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The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:

1. develop the skills and qualities valued in employees by employers

2. Understand and work on their strengths and weaknesses as a business administrator.

Identifying personal and professional development needs

Professional development trends have been greatly impacted by technology and globalization. Sources of information for examining professional development have been internet sources, Company magazines, case study journals and so on. Online development of training courses provide learning and developmental strategies that are evolving, constitutes latest professional development trends (McNiff, 2010). Modernisation of training is another trends affecting learning and professional development. Mobile learning is a growing trend amongst professionals, who want to blend learning with education often resort to such methods. Blended learning is also an emergent trend amongst various professionals for validating their courses further. Active learning using Turning Technologies are used by a lot of companies for developing professionals employed by them. Though Social learning  is not a new trend  but it has increased in the new millennial. Professional development training courses and learning experiences are often validated by organizations, who make professionals to take up training and developmental courses.   

Complexity of work is increasing across organizations that have implemented greater implications for professionals. Globalization  have made necessary for inclusion of diversity as organizations now have to cater to varied customers and employees. Technological development and  their implications within organizations have also made it mandatory for employees to adapt to such trends. Thus, trends and developments focused on rising complexity, globalization with diversity trends and technological developments have created the need for professional development. Professionals in order to match pace and deliver high levels of productivity to the organization needs to train themselves to match standards.     

With growing complexity and technological adaptation amongst organizations, it becomes necessary that professionals deliver high levels of productivity. Such complexity and technological developments have created a gap amongst professionals for their service delivery. Professionals need to contribute towards their role in the team and within the organization effectively, such that high levels of productivity can be generated. A professionals current personal and professional development relates to delivering appropriate levels of productivity within the organization. While future personal and professional development needs confirm to goal setting that one is aiming to achieve. Therefore, current personal and professional development confirms to  delivery within team and the organization. While future personal and professional developmental needs confirm to achievements that one aims to strive as a future goal.   

Globalization and technological advent has made it necessary for organizations to struggle and achieve competitive advantage over one another. Establishing core competency alone is not sufficing need of the hour, hence professionals within corporation needs to adapt to personal and professional developments. Benefits arising from personal development are multitude and includes ability to adapt to changes, cope with stress and pressures exposed to, be able to deliver productivity in an apt manner. Professional development can benefit individual as well as the organization in career planning, succession planning,  planning for growth, matching needs of the organization and so on.    

Trends and developments that influence the need for professional development

Developmental actions are often personal and sometimes are professional in nature. Sometimes an organization selects type of developmental plans and often it is selected by the individual himself. When it is selected by the organization, it is often to match to the current needs and requirements for delivering productivity. Once a developmental course of action is selected by the individual then it is generally adopted for the purpose of career planning or succession planning. Developmental actions are selected by identifying gaps present in levels of productivity or service delivery.      

Development needs are assessed on basis of identification of gaps in knowledge, skills and experience levels. Skill gap analysis is a measure that allows finding a suitable absence of skill, knowledge or experience that has happened and in overcoming of the same. Current knowledge levels might pertain to graduate level qualification and future knowledge level might be pertaining to Masters level of qualification. Skills for current needs can be based upon technical skills related to basic operation of computers while required levels of skills might pertain to programming level needs. Experience at current levels can be at 5 years while required experience can be for 10 years.   

Professional networks or professional bodies often makes available developmental opportunities. Advantage of such developmental opportunities provided are primarily they are industry integrated. Meaning they confer exact knowledge as is required within the industry. These bodies often help in job opportunities matching individual personal and professional skills to a particular job. Thirdly, advantage of these development opportunities primary concerns professional development unlike other unprofessional or theoretical courses that does not indulge any practical training.    

While designing or creating any personal or professional development plans, it becomes critical that such plans deliver outcomes. Therefore, it becomes mandatory to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound objectives, more conveniently known as the SMART objective. These objectives ensures that specific professional or personal outcomes are desired, which can easily be measured in term of qualification or skills or any other measurable parameter. Such parameters has to be achievable so that specific path can be set for attaining of the same. The outcomes desired has to be achievable and time defined. A specific time period has to be allotted and defined for attaining  these objectives in particular.  

Every organization implements its own information systems by developing it according to its needs. Designing of the system is done by taking adequate feedback from various departments and then implementing a system that can efficiently manage information. An organization can have multiple types of information systems (Saeed, 2008). A system can manage  varied types of information, a system that manages strategic information for decisions to be made by managers comprise of Executive Support Systems (ESS), systems that manages internal data and sources of information is called the Management Information Systems (MIS), a system that helps management take crucial decisions in various situations is referred to as Decision Support Systems (DSS), Knowledge Management systems (KMS) helps organizations to share and manage information and Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) deals with transaction related information.   

Current and future personal and professional development needs relating to the role, the team and the organisation

Information are used by various stakeholders within the organization. Information are needed continuously by various stakeholders of the organization and retrieved from system as and when  required. Executive Support Systems (ESS) are used by executives and used to take crucial strategic decisions within the organization. The entire management team makes use of Management Information Systems (MIS) to retrieve internal sources of information. Management often makes use of Decision Support Systems (DSS) as well to make decisions. Businesses in order to grow and develop competitive advantages makes use of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) for sharing and creating information. Transaction Processing System (TPS) is mostly used by Accountants and other officers that deals with billing systems.   

Designing of an information system needs to be done in consultation with organization’s departments. The information system that is designed has to be made in accordance to design specifications given by particular department. Individual needs has to be matched such that the information system is able to fulfill criteria that it was supposed to. Along with departmental team members, managers and head of the team also has to be consulted for arriving at a suitable design plan for the information system. Reason for such consultation includes primarily capability of the system to cater to needs assigned. This will help cater to aims and needs hence deliver productivity accordingly to meet organizational requirements. 

Every organization has needs pertaining to information systems and such systems has to be implemented taking into consideration legal and organization security as well as confidentiality. While designing of a system legal requirements as in case of TPS (Transaction Processing System) has to be analysed and then conformation according to IFRS or parallel guidelines can easily be assigned. Each system has to be designed taking into account organizational security and confidential requirements as these systems deals with critical organization information and data. While implementing these systems legal requirements and security needs also has to be ascertained as for example in case of ESS (Executive Support system), managers and executives can only take decisions within the legal limits of the organization and not outside its purview. These requirements are compliance standards that every organization needs to follow and adhere to strictly.  

Improving business performance is critical for success of any business and is generally incorporated by using problem solving techniques. Problem solving techniques within organization includes understanding everyone’s interests pertaining to resolving the matter. It is a critical step that allows stakeholders be satisfied with a particular given solution. It can be accommodated by means of active listening (Trkman, 2010). Use of varied problem-solving techniques enables to consider varied ideas and innovative processes to resolve issues. Problem-solving techniques allows team and organization overall to arrive at specific solution pertaining to the problem defined. Varied problem solving techniques also allows analyzing, particular challenge organization is facing in a varied manner.          

Personal and professional development plan

Organizational and legal constraints pertaining to problem-solving techniques has to adhered to while resolving problems. Abiding by organizational guidelines will allow regulating and limiting processes that might be applied while designing or arriving at specific solutions to problems. Legal constraints on the other hand are compliance and set of rules that every department of the organization need to adhere to. Resolving a problem requires abiding by guidelines set as per organizations and legal requirements. In case of any conflicts with them, there might be challenges pertaining to application of problem-solving techniques. There might be an integral problem solving technique involves documentation of the agreement. While some stakeholders within the group might accept that solution that was derived from techniques adopted others might create conflict. 

Stakeholders comprises of shareholders, directors, managers, colleagues, staffs that constitutes internal group of stakeholders. While external stakeholders might be customers, local community, standard agencies and so on. In problem-solving role in internal stakeholders might become pertinent, external stakeholders can often contribute regarding the same. Stakeholders are the primary participants while arriving at a solution to a desired problem. They help discussing problem, arrive at solution, design solutions for application and evaluates as well as monitors them appropriately. Thus, the role of the stakeholders is indispensible in problem-solving techniques. 

Making business decisions involves complex and critical analysis for arriving at a strategic decision. There are various steps involved in business decision making process, which starts with identification of the decision itself. Identifying the decision making area by recognizing the problem or opportunity can help make fruitful decision pertaining to particular problem. Next step in business decision making involves gathering of information pertaining to the decision making. While making a crucial business decision, data and information has to be gathered such that appropriate decision can be arrived at. Then within various alternatives available, an appropriate alternative that is most suited to the business decision has to be selected and implemented. Once an appropriate alternative has been selected all evidences needs to be weighted appropriately to analysing acceptability, desirability and feasibility. Prior to taking action pertaining to a business decision, an alternative amongst multiple options has to be selected. Then an action is required to be taken such that a plan for implementation can be designed appropriately. Once implemented, the business decision has to be evaluated and monitored frequently for effectiveness of decision-making.  

Every business needs to adopt problem-solving techniques such that it can improvise its present conditions. In order to apply recommendations to solve business problems and implementing decisions various steps needs to be adopted. Implications of such recommendation and decision making can involve applying a whole new technique or process within departments. Applying whole new processes needs individual stakeholders to be briefed regarding process implications. Recommendations also involves not relying only on memory hence writing down the solution to a particular problem will help create useful documentation. Most crucial aspect in accommodating problem-solving techniques includes agreeing upon contingencies, monitoring solution continuously by appropriate evaluation. Many contingencies regarding foresee-able future conditions needs to be agreed on. There should be eminent opportunities for evaluation and monitoring of agreements as well. 

Benefits of personal and professional development

Globalisation has led to immense competition amongst  various corporations that are striving to exert their core competencies. While the aim and purpose behind continuous improvement is to deliver competitive products and services, there are several other internal benefits as well. In order to achieve competitive advantage, organizations has recognized the need for continuous improvement techniques and processes. There are several benefits associated with continuous improvement as having more engaged employees. Employees are able to contribute more within the organization and be innovative for continuous improvements to take place. Most importantly such improvement has been able to deliver customers with improvised products and services. It has been able to contribute to extension of brand name and to customer surprise as well. It can also help lower employee absenteeism and turnover. It helps in better customer service by recognizing areas of gap. It contributes to having a proactive learning culture by understanding what exactly customers finds value in. Therefore, there are multiple internal as well as external benefits of having continuous improvement integrated into business systems.  

Continuous improvement is desired and applied across most organizations for attain higher levels of productivity, brand name, customer services and so on. Usage of models and techniques for continuous improvement is to enable organizations to effectively attend to customer satisfaction and also employee satisfaction. It will help the organization deliver higher quality of products and services as compared to current delivery levels. There are various tools available for continuous improvement such as Six Sigma, Kaizen, Perpetual beta, “Fail fast, fail forward” and many more. Features of these models allow step by step improvement of various organizational procedure and processes. Constraints of these models vary from one another, but most prominent constraint includes inability to comprehend accurate scores for procedures that requires improvement. Hence, these models can be applied in areas that management feels it requires improvement not every areas of operations.   

A cost-benefit analysis includes an approach for analysing strengths and weakness from varied options. In order to arrive at cost-benefit analysis for a particular product or process, costs pertaining to the process has to be assessed and then its subsequent benefits has to be calculated. Then a graphical representation that presents cost versus benefits are reflected that helps arrive at cost-benefit analysis for the same. A cost-benefit approach calculates for every cost, benefits accrued.  

The process of continuous improvement requires feedback from stakeholder group as well as customers. These feedback forms the guiding procedure for application of improvement tools and techniques for gaining better outcomes regarding the same.  

Basis for selecting types of developmental actions

A problem can arise in case of a process or a product. Scope of a problem is defined by area in which the challenge might appear and can relate to product, service or a process. Scale of a problem relates to nature and intensity that might arise from a particular. Scale primarily relates to intensity that measures depth of the problem that might arise.   

In case a problem arising then an organization stakeholders might adopt a variety of steps and course of action in order to overcome the same. Organizational managers adopt specific steps for resolving the same. Firstly, area of the problem is analysed and then teams are called across for brainstorming solution. Amongst various alternatives, presented and appropriate solution is picked. Once an appropriate solution is picked, it is implemented, evaluated and monitored for regular feedback.   

While resolving any problem, it becomes critical to evaluate success and scale of implication for the solved problem. Degree of success for a solved problem depends upon scope of future problem arising in the same domain. Successful resolving of a problem allows that a problem be solved and then minimum scope of future challenges in similar domain from arising. Scale of implication of the solved problem is determined by means of repeated problems from arising.    

A baseline data is set for measurement of improvement activities. Any improvement activity is based upon baseline data such that any improvement is gauged over and above it. An improvement can easily be accessed by measuring in a scale over the baseline level.    

In order to improve overall business performance it becomes crucial to measure performance related to cost, quality and delivery. In order to measure cost related to business activity, product or processes a symmetric metric has to be determined. Cost is determined by currency generally, whereas quality is generally measured in terms of KPI (Key Performance Indicator) Score and delivery can be measured in terms of number of products or services.     

In organizations improvements are generally adopted with evidences received by means of feedback from customers or internal stakeholders. Once feedback is received from stakeholder group or customers, then such evidence can act as guidelines or methods for continuous improvements.    

In business environment for establishing a strategy often negotiation is necessary.  The process of successful negotiation strategy initiates with participants willing to negotiate willingly. For negotiation to take place parties willing to negotiate needs to participate in discussing the alternatives, there hence needs to be communication, relationship and commitment to negotiate. Legitimacy of the negotiating strategy has to be present as well with list of objectives for successful negotiation to take place.   

Current and future likely skills, knowledge and experience needs using skills gap analysis

In order for successfully negotiation to take place, varied types of negotiation techniques has to be applied. Different types of negotiation techniques sharing of information, where multiple smart approaches are used. Ranking of priorities are done for successful negotiation technique. Making the first offer can entail successful negotiation tactics. Selecting an appropriate negotiation technique is based on requirements and needs of the current prevalent business situation.   

Conducting research on the other party can help in successful negotiation to take place effectively. Research on the other party can help provide valuable and critical information that might help to make valuable judgment and decision relating to negotiation.  

Cultural differences might affect ways in which an information is perceived by the other party thus affecting in negotiation. Cultural implications might also hinder in communication which might affect overall negotiation procedures. 

Researching strengths and weakness of the other party might help the business in conducting a successful negotiation. Analysing strengths will allow to avoid areas in which the other party might have expertise over. On the other hand analysing weaknesses of the other party will help extend negotiation basing on those points. Thus, this process will help in successful negotiation to take place in an effective manner.     

Office management procedures need to be established and implemented in an appropriate manner. Office management procedures allows application of work procedures as per objectives set by the organization. Establishing and implementing the procedure will help attain individual productivity levels and in turn to achieve organizational objectives.   

In order to attain objectives and goals of the organization, effect work and systems procedures must be set. Every organization has their individual work systems and procedures implemented for delivering productivity and achieving goals. In order to manage effectiveness related to work and systems appropriate evaluation and proper monitoring has to be administered.     

In order for managing of constraints pertaining to office facilities and related budgets there has to be a budget incorporated. A budget will allow defining areas in which expenditure has to take place and cut in which places. Defining a budget with all appropriate heads will allow management of constraints and also in overcoming any challenges faced.    

While designing office systems, procedures and guidance documents legal and organization’s compliance requirements has to be taken into consideration. Organizational compliance will help meet needs of the organization taking into account all specified regulations  laid down by the Board of the Corporation. Legality of documents will help ease of application related to office systems and procedures for forming guidance documents.   

Advantage of development opportunities made available by professional networks or professional bodies

In order to create an environment that is conducive to productive work an organizational culture has to be developed. An appropriate organizational culture will help create an ambience where employees can contribute to productivity in a positive manner.  

In business often various documents needs to be modified or changes needs to be accommodated. In order to create a   bespoke document approval needs to be obtained from senior organizational stakeholders and the implemented accordingly. Use of bespoke documents are multiple in nature and allows accommodating for any changes that has to be made.   

In order to present business document there are several factors needs to be  taken into account prior to selection of appropriate methods. Firstly, communication tool to be used and applied has to be examined. It is generally used for custom made products and services especially for software consulting services. Thereafter meetings has to be organized such that documents presentation can be made. Factors here includes language of communication, modes and methods used, terminology, technology and other considerations to be used and stakeholder group concerned.    

Technology is used in creating bespoke business documents. As they are used for custom made products and services, software related applications and tools are used often in such documents.     

Corporate identity has to be maintained in bespoke business document such that it can be identified with a business house easily. As in case of custom-made products for software, changes can easily be entailed a corporate identity enclosure is required.   

There can be varied methods and techniques used to design techniques for creating attractive bespoke business documents. While creating such documents one needs to be objective, design it carefully and professionally but not decorate it. Decorating such document might create a negative impression on the corporate identity. It is crucial to documents the text prior to beginning with such document. Usage of fonts needs to be limited to a maximum of three styles with a simple layout. Symmetric technique needs to be avoided and a color can be used for unification of the entire document.     

While evaluating a bespoke business document various factors are considered. Impact generated from such document can be immense in nature and can lead to client taking decision on the same basis. Client often bases their selection of product basing on such documents.     

Employees and staffs within an organization and industry needs to confirm to specific identified role of occupation for meeting organizational objectives. Every occupation has certain role to deliver as per standards set within the industry and as per organization’s standards. Every employee and staff has specific roles set to deliver that are discussed at their appointment.   

Maintain the relevance of a personal and professional development plan

Career pathways are clusters of same occupation within a group that share similar knowledge, skills, technical expertise, levels and so on. Within a particular organization and industry, career pathways acts as clusters of employees and staffs that perform similar functionality.    

Sources of information and advice pertaining to an industry, occupation, training and career pathway can be obtained from trade unions. It can also be gained from senior managerial positions, who can offer relevant insights into the same. In case of white collar employees, such sources can be internet, social media, friends, peers, colleagues and so on.

Every organization has principles related to code of practice and conduct related to its employees and staffs. Employees and staffs needs to follow and adhere to such practices and code of conduct otherwise disciplinary actions can be taken against them.   

Issues related to public concern that might affect organization and industry are related to unemployment and immigration. With heightening of recession, there has been rise in unemployment and immigrants have also caused considerable amounts of pressure on industry and organization. Often this has led to lowering of wage rate below base levels.   

Representative bodies are those that constitutes and reflects employee constituencies. Such bodies can be trade unions, other forms of employee representations or career pathways and so on. Roles and responsibilities of such bodies primarily constitutes protection to be given to employees and bargaining regarding payment, leaves and other related matters.   

Employee rights and responsibilities that affect their own role are to deliver duties and productivity as per set standards and rules. To be able to confirm to compliance standards as set by the organization. Employer statutory rights Ion the other hand concerns providing wages and salary as per industry standards, providing safe and healthy work atmosphere and so on.   

While employer is expected to provide appropriate pay and safety working conditions. They expect that employee’s confirm to certain standards as per personal presentation, punctuality and behaviour as defined in the organization’ s code of conduct.  

Procedures and documentation that help protect relationship with employees are laid out in contract of employment Further employee policies and procedure rules allows integration of standard procedures that are delivered in relationship with employees. 

Sources of information regarding employment rights and responsibilities are contained in the contract for employment. Moreover, employment policies and procedures contain information and advice related to employment rights and responsibilities.     

Different legal procedures require  certain administrative requirements to be met. It allows easy administration of various legal areas that needs to be accommodated within an organization. The organization needs to document such procedures and then record the same, for applying   across the organization. Documentation allows easy review and evaluation as well as monitoring procedure.     

Scopes and limits of own responsibilities and authority confirms to application of compliances within set standards. Compliances allows defining guidelines, which helps limit authority and also includes responsibilities.   

Requirements of the duty of confidentiality states that an individual is to maintain confidentiality in case indicated. In such cases no disclosure is to be made I n front of anyone as defined within the duty of confidentiality.   

Specialist software for purpose of legal cases can help detect type of case and contradictions to legal compliances easily. It helps easy resolution of any case and arriving at a suitable solution. 

There might be tremendous potential legal consequences of inadequate or inaccurate record keeping. It might raise legal consideration and lead the case to courts of law for further judgments and proceedings. 

Primary reason behind organizational and regulatory purpose for different legal checks and searches is mostly to cross verify information provided. 

The primary purpose of a client care letter is to meet organizational and regulatory requirements. It states contract set out between the firm and cannot be charged until signed duly. Therefore, it analyses legal responsibility and lays down the same. 

Records of time spent on work are used to assess productivity attained related to particular role. 

Reference Lists

McNiff, J. Action research for professional development: Concise advice for new action researchers. 2010. Dorset: September books.

Saeed, K. A.-H. Examining the effects of information system characteristics and perceived usefulness on post adoption usage of information systems. Information & Management. 2008; 45(6): 376-386.

Trkman, P. The critical success factors of business process management. International journal of information management, 2010; 30(2): 125-134.

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