COVER PAGE (see last page attached here)
Note: Cover page, Executive Summary, Table of Contents,Figures and Tables DO NOT count toward the targeted page numbers specified in the Project Task Document.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (Roman numerals beginning with page ii) (no more than 1 page)
The words EXECUTIVE SUMMARY should appear in upper case bold centered at the top of the page. The Executive Summary summarizes the main ideas in the Report, so it should give a complete but brief picture of what the key points that you are communicating to a busy executive. You should assume that this busy executive does not have time to read the entire document (although Dr. Ross will do so). Consequently, it should define the problem in your team’s own words, describe the methodology used to attack the problem, present the recommended solution (for Final Report) or nature of solution approach (for earlier reports) and the anticipated or predicted economic impact of the solution (not necessarily financial if unknown). Imagine a decision-maker who will approve payment for your study based on reading the summary alone (This is NOT our case here). ‘Nature of solution” means the type of deliverable that you will provide for addressing the core issue/focus. Will it be a layout, a schedule, series of process flow maps, task flow maps, etc..
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Roman numeral page numbers)
The words TABLE OF CONTENTS should appear in upper case bold centered at the top of the page. The list should include Section and Subsection headings and page numbers, starting with the Executive Summary and ending with the Appendices, but excluding the Table of Contents itself. This list should like the following:
LIST OF TABLES ( Roman numeral page numbers)
The words LIST OF TABLES should appear in upper case bold at the top of the page. The list should consist of three columns organized as follows:
2.0 SPONSORING COMPANY NAME
General description of the sponsoring company’s operations and business, including products, product flows, customers, service providers, facility locations, etc. Subsections as appropriate to your project.
This section serves as a snapshot of the company, department and business environment that existed a the time of the project. It should contain all benchmarks for comparisons of operational results after your recommended solutions are implemented, even if the results of any implementation occur after you graduate. The description should include organizational charts (if possible), facilities layouts, and process flow diagrams for the department and activities under study. This is where you paint the background scene for your story. It places the problem you will investigate in the context of the bigger picture of the organization and the industry. Comparisons between the way your sponsoring company and known competitors operate may be relevant here and an explanation for the differences provided as needed.
3.0 OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT (Alternative headings can be the identified core of the problem; e.g., “ERRORS AND INCONSISTENCIES IN PROCESSING ORDERS”)
Focus on problem symptoms and scope of project, as well as sponsoring company’s
expectations of your deliverables. Use subsections as appropriate.
This section is devoted to a thorough description of the problem(s) under investigation. The symptoms of the problem(s) and their impact on the organization should be detailed, along with the nature of possible solutions. By nature of solution I mean the form that your recommended solution will take. For example, if the department is experiencing many defects (the symptom), then your study of the problem may uncover that a particular process in the overall scheme is the cause of most of those defects. Then discuss the possible ways of circumventing the problems within that process (more money, more labor, more equipment, better quality control, etc.). The magnitude of the organizational impact of any solution should also be indicated if possible in very high level terms. For example, you may be able to say that eliminating the problem entirely will increase productivity by z%, and any reduction in the magnitude of the problem will yield corresponding productivity increases. Frequently, the sponsoring company already knows what he/she wants as a final deliverable from the project. Be sure that this section clearly delineates the scope of the project and lists the deliverables so that there is no miscommunication between you and the sponsoring company
4.0 METHODOLOGY (Alternative headings can be the main methodology that you will use to generate solutions or report your analyses; e.g., “SIMULATION OF EMERGENCY ROOM ACTIVITIES”)
A plan for conducting project, including data collection, data analysis, methodology and project
schedule. Use subsections as appropriate.
The better prepared you are in the beginning, the smoother the project will go. Take some time to brainstorm as a group to think through what methodology is needed to generate the desired deliverables. Will you need to simulate alternative scenarios to find the one that gives the best results? If so explain how you will use simulation, what software you will use, what data you will need either to collect or to be provided by the sponsoring company, etc. Data Collection should be one of the Subsections in this section. Another Subsection should be Data Analysis. Will you be needing any statistical packages to analyze the data? If so, which package and what analytical techniques will be applied (ANOVA, Least Squares, Factorial Designs, etc.)? Describe the technical merits of the methodology you adopt.
For the Proposal, this section describes what methodology will be used. For the Interim Report, it discusses the preliminary results from the methodology that has been used and what remains to be applied in order to complete the project. For the Final Report, it details the methodology used and the results obtained.
The section should end with a Subsection on the project plan that includes a Gantt chart or time-line for when key project tasks will/have occur.
5.0 DELIVERABLES (Alternative headings can be the type of solution that will be presented in the section; e.g., “A NEW LAYOUT FOR LOADING DOCK STAGING AREA”)
Description of final deliverables (layout, software, procedures, design, recommendations, etc.).
Subsection as appropriate.
This section details the recommended solution and the implementation plan. For the Proposal this section gives a general idea of what the deliverables are for the project. In the Interim Report, it contains the preliminary results and identifies what will be provided at the conclusion of the project. In the Final Report, it contains a thorough description of all of the deliverables and a Subsection for implementation plans.
6.0 ANALYSIS OF BENEFITS
Justification for sponsoring company to rely upon your findings. Subsection as appropriate.
The cost and/or benefits of implementing each deliverable must be presented. How do your assessments relate to performance improvement of the overall organization (value proposition)? How should this value generated by the frontline employees be measured? This will require some conjecturing by your team.
Summarize results, reiterate the benefits, and give directions for future research.
Summarize the significant results and the impact of the study to the organization. In the Proposal this would be more like a wish list. In the Interim Report this would describe the preliminary results obtained to date and explain what remains to be done in the context of the original time-line. In the Final Report, this would talk about the results and their cost-benefit analysis, and suggest directions for future projects that build on your solution either in the same department or another department located either upstream or downstream from yours in the organizational flow.
APPENDICES (Place a blank numbered sheet with APPENDICES centered in the middle of the page)
All appendices should be listed in the Table of Contents.
Each Appendix begins on a new page and should be numbered (A1, A2, etc.) and titled. For example, “A3 Data for Price Cost Analysis.” Your appendices must be separated by topic. At the beginning of each appendix, you should have a descriptive discussion of what material it contains, where it came from and what part of the report it relates to. Remember that the appendices should not contain any material needed to understand the text of the main report. It should contain background material, raw data, and additional information for more details (for example, many similar graphs and tables for different cases would have only one or two in the body of the report and the rest can be collected in an appendix, since otherwise placing all of them in the body of the report would disrupt the flow of the reader).