Critically assess how an aspect of organizational performance could be improved towards achievement of effective, sustainable quality, justifying the approaches that you have proposed.

Assignment Guidance and Front Sheet
This sheet is to be populated by the Module Tutor, checked by the Programme Team, and uploaded to Moodle for students to fill in their ID and submit with their assessment.

Student ID or IDs for group work Student fill in own ID and attach document for submission
1.       Critically assess how an aspect of organizational performance could be improved towards achievement of effective, sustainable quality, justifying the approaches that you have proposed.
2.       Analyze how an excellence model could guide the development of organizational performance.
3.       Critically discuss how Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge and his 14 Points for Management could support organizational development.

Writing your PMA: Advice for WMG’s Postgraduate Students
 
As a postgraduate level student in WMG you may have some concerns about your ability to write at the high standard required. This short guide is intended to provide general guidance and advice. It is important that if you have any questions you discuss them with your module tutor. Remember, in writing your PMA you need to meet the expectations of the reader and university.

A good PMA generally requires you to answer the question and to include

  1. A title, with your student number, module, lecturers name and any other documentation required by the university
  2. A contents page and if appropriate, an abstract.
  3. An introduction which acts as a ‘map’ to the rest of the document, describing the aim or purpose of the work and explaining how this aim is achieved. At this point it is usually helpful to paraphrase your conclusion.
  4. Evidence of an appropriate level of background reading of relevant texts
  5. Evidence of systematic and clear thinking, indicative of good planning and organisation
  6. Writing which makes sense, is clearly and carefully presented (proof read and grammar checked)
  7. A critical style of writing which compares and contrasts the main theories, concepts and arguments with conclusions that are based in evidence presented.
  8. High levels of accurate academic referencing.
  9. A logical and well-defined structure with headings and subheadings.
  10. Clearly labelled and well-presented diagrams and other graphics that are discussed in the text
  11. Adherence to usual academic standards including length and a timely submission
  12. A reference section in which every source that is cited in the text is listed.

Where to get help:

  1. Talk to your module tutor if you don’t understand the question or are unsure as to exactly what is required.
  2. https://moodle.warwick.ac.uk/

Study skills and Research Methods Moodle site – we have a lot of resources on this website with workbooks, links and other helpful tools.

  1. https://warwick.ac.uk/services/skills/academicwriting/

The university Academic Writing centre provides workshops and useful tools to help you in all aspects of your work.

  1. https://moodle.warwick.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=32063&section=1

Plagiarwise, the university’s site to help you to reference properly

  1. https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss   Wellbeing support services
  2. https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/students/your-library-online/

Numerous online courses provided by the University library to help in academic referencing, writing, avoiding plagiarism and a number of other useful resources.
 

Individual PMA assignment questions (choose 1 of 4 options)

In 3000 ±10% words answer one of the following questions:

1       Continuous improvement

Currently, all departments in your company are in need of improvement. However, there is little recognition of the need to improve. The company has a full order book and everyone is working hard to meet the orders. You have noticed signs of customer dissatisfaction and realise that continuous improvement has to become a way of life in all departments.

  1. Create a paper for presentation to the Board of Directors that proposes what the Chief Executive Officer and Board members should do to get everyone involved in continuous improvement, making it part of what everyone in the company does, no matter their job. What difficulties have occurred during such attempts made by other companies in the past, and how would you use learning from those cases to overcome similar problems in your organization?
  2. Having created a proposal, analyse how the EFQM model would support your proposal.
  3. Discuss how your proposal would be supported by Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge and his 14 Points for management. If your proposal departs from Deming’s principles, either justify such departures, or propose how the proposal could be changed to meet those principles.

2       Supplier relationships

You have been tasked to improve relationships between your enterprise and your suppliers. Currently, the relationship with your suppliers is adversarial: competitive tendering, lowest price purchasing and other confrontational approaches including goods inwards inspection are practised.

  1. Create a paper for presentation to the Board of Directors that proposes what the organization should do to move towards a partnership relationship with its key suppliers, including what support would be required for success. Key suppliers are those who have a significant design contribution to your business; they are not simply working to your organization’s specification. Use the literature to identify what difficulties have occurred during attempts to achieve this in the past, and how you would use learning from these examples to overcome anticipated problems in your organization.  Justify all aspects of your proposal with reference to the literature; where alternative approaches are identified in the literature, create an argument for the approach that would best suit your organization. You may assume that neither the Chief Executive nor the Board Members need to be convinced of the need for this improvement in supplier relationships; they are aware of the benefits, and they want your paper to focus on how the improvement in relationships may be achieved.
  2. Having created your proposal, analyse how the EFQM Model would support your proposal and critically discuss your findings.
  3. Discuss how your proposal would be supported by Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge and his 14 Points for management. If your proposal departs from Deming’s principles, either justify such departures, or propose how the proposal could be changed to meet those principles.

3       ISO 9001 accreditation

  1. Create a paper for presentation to the Board of Directors that proposes what the Chief Executive and Board Members should do to achieve accreditation to ISO 9001:2015. Use the literature to identify what difficulties have occurred during attempts to achieve this in the past, and how you would use learning from these examples to overcome anticipated problems in your organization. Justify all aspects of your proposal with reference to the literature; where alternative approaches are identified in the literature, create an argument for the approach that would best suit your organization. You may assume that neither the Chief Executive nor the Board Members need to be convinced of the need for accreditation; they are aware of the benefits, and they want your paper to focus on how accreditation may be achieved.
  2. Having created your proposal, analyse how the EFQM Model would support your proposal and critically discuss your findings.
  3. Discuss how your proposal would be supported by Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge and his 14 Points for management. If your proposal departs from Deming’s principles, either justify such departures, or propose how the proposal could be changed to meet those principles.

4       Transformation of product development

Your company has recognised that late design changes are costly and result in less competitive products. You have been tasked to facilitate the transformation of the product development process from current common practice to best practice.

  1. Create a paper for presentation to the Board of Directors that proposes what the Chief Executive and Board Members should do to achieve transformation of the product development process. Use the literature to identify what difficulties have occurred during attempts to achieve this in the past, and how you would use learning from these examples to overcome anticipated problems in your organization. Justify all aspects of your proposal with reference to the literature; where alternative approaches are identified in the literature, create an argument for the approach that would best suit your organization. You may assume that neither the Chief Executive nor the Board Members need to be convinced of the need for change; they are aware of the benefits, and they want your paper to focus on how the transformation may be achieved.
  2. Having created your proposal, analyse how the EFQM Model would support your proposal and critically discuss your findings.
  3. Discuss how your proposal would be supported by Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge and his 14 Points for management. If your proposal departs from Deming’s principles, either justify such departures, or propose how the proposal could be changed to meet those principles.

Use the literature to support what you write; the module website should not be used as a reference source and little credit will be given for using any website unless there is evidence that the content has been subject to critical review.

Additional Notes:
All questions contain elements that require analysis of the literature and if you have personal experience in the topic studied, you should analyse how your experience compares to the literature. Your answer should place particular emphasis on opportunities for improving business performance and should also, where relevant, pay due attention to constraints on finance and other resources. Where company information is included, sufficient detail should be given to make examples meaningful, but names and places may be changed to protect commercial confidentiality. Post module work scripts are always treated in the strictest confidence.
Your work will be assessed on the knowledge that is displayed, the analysis, and the ability to communicate effectively. It is essential that in addition to constructive critical analysis, you put forward practical proposals for improvement. Quote all references used and as part of your analysis, compare theory with practice.
It is suggested that to satisfactorily complete this assignment the effort should be equivalent to approximately 60 hours. However, this is only a guide; it is primarily the quality of the work that is the important feature.
Penalties for exceeding the word limit may be applied at the rate of 5 percentage points per 250 words.
The word limit applies to the main text only; it does not include any pages before the introduction, nor the reference list or appendices.

Further guidance
The marking scheme for PMW is in 3 parts, namely comprehension, effort and presentation.  Each of these elements is essential for the achievement of a well-balanced answer. Whilst work which has admirable analysis poorly communicated may still have some intrinsic value, the converse is not true. Therefore, this marking scheme is based on the premise that the analytical element is of sufficient merit to warrant assessment of the other elements.
IT IS VITAL THAT IN ADDITION TO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICAL ANALYSIS, YOU CREATE CONSTRUCTIVE, PRACTICAL PROPOSALS FOR IMPROVEMENT
It is relatively easy to criticise, but far more difficult to put forward practical proposals for improvement. Anyone with a Master’s qualification will be expected to contribute to the improvement of the business, not merely criticise it!
COMPREHENSION
Factual statements and descriptive content on its own will result in little academic credit. You need to discuss what the facts mean and how you have used them to create your response to the question.
Interpretation of question set
There should be an introduction that shows a good grasp of the question, presents your objectives, and provides a clear outline of the scope of the report. Check that the question answered is the one that has been set not the one that you want to answer.
Subject relevance
All the material should be relevant to the report. Irrelevant or repetitive material or that which is tangential to the subject matter should not be present.
Factual content
The factual material should be correct and of sufficient quantity for the subject covered.
Insight and originality
There should be clear evidence of your own insight, imagination and innovative thought. You should not paraphrase material from books or journal papers. Indeed, material that is copied directly from books or other sources will be severely penalised.
Constructive critical analysis
The work should be well argued with the main issues explored and evaluated and the conclusions and recommendations justified. Of particular importance is your discussion on the achievement of your objectives, your critique of your work and how it could be improved and developed.
EFFORT
Use of actual examples
Answers should incorporate appropriate, relevant use of actual company/industrial examples to illustrate any theoretical points. (These may be drawn from personal experience or the literature).
Use of references
There should be evidence of a critical and wide-ranging use of relevant literature.
Length
The length of the assignment should conform to the word limit.
PRESENTATION
Logical structure
The structure of each answer should be such that it shows the development of a logical argument. A clear theme or line of argument should be created and headings should be used to guide the reader.
Presentation of references
Any references should be properly cited and listed. References and bibliography should be distinct.
Grammar and syntax
Acceptable standards of grammar and syntax required. Whilst some errors of sentence construction, punctuation and/or misuse of words might be acceptable, it is essential that the meaning is clear.
Spelling
Spelling should be correct. If there were a large number of spelling mistakes this would indicate a serious problem. Remember that spell-checkers cannot detect incorrect word usage and, therefore, work should be proof-read before submission.
Diagrams
Diagrams should be clear and referred to in the text. If you are not the creator of the diagram, reference to its original source should be made below the caption.
Content sheet
Each assignment should contain a content sheet that includes all the sub-sections of all questions, with relevant page numbers.
Page numbering
All pages should be clearly and correctly numbered.

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