On April 16th, Bachelor of Commerce – Digital Business Management students successfully presented their capstones with small businesses in Ontario through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, with clients in attendance.
The capstone course taught by Professor Mark Stoiko, is academically all-encompassing and brought together summary knowledge, learning outcome achievements, competencies, and experience.
To present for their clients, adjustments were made to the projects to conduct professional and comprehensive online presentations.
This year, the capstones focused on student branding and discerning client needs while using a project management framework. Each student branded themselves by creating logos and names which included Insight Marketing, Digibuzz, 4M Marketing, and HD Consulting. In addition, the brands were given positioning and an image - to create awareness, values - to build brand equity, and an emotional connection - to encourage loyalty.
Personal visits, online meetings, and teleconference discussions we initiated by the students to understand the client’s needs. One group conducted primary research by surveying the client’s customers and asked them to rate the service and communication.
Furthermore, there was the dilemma of delivering a client's request versus what they need in which the students had to objectively demonstrate that a need required fulfilling before a desire. For example, a website (the need) required to be redesigned before a social media program (the want) could be planned. This was a valuable experience for each group.
Students were also given the structure of project planning within which to deliver a business solution. Project planning phases begin with initiation - defining the project and researching the feasibility. This was then followed by the plan (background, SWOT analysis, scope, stakeholder analysis, risk analysis, goal-setting, milestones, and communication). In the execution phase, student groups allocated resources (human and other), tracked, communicated, set key performance indicators (KPIs) and quality deliverables, and tracked costs. In the monitoring phase, students controlled the schedule, costs, leads and lags, quality, communications, risks, and stakeholder engagement.
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020, on making a smooth transition to online delivery! A special thanks to Professor Stoiko for guiding students through these unusual circumstances to the successful completion of their work, and semester.