Work Based Learning Project 2. Innovation Project

Module description

Senior business leaders are responsible for developing and implementing major strategy or institutional projects that will contribute towards organisational strategic and operational objectives. This capstone module promotes consolidation of learning across the DA MBA programme and offers reflection on how the knowledge can be applied to the learner’s role and organisation. It consists of the design and delivery of an innovation project of strategic importance to the organisation.

A key aspect of this module will be the analysis of business operations with the aim of promoting sustainable business strategies through the efficient and effective management of resources. The module will provide you with the means to analyse fundamental business operations activities with the focus on design/re-design solutions to overcome operational and strategic issues. It will promote an innovative approach to business modelling and the underlying business processes.

Through workshops and online sessions, the module transfers the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct a successful strategic management project; including project scoping, systems thinking and research design. With the benefit of academic direction, the applied part of this work-based module also aims to allow the student an opportunity to reflect upon the organisational impact of such a piece of strategic work.  Leaders will work with their workplace mentor to evaluate the development and implementation of the project, assessing organisational impact and the personal development that has been achieved.

Full module specification

Module title:Work Based Learning Project 2. Innovation Project
Module code:BEMM213DA
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Oli Young -
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The project will be based on the innovation proposal submitted at the end of the first year and requires you to plan and negotiate a project task. Learners will apply a range of frameworks to structure analytical thinking, apply techniques to complete the required research, and demonstrate personal effectiveness. Identifying barriers and understanding the principles of effective project management will be introduced to ensure successful implementation.

The resulting consultancy report and reflective essay will include evidence obtained using a range of business research methods to demonstrate that the learner has understood key learning across the programme. Agreement will be made between the learner, employer and the university of what systems, tools and platforms will be required (if any) to complete the task and how those will be made available.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. set a clear agenda and gains support from key stakeholders;
  • 2. undertake research and critically analyse and integrate complex information;
  • 3. act, where needed, as a Sponsor, championing projects and transformation of services across organisational boundaries;
  • 4. manage conflict, partnerships, people and resources effectively, and measure outcomes;
  • 5. understand competitive strategies and entrepreneurialism, approaches to effective decision making, and the use of big data and insight to implement and manage change.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. understand large scale and inter-organisational influencing and negotiation strategies;
  • 7. oversee financial strategies, management and results, set organisational budgets, and challenge financial assumptions underpinning strategies.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. lead and influence people, building constructive working relationships across teams, using matrix management where required;
  • 9. determine a capacity to build trust and rapport to enable the constructive challenge of project ideas and conclusions;
  • 10. use financial data to allocate resources;
  • 11. create an environment suitable for leading and influencing people, building constructive working relationships across teams, using matrix management where required and ensuring workforce skills are utilised;
  • 12. enable open and high performance working, and set goals and accountabilities for teams and individuals;
  • 13. be accountable for decisions based on relevant information e.g. Key Performance Indicators/scorecard;
  • 14. demonstrate flexibility and willingness to challenge when making decisions and solving problems;
  • 15. demonstrate knowledge of systems thinking, knowledge/data management, and programme management; manage complexity and ambiguity, be comfortable and pragmatic in uncertainty.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Masterclass21Faculty-led workshops and seminars
Webinars11Online action learning set facilitated by module lead.
Professional development to underpin WBL project.40Guided independent study through online learning activities. Reading, case studies, professional practise forums.
Time at work228Time at work

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Revisit initial proposal – scope and produce project timeline, identifying the intended project and associated methodologyOne side of A4 – 800 words.1, 2, 4, 6Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Assessment 1 - Professional innovation report detailing the project, its findings and any recommendations.504,000 words 1-13Written
Assessment 2 - Executive summary and presentation - Critical reflection upon own development of personal effectiveness and interpersonal skill.504,000 words 1, 5, 10, 14, 15 Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assessment 1 - 4,000 words (50%)As per originalAs aboveNext scheduled assessment point
Assessment 2 - 4,000 words (50%)As per originalAs aboveNext scheduled assessment point

Re-assessment notes

All passed components of the module will be rolled forward and will not be reassessed in the event of module failure.

Defer – as first time

Refer – capped at 50%

Syllabus plan

The module will include workshops aimed at promoting key transferrable skills and will cover:

  • Competencies for successful project management
  • Understanding the needs; appreciative inquiry
  • Understanding the organisation - stakeholders and the systems perspective.
  • Project management issues: causes of success and failure.
  • Negotiation and problem-solving.
  • Professional report writing.

Work-based project   

Through a live business project undertaken in the learner’s organisation, the student will demonstrate their ability to:

  • Identify and justify a strategic and/or operational investigative project
  • Assess the impact of projects and project management on strategic objectives
  • Understand the elements of the project process and plan
  • Conduct research and synthesise data to produce options that support the project aims
  • Understand how to implement the project plan and evaluate the outcome(s)
  • Draw conclusions and make recommendations that achieve the project aim
  • Develop and review the results of the investigative project

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

McLaughlin, G.C. (2016) Innovation Project Management Handbook, 1st Edition. Routledge: London

Stephenson, W.J. (2012) Operations Management, 11th Edition. New York.

Tidd, J. & Bessant, J. (2015) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3rd Edition. John Wiley & Sons: London

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

CMI - Management Direct - an online management resource portal. Management Direct allows managers at any level to learn, research and think. It offers fast, 24-hour access to the latest digital content to help overcome hundreds of managerial challenges from absence to performance to change: 5 minute, 20 minute and extended briefings; Creative tools for problem solving; Hundreds of checklists and interactive scenarios to aid self-directed learning; Self-Assessments and automatic CPD recording/reporting; Document templates and best practice guides.

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