Monthly Archives: August 2014

Meetings in weeks 8 and 11


During the last two weeks and for the next two weeks I will meet each group for a fortnightly consultation.  Each of these meetings is for 1/2 an hour and I am able to see five groups per week.

In week 8 and 11 I need to meet with each group and would prefer to keep the meetings at 1/2 hour each which will mean that I need to do some of the meetings outside of the normal scheduled lecture. As such I am looking for five groups to nominate times outside of the usual seminar period to meet with me, suggested times are as follows;

  • 8:25
  • 12:10
  • 12:45
  • 1:20
  • 2:00
  • 2:40
  • 3:15

If you group is able to change times please have the industry liaison e-mail me to confirm.  The time you select would be for weeks 8 and 11.  Face to face meetings will be important for these meetings so virtual is not an option.

Thank you for assisting with this process

Some thoughts for your projects


Over the past two weeks I have meet with each of the groups to discuss the progress on the projects to date. While each of the projects are unique I thought it might be useful to put down a few observations and thoughts for you to consider;



For me the key to these projects is momentum.  I have tried to get you to do a fair bit in the first few weeks and by design and circumstance some of the projects have pushed groups to gather their data already.  In these cases there is a natural momentum of the project and the key for these groups will be to maintain this momentum.  For other groups it will be about creating the momentum through site visits, team meetings and consultations with myself.  Regardless of which category you fall into the key is going to be to maintain momentum throughout the semester, especially as other assessments and considerations come into play.

Another key here is to make sure you are not held up by your industry partner waiting for information. For one of the group they were going to wait until Week 7 to get more information from the industry partner when they went for the site visit.  I suggested if they addressed this before hand then it would  make the discussions at their progress meeting more meaningful and maintain momentum.

Data Collection


By now you should have either collected data or have a clear plan as to when this will be done (and how it will be collated).

Each of the groups have different methods of collecting data, with some being qualitative and others quantitative, some being observational and some being secondary.  By now you should all know what data you are going to collect and that then needs to fit within a time frame which will suit the project, in short when do you need the data collection to be completed to allow time for analysis and write up of results.  Remember to use your service industry studies learning to assist with this process.

Also for those who want to do interviews or surveys remember that I need to see them and they will also need to be approved

Push the envelope


For me this is a key time in your project, By now, as a group, your should have a clear understanding and interpretation of your project brief.  You should have started your data collection and you will start to make assumptions around what the problems and how they can be addressed.  At this point it is important to not let your initial impressions influence your interpretation of the data.

From previous experience what I have seen at this point is that groups will identify the broad issues, determine a way to address the issues and set on a path of recommendations without going into much more analysis.  This often occurs with the need to submit other assessments and the like.  My advice is to keep an open mind as you analyse the data and scan the environment for ideas which you have not yet investigated and push beyond the position of this will do to be able to provide an innovative solution.

Remember, if you are able to produce a report which is actually implemented by the organisation then it gives you something to talk about at job interviews. 

Progress reports


Just a reminder that in Week 7 you are to arrange a meeting with your industry partner to provide a progress report.  Basically this is a chance to do a couple of things;

  • Discuss what you have done to date
  • Outline your plans for the remainder of the project 
  • Ask more questions

You need to plan for this meeting so you get the most out of it.  Have as much done before hand so the presentation is not just we are going to do ….”.  You will get much more out of the meeting if your discussions are along the lines of “We have done this and would like to ask….”

Your industry partners are busy so I would recommend that you lock in meeting times with them now for week 7.  If you would like any assistance in preparing for these meetings please do not hesitate to contact me


That assignment

Based on some conversations and e-mails through the week it is apparent that attention has well and truly turned to the first assessment, the dossier.  So what do you need to do?


Find those articles………….....

The first thing you need to review academic literature (use the UWS library or Google Scholar or similar).  If you are having trouble finding literature you may be approaching the review from the wrong angle.  For example, some students involved with the wedding planning brief were searching academic literature for weddings without much luck so I have suggested looking from an Event, function, F&B or Operations perspective may assist.  Overall try and think what are the themes and sub themes of your brief and this may guide you.  Best advice is that if you are having trouble with this aspect you may be looking too narrow, too broad or just need to look from a different angle.

I have asked you to look widely across the academic literature and select four articles which inform your project brief, the idea of four articles is that once your dossiers are handed in each group member will have four articles which may contribute to  your project.

Ultimately, you only need to discuss two articles in your dossier (put the references and abstracts of the other articles as  an appendix for the dossier).

Got my 2 articles, now what?


Look at the marking criteria and the key words for each of the criteria to give you clues of what you need to do;

  • Justify
  • Summary and critical analysis
  • Explain

Essentially what I want to know is why you have chosen these articles out of all the articles you could have chosen.  Critically tell me why this is useful and how it will apply to your project.

Have fun searching for the articles and do not forget submission is Wednesday 3rd September by 6:00pm via turnitin – no hard copies required

Tim, what were you thinking…….

Well, all the groups have now had a meeting online and from what I gather for many it was the first time they have tried this.  Thank you for participating and well done for having a go.  Over the next few days reflect on the process and think about the advantages and disadvantages of this process… technological issues..time saving and convenience….  There are many arguments for an against but it certainly is a process worth being aware of

So, to you question, what was I thinking?


In part what I wanted you to get out of the process was the experience of an online meeting so you can judge for yourself the merits of this form of communication.  Just like the difference between writing an e-mail and a formal letter, the virtual meeting has its own considerations and requirements.   Some food for thought;

  • Get your technology sorted early
  • Think about your visual background 
  • Remove distractions (turn off phones and e-mails, sign on the door)
  • Think about sound (acoustics of where you are, impact of wind on your microphone, microphones in the same chat near each other causing feedback)

Overall I hope you all gained something from the experience.

The other aspect is the update of progress for your projects.  We now move into fortnightly meetings and this is where you really need to take control as a group of the project sorting out things such as;

  • What you need from your industry partner
  • How you will approach the task
  • Defining what the task is
  • Setting project timelines

As mentioned in the virtual meetings we have scheduled meetings over the next fortnight and you really need to think about what you want to get out of these face to face meetings.  Also, if you need to meet me between meetings please send me an e-mail and I can set up a time either face to face or in the virtual world

Until then, enjoy getting stuck into the projects


Virtual meetings start today

So, today we start our virtual meetings and you begin to ask the question why

Well, the first part of the answer may be best answered by you meeting organiser who has had to manage calendars and time availabilities.  Diary management is an important aspect of managing your professional schedule.

The second reason will become apparent during the meeting in what for many will be your first attempt at virtual meetings

The third reason is to assist your projects.  Think about what your group wants to get out of the meeting.  I would be thinking along these lines;

Clarifying your group project now you have had you first seminars, confirmation of teams and site visit;

  • What is the scope of our project
  • What is our understanding of what the organisation wants us to do?
  • How are we going to go about this?
  • How will approach the project and the required workload?
  • What information do we need from the organisation and by what timeframe?
  • What do we need from Tim?

Some food for thought, see you online….

Virtual meeting Part 2 – cyberspace welcomes you

For dramatic affect click this link and then read the text……

Dramatic music for effect

Week 3 is coming

and the virtual world is calling.

Tim has asked you to meet

in the virtual world…..

You will battle technology,

calendar conflicts, previous 

commitments and you will also be forced

to decide whether your right or left 

side is your best……

Welcome to the virtual meeting..

OK, I have had my fun, now some useful information for you..


In order to aid your venture in the virtual world I am have set up on vUWS a function called ‘Collaborate’.  You access it through vUWS menu on the left hand side of the page in the dark grey section.  When you click on collaborate it will show meetings which I have already set up for some groups.  When you select your groups it will show you the time of your meeting

I am setting the system so you can activate this meeting site half an hour before the meeting starts and this is to allow you to set up the following;

  • Headphones
  • Microphone
  • Java
  • Camera
  • Background and distractions

The main tip in set up is DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER, Google and Firefox are much more table with vUWS.

You can also use this through your ipad and you will need to down load the free app.

If you have any questions please let me know

If groups have a preference for Skype or Google Hangouts I am happy to use either, however give me plenty of notice so I can brush up on my skills with both of these

See you in the virtual world….



Virtual meeting in Week 3


Welcome to the virtual world where my desk could be anywhere in the world…. The aim of this week is to give you a taste of what it is like to have to organise and be involved in a virtual meeting with multiple participants across multiple locations.  The advances in technology have made this significantly easier and provided just as many challenges (see the guy in the boat below)


So what do you need to do for Week 3 and the virtual meeting;

  • Check below in the blog for times in which Tim is available during week 3 for a virtual meeting
  • Talk to team members and see which times fit in with your schedules (factoring in work, family, sport, other commitments)

  • E-mail Tim ( with request to meet (times will be filled on a first come first serve basis) – I suggest nominating a few different times

  • I will respond with confirmation or request you suggest an alternate time

  • Organise yourself to be available at the nominated time

  • Ensure your technology is ready to go on the day (avoid flat batteries and dodgy connections)

So, when is Tim available?  See below;

Wednesday 13th August

  • 12:00 – 12:30pm
  • 12:40 – 1:10pm
  • 1:20 – 1:50pm
  • 1:55 – 2:25pm
  • 4:25 – 4:55pm

Thursday 14th August

  • 9:30 – 10:00am
  • 10:10 – 10:40am
  • 10:50 – 11:20am
  • 11:25 – 11:55am
  • 1:15 – 1:45pm
  • 2:00 – 2:30pm

Friday15th August

  • 9:30 – 10:00am
  • 10:10 – 10:40am
  • 10:50 – 11:20am
  • 11:25 – 11:55am
  • 12:00 – 12:30pm
  • 1:00 – 1:30pm

To facilitate this I am looking at using Collaborate software through vUWS, keep an eye on the blog for more details of this.  if there is another preferred method of meeting electronically I am happy to discuss.

in the mean time I am going to go and wish my office was below…and remember any questions please ask (





The results are in….

OK, first things first.  Thank you reading through the project briefs and submitting resumes and cover letters in a very short time frame.


I have been through the applications and after much consideration and deliberation allocated all students into project teams.  Over the past few days you should have received an e-mail confirming your project with your tem members copied in and confirmation of your site visit and consultation time.

So this week kicks of a busy week of seminars and site visits for you all and I appreciate you making time for the site visits (I am sure you will find them rewarding).  It really does make a difference when you see a venue and are actually able to bring the project brief to life.

In the seminar this week I will spend some time giving feedback on the cover letters and resumes.  We will also spend some time in groups getting to know our group members and discussing the projects.

Thanks again for getting these through in such a short time and I look forward to meeting with you all again for the Week 2 seminar.