This WebLog offers a brief introduction to all the Modules taught by Rory MacPhee at Falmuth Marine School. For full information on the Marine Environmental Management Degree see

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Managing Business Activities

Level 1 Module Code FDMS151 100% coursework

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop techniques for successful project management
2. Analyse and manage risk
3. Apply team building skills
4. Formulate strategies for conducting effective contractual negotiations

Introduction to Module

This is a practical introduction to project management skills - accountancy, planning, negotiation, motivation, leadership, press management and contingency planning.


Your assessment for this module will be one test for 40% on 20th January , and one piece of coursework for 60% on 27th April.

Coursework brief (provisional):

The test will summarise the essentials of project management - eg CPA and GANTT, cash-flow forecasting and estimating, so you need to ensure 100% attendance and note taking beyond compare.

The coursework will involve team-work to plan and dr-deliver a project, supported by individual


1. Introduction - Project management skills. Task: the group will be split into six teams. Each team will devise a project management study in 15 minutes based on ways of cooking eggs: boiled, scrambled, fried, baked, omelette, mayonaise. The terms of reference are to plan the process so that the product is delivered exactly two hours from the start time. From this will be developed the essential process for running a project. We will then discus as a group a project to set up a quick and dirty boat building competition - this might be taken forward by one individual as a Research Project. See images here from the USA.

Contemporary projects: London Olympics , Coastal Conflicts Symposium

2. Time and Motion Study, Critical Path Analysis also see here and GANTT charts - application to a range of projects, eg beach management/cleaning.

3. Practical contexts: Bishops Forum briefing before visit on Ocotber 9th. Note: students following the MEM pathway are undertaking an environmental audit at Bishops Forum on 9 and 10 October. So those students following MLM will only visit the BF for an outside lecture at a time to be arranged. During this visit students will be introduced to the development project at the BF.

5. Cash flow issues - see here for a good visual for a calculator, here for something more basic

We are studying cas flow because, whilst a business or project might be profitable on paper, it might still go bust becasue it cannot pay the bills. With relation to the BF visit, when a big project spend is planned, even though it may be grant funded, it has to be abolutely clear when the grant monies are to be paid. In normal circumstances a bank will extend an overdraft if there is a delay in payment of grant monies.

An integral part of cash flow management is debt and credit control - ie debts to you have to be resolved quickly, whilst debts to others should be delayed. There are, however, moral issues to confront here.

A good overall assessment of cash flow is provided here by the HSBC

Simulations: Positive Cash Flow Stable Cash Flow Negative Cash Flow

Cash flow forecasts are often a component of a business plan.

What about effort flow?

6. No lecture, Rory in Bristol

7. Project Management Basics

8. Case study (memorial bench) and the nature of genius

9. Run up to exam, focus on negotiating skills and contracts. You must be clear from the outset that there are two distinct types of contracts for the sale of goods or the supply of services: Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B). The rules governing the former are more complex than the latter.

With B2B contracts, it is all about negotiation. Although you can rely after the event on the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, this is not a business like approach. Contracts (aka conditions of sale) are there to be negotiated, and are effectively a method by which a relationship is risk-assessed. Five key areas need addressing: quantity, price, deliver mode, payment terms and liability for defective product. It is absolutely key to be able to identify the point at which risk or ownership passes.

For negotiating strategy, see here Maybe

For imported goods, the situation is altogether more complex, and governed by INCOTERMS use f

For B2C contracts, refer to the AMDEA resource below.or exam?

Essentials of a Contract
Negotiating purchases
How to negotiate best price
Negotiating Tips
The art of haggling
Consumer Advice
Advice to Manufacturers from AMDEA
Advice from the Union of Small Businesses
Watchdog Video - Lawyer explaining consumer law
Watchdog Video - Sale of Goods
Watchdog - Supply of Services
Watchdog - other civil laws that apply to the consumer
Watchdog - criminal law
Watchdog - enforcing your rights

Body Language

Lying and deception
Communication modes
Mark Bowden - First Impressions
Business Communications

Week 12: Test preparation: the test will be formative assessment with four activities. The first activity will test your understanding of the law of contract. The second activity will be to write a review of some video footage showing a seminar on negotiating skills, so you will need to research this area using the above links (heads i win tails you lose?). The third activity will relate to body language, and I will be expecting you to do your own research into this as well as following the likns above. Finally, we shall engage in a group discussion.

Week 13: In Class Test

Week 14 - 22: Project Management Skills with Buzz Banks

Week 23: De Brief

Week 24: The remaining 6 hours of sessions will be run as an extended field trip at a time to be agreed. I will offer you a trip to Penzance to look at the Vega project, a large steel motor yacht being refurbished.

Week 25:

Week 26:


Project Management Tips
Planning Template
SWOT Template

NOS for Project Management and here

An example of a project management company

Using Excel for Gantt charts

How to write a business plan
How to find grants
Convergence funding in Cornwall
IT contract law for project managers

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