|Engineering and Computing
Technology and information technology, in particular, can now provide help in many ways that were not possible in the past. However, as more and more information and business and personal transactions are delivered or managed online, so it is increasingly important to ensure that users are not disadvantaged by the technology. Indeed, there is legislation that now requires organizations to provide both physical and virtual access so that no special needs group is disadvantaged.
Your project should be a response to one of the issues identified on the next page and should take advantage of some of your design and technical skills and should help a specific group or organization, for example, by raising awareness, increasing membership or activity, raising funds, or providing services, developing new products or interfaces, or training programs for users or their supporters or some combination of these.
Interfaces with computer programs or other IT tools are areas where there are many opportunities for small projects. It may also be possible for you to consider ways of developing these or exploiting new technological developments such as mobile computing, wireless communication, digital imaging, new media, or electronic business processes in appropriate ways. You should develop an application or website prototype that will allow users to benefit from your project.
You are invited to propose a project that will help a small organization, group of users or people who support your users. For example, there are a large number of organizations that provide support or advice to people, attached to local or national health, educational or community establishments. You will need to do some research on your chosen organization or user group, but you are not required or expected to contact them directly.
One of the project criteria is to decide the scope of the project. You may decide to limit your project to a specific local organization, a specific group of users, or a national organization. You must identify a specific area where such a project development would be useful and feasible and justify your choice. You are required to submit a Project Proposal and Project Initiation Document (PID).
You will get feedback on your initial proposals during the sessions during the taught module, and you will then be expected to work these up into a full Project Plan, with illustrative supporting material. In addition to your PID, you will be asked to submit a small “look and feel” prototype or walkthrough and slides for a boardroom presentation that describe the business case for your deliverables.
Any proposal will need to be constrained within a small budget for startup funds and development costs of a nominal (virtual) £100K. It is expected that the project, will be up and running within 6 months, and result in some sustainable benefit to the chosen users or organization within one year. It is expected that these startup funds, possibly with further funds from other identified sources, will enable any new long-term venture to become self-supporting after an initial period of up to 12 months.
If you decide that your project will require additional funding beyond the £100K, you will need to show how this money might be raised and spent, and how it could be recovered over a two-year period. You can apply for further funding.
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