1. intention, validity and introductory remarks
The following document provides tips and hints on the implementation of the Bachelor Thesis and industrial projects of the Business Engineering department of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts T&A in the modules TA.BAA+WI and TA.PAIND+WI. With regard to contents with instructional character, it is considered binding; deviations between supervising lecturers and students must be recorded in writing beforehand.
2. hints on chosing the topic
Please note the following:
- You cannot contact your industrial partners until the topics have been assigned. Please contact the module coordinator instead to clarify open issues. To protect our industrial partners he will forward your inquiries and provide you with information. Of course, this rule does not apply to projects which you have acquired yourself from industrial partners.
- Please note that the exact scope is only defined by you during the creation of the scope of work - in agreement with the client and the supervisor.
3. hints on the process
Please note the following:
- At the beginning of the work, you will deal with the objectives and create a schedule.
- The supervising lecturer will ask you to give at least one interim presentation. The interim presentation is mandatory and counts as attestation. At BATs, an external expert takes part in the interim presentation.
- Check the deadlines from the task description.
- Additional appointments can be arranged on your initiative.
- Create short minutes of all meetings with the supervisors, including an interim presentation, which you distribute to the participants.
4. hints on the planning
- Planning is partly an iterative process where individual planning steps have to be corrected and repeated if this seems necessary from the point of view of the overall planning.
- Plan properly, for example how you have learned in the modules CONTEXT and PDP.
- The use a planning tool such as MS Project is recommended. However, simple plans can also be drawn by hand or with non-specialized tools (Excel, Powerpoint, drawing tools).
- Possible planning procedure:
- Analyze and understand the purpose and goals. From this you can derive detailed goals. From the detailed targets determine the relevant delivery items and their dates (milestones).
- Which delivery items need a review, and who needs to participate in which review? ->Set the review dates as early as possible and invite the reviewers. The number of reviews for a project work at the HSLU should generally not exceed the number two.
- Which methodology do you use to find solutions?
- Determine the project structure plan (especially the work packages) from delivery items, milestones and methodology. Define the goals, input, output, effort and resources required for each work package. Note that depending on the methodology, some steps may have to be repeated several times.
- Create the flowchart:
- Determine the logical dependencies between the work packages ('must be completed before',...).
- Determine the duration, start and end dates of the work packages. Schedule reserve tiem for unforeseen events.
- Schedule the first external meetings at an early stage of the progect - you will typically learn a lot during the first meeting, which has a positive effect on your effectiveness and efficiency.
- If you need to plan for different resources: create a resource plan (allocation of resources to the work packages, matching of resource utilization).
- If you plan to spend money on the project: create a project cost plan. Your solution concept must match the cost budget.
- Check the overall planning: does effort and duration fit into the budget?
- Identify risks with probability of occurrence and possible effects. How should the risks be eliminated or minimized (Risk Mitigation Plan)?
- Individual planning steps must be repeated iteratively. For example, the risk analysis may conclude that certain risky activities need to be pulled forward. ('Front loading').
5. hints on the execution of the work and writing of the report
- Consider the hints on format and style in the appendix of the evaluation form. Keep also in mind the hints from Millar, G. (2012). Writing dissertations: A Guide. Luzern: HSLU.W or for German works: Eulenskript: Ineichen, M. (2010). Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten konstruieren und gliedern. Luzern: HSLU.W
- Please note the corrections you have already received in your previous projects (context, PDP, PAIND, comments of the supervisor). Avoid repeating the same mistakes.
- Guide the reader through your report. Start top-down with an overview before going into details.
- Use objective writing style. A representation from the subjective ego-perspective is normally not permitted in scientific texts.
- Try to follow a causal rather than journal-like way of thinking in the main text: the report focuses on results and their objective (causal) derivation.
- Example (bad): 'In the first meeting we agreed on the goals. After that, we set out the requirements.'
- Example (good): 'The objectives that have been agreed by industry partners, supervisors and students are:... . This results in the following product requirements:.... . (See review protocol in Appendix B.)'
- Statements should be precise and unambiguous. Always derive your statements and numbers.
- Example (bad): 'The competition in the market for curtains has increased their shares by 15% in the last two years.'
- 'Market' should be specified (geographically: Swiss, Europen, global;...).
- The number '15%' must be verified.
- Be careful with adjectives: qualifying statements must be proven or - if aniway not necessary - avoided.
- Example (bad): 'This is the best algorithm that is implemented in a product that was launched on the market'.
- Criticism: the qualifying statement 'best' must be proven or avoided.
- Terms and terminology:
- Use technical terms. The same things should be consistently named the same. Technical terms and abbreviations must be clearly defined.
- An educational and helpful recommendation: write terms that have to be defined consistently in CAPITAL LETTERS.
- The use of good terminology in a scientific work is always a challenge, but crucial. Create a list of definitions at the start of the project. This saves you a lot of sweat when reviewing and correcting your report.
- Notations should be logical, conventional, meaningful and unambiguous.
- Draw the necessary conclusions from your statements.
- Example (bad): 'In addition, the product does not support the xy feature.'
- Criticism: so what / what is to be concluded from the statement?
- If you are unsure about spelling and wording, it is not forbidden to have language and spelling corrected by third parties. Make sure you learn from your mistakes. Spelling and formulation are also included in the evaluation.
- The methodology is particularly important in project work. The methodology describes the path you follow in order to achieve the goal of the project work. This usually includes the use of different methods. Really look into the methodology used. Also show the opportunities and limitations of the applied methodology. Convince the reader that you understand the applied methods and use them correctly and meaningfully.
- Base your decisions and definitions on facts. If no unambiguous figures are available, references may also be made to a review with experts / clients.
- Example (good): ' On the review of 01.01.2011 the client selected the following procedure model:... (see minutes in Appendix C).'
- Conclusions must be absolutely logical. Question your conclusions.
- Refer to several sources at a time. To quote only the statements of the client is insufficient in a project work! Publications from renowned journals have a much higher credibility value than other sources. Contrary views of experts are of particular interest.
- Place cited unpublished sources such as emails and logs in the attachment.