Assessment 3: Professional Skills Report and Presentation
Interview an IT expert
The purpose of this task is to encourage students to make industry contacts, and explore contemporary approaches to dealing with the social impact of technology and business and professional practices.
Timelines and Expectations
Percentage Value of Task: 20% (written report 40 marks + presentation 40 marks)
Due: Presentation Week 11 – In timetabled tutorial, Slides and Report (and interview audio file) to be submitted onto Moodle Week 11.
Minimum time expectation: This task will take approximately 30 hours to complete.
Learning Outcomes Assessed
The following learning outcomes for ITECH3203 are assessed by completing this assessment: K3, K4, S3, and A1.
As information technology professionals, entering the workforce, it is important to develop an understanding of contemporary business practice, and the skills required to support the social impact of computers. Business skills include working on teams, teaching others, serving customers, leading, negotiating, working with cultural diversity, interviewing, listening, conducting meetings, and confliction resolution to name a few. Almost 90% of US companies believe some type of business skills training in necessary for their workforce (Hurley, 2008). As reported by Weinstein (2001) “it is no secret that business and technical skills are a magical combination”. Many techies and educators are seeing the wisdom of the combination of both skill sets.
So what are the combination of technical and business skills that modern employers are looking for, and which skills are most in demand in the modern workforce?
For this assignment, students are required to work in a team (limited to 4 members). Each team is required to: a).
identify and interview an IT businessperson or manager, b). submit a written report, and c). deliver an oral presentation to the class.
Each team should select someone who has a full-time role as an IT manager, running a business or leading an organisation. Your team may choose any IT organisation or IT department of an organisation. Each team is to confirm the appropriateness of the interviewee with the course lecturer before finalising arrangements.
Interview Question Topics
Each team member must select O NE (1) unique topic and develop at least FOUR (4) questions to ask at the
interview. Overall, the team must select a minimum of TWO (2) topics per list (at least one topic per person).
List A – Social Impact of TechnologyList B – Business and Professional Practice
Try to conduct the interview in the workplace of your interviewee at a mutually convenient time. The interview should last around 30 minutes, ensure your make an audio recording (in m p3 format) of the interview (and/or a
transcript), and take a photograph of your team with the interviewee. ALL team members are required to attend the interview. It may also be thoughtful to provide your interviewee with your team’s questions prior to the interview.
For assistance in report writing techniques,
A suggested report structure is as follows.
Title page Executive summary Table of contents
* denotes individual student contributions, all other sections are to be completed by the team
Each team member is to write a section of the report (ITECH3203 students approximately 1000 words, and ITECH7203 students approximately 1400 words) on their selected topic. Each team member’s section should be clearly labelled with their n ame, and the topic under investigation. The opening paragraph of each team member’s section should outline the topic, list interview question(s) asked including rationale for inclusion, and indicate any relevant theory to be discussed. The body of each team member’s section should provide an analysis of the interviewee’s responses to the topic questions from the interview data, and synthesise these ideas with ideas from the literature. Conclusions and lessons learned must also be noted.
Writing should be validated with concepts from other people’s work. You must gather these references from a variety of appropriate sources, such as authoritative books, journals, conference proceedings, reliable Internet and other media resources, etc. All material is to be identified in the essay with in-text citations and a full reference list also included, to be formatted using APA style.
As part of the appendices, there should be a brief list of the contributions of each team member, their role and a description of responsibilities. Examples of participation evidence might include meeting minutes, writing the first draft of executive summary, conclusion or list of references and/or proofreading a report written by another team member and/or contributing in other ways to the work of the team.
Each team is required to deliver an oral presentation during the week 11 tutorial classes. For large tutorial classes it may be necessary to use some of week 12 also, but all teams are required to submit their work in week 11.
Each team’s presentation should adhere to the following:
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS REPORT
The topic outlines the issues of privacy or cybersecurity in IT firm of Australia and provides the major relevant theories related to the team and people management. An interview had taken place in the IT firm and the questions related to the privacy issues in the cybersecurity, and the team management has been raised. Some general interview questions related to the social impact on technology and business and professional practice were asked to justify the challenges happening in the firm. Bruce Tuckman's Model of Team Stages and Belbin's Theory of team roles are discussed in the project.
1. What is the greatest security threat to businesses?
In the interview, this particular question was raised to the manager of the IT firm so as to know about the main causes regarding the security threat to the business. As per the manager’s point of view, the greatest security alarming threats in the business sector are the employees working in the organization. These internal employees are the most significant threat regarding the privacy issues of the organization as the employees use personal devices in the workforce, which is against the breach of the law (Zerlang, 2017). Other security concerns include Ransomware, bugs, hacking and many more.
2. What threats have your company faced in the past, and what mitigation strategies did you use for addressing these cybersecurity or privacy issues?
There are different types of security concerns in the organization, and some of the situations have been handled by the organization in the past. So, the question was asked by the company manager regarding the past threats of the company. The manager stated his past experiences on the privacy concerns regarding the IT firm it has been found out that Cloud computing, internal employees, Ransomware and IoT were some key issues in the company. Different strategies were applied to overcome these issues such as creating the framework regarding the risk management, threat management and operational oversight in order to handle these types of situations and by building strong confidential policies (Carey, 2018).
3. What are your opinions on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
GDPR can be found in large organizations as well as in the small business. The opinions of the manager regarding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are that related to the privacy concern. Basically, small organizations face these issues a lot as the implementation of the GDPR would provide the necessary protection to the company. The data protection should be considerate of the elaborateness of the protection policies. Application of GDPR would be difficult for the smaller organizations as it will affect the business standards for compliance with the documentation (Voigt & Von dem Bussche, 2017). The manager also stated that the larger organizations would face less difficulty as the organizational structure of the company is already formal, and the acceptance of the privacy and data protection regulation would be much easier.
1. What is the most challenging thing about managing people and workload?
According to the manager, the most challenging perspective of managing the people is to keep them continuously motivated and engaged in the work. Since it is very natural for a person to lose focus or energy during a span of time, the work of the manager becomes harder during such time. The distribution of the workload to optimize the employee and their capabilities is also another dimension which makes managing people challenging (Armstrong, 2016). The strenuous thing about managing people is to get out the best of them in trying times or during a period of inefficiency. However, the manager also opined that it is the functional duty of the manager to encourage the employees to perform better and improve themselves.
2. Describe the most important contributions of a manager in the organization in terms of managing a team.
According to the manager, the assimilation of the organizational goal with the goals of the various managers which help the company to run smoothly is a necessity. It can be said that the manager should have to take the responsibility of facilitating the proper communication channel and motivational technique (Guchait, Lei & Tews, 2016). The contribution of the manager cannot be quantified in terms of production directly e but the motivation and encouragement of the employees to continually provide productive work and efficiency in the workplace through the responsibilities and functionalities of the positions of the manager is what makes a truly successful organization. The effectiveness of the strategies and the individual contributions of the employees are cropped together by the manager to provide a quantifiable output to the organization.
3. What steps have you considered for emphasizing and promoting teamwork within your organization?
The manager expressed a mix of various steps which has been taken as it is very much impossible for a single step to produce the same teamwork-oriented results. A combination of specifying the team roles clearly for a better understanding of the employees would help the company to achieve its targets much easier. The need for the rewarding would keep the workers motivated in work, and they would be engaged and motivated in the work they are involved in (Ghaferi & Dimick, 2016). It was also said that the involvement of the employees in the decision-making process of the company also validates their contribution to the organization and helps build a personal connection which is very important for the employees to stay committed for a cause of the organization. The social activities such as group tours and games also help the employees feel relaxed and associated with other employees of the company as well as the organization. Thus, the need for a mixture of strategies is justified for teamwork development.
The social impact of technology, as well as professional and business practices, is focused on the study. An evaluation of GDPR, major security threats in an IT firm, along with the challenges faced by the manager in the context of team and people management have been identified in this study. In addition, major relevant theories of team and people management have been discussed briefly. Various questionnaires were raised during the interview sessions.