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Business Processes (Part 1)
After completing the module, you should be able to:
1. Critique the development over time of approaches to quality management.
2. Appraise the effectiveness of different approaches to quality management within different organisational contexts.
3. Identify principles of effective project management and debate issues concerning the definition and measurement of project success.
4. Assess the efficiency of commercial process activities and identify areas for improvement.
5. Construct a process development plan, and recommend implementation sequences for effective project management.
6. Identify good practice in project and operational planning and therefore critique current commercial practice.
Question 1 Critically discuss the contribution made to quality management by Kaoru Ishikawa. (20%) The ilearn materials introduce you to some of the writings and analysis of Kaoru Ishikawa. In researching for this question - and indeed all of the questions - you should read a good deal more widely than the ilearn materials- not forgetting to reference all of your sources, except for ilearn. Good answers here should seek to summarise Ishikawa’s work and contribution to quality management, critique it in terms of identifying any criticisms that have been made of it and, where possible, compare it with the contributions of other writers on quality management.
Question 2 Discuss the characteristics of a process based approach to management and discuss the benefits that a focus upon processes can bring to an organisation. (30%) Good answers here will first need to communicate the main features of a process based approach to management. The ilearn material is a good initial resource for this but, again, you will need to research more widely. As well as considering the benefits generally of a focus upon processes, you might also want to consider the benefits of such techniques as process mapping, business process re-engineering and benchmarking, in so far as they embody a process based approach to management.
Question 3 Using examples as appropriate, define, distinguish between and discuss project success criteria and project success factors. (20%) Although this is quite a short question, a substantial number of marks are allocated to it, so you will need to include a lot of relevant, detailed analysis to score well. The starting point will be to define the terms project success criteria and project success factors, using examples to illustrate your definitions. However, I suggest that you then discuss each of the terms further as follows:
• Discuss different views as to how many/which project success criteria are necessary
• Discuss the research on the project success factors that are influential in real world projects