How to Survive the Accenture Challenge

The Accenture Challenge, the most stressful week of the first semester for most CICS students.  The Challenge is a week long case study, teams get the challenge on Monday and have until Friday morning to complete the case.  The major twist is that on Thursday night there is a change to the challenge, something that makes people rethink how they completed the case.  Tensions run high as this Challenge involves 5 total team members and little to no sleep.  This post will shine some light on how to succeed and make it through the Accenture Challenge.

Starting out the Challenge teams get the RFP (Request For Proposal) this outlines what the organization wants from each team.  The RFP will be very convoluted and teams must analyze the RFP to break down what they think the organization needs.  After each member of the team has read the RFP try and break the team into their varying roles.  It’s important to have a manager that knows most aspects of the RFP this will make the sections of the RFP transition seamlessly when it is time to present the solution.

Tuesday and Wednesday are dedicated to completing the case. In a perfect world going into Thursday night’s class the case would be almost done except for the twist that occurs on Thursday night.  Try and have the proposal mostly done by the time Thursday night comes around.

When Thursday night rolls around be prepared to work all night.  If the teams solution is not affected very much by the twist in the challenge then clean it up a little and start focusing on the presentation.   The presentation is just as important as the proposal.  Focus on what the RFP actually wants for instance this years Challenge was focused on guest’s satisfaction with a cruise ship.  Make sure that the teams presentation is catered to the main focus of the RFP.

When it comes to the presentation the judges are going to try and fluster each team, throwing them off guard with all sorts of questions they are not usually keen on answering.  Practicing these questions beforehand is an essential task because the questions that teams would think never would be asked will be.  Overall the case needs to be complete, think about every little aspect of the case and try and reflect that to the judges.

This is a learning experience and it should be treated as one.  This is a tough project but it helps build everyone as professionals.  At the end of the day the case is worth 10% of ICS 601 grade and should be treated like an academic project.  If you are a winner of the Challenge do not let winning get to your head, you’ll never be the smartest in the room and once you realize that you can begin to learn.  Good luck and go get ’em!

Adapting to the Information Renaissance

The information renaissance, the change in the way information is exchanged and handled, is happening in today’s world.  Change is inevitable but there are ways organizations and people can adapt more easily to it.  Understanding what is actually going on can help people adjust more quickly to changes.  This post is dedicated to helping people and organizations adjust to the information renaissance. 

This information renaissance is not the only renaissance that has happened before so there are ways to compare the information renaissance to others.  The first thing that can be noticed in the information renaissance is the way information moves.  Today there are so many different types of network that allow people and organizations to collaborate and transmit data from so many different sources.  Social networks allow people to transfer information to hundreds/thousands of people.  Information networks that connect businesses and homes together as one allowing for the seamless transfer of data.  These methods of data transfer are changing constantly and organizations that adapt the quickest are often the most successful.  There are two main focuses that lead to better adaptation of the information renaissance.

The first focus is to lead by example.  Focus on succeeding as a person and radiate that success to the business organization and to the colleagues of the business when they see success they’ll want to succeed just as much.  The second focus is to be confident that the solutions that have been changed and created are the best, trust these solutions.  Fighting change is not good for anyone people or business so really trusting these systems and solutions is essential.

The information renaissance is upon us and the only way to make the best of it is to adapt.  This can be done by doing it by leading by example and to be confident with the system, its there for a reason.  This post was inspired by another colleagues article which will be linked below.

Leadership for the Information Renaissance: Clarity, Challenges, Opportunity: