and identify and assess the key risks within it.

You should include graphs, tables and figures within the main body of the report where appropriate. Please refer to the Project Presentation Guide document within the Final Project section on the VLE for word count guidance for tables and graphs. You may also wish to include extracts of your spreadsheet planning tool results within your business plan report to strengthen your justifications and evidence. You are not required to submit the actual planning tool itself.

Section 2 (10% weighting of this assignment)

The total word count for Section 2 is 1,000 – 1,500 words maximum. Penalties apply for exceeding the word count. No formal penalties apply for using fewer than 1,000 words but in so doing you may be penalizing yourself as it is likely to be challenging to respond to the requirement in less than 1,000 words. When combined with Section 1 the total word count for both Sectionsshouldnot exceed 6,000 words. State an accurate word count at the end of this Section or state it on the front title page. Failure to do state the word count for each Section in your submission will result in a 5 mark penalty.

Context and Requirement Context

“We do not learn so much from experience as we do from reflecting on our experience.” – John Dewey

John Dewey (1859-1952) is considered by some to be one of the most influential thinkers about the philosophy of education in the twentieth century. His writings in Dewey, J. (1933) How We Think. A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process (Revised edn.), Boston: D.C. have inspired many of those involved in the education process – educators and students. His ideas are located in more recent, populist writings, illustratively:

Harry stared at the stone basin. The contents had returned to their original, silvery white state, swirling and rippling beneath his gaze. “ What is it?” Harry asked shakily. “This? It is called a Pensieve,” said Dumbledore. “ I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.” “Err,” said Harry who couldn’t truthfully say that he had ever felt anything of the sort. “At these times” said Dumbledore, indicating the stone basin, “ I use the Penseive. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into a basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form.’ Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling

Reflection is important within educational experiences. A reflective statement is a statement that captures thoughts about, perceptions of, a past experience, such as that you have experienced in your study of this module. They help us to understand past events and associated experiences and to learn lessons. Having written a reflective statement, it is then possible to analyse it and draw lessons about future decisions, behaviour and actions. Such a statement can focus on the consequences of the educational experience for work-related decisions, behaviour and actions, not least in the arena of confirming or amending professional work practices.

With this in mind, look back over your Icarus rationale and minutes of meetings submissions and any other correspondence you held with your team matesover the Icarus period (between weeks 12 to 18). If you have been keeping an ‘off-line’ diary during the activity as suggested, you should also refer to this as it will certainly help you identify the experience ‘raw’ at the time in preparation for analyses. Take time to think about what you have learnt from the various interactions, research tasks, performance analyses, and teamwork etc. that took place during each of the five rounds of play. You should have already captured some of this during the activity. Now, you should be seeking to articulate your experience, feelings and evaluation of the activity in terms of any personal and professional impact upon you. Note that if you did not participate in Icarus, then you will be unable to reflect!

Required:

1. Using Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle (see Appendix A of this document) or an appropriate alternative reflection framework, provide a reflective account of your Icarus activity.

6000 Words!! Section A and B


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