Now you are over the half way mark for your project and you have completed a large amount of work and now more than ever the focus needs to be on a plan to completion. 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. You have been asked 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. Groups in the past have sat waiting for information to materialised and all it really does is cost you time and the all important momentum.
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.