Assignment 4 – Individual Viewpoint
This is an individual piece of work. 50% of module marks are awarded for this assignment.
Case Scenario
You are a consultant employed in the strategy and operations division of a large consulting firm. The firm provides a broad range of consulting solutions to clients and works across all major industries and sectors and is constantly promoting thinking about key trends in business in the various sectors it serves. Because of your reputation for producing interesting but intellectually rigorous work which is valued by clients, you have been asked to join a team charged with developing “viewpoints” for the firm. These viewpoints have a variety of potential uses:
 the basis of discussions with clients
 presentation material for business meetings and conferences
 for publication as thought-pieces on the firm’s website
Your leaders have recognised the growing interest and activity in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare sector.
“AI in health represents a collection of multiple technologies enabling machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn so they can perform administrative and clinical healthcare functions. Unlike legacy technologies that are only algorithms/ tools that complement a human, health AI today can truly augment human activity.”
Available at:
Your task is to develop a viewpoint to promote to clients titled “The future: Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare”. (Refer to Appendix 1 for more information on Viewpoints in your firm). The firm believes this viewpoint can lead to client discussions on an issue that should be of significant interest to healthcare providers across the globe. Significant interest from these possible clients would provide the potential for ongoing follow-on consulting work, and the opportunity to build a continuing relationship in many cases. Your leaders would like you, therefore, to articulate the “Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare” concept in such a way as to generate interest from healthcare providers.
You must prepare initial materials to support conversations with clients on this topic. Senior colleagues have noted that a viewpoint should be authoritative, by referring to key opinion
formers (academic, business and social-political) and drawing on key data and support, as appropriate.
You have been told that you do not, as yet, have to prepare anything exhaustive or final. Rather you must make sure that what you prepare is likely to attract attention and stimulate the interest of clients. You should consider, however, that the implementation of an effective AI Healthcare solution will require you to consider IS infrastructure – which provides a future opportunity for your firm. You have been asked to be mindful of this when developing your viewpoint, with a view to securing future business for your firm in the area of Information System design, development, and implementation.
You are required to submit two deliverables for review, as detailed below. Note that this means you are required to develop, but not deliver, a presentation.
 A “pyramid” storyboard diagram clearly laying out our firm’s viewpoint of the opportunities for healthcare providers of engaging with “Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare”.
 A pyramid-based PowerPoint slide pack supporting the viewpoint, that can be used by members of the firm in discussions and presentations with clients and at conferences. This pack must be limited to no more than 24 slides (to include all slides to be presented, such as title slides, agendas, etc. – but excluding appendix slides). You should include supporting notes pages within your presentation.
Learning Outcomes assessed:

 Apply tools of research, analysis, decision-making and evaluation to a wide range of scenarios and use them to devise, substantiate and sustain credible arguments leading to possible viable solutions.

 Examine and appraise management and business concepts and frameworks through the analysis of complex, multifaceted problems encountered by managers in international organisations.

 Actively debate contemporary and potential future business and management issues, and how these relate to transformational change within organisations.
 Research and synthesize a complex and disparate array of information.
 Analyse and critically evaluate business and management information.
 Prepare and deliver high-impact presentations that are clear, persuasive and appropriate to their purpose.
 Engage with potential consulting clients in a professional manner.
Presenting Coursework for Assessment
There will be opportunity to receive formative feedback on a pyramid draft, more details to be advised in Semester 2.
Experience tells us that students who perform best in this assignment are those who spend time developing a well thought-through and well-designed pyramid storyboard. You are
strongly advised to spend sufficient time working on your draft pyramid prior to submission. This will ensure you receive really valuable feedback that enables you to perform well in your final assignment.
The file you submit should contain your pyramid diagram, your PowerPoint pack of 18-24 slides, and any appendices you feel are appropriate. You should include a reference list (Harvard format) in your appendices and provide citations for any data used.
Assignment length:
Your pyramid storyboard diagram must be either one or two PowerPoint slides only. If you cannot fit it all on one slide, you may have one slide for the introductory SCQA pattern, and a second for the body of the pyramid.
Your slide pack should be between 18-24 slides, including all slides to be presented, such as title slides, agendas, etc. but excluding appendix slides.
Assessment Criteria
Marks will be earned for the following criteria. Equal weighting is applied to each of these criteria.
Does it DEFINE what is required?
 address the purpose and scope of the project.
 structure the problem or issue.
 recognize restrictions.
Does it provide a SOLUTION of what is required?
 research and acquire appropriate content.
 analyse, evaluate and manipulate the content.
 advocate an effective viewpoint.
Does it effectively COMMUNICATE conclusions?
 create structurally coherent presentations.
 develop materials which are usable by other consultants.
 present professionally.
Feedback Timing;
Marks and feedback will be published following the July Examination Committee.
Appendix 1: The Use of ‘Viewpoints’ in your firm
Your firm’s leaders recognize that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate consulting services in the strategic consulting marketplace. The firm’s market research repeatedly shows that clients value consultants who have “opinions” on issues that concern them – whether or not they agree with those opinions. As such, the firm is investing in developing a number of industry and sector viewpoints
A “viewpoint” is seen in your firm as informed material intended to provoke discussion with clients. It is not necessarily intended to lead directly to a sale, but should offer consultants an opportunity to open up a discussion about a client’s business and the strategic issues they face. It is these issues (which the client cares about and would like to solve), that provide the consultant with an opportunity to make a sale. As such, a viewpoint should ideally provoke a client in to wanting to discuss these issues further.
Your firm’s leaders have said that a good viewpoint should meet the following criteria:
 Have a clear point of view or expressed opinion, which is of potential interest to a typical client in an industry or sector
 Be likely to provoke further discussion (or have “hooks”)
 Have a clear, logical structure which supports that opinion
 Provide adequate evidence, used selectively in support of that structure
 Have supporting material which can be easily used by other consultants delivering the viewpoint
Appendix 2: How to approach the assignment
The assignment aims to get students to structure and support an informed (supported) opinion on an issue of potential interest to consulting clients, drawing principally on existing knowledge and research of that issue. You will need to research the subject to do this effectively. Your aim is to persuade clients that your opinions are interesting and worth listening to.
The pyramid approach that follows emphasizes the connection between your supported opinion and the rigorous structure (the pyramid approach) to clearly articulate your opinion. This is an assignment that focuses as much on the process as the content, and we will mark it accordingly. The suggested approach aims to be as exhaustive as possible, and we are aware that many of you set yourselves very high standards in your work. We look forward to marking some excellent assignments!
1. Understand the concept of a viewpoint
 Understand the nature of a “viewpoint”: go on websites to view think-pieces, position papers (downloads often available).
 This viewpoint is designed to stimulate clients (plural, not singular) within a single sector – this is normal practice within these consulting firms.
2. Research the subject
 Do some general background research on the subject to check on major areas or issues you should consider. Review websites of other firms to see what they have produced for clients.
 Do not research in too much detail at this stage
1. Understand the viewpoint concept
2. Research the subject
3. Construct your pyramid diagram
4. Review your pyramid
5. Construct presentation in line with pyramid
6. Add notes pages, appendices, references
3. Construct your Pyramid Diagram
Once you have sufficient knowledge of the subject (from your initial research), developing your pyramid is the next step. It should be a one-slide diagram in the box style as explained/practised in the U58080 pyramid workshop session. It provides the structure of your presentation. Each box should contain a clear statement. There should be a clear introduction section, a main idea or main message (for example, a hypothesis or proposition for clients), and a “question and answer hierarchy” of “logical groupings” that provides support for that main message
Key principles:
 Start with the MAIN MESSAGE (your viewpoint/ opinion)
 The introduction (“SCQA” structure) should be constructed to establish your MAIN MESSAGE as the answer to the issue
 Support with a number of “why?”, “how?” questions, etc. (3 to 5 may be a good planning number)
 Extend the pyramid vertically, as appropriate, with further “why?”, “how?”, “how do you know?” questions – the key evidence and support that underpins your “whys” (in practice some of this may be presented through the notes page facility as if briefing a speaker)
 Remember to use simple, clear statements in each box
 Use the “MECE” (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) principle horizontally to help you determine the statements in each box (try to make sure these are “parallel” – issues of the consistent level of each statement are relevant)
 “NEXT STEPS” section could be used to suggest typical services your firm has on offer that may be relevant to the issue, BUT a viewpoint would not normally get involved in discussing services and solutions in detail – the purpose is to stimulate a discussion which may lead to a sale.
4. Review your Pyramid
 Confirm the main message is clear and adequately supported by your “why?” questions, etc.
 Confirm the underlying support and research evidence is adequate but not excessive to your purpose.
o Evidence and support may include: research findings, authoritative opinion from experts (occasional quotations where relevant), a short discussion/ flow diagram/ matrix that supports the logic of a statement, a quantification of possible benefit, impact of issue, or improvement achievable, etc.
 Fill in gaps in your pyramid –you may need to research further or find better support/ evidence
5. Translate your Pyramid into PowerPoint slides
Some points to note:
 Use slide headers to tell the story (storyboard) derived from the pyramid. Use statements in headers which can tell the complete story in summary, without looking at the slide contents.
 Use “kickers” at the foot of slides (reveal boxes) which can help with transition of story to next page (where appropriate)
 Ensure some variety in your slide content style (bullets, diagrams, images, quotations, tables)
 Use agenda or signposting devices to help the reader/ speaker with navigation
 Make your statements and slides as clear and simple as possible
 The slide design should be branded (you may use branding developed in other projects)
 ensure the slides are clear and understandable to the intended audience.
Remember, the pyramid diagram should be the key to understanding your slides for other presenters. The second source of help to them is your notes pages…
6. Complete the notes pages for your slides
“Notes pages” can be found on PowerPoint by clicking “View”, followed by “Notes pages”. This view shows the slide you are working on with an area for speaker notes immediately below. You should prepare appropriate speaker notes (possibly as bullet points) to guide speakers using your slides.
Remember the scenario – you are producing a presentation for delivery by a senior consultant in your firm. They are experienced at delivering presentations, and do not need to be told to smile, to click to go on to the next slide, etc.
What you include may vary from slide to slide, and some slides may not need additional notes. You must make the notes pages clear and simple for quick assimilation by other speakers. Normally bullets or numbered points would suffice.
Points you may think about including are:
 Key points in the argument / discussion of the opinion that are worth making or re-iterating verbally
 Additional stories, anecdotes or evidence to use verbally in support of the viewpoint
 Any aspects where there might be differences within a sector which should be acknowledged by a speaker
 Acknowledgements of areas of possible disagreement from listeners, either with your opinion or with the evidence presented (effectively, you forearm speakers with the “why nots”), and suggestions for building a client-focussed discussion on these disagreements.
 Possible hooks that could open up further discussion later – uncertainties/ unknowns/ paradoxes to pose, requests for client experiences in relation to the problem, etc.
 Warning of “reveals” or animations on the slides, and how to use them
 Any theatrical devices – use of silence, questions to ask audience, cut-in video clips, role plays, or jokes
 Suggestions for short scene-setters, stories (before referring to the SCQA structure of the introduction) or final messages to give to clients
 If appropriate, links to other services that your firm may sell to support a client.
 Etc.
The above represents a fairly exhaustive checklist of things to think about, and it is unlikely you would use all.
7. Appendices and References
If appropriate, you may produce “appendix” slides, in an appendices section. These do not count for the slide limit on this assignment but must be professionally presented in a way that they could be used by other members of your firm if they chose to present more detailed evidence supporting their argument.
For the purposes of the assignment, please add a “references” appendix to the slide pack as a separate section, giving your reference list in accordance with the required Harvard format. Important points of support or evidence on the face of the slides would normally have a name and date reference, consistent with the Harvard approach.
Version 1: 5/9/19