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F2F students- About your Projects

posted Feb 21, 2014, 3:46 PM by San Ng
Dear f2f students: 

- Sign Up and Finalize Projects: Please finalize your decisions ASAP on the projects and sign up on the Class Project Sign Up Sheet that you can also access via the Assignments PagePlease see your individual email for the class email list for you to get in touch with one another.

- Coordination if in a Team: Please get in touch with your teammates to formulate a brief proposal based on your project, due before class next Monday 2/24. Parameters are based on industry practice and are as mentioned in class: at least 5 days (40 hours) total of work per person, about 8 pages of report per person (not including annexes and diagrams), with a presentation of about 10-20 minutes per project depending on group size. 

- Project Proposal: You can see the Class Project Sign Up Sheet for samples of project proposals, which in real life range from simple (bicycle) to academic-sophisticated (Ferrari?) models. I am just looking for the simple model with the intention of introducing you to consulting practice in the real world, so short and simple is fine (1-2 pages). The goal is for you to organize your own goals, areas of work and division of labor based on your resources (time by activity by person), and to push back the client if you need to. Often times in practice the project is overcharged/under-delivered or undercharged/over-delivered, and consulting proposals remains an art even for me (often because the clients do not know exactly what they want unlike graduate school assignments). So just take that exercise with this goal in mind to hone your practice skills. 

- Invoice and Time tracking: Again you can see the Class Project Sign Up Sheet for more resources, but again I am looking at the bicycle model to keep your stress levels low and to make this useful for you. Your process is more important than the substance. And again, there is my favorite Bicycle-To---Ferrari analog analogy to show that anything goes in the real world, but for me, I want to keep things simple while having you learn real world consulting best practices. So my expectation of an invoice will look simple: 

Just one page (you can pick a design and format or just send it via text as follows:): 

TOTAL TIME for FEB 2014 ------ 4.3 hours

Breakdown: (based on your approved proposals)

Area 1.0 (eg:)
(1.1 Literature Review): 1.4 hours
(1.2 Interviews): 0.5 hours

Area 2.0 (eg:)

You don't even have to break it down by person. In practice, there are many ways to do this, and the lesson is to tailor it to your client, which in my case is the bicycle model. 

- Collaboration platforms: This is another area of confusion. You don't have to do this at all- most times we consultants still use good old fashion email which is ok. But as the world and its speed become more demanding on efficiency, I usually like to develop some good practices for coordination. You will see that I have used Google Apps for our class platform for coordination. But it is completely up to you (unless you are in my projects, in which case I as chief consultant might have suggestions :) ) 

- Questions: As per the email, you can use the 'reply all' feature in the email list I recently sent for general questions that relate to the whole class. For specific group project questions, please formulate your own group emails and collaboration platforms with me included if need be. For San's two projects- do email me separately if you have more questions or need clarification. For other team and individual projects, please email me separately if you have content related questions. What I hope to cultivate is a sense of the real world- where you frequently have a lack of information or a weird client, and for you to tactfully push for things to happen in an imperfect setting.

At the end of the day, I want to repeat that what is most important to me is what is most important, useful and fun for you, as long as you feel accountable to yourself and fair to your classmates. I see myself as merely a facilitator and possible mentor because I have no doubt you will all be doing cool things with your work life. See this class as that platform to be yourself, because usually the world asks otherwise of us. So, don't take everything too seriously - there is enough stress out there. If I can have it my way, within the rules that are UCB, I would like to offer this as a sanctuary of sorts. Ohmmmmm.... :)