Posted: June 25th, 2015

Development of a project plan that will, when delivered, address a relevant set of issues arising from the analysis


This is the template for your Learning Plan. You should follow the instructions in each of the boxes, taking care to follow the guidance provided through the Moodle programme.


The exercise is in four parts:

  1. An analysis of the organisation and the issues facing it
  2. Development of a project plan that will, when delivered, address a relevant set of issues arising from the analysis
  3. An analysis of your own personal development needs arising from the project plan
  4. Setting of a series of learning objectives based on these needs


This exercise provides 15% of the marks for the module. For the assessment criteria, please refer to the relevant document on Moodle.







1. Introduction and background to your organisation

Outline your organisation in the box below.

………… was founded by james the owner around 40 years ago, initially in response to a demand for delivering packages from our locality in the east of Scotland to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Our position, in between ………&….., put the company in a great place to distribute goods to and from the more remote parts of u.k, initially to the growing local markets associated with the …&,,,,,, areas.


Since its founding, the business has gone through a number of changes. Our original business, operating with two vans from our depot in rural ….., was serviced through a single telephone line and only really grew with the onset of online shopping. It was at this point that james the owner, the son of the founder and new Sales Director, completed an MBA and came back to the business with a lot of new ideas relating to e-commerce, the use of the internet as a sales and marketing tool and the possibility of acting as a ‘middle man’ in the marketplace. He did a deal with three of the big distribution organisations to use their shoulder capacity and sell it on at low prices to smaller businesses and individuals who want the reliability of a large carrier but do not want to pay the costs.


Since then, the business has grown considerably. In addition to our fleet of four seven ton lorries that still operate the highlands and islands route, we have a dedicated call centre that takes orders and passes them on to our three main carriers, taking advantage of the same deals.


An organisation chart for the business can be seen in Evidence 1.


The business is going well. Last year, we turned over £5M, with a 9% margin, and our employee numbers, which are shown in the chart in Evidence 1, have grown steadily. We are now in a position where we can grow some more, safe in the knowledge that our business is stable, our business model works and there is significant growth expected in the market.


What we are not entirely sure about it how! james is convinced that we could be making more of our current customer base, citing as his proof some marketing theory that he gained from his MBA. His suggesting is that we are not making the most of current customers and that we have a very strong product that others are likely to want to use.


I have been tasked with developing this market into sales. My role is Customer Development Manager, which is a combination of sales, marketing and customer relations. Andy has given me a brief, which he wrote as one of his MBA assignments, (Evidence 2). He has asked me to work on it to work out the practicalities and make something happen.


The purpose of this analysis is to outline the current situation, set a series of project objectives and then identify the learning I will need to enable me to support this project, the aim of which is to enhance our sales by 20% in two years.


What are the challenges / issues / business needs to be addressed? Complete the PESTEL and SWOT analysis and then summarise the key issues.
Political Economic Social
  • Support for our business through business gateway
  • Scottish Government policies regarding support for logistics to Highlands and Islands
  • Possible impacts of independence referendum in Scotland


  • Economic recovery showing well in both business and domestic sales
  • Local economy showing signs of recovery
  • Significant growth in the use of carriers to deliver goods purchased through internet sales
  • Significant seasonal business at both Christmas and other times
  • Large scale growth of business to consumer internet sales through both large retailers such as Amazon and many smaller retailers, wholesalers etc
  • Growth of home business requiring logistical support for delivery of business post
Technical / Technological Environmental Legal
  • Significant growth in internet business and ecommerce
  • Developments in e-enabling of customer relationship management
  • Growth of social media as business communication tools
  • Growth of sophistication of call centre operations


  • Corporate social responsibility to reduce carbon footprint in all business activities wherever possible
  • Desire of logistics businesses to maintain full loads for efficiency
  • Insurance and liability requirements for carriage of goods committed by us but fulfilled by third party
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Strong family corporate culture
  • Positive atmosphere and motivation
  • Support from local and regional government agencies
  • Well capitalised business
  • Well resourced customer contact centre
  • Well trained operatives in both customer contact and fulfilment
  • Commitment of owners to training and development as a means to enhancing business


  • Business stuck with old practices
  • Tendency to be order takers rather than proactive sales resource
  • Conservative nature of business founder and some of the older staff
  • ‘We’ve always done it this way’ attitude amongst some personnel in organisation
  • Lack of knowledge and capability in building new and existing customer relationships and account management
  • Use of technology, especially social media, to communicate and market to customers
Opportunities Threats
  • Build on customer base to grow business through existing channels
  • Attract new business customers
  • Attract new private customers
  • Build a new approach to customer relationship management that will enhance sales effort
  • Major delivery partners put up prices or stop the use of their excess capacity
  • Growth of other businesses operating a similar model from a low cost base
  • Growth of large company distribution and fulfilment channels, such as Amazon and eBay
  • Decline of business as a result of not embracing new technology and new approaches
Summarise the key issues you have identified and the reasons behind your analysis
The business needs to enhance the way it attracts its customers, fulfils its business and communicates both marketing and internal messages. We need to train our people to use new technology, embrace innovation and sell more product to both the same and new customers, in both business to business and business to consumer channels. This will involve building the capabilities of both team members and myself and creating new ways of working.



2. Aims and objectives to be achieved

Based on your analysis, provide an aim and between three and six SMART objectives that you want to achieve through your project


This should describe what success will look like when your project is delivered successfully

We aim to bring our customer relationship management into the 21st century. By the end of the project, we aim to have a well functioning CRM process, coupled with innovations grown from within the team, who will be capable of reproducing innovations to ensure business success in the long term.



These should provide the milestones you seek to achieve in order to get to your aim

Research the market for distribution within the UK for both B2B and B2C channels and gather data for analysis by month 2


Analyse the customer competition data and create an innovation plan based on customer needs by month 4


Develop teams of staff in customer relationship management, account management and innovation and creativity


Enhance customer relationship management processes within organisation, including both customer contact processes and interpersonal skills


Develop social media as a means of both internal and external communications, to incorporate marketing and PR activities





Your stakeholders are the people who are key to the success of your project. List the key stakeholders, the reasons for their interest and the ways in which you plan to involve them. (Add more rows if you need them.

Stakeholder Reasons for their interest Plan to involve them
James the owner Founder and, although semi retired, has a keen interest in the business as a major shareholder Regular updates on progress
James the owner Director and son of founder. He is the author of the report that began this project and is very keen to make his ideas happen Regular one to one discussions on progress and outcomes
Staff Need to keep our people involved, so as to get the most from their ideas and keep them motivated Involvement in activities within the project

Communications through social media

Business customers Backbone of our regular business. Need to keep their interests to the fore when making decisions about changes to the ways we do things Involvement in research

Communications via new media

Carrier partners Our bread and butter! Without the use of their extra capacity, the business model would not work. Maintain ongoing relationships

Involve in discussions and research



Expected outcomes and impacts of the project

Note the outcomes and impacts you expect from the project


You can define outcomes as what you expect to happen when the project has been completed and is successful

  • Research report
  • Establishment of innovation team
  • New CRM and account management processes
  • Application of new software



You can define impacts as the measurable benefits you expect when you achieve the outcomes

  • More sales to existing business customers
  • More sales to existing consumers at seasonal times
  • More new business customers
  • Increase in levels of customer satisfaction
  • More sales and profits




3. Personal analysis

Personal PESTEL and SWOT Analysis

Under each heading, write what you think you need to learn to deliver on the project. Some of the headings may not be applicable

Communication Team working and team building Time management
I am an effective communicator. However, I am something of a dinosaur when it comes to social media and the internet! I do not have a very good understanding of the ways in which different electronic media can support my activities


I have put teams together in the past but I have never really got to grips with making the work particularly well. I need to learn more about what makes teams work most effectively and apply this to my project I am quite happy with my time management. I could always improve, of course, but I do not see this as a priority for this piece of work. I am well organised and have always had positive feedback about this in appraisals
Self confidence and use of initiative Project delivery Specific management issues
I am not particularly confident, but I think that this work will help me to grow that part of me.


I am comfortable with delivering projects but there are elements of their organisation that I could benefit from developing.


I need to develop my understanding of customer relationship management, account management and the ways to enhance customer satisfaction and sales through account management.


Problem solving Customer satisfaction Business analysis
This is an area in which I might improve my activities. I am comfortable when given a problem to solve but would benefit from learning new problem solving techniques, if the opportunities arise.


This is a major element of the project and, although I have always had good relationships with my customers, I feel that this is an opportunity for me to build up my knowledge of how the organisation can be more strategic in managing the relationships with our customers and make the most of them. So I need to build my knowledge of customer satisfaction, account management and customer relationship management


I feel that this is an area where I can improve. My boss tells me that I tend to jump to conclusions and that I should spend more time analysing situation and getting into the background of them. So I need to build my ability to use business analysis tools and approaches and apply my findings to the workplace.
Organisational analysis Leadership and management Other
As with business analysis, this is an area where I can improve. I think I need to build my confidence and ability to look for external sources of knowledge, to use analytical tools and to use academic and other sources to help me gain better views on my business.


In my small organisation, I feel that leadership and management is reasonably well delivered. I need to develop my skills in the area of team development, as discussed above.


From the above analysis, identify your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats that come from your project
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Good with people
  • Good communicator
  • Committed
  • Good with customers
  • Keen to make the organisation work
  • Well organised
  • Experienced in our business


  • Analysing
  • Team building and leadership
  • Being innovative
  • Using external sources and references
  • Lack of confidence
  • Use of social media and communications software
  • Business analysis
Opportunities Threats
  • Develop a new customer relationship management and account management process
  • Help the business to grow
  • Gain more experience and perhaps a promotion


  • Not keeping up with new approaches means that I might be overtaken by others
  • My job is currently secure and I am well thought of but, if we do not keep up, all our jobs could be at risk


Summarise the key issues you have identified and the reasons behind your analysis
I need to develop my business analysis skills, understanding of customer management processes and systems and team building and working. I need to build my confidence in the process and learn how to use academic and other sources to help me achieve better results. I also need to learn about how to measure these results.




4. Learning Plan
Over the following pages, you should develop your learning plan. To do this, you should consider the key issues you feel you need to develop from your analysis. You need to complete all the Outcomes from each of the three pages, covering Personal, Job and Course Outcomes. You should then complete the four boxes for each outcome, as follows:

What I need to learn

·         You should write a learning objective in the light of what you have identified as your personal learning. You should begin each objective with the phrase: By the end of my workbased learning, I should be able to …

My Plan to achieve this learning

·         You should outline the way(s) in which you intend to achieve the objectives you have set. This might include, (but is not limited to), reflecting on application within the project, background reading, working with others within your organisation, attending events etc etc

How I will prove my learning has taken place

·         You should think about how you will measure your learning. This should link back to the objective, which will tell you what you should be able to do by the end of the project. You should consider how you will be able to prove to yourself and your tutor that you have achieved these objectives and write down the ways in which you will do so

What you plan to do in the first month

·         You should write a plan for the first month of your work based learning. This should reflect the activities you intend to deliver in the first month of the programme.





Personal Learning Outcomes


What I need to learn

(SMART objectives)

My plan to achieve this learning How I will prove my learning has taken place What I plan to do in the first month of my WBL
Communicate effectively within a range of business contexts, using a variety of media, both oral and written.


By the end of this workbased learning, I should be able to use a range of media and communications techniques to communicate with both customers and internal staff


·     Investigate different social media and other communications processes

·     Develop different approaches to communicate with customers and team

·     Build understanding of customer relationship management using software approaches

·     Build communications processes for team and customers

By the end of this learning plan, we should be able to

·       communicate effectively as a project team

·       communicate effectively with our customers

·       point to enhanced business coming from new and existing customers

Investigate different social media including, but not limited to, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
Identify and develop the skills of working as an effective member of a team


By the end of this workbased learning, I should be able to assemble a team to develop innovations in customer care within our business ·     Investigate sources of learning relating to ways to build teams

·     Investigate different team approaches

·     Work with the team to build confidence and deliver the project

By the end of this learning plan, we should be able to

·       Deliver innovative and creative solutions to enhance customer satisfaction and sales

·       Show ourselves as a highly effective team

·       Point to successes generated by the team

Investigate different aspects of team working

Invite people to join the innovation team

Develop Time Management skills and the ability to plan and prioritise work You need to do all of these
Demonstrate self confidence and the use of initiative in a range of business situations


You need to do all of these



Job Related Outcomes


What I need to learn

(SMART objectives)

My plan to achieve this learning How I will prove my learning has taken place What I plan to do in the first month of my WBL
Take responsibility for specific tasks and operations and demonstrate learning from their achievement By the end of my workbased learning, I should be able to improve customer relationship management in my business. ·     Investigate customer relationship management and account management systems

·     Identify support mechanisms and make recommendations for adoption

·     Work with the team to implement appropriate new ways of working

By the end of this learning plan, we should be able to

·       Operate new customer support and marketing systems and processes

·       Show a growth in sales and profitability linked to new business through existing and new customers

Investigate customer management approaches through software and other areas.
Demonstrate understanding of organisational functions, processes and structures You need to do all of these
Analyse problems and suggest strategies to overcome them You need to do all of these
Analyse the needs of internal / external customers By the end of this workbased learning, I should be able to understand and react to the needs of my customer base through a clearer set of customer information and more effective communications processes ·     Develop my understanding of customer needs and satisfaction

·     Devise a framework for analysing the needs of my customers

·     Research my customers to gain an understanding of our strengths and limitations as a business

·     Work with our team to develop new approaches to managing our customers and the relationships with them

By the end of this learning plan, we should be able to

·       Show a new and better set of processes for managing customer relationships

·       Show growth in both numbers of customers and amount of repeat business

Research customer satisfaction

Consider the factors I intend to investigate and analyse, so that I can build them into an analytical framework.



Course Related Outcomes


What I need to learn

(SMART objectives)

My plan to achieve this learning How I will prove my learning has taken place What I plan to do in the first month of my WBL
Relate current theory of business management to the problems and practices within your project and elsewhere By the end of my workbased learning, I should be able to apply learning from the the universitymodules and evaluate the results achieved
  • Attend university workshops

·     Study learning from university modules

·     Apply learning from university workshops to my project

·     Analyse and evaluate the results

By the end of this learning plan, we should be able to

·       Show clear results gained from applying learning from university modules

·       Show enhancements in innovation, creativity, business processes and business growth


Select appropriate learning from the current university module

Start to apply it into my project situation

Analyse the business environment faced within the context of your project You need to do all of these
Examine how different academic subject disciplines interact to influence your project situation By the end of my workbased learning, I should be able to use a range of different external sources to enhance the delivery of my project ·     Continuously scan academic and other sources, based on the current situation and progression of my project

·     Read ILM EDGE journal regularly and apply learning from it to my project and elsewhere

By the end of this learning plan, we should be able to

·       Show growth and improvement to our business as a result of applying different academic and other sources

·       Show the value of professional journals through pointing at the results achieved

Read edition of EDGE magazine and select an appropriate article to apply.
Analyse management and leadership skills and styles observed in the workplace You need to do all of these



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