The purpose of this reflection sheet is to redirect how I and my teammates worked while undertaking the project.  It includes where my inspiration comes from, how I made use of my ideas to develop my work and my awareness of the context in which I work.

Problem solving

I was chosen to work in a team of five members to build a business plan regarding launching a business in Cardiff.  Although I wanted to be in a team of my close friends, the administration allocated teams randomly and put me in a group of five students. Luckily I already had close friendship with one member. Initially, I had objections to the supervisors’ decision of allocation but gradually as I started to know my team members, this opposition faded away. I felt friendly and enthusiastic being in this team. Being students from different backgrounds and societies raised some problems for us but we managed to solve all the issues quite amicably. All the disagreements were resolved and we worked together harmoniously. As a contemporary management student, I understood the capability of a team is greater than the collective abilities of the individuals within it.

As soon as I was consigned in a team, I called everyone for a meeting to know each other and discuss task in hand. For me, doing the work in a friendly environment and more casually could make the task easier. Rest of the team members did not agree and had some reservations but I motivated them and persuaded them to follow my arrangement. In the meetings, a plan was discussed and ideas were evolved. After careful planning, discussion and constructive arguments I made them agree on the topic. We defined our roles according to our strengths in subject areas and tasks were assigned to each member.

All team members were highly committed and motivated. My strong area was marketing, hence I’d been assigned with collecting, analyzing and evaluating marketing aspects of the business plan. I also convinced them to work closely and stay in constant contact. Although we had to work individually on our tasks I collaborated to help others in their work and vice versa. Apart from problems mentioned above, we faced some other problems such as lack of knowledge of how to conduct the study, inexperience of research process, lack of critical analysis during research process, less research was done on every individual’s part and there were critical judgements on each other’s work, no involvement of critical thinking which made our presentation look descriptive, and inconsistent decision-making.

I have learned that team is more successful when members within it are able to create synergy. Since our goals, objectives, tasks, and priorities were larger than any individual, teamwork was required. When team members know how to be more effective together, synergy happens and greater organizational success is achieved. I have also understood the importance of teamwork. Team members also brought energy, drive, passion, and determination.

Knowledge and Understanding

By conducting a research as a team, I felt that there is no doubt team theory is relevant in practice. I was confident to relate the research and the theory I have studied during my MBA course. Previous experience in management field also came handy. The most important thing I have gained knowledge of is the effectively working in a team. In the later stages of the project, coordination among team members increased considerably. This helped in improving and polishing our communication skills.

Although different tasks were assigned to team members, I remained in constant contact with every member and consulted on every possible occasion. This also helped me learn and understand their approach as well. The proposed business plan was solely concentrated on market penetration and market acquisition with its customer service, facilities, ambiance, and projection technology and above all, operational benefits. I managed to learn different marketing techniques and got a practical experience of how to apply marketing models and theories.

The main purpose of conducting a market research was to identify and establish a potential market and also to get the reliable data for the product. I have learned to analyze the market and potential customers before entering the market. I understood the market analysis for business is to check the feasibility and the absorbance of product in the market and to understand the trends and behavior of the consumers and to apply strategies accordingly.

Synthesis

Although all team members planned the business plan and divided the tasks according to their strengths but we still faced some problems. I would like to change my approach a little next time I involve myself in this type of activity. I would definitely focus on time management and motivation issues. Every member’s presentation skills were weak that resulted in lower marks. The report looked descriptive and team members just read that in the presentation meeting. Experience gained from this project will definitely help to improve the above-mentioned areas in the future.

Analysis and Evaluation

As a student studying MBA course, I was expected to apply critical thinking and analyze the business plan. The modules that I have studied during my lectures helped me apply marketing tools and techniques to my research. I learned how to apply theory into practice. I applied different models successfully such as McKenzie 7’s model, Porter’s generic strategies, Ansoff’s growth model, IR model, Porter’s five forces model and some others. The practical experience was built upon the theoretical knowledge.

Having completed this project, I have learned how to better argue a point in a discussion. Using facts and example, my arguments have become much better. The project taught us to be good team members, cooperative and helpful. I felt a change as my researching skills increased considerably. I can create a conclusive argument that can set a tone of the entire project.  I have also updated my accounting knowledge by working on new accounting principles.

I personally feel that business plan is viable as it helps us understand not just to apply critical thinking and analyze the information but to use the theory in practice. This is what I think MBA requires. It helps the students getting management experience and applying what they have learned in their lectures and workshops.

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