Portfolio Assignment task
This is an individual assignment based on an evaluation of work undertaken by your project team group on the module.
The project team is charged with designing a new business model that may compete successfully in one of your proposed 5 or 10 year scenarios for your chosen industry or sector. This new model may be radically different from existing models or may reflect more incremental changes externally or internally.
The final outcome for your project teamwork will be a new business model presented using the business model “canvas” of Osterwalder & Pigneur (2010). These are the outputs of your team project work, and they are the subject of the work you will do individually for the assignment marks.
Your individual submission should be in the form of a portfolio submitted online, which should contain the following sections (see next pages for details):
PART 1: 1a and 1b
PART 2: 2a and 2b
PART 1 (accounts for 40% of the marks awarded)
Your individual analysis (with supporting evidence) of aspects of the nature of the business model your group creates, and the collective cognitive and problem-solving processes of business model design that your team experienced.
Part 1 should be no more than 800 words in total: 200 words for section 1a, and 600 words for section 1.b.
You should use (and reference) the following specific concepts:
1a. Your summary evaluation of where the business model innovation discussed in your group might be plotted on Verganti’s matrix (see diagram below), through a consideration of:
- whether the changes represented in the business model are essentially radical or incremental in nature and
- the degree to which the innovative aspects of the model are driven from technologies (“technology push”), market needs (“market pull”), or from the “design” perspective (from the re-thinking of user experience). (200 words)
According to your summary evaluation, show on a diagram of Verganti’s matrix where you would plot the business model.
1b. To what extent does the overview of the creative climate of your team provide an explanation of how and why your group process led to the type of business model innovation mapped above? (600 words)
PART 2 (accounts for 60% of the marks awarded)
Your individual critical evaluation of the new business model and its ability to create and deliver the value proposition in a competitive market place; in two main sections 2a and 2b:
Part 2 should be no more than 1,500 words in total:
600 words for section 2a, and
900 words for section 2.b
2a.An individual evaluation of the business model’s capability to create and deliver the value proposition as developed by your team, in a competitive marketplace. To do this, you will need to:
- Derive appropriate critical success factors (CSFs) from the value proposition (the detailed derivation can be included in the appendices)
- Create a table (see format below) to evaluate whether, in retrospect, you personally consider the business model can fulfil the CSFs required.
|Customer Value Proposition of Business Model
(from your group’s BM Canvas)
|The Critical Success Factors necessary to create and deliver the VP
– does the Business Model have the capability of fulfilling the CSFs necessary to create and deliver the VP?
This section 2.a should contain no more than 600 words.
2b. Drawing on the concepts of competitive business strategy (from your prior studies, reading of the Grant core textbook, discussed in class etc.), provide an analysis of how competitors might react to the business model, and how robust the business model might be in withstanding that competition. This evaluation should be completed for the context of the chosen scenario in which your project team chose to develop the business model.
This section 2.b should contain no more than 900 words.
In making these evaluations, you must reference and apply the tools of business and competitive strategy from your prior studies
- a) A summary of the essential features of your business model.
- b) An application of the business model to Osterwalder & Pigneur’s Canvas Model.
The above will be unmarked but are an essential requirement of the assessment.
ALLOWED APPENDICES – Students may append further working material (diagrams, data, etc.) that supports the analysis and evaluation in an “allowed” appendix. These are limited to a maximum of 8 pages (8 sides) of A4 equivalent, and will be unmarked.
Guidance notes on the assignment
- Structure of Report: The portfolio is not intended to be a business report or an essay. As such, there is no requirement for overall introductions or conclusions, executive summaries, etc.
- Business Model evaluation: Unlike (say) the Entrepreneurial Business modules, you are not evaluating a business start-up as such. The Business Model Canvas is a way of describing a type (or “pattern”) of business.
- A new business model could be launched by an established competitor in an industry, by a new entrant from a related industry, or by a completely new start-up. In answering task (2b) above you might consider the relative chances for success for new businesses versus established competitors in evaluating the competitiveness and sustainability of the business model, but the task is not to create the plan for a start-up….
- The importance of using course concepts, models and frameworks: The module is designed to teach you about the tools of business model design and how to USE them. Work that is essentially “descriptive” will fail, so please evaluate and prioritize your findings in all cases.
- Submitting scenarios as a required appendix: You are required (unless otherwise agreed with your tutor*) to use one of the scenarios from your group work, completed in week 4, as the context for developing your group business model. *In some cases (as discussed with your tutors), it will make more sense to re-state or re-define your scenario moving forward. In this case, you must include a short paragraph describing the future scenario actually used as the context for the business model.
- Prior Knowledge of Business Strategy: Task 2b requires you to apply tools and concepts from the subject domain of business strategy, which you are expected to be familiar with from your prior studies. These resources can, of course, be complemented by business strategy concepts directly from the module (such as the various types of innovative business models identified). If you have any doubts of what might be required, or if you need to refresh your knowledge and understanding, the weekly readings from the core text (Grant) are considered a core part of the module, and are there to guide you.
- Individual Critical Evaluation: You should step back from the project team effort, and the shared perspectives you probably developed at that time. Instead, using the tools of evaluation, you (individually) should critically evaluate your team’s work and outputs.
- Word Limit: The word limits above exclude reference lists, bibliography and appendices. They are limits – there is no allowance for words over the limit.
- How to use the “allowed” appendices: You are encouraged to use appendices for the presentation of detailed research that supports your discussion, and for the detailed analysis using key models and concepts. Please ensure, however, that key findings and points of explanation are included in the body of your report. The marker will not award marks for the appendices as such, and will use these only for rapid reference (they will not be read in detail). These “allowed” appendices must be no longer than 8 pages of A4 equivalent in total.
- References and Sources: You will be aware of the business school’s rules on referencing and acknowledging sources. Coursework which fails to meet these requirements will be penalized or referred to the Academic Conduct Officer (see section on “Cheating” also)
- Individual Work: This is an individual assignment, evaluating knowledge originally created by you and your project team. Assignments from project team members will be marked by a single marker, to ensure no inappropriate collaboration or collusion. Any students whose assignments are not created individually will be penalized or referred to the Academic Conduct Officer (see section on “Cheating” also).
- The task scope and focus of the response You must focus on the requirements of the question and address the purpose of the task, including comprehending and following explicit instructions.
- The nature, quality and range of research and sources You must do enough varied research to address the tasks. In addition, you should consider the reliability and validity of sources you use – How biased are they? How reliable? What data have they been compiled from? What is the source’s own purpose? Can the sources be evaluated? The module is concerned with future knowledge, so it is understood that sources based on (say) logical projection may be more appropriate than a restrictive, or narrow historical evidence-based paradigm for sources – however, you must always evaluate these and understand the implications of relying on them.
- Knowledge & understanding of course concepts We expect you to know the concepts in the course textbooks. We do not expect you to describe these concepts to us in the assignment, but rather use them in your analysis and eval Your understanding of concepts will be demonstrated by the way you use them.
- Analysis and application of course concepts You are expected to add value through the way you use course concepts and tools to analyse data and insi The way you combine concepts and tools, and the choices you make over which frameworks to use (and which to omit) will demonstrate this.
- Argument, synthesis and evaluative conclusion You should connect findings and evidence from your analysis into a logical line of discussion that leads to a critical individual evaluation of the work of your project team. Ideally, the disparate parts of your work “synthesize” into a distinctive viewpoint or insight. This is the added value that we look for in your work.
- Structure, organization, and presentation The structure of your portfolio should support your discussions and arguments as they address the tasks, above all else. You should distinguish between what you want to say to answer the question, and the work that you do to provide the answer. A professional standard of presentation is expected, and the overall report should be written with the reader in mind. You must communicate clearly and succinctly.
- Adequacy of referencing You are required to follow the standards set by the Harvard system of referencing used by the Business school. Please read the regulations. Be aware that failure in this area can lead to your referral to the academic conduct officer.
When presenting assignments, your primary presentation goal should be to make the piece easy to follow, and the messages clear. The variety of formats in the portfolio makes precise guidance difficult, but in general the following should guide your submissions:
- For ease of reading, text-based sections of the assignment should, at a minimum, be presented in 11pt Arial font with 1.5 point spacing.
- All pages must be numbered
- The assignment must be presented with a completed assignment statement of originality, have a front cover showing the programme title, module number and name, title of the assignment, student number and submission date
- Margins for text-based sections should be as follows: Top: 1 inch, Bottom: 1 inch (2.5 cm), Left: 1.25 inches, Right: 1.25 inches (3.2 cm)
The length of an assignment is limited by a set number of words to contribute towards the development of writing skills and to ensure all work is assessed equitably. We therefore require you to complete your assignments within the number of words specified in the assignment brief.
You will need to think carefully about how best to explain your case within the permitted number of words, using, for example, an appropriate mix of text, drawings, diagrams and tables, supplemented by information contained in appendices.
Please also remember that a portfolio can be enhanced or damaged through layout, for example, placing all tables and drawings in appendices can hamper the flow of discussion. Decisions therefore need to be made about the most appropriate place to use tables etc., to support your case.
The specified word count refers to the main body of the portfolio (and includes in-text citations) but does not include front cover, title page, contents page, reference list, bibliography or appendices.
Appendices themselves will not be marked. However, inappropriate use of appendices will be taken into consideration when awarding the final mark.