Digital and eBusiness technologies have grown significantly in the last decade in terms of both organisational adoption and their importance to operational practices. Equally, however, such technologies have grown in complexity and sophistication. As a consequence, many organisations can struggle to identify the opportunities available to them through digitalisation, and to effectively implement and optimise these solutions.
In such a climate, there is an increasing demand for eBusiness professionals who have both a thorough technical understanding of digital technology, and the ability to effectively communicate with key stakeholders to build comprehensive requirements and design successful implementations. These professionals can be external to the organisation (e.g. management consultancy firms), but there is also similar demand for staff to act as internal-consultants.
This module will seek to address this demand by preparing participants for the world of digital consultancy. Accordingly the module covers a mixture of both “hard” (technical) and “soft” (consulting) techniques including:
- Business analysis and systems thinking
- Requirements gathering and elicitation
- Project scoping and design
- Solution space analysis and the evaluation of alternatives
- Solution design and architecture
- Implementation strategies and change management
- Sales and relationship management
To support these activities, students will be exposed to many cutting edge techniques and technologies, at both a conceptual and a practical level. The learning activities will incorporate a mixture of lectures, case studies, seminars, lab work and, in particular, practical simulation sessions. The module will conclude with a capstone project designed to give students first-hand experience managing a digital consultancy project.
Upon successful completion participants will be able to:
- Critically evaluate the systematic and operational risks associated with digital transformations and develop comprehensive mitigation strategies
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of digital consultancy concepts
- Interpret and evaluate complex organisational problems and requirements
- Critically analyse advanced digital technologies and evaluate their suitability to specific use cases
- Demonstrate a sound conceptual understanding of the forefront of digital consultancy practice and their application in real-world scenarios
- What is Digital Consultancy?
- Business Analysis and Requirements
a. Business Analysis
b. Systems Thinking
c. Requirements Gathering and Elicitation
- Project Scoping and Engagement Management
a. Project Scoping and Design
b. Project Management for Consultancy Projects
c. Digital Solutions for Consultancy Projects
- Solution Design and Implementation
a. Determining the Solution Space
b. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis
c. Solution Implementation
d. Change Management
- Capstone Project
a. Industry Case Study
b. Digital Consultancy Simulation
c. Client Presentations
A more detailed explanation of these topics is below.
An overview of what digital consultancy is, and how it relates to both digital and eBusiness management, as well as general consultancy practice.
A practical exposure to designing and initiating digital consultancy projects. This will incorporate models and best practice from a range of disciplines including business analysis (from general management theory), systems thinking (from operational research), and requirements elicitation and their documentation (from computer science and software engineering).
An evaluation of project management practice as it relates to digital consultancy. This will incorporate general models and concepts, as well as subject-specific issues and practices, and practical lab sessions using digital technologies to design and manage consultancy engagements.
Fourthly, the module will focus on the design of the solution space and the evaluation of alternatives. In respect to the former, this incorporates the assessment of digital solutions and technologies, and their comparison to the business requirements document. To the latter, quantitative methods for solution selection will be explored, to include multi-criteria decision analysis (such as optimisation, weighted-sum approaches and the analytic hierarchy process).
Finally, a capstone project will bring these aspects together in a simulated digital consultancy project. Participants will be required to manage a full digital consultancy workload from initial stakeholder meetings through to client presentations.
- Consultancy presentation (30%)
- 6,000 words Post Module Assignment (70%)
2 weeks including 24 hours of lectures and 18 hours of seminars