Case studies

12

Background:

The HP Managed Services Division was responsible for delivering bids for outsourcing projects, which ranged in value from $50m to $3 billion. Although HP managers were able to attend MBAs, such as those at INSEAD, these programs did not reflect the business environment of the Managed Services team, nor reflect the management of large-scale corporate change they were required to implement. The leadership group had a population of 80 people that included project directors, HR and Finance specialists, engagement leads, negotiators, solution architects, and others. All were graduates and some had post-graduate or professional qualifications.

Objective:

To develop a Master's program that incorporated the training and development managers had already experienced, and that provided further development relevant to their roles. Some of the participants were extremely experienced; others required a greater level of development. A 'ladder' of qualifications to recognize achievement and increase motivation was desired. There were clearly constraints in terms of the time away from the workplace.

Approach:

Consalia reviewed the existing training and development and constructed a methodology for participants to produce reflective assessments, demonstrating how they had achieved the learning outcomes from the designed modules. In conjunction with Middlesex University, Consalia devised and jointly delivered additional modules. These modules enabled participants to demonstrate learning at Master's level through an Action Learning dissertation. The course was accredited by Middlesex University Business School.

Outcomes:

Delegates achieved the first MSc in Business Change. Unlike traditional academic qualifications, this work-based MSc puts the delegates at the center of their own practice-based enquiry, grounding the learning in the workplace and using live data and enquiry with clients and co-workers. Whereas other post-graduate Masters Programs are designed around empirical research based on how other people work, this program is action-based and centered on improving one's own practice. Assessment is rooted in the application and transfer of learning as documented through personal action plans and a final work-based project chosen by the participant. This provides participants with the opportunity to learn from work through the application of theory to practice, while also making a contribution to the organization in which this learning is taking place.