Thesis Guidelines -Rev.01
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Dear Students,

Some days after the last WP, you are almost at the end of this interesting IT-Management cycle ...
So do we add some reminders about the thesis : it has the heaviest weight ! It's critical for grading ... minimum must be 14/20 !

Two parts :

  • the thesis itself : please read with great attention the mandatory model that has been provided on QP by Professor Gourdin.
  • the oral presentation : presentation and answers to questions. It could be about the thesis content and / or about unexplained / underdeveloped aspects of the
    reasoning. Questions could be challenging for evaluating how deep you can defend your project. More to read in the following lines.

Let me summarize what has been written in the main guidelines + said during the courses and after the first oral presentation.
Within this almost elapsed session, the thesis is the capstone of your project.
It means that you have to come with very practical innovative solutions everybody agrees on for facing the challenges of your hosting company.
That may not be the result of too commonly defined copy-pasted recipes : the market commands and the customers are always demanding for more quality and service. Foreign companies are coming along ... Remember the stressing question : is your company ready to "fight" with the "invading foreign companies".
Is this same company able to compete on the international place ?
These are the real questions ... !

1- What's a project ?
A project is about focused efforts (that's the reason why the coordinated teamwork is important). There is a beginning and an end because the defined objective must be achieved according a strict schedule. It means planning and control for all involved aspects and parameters : human beings and machines, business and IT ! We are talking about architecture and infrastructure. Also change and cohesion.

2- What's the thesis we are waiting for ?

  • the thesis will be the final argument after the audits collection to make the point about the solutions (including the feasibility and practicality).
  • the thesis defense is demanded for testing your knowledge and ability to cleverly summarize all what has been collected, discussed, assembled, scheduled and deployed.
  • the thesis has to compile, in the most professional and practical way, the knowledge accumulation applied to the real IT and Business case you have been working on for some months.
  • also, if it has been properly set, the conclusion contains the material and the structure of the PowerPoint-supported defense speech (in front of the academic jury).
  • the jury will evaluate
  • how deep you have been in the subject ;
  • what each team member has been contributing to.

In some other words, you will have to evidence your ...

  • analysis and reporting competencies ;
  • knowledge of managerial methods and techniques (how they are related with the business AND how you are making the IT solutions working together for supporting the business on the long run) ;
  • ability to find and design solutions, to make recommendations for supporting and enabling the management functions.

Generally speaking, these competencies were not really made obvious in the WP and / or during the oral presentations :

  • many data and facts and only a few (or no) thoughts about the assembled elements (the confrontation is normally catalyzing ideas !).
  • a very limited description of the team action in the project
  • the awaited project updates were very limited or unavailable (remember : competitors won't wait for you !)
  • limited or unavailable evidence of solid / constructive discussion with the hosting company management (don't forget the meetings reports to be attached
    to the thesis)
  • limited or unavailable evidence of the IT performance propositions / trials / demonstrations ...
  • some cases of non-alignment in between the team members about the IT solutions during the presentation.

The thesis has to include all aspects of what a real project is scheduling (look at your course again for security purpose) : people, business and technical domains. The jury will also check how good your audits results and concluding statements have been professionally articulated for justifying the solutions along the continuously updated strategy of the company (e.g. staff motivation, recruitment and education, ERM), other resources, competition (benchmarking, technology watch), security (Risk Management), ROI, customers satisfaction (marketing, CRM), carefully selected technologies and implemented IT tools / components, etc, etc).
And you know that the list is much longer in the "tough" reality ... !

Practicalities : don't over describe the company you have been working with. Forget about the generalities / decorative pictures. Move always to "the point" : go to the essential in the most logical way. What is the unique profile of the company (you have audited its parameters don't bring the details back again we need the profile only) and work with original drawings / graphics. Specifies the resources and the sponsors you can work with to build solutions now and in the long run.
Motivated qualified people can do a lot AND IT is the key enabler. Integration is the key word to make "IT" happen. Know what the business is all about and you'll take the best out of the performing IT machines/systems and programs. They are available or to be acquired.
Don't read your slides ! Train yourself in front of your teammates and / or colleagues, friends. Ask them to be severe with you. No friendly excuse permitted !
Make it clear for you first and then will it be good for the others ...

Important : the thesis in itself is teamwork but it has to be individually defended. Each member has to evidence his clear understanding of the whole AND explain how he has contributed (in the most concrete ways) to the final academic issue (the thesis) and the professional deliveries to the company.

Feel free to ask,
Best regards,

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