London’s Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports. It is used by over 82 airlines flying to 180 destinations (in 85 countries) worldwide. The airport has five passenger terminals and a cargo terminal. In the 1950s, Heathrow had six runways, now it has just two parallel runways running eastwest of the airport. Heathrow has witnessed strong growth over recent decades, currently handling about 72.3 million passengers and over 477,000 flights a year compared to around 48 million passengers and 427,000 flights a year in 1996. In the absence of any increase in runway capacity, this growth has resulted in Heathrow’s runways operating at around 98% capacity compared to its main European competitors which operate at around 75% capacity, leading to increased delays, lower resilience and fewer destinations served.
As the UK continues to face the challenge of airport capacity, Heathrow is considered the most deliverable solution – because it builds on one of the UK’s strongest national assets. Over the last decade since 2003, £11bn has been spent on making Heathrow world-class, with the award-winning Terminal 5 and the new Terminal 2 (The Queen’s Terminal which opened in June 2014). There are other several reasons why Heathrow is best placed to deliver more jobs, more exports, business opportunities and air travel options for passengers. For example, the centre of economic gravity is to the west of London.
There are 120 of the UK’s top 300 company HQs located within a 15 mile radius of Heathrow, compared to just 16 within 15 miles of Gatwick. Several businesses are located closer to Heathrow as they recognise the greater long-haul connections and surface access it has – making it easier for them to do business around the globe. The Thames Valley area, for example, has 60% more international businesses than the national UK average, 100% more US businesses and 260% more Japanese businesses. Heathrow will help more UK businesses go global with a third runway as it already carries more freight exports and imports than every other UK airport combined, and cargo facilities will be doubled as a result of this plan.
However, Heathrow authorities have faced a big problem, whether to build a new airport (option 1) or to increase the capacity of the existing one by building the 3rd runway and a sixth terminal (option 2). The second option needs less investment and is potentially easier to accomplish, but needs more political and social support and agreements as there are many stakeholders with different views about the proposal of a 3rd runway. On one side there are economic benefits, on the other side are considerations involving the environmental impact, increasing noise level and discontent of the people, particularly those living on the area close to the airport.
The Airports Commission has been tasked with recommending the best way forward on the UK airport capacity issue. (Adapted from www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/, 2014) You have been recruited as a consultant to provide some contributions to the members of the Airports Commission, who have been tasked to produce a detailed report with recommendations that will help the Heathrow authorities in finding the best way forward on the 3rd runway plans to increase the airport capacity at Heathrow. Your communication skills, understanding of information needs and knowledge management will be crucial for you to be effective in this role. Note: This scenario is for Task 1 and Task 2 that cover Learning Outcomes LO1 and LO2.
Dr Knowledge Mpofu
September 2014 Semester
Task 1: Assessing information and knowledge needs
Based on Scenario for Task 1 and Task 2, you are expected to: AC1.1 Discuss the range of decisions to be taken by the Heathrow Authorities and Management Guidelines: Your answer should discuss the various possible decisions that can be taken by the Heathrow authorities in dealing with the issue highlighted in the scenario. AC1.2 Examine the information and knowledge needed to ensure effective decision taking based on the scenario
Guidelines: In your answer to this question, you need to think about, and give examples of, the different types of information and knowledge needed by Heathrow authorities in order to ensure effective decision making in this case. The examples of types of information and knowledge you can give may be of different forms that include qualitative (descriptive information), quantitative (statistical data), official and unofficial information, policy and opinion, tacit and explicit knowledge.
AC1.3 Assess internal and external sources of information and understanding based on the scenario
Guidelines: Your answer should clearly identify the key sources of information that can help Heathrow authorities. These sources might include internal and external stakeholders of the company, formal and informal sources, team workers and customers. It will be useful to give examples in your answer.
Task 2: Stakeholders, Personal networking and Decision-making process Based on Scenario for Task 1 and Task 2, you are expected to: AC2.1 Identify both internal and external key stakeholders of Heathrow airport who should be involved in the decision-making process in the issue highlighted in the scenario.
AC2.2 Explain how Heathrow authorities can make contact with their internal and external stakeholders, and develop business relationships.
AC2.3 Explain how Heathrow authorities can involve the identified stakeholders in the decision-making process, as appropriate.
Guidelines: Your answer should explain the possible ways through which
Heathrow authorities can connect, interact or share some ideas with some of the identified stakeholders of the organisation in order to develop business relationships with them. In addition, explain how these identified stakeholders can be involved in the decision-making process with a view to finding the best way forward on the 3rd runway plans to increase the airport capacity at Heathrow.
AC2.4 In your role as a consultant in this case, design strategies for improving personal networking and involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process based on the scenario and, (AC1.4) justify your recommendations for improvement. Guidelines: Your answer should suggest and describe possible ways (strategies) which you could use to improve your personal networking or connections with the identified stakeholders and involve them in discussions and decision-making processes based on the scenario. Any relevant approaches, illustrations or diagrams can be used in designing the strategies for improving networking and stakeholder participation in decision-making process (AC2.4), and your recommendations for improvement should be clearly justified to meet the assessment criteria AC1.4 as well.
In this task, you will need to select and analyse the communication processes in an organisation which you are familiar with. In your selection of the organisation, make sure you will have access to both internal and external communication processes used by that organisation.
Other students and lecturers will be interested to learn about the communication processes from your selected organisation. You are aware that you will need to find effective ways of communicating this to your colleagues and lecturers. In particular, you recognise that effective communication helps to improve relationships at work and other social situations by deepening your connections to stakeholders and improving teamwork, decision-making and problem solving for the success of an organisation.
Based on Scenario for Task 3, you are expected to:
AC3.1 Report on existing processes of communication that you have researched and observed in your selected organisation:
(i) between management and employees
(ii) between the organisation and its customers
Guidelines: Your answer should clearly show evidence of some research carried out to identify the different information technology (IT) systems used within the organisation for communication purposes. The answer should also show how people within the organisation meet or create platforms for sharing ideas and decision-making. These opportunities for meetings could be structured and coordinated, planned, face-to-face, formal and informal.
AC3.2 Design ways to improve the appropriateness of the communication processes (that you have identified in AC3.1 above).
Guidelines: In designing the ways to improve the appropriateness of the communication processes, your answer may include some relevant illustrations or diagrams and specifying the IT systems involved in the process.
AC3.3 Explain how the improvements to the ways and IT systems (that you have suggested above in AC3.2) can be implemented to ensure greater integration of systems of communication in the organisation.
AC3.4 Based on Scenario for Task 3, create a personal plan to improve your own communication skills. A self-reflective summary is also be needed in this part of the task.
Use the following guidelines to help you in preparing and creating an effective personal communication development plan:
(i) Identify five communication skills relevant to your role These could be classified under verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills.
(ii) Identify three strengths in your communication skills, and describe how each strength will enable you to be more effective or achieve in your role.
(iii) Identify three weaknesses in your communication skills and describe how each weakness can be improved.
(iv) Create your own Action Plan using a SMART Objective technique: Guidelines: Your Action plan should include the following:
a. At least three SMART objectives that can be followed to improve your own personal communication skills
b. Specific actions that can be taken to address each objective
c. Possible barriers for each objective, and how you think the challenges can be addressed
d. Resources and/or support required to achieve each objective
e. Time scale: When you expect each objective to be achieved? (v) Produce a Self-Reflective Summary
Guidelines: Finally, you are required to produce a Self-reflective summary on how you think the production of your Personal Communication Development Plan has helped you to understand your communication skills, and how to improve them. Your self-reflective summary may also include:
Information on how useful you found the techniques applied in this task (e.g Skills Audit table, SWOT analysis and Action plan based on SMART objectives).
How helpful do you think the process of developing your Personal Communication Development Plan has been, and how this may be useful for you in the future. Task 3 covers assessment criteria AC3.1, AC3.2, AC3.3 and AC3.4 under LO3
Task 4: Improving Access to Systems of Information and
Scenario for Task 4:
You are an Information Systems development specialist working for a Knowledge Management company in London. You have been hired by a University in London to produce information systems that could be used by registry and both students and lecturers in supporting their teaching and learning. In this role, you will produce technology systems which will specifically help the University to improve collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge, and assist in improving access to these resources for the benefit of the stakeholders of the university. Based on the Scenario for Task 4, you are expected to:
AC4.1 Report on existing approaches to the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge to support the teaching and learning at the University.
Guidelines: Your answer should identify and explain how different information technology systems (IT) and other approaches which are used by the University particularly for collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge available to support their teaching and learning process. In your answer, you may also think about approaches that help to ensure the knowledge and information available within the University to their students is consistent, reliable, current, valid, legal and kept safely and confidential.
AC4.2 Carry out appropriate changes to improve the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge involving the teaching and learning at the University.
Guidelines: Your answer should suggest possible changes that can be done to improve the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge at the University. You may think about better ways to handle knowledge and information, including how these could be displayed and disseminated to students, lecturers and other stakeholders within and outside the University while ensuring that the information is consistent, reliable, current, valid, legal and kept safely and confidential. AC4.3 Suggest one possible way (strategy) which you think can be used more effectively to improve access to information and knowledge for students, lecturers, management, employees and other stakeholders within and outside the University. Your answer should highlight some possible benefits of creating a way which can be used to increase access to information and knowledge that help in supporting the teaching and learning at the University.