8000 Boteler Lane College Park, MD 20740 December 14, 2007 Ms. Rachel Cohen Robert H.

Smith School of Business 3570 H Van Munching Hall College Park, MD 20740 Dear Ms. Cohen: I am pleased to present my final proposal to improve work space resources for QUEST Honors Fellows students. As we discussed in September, the program’s current work space offerings deserved study. The dedicated resource that currently exists in the IBM TQ-Tools Lab is commendable; however, the team-based nature of QUEST student work presents a unique set of challenges to address. After learning that QUEST leadership was interested in knowing more about this topic, I studied the situation through observation, research, surveys and interviews. My analysis has led to actionable and cost-effective solutions. The enclosed proposal reviews the problem and identifies potential solutions as well as addressing the personnel and budget required for implementation. An executive summary, detailed analysis and supporting documentation are included for your review. I am happy to answer any questions you have about this analysis and proposal. As a graduating senior, I am also interested in ways to remain involved with the program and would be happy to help with implementation over the course of the spring semester. Please feel free to contact me by email at xxxxxxx@umd.edu. Thank you very much for your time. Regards,

Attachments: Proposal

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Proposal to Improve Work Space Resources in the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows Program

14 December 2007

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Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary…………………………………………………………….….…4 II. Problem………………………………………………………………………..…….7 Current Resources……………………………………………………….….….7 Quality of Resources…………………………………………………….……..8 Availability Concerns…………………………...…………………….….…….9 III. Solution………………………………………………………………………..……9 Access to Group Meeting Areas…….……………………………………….…9 Manage Demand for Resources…….…………………………………….……10 Professionally Equipped Work Space…….……………………………………11 IV. Personnel…………………………………………………..……………………….12 V. Budget……………………………………………………………………………….12 VI. Appendix A. Sample Survey Form………………………………………………...………14 B. Overall Survey Response Data……………………………………….……..15 C. Survey Response Analysis…………………………………………….……..16 Figure 1, Figure 2……………………………………………….……..17 Figure 3, Figure 4……………………………………………….……..18 Figure 5, Figure 6……………………………………………….……..19 D. Budget Details………………………………………………………..……..20 E. IBM TQ-Tools Lab Photographs……………………………………………21

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Executive Summary: Proposal to Improve Work Space Resources in the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows Program Over the course of the fall semester, I have analyzed the work space resources which the QUEST Honors Fellows Program provides for its student members. I have prepared a plan to implement my recommendations, which address key concerns of current QUEST students. Problem The real-world, team-based nature of QUEST student work requires access to work space resources beyond those available to the general student. The program’s current space is useful but can be improved. Student concerns center around two key themes: quality and availability. Quality 1. Students must sign non-disclosure agreements because they analyze sensitive information about external organizations. The current work space is a shared resource among many student teams. 2. Team projects require collaboration. The current work space is best suited to facilitate individual work. 3. Teams need to produce professional-quality deliverables for real-world clients. Access to properly equipped work space is important to support team needs. Availability
1. The major deliverables for several required QUEST courses frequently coincide

with and produce an irregularly high demand for work space.
2. Current resources exist solely in Van Munching Hall on the southwest quadrant

of the University campus. Engineering and CMPS students lack access to work space close to their colleges.

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Solution Solving the work space needs of QUEST students consists of three main steps: providing access to group meeting areas across campus, managing student demands for work space and offering professionally-equipped work space. Access to Group Meeting Areas 1. Educate students on the current methods of reserving work space in the Smith School of Business (Smith), A. James Clark School of Engineering (Clark) and College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (CMPS). The knowledge of resources available to all undergraduates will give students the ability to work in alternate venues. 2. Coordinate with Smith, Clark and CMPS to grant additional work space resource access to QUEST students. As honors students, members should be able to make use of underused team rooms, labs and equipment currently restricted to graduate students or faculty. 3. Develop an online work space reservation system for integration into the QNet online community. Development could be a simple task as room reservations in Smith are already computerized. Manage Demand for Resources
1. Schedule key deliverables for Introduction to Design & Quality and The Total

Quality Practicum to occur at different times during the semester. These students’ similar work space needs force students to compete for limited resources. 2. Schedule teamwork-oriented courses during different semesters if the previous solution does not sufficiently level demand. Professionally Equipped Work Space 1. Repair existing equipment to a serviceable state. Several items of key equipment in the IBM TQ Tools Lab, such as the sole printer, are becoming worn and failing to operate properly. 2. Offer additional resources in the IBM TQ-Tools Lab such as a multifunction color laser printer and basic office supplies. 3. Provide access to professional meeting space and communications tools for interaction with external entities. Teams often find it challenging to communicate professionally with clients as current work space is focused on facilitating internal, analytical work.

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Personnel No additional personnel will be necessary to implement the aforementioned solutions. QUEST staff has demonstrated its ability to manage a dedicated computer lab and develop an interactive website; the implementation of this proposal will be easily accomplished by you and Nicole Cottrell, Program Manager, based on those prior experiences. Budget Aside from equipment repairs and investment, implementing the proposed solutions will incur no extra cost to the QUEST program. Most of the recommendations involve changes in policy and cooperation with existing systems; these solutions cost nothing. Three of the recommendations, however, require a justifiable investment as summarized below:

• •

Develop an online room reservation tool for QNet $1,000 Repair existing equipment to a serviceable state: $1,103 Offer equipment in the IBM TQ-Tools Lab: $1,093

These costs are reasonable because they support the work of 225 QUEST students per year and will cost only $20.60 per student. Details of these expenses are available in the full report.

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Detailed Report: Proposal to Improve Work Space Resources in the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Fellows Program Over the course of the fall semester, I have analyzed the work space resources which the QUEST Honors Fellows Program currently provides to its student members. I have identified the key concerns of students. As the result of my work, this report details those concerns and the solutions which address them at a reasonable cost. Problem Students in the QUEST program are challenged with a curriculum unique among undergraduates at this University: to solve problems at real-world organizations. As you know, students work in self-directed interdisciplinary teams to address these issues. The success of this team-based format requires access to work space resources beyond those available to the general student. The program’s current offerings are useful but can be improved. The section below details current resources as well as key concerns regarding the quality of QUEST work space and its availability. Current Resources The primary resource currently available to QUEST students is the IBM TQ Tools Lab. Located in Van Munching Hall, the Lab measures approximately 425 square feet and is rated for occupancy by twenty-five people. It is equipped with both technology and basic collaborative resources. An inventory of the Lab was conducted in November 2007 for this report. The technology offerings include twelve networked Dell OptiPlex workstations, all equipped with a full range of specialized software (including Microsoft Project, Visio, statistics and business analysis tools), and a Hewlett-Packard 4250tn monochrome laser printer. Other work tools include:
• • • • Three staplers (broken) Four extra task chairs (worn) Two 48” square work tables One metal bookshelf • • • One chalk board (obscured by workstations) One bulletin board Two dry erase boards and markers

The Lab is a good resource for suppotring the analysis component that is a part of every QUEST project. Student teams have unique needs, however, which the Lab fails to meet. The shortcomings of the current work space were apparent in a survey of frequent lab patrons, which found mild dissatisfaction as shown on this

Figure 1: Student Satisfaction with QUEST Work Space Resources
6 5 4 3 2 1 Number of Respondents 0 1 2 3 4 5

Satisfaction Score (1 is Very Dissatisfied and 5 is Very Satisfied)

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page in Figure 1. These students rated their satisfaction with QUEST work space resources as an average 2.83 out of 5.00, where 5.00 is “very satisfied.” As this group is the most likely to be pleased with the resource offerings (considering their continuing usage), a significant gap is likely to exist between the utility of the Lab and the needs of all QUEST students. Quality Concerns A number of concerns exist regarding the appropriateness of the space which the program currently provides. Survey respondents had equal concerns in the three areas shown in Figure 2; namely, that the current space is inappropriate, that the current space is poorly equipped, and that the equipment which the space does have is in poor condition. A remarkable attribute of QUEST projects is that students must sign legally binding non-disclosure agreements with their clients. Because students analyze sensitive information about external organizations, this requirement is reasonable. The program does not, however, offer any areas in which teams can discuss information privately. The Lab is a shared resource for many student teams. This shortcoming leads to potential information security risks as groups meet amongst others in the Lab or other ad-hoc areas on campus. The collaborative nature of team work creates another noteworthy demand on QUEST work space. Aside from the private nature of project information, collaboration Inappropriate is an intrusive activity. Broken Tools Space 37% Brainstorming and cooperative 36% analysis are noisy and distracting to others. The current work space is focused on facilitating Ill-Equipped Space individual work; it provides a 27% large number of computer workstations in a relatively small room. The consensus among students is that the Lab can support no more than one or two student teams at a time. This limitation often leaves many individual students and project groups with no usable work space.
Figure 2: Quality Concerns with QUEST Work Space Resources

Exposure to organizations outside the University is a valuable part of the QUEST experience. As part of this external contact, however, project groups must present a professional image through high-quality deliverables and reliable communication channels. The Lab does provide access to some essential office tools such as computer workstations and productivity software. But students remarked both on the unserviceable condition of some resources as well as an unmet need for the standard range of office tools such as basic supplies and telecommunications equipment. Meeting these needs at

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one’s personal expense was a common student experience and is generally regarded as an opportunity for improvement in the effectiveness of the program’s work space. Availability Concerns As you know, the QUEST curriculum requires that its two hundred members complete five courses over the span of three years. Two of the compulsory courses – “Introduction to Design and Quality” and “The Total Quality Practicum” – are scheduled simultaneously during the fall semester for students of different ages. These courses are analytical, project-centric and team-based; their similarities result in competing need for limited work space. This irregularly high demand often overloads the capacity of the Lab. This variable demand is a Figure 3: Availability Concerns major driver in the concerns of with QUEST Work Space Resources survey respondents as shown in Figure 3. Project teams cope by trying to create ad-hoc meeting Insufficient Variable Demand Workstations space in classrooms, hallways or for Space 9% 27% residence halls. The fact that teams are often unable to find suitable space is a key complaint. As an interdisciplinary program, QUEST must be concerned with the needs of students from the Smith School of Business (Smith), A. James Clark School of Engineering (Clark) and College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (CMPS) despite the distant geographical location of these schools. The program currently offers work space solely in Van Munching Hall on the southwest quadrant of the University campus. Clark and CMPS students lack access to work space close to their colleges and must travel 0.80 miles and 1.05 miles, respectively, to utilize the Lab in Van Munching Hall. Surveys and interviews revealed that the primary concern of non-Smith students is the availability of team work space across campus rather than the lack of dedicated labs in each member school. Solution I propose a three-faceted approach to addressing the work space needs of QUEST students: providing access to group meeting areas across campus, managing student demands for work space and offering professionally-equipped work space. Access to Group Meeting Areas Student groups need access to private meeting areas. As shown in Figure 4 on the following page, nearly half of all survey respondents stated a demand for more space. To accomplish this goal, I propose a three-tier approach. These alternatives offer increasing levels of benefit according to the difficulty of their implementation.
Space Too Small 64%

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The first step is to educate QUEST students about the resources available to them. Students need to know more about what work space is available for general undergraduate use in Smith, Clark and CMPS. They also need to learn the process for reserving these spaces. Publicizing this information should take place through in-class announcements as well as postings on the QNet website. Knowledge of these preexisting resources will reduce demand for dedicated work space, such as the IBM TQ Tools Lab, by enabling teams to meet in alternate, underutilized venues. The second step is to grant additional work space resource privileges to QUEST students. QUEST staff should reach out to the Smith, Clark and CMPS schools to implement these policy changes. Some resistance to trusting undergraduates with these restricted resources may be encountered. But, as you know, members of the program are honors students whose QUEST assignments Figure 4: Recommendations to confront them with graduate-level Improve QUEST Work Space Resources challenges. These students should be able to make use of Improve Space 11% underutilized team rooms, labs Improve and equipment currently Management Add Space 3% dedicated to graduate students or 49% faculty. The final step in facilitating access to group meeting areas is to develop an online work space reservation system. This system should be implemented as a new feature of the QNet website. While this solution will not increase the number of spaces available, it will make reserving those spaces easier. This solution may be quite simple to implement as room reservations within Smith are already computerized using Lotus Notes. QUEST would not have to develop an original reservations system. Instead, the program could reach out to its computer science member students to build an interface between the pre-existing system and the QNet interface. If a fully integrated interface is not feasible within the budget allotted, then the same effect could be achieved by simply linking through to the existing system at https://bmgt-archive.rhsmith.umd.edu/facilities/R5Fall02Reserve.nsf/. Manage Demand for Resources As discussed earlier, the concurrent scheduling of courses such as “Introduction to Design & Quality” (BMGT190H) and “The Total Quality Practicum” (BMGT490H) has led to periods of exceptional demand for work space when project teams in multiple courses have simultaneous deliverables due. In preparation for next school year, QUEST leaders should coordinate the syllabi of various courses which may rely upon the Lab. The program can make more efficient use of existing resources by leveling demand in this way.
Add Tools 37%

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In case the previous solution can not sufficiently solve the problem, the program should schedule teamwork-oriented courses during different semesters. Currently, both Introduction to Design & Quality and The Total Quality Practicum are offered exclusively in the fall semester. One of these courses should be rescheduled to the spring semester in order to reduce concurrent demand for resources. Professionally Equipped Work Space An inventory of the IBM TQ Tools Lab revealed that equipment is worn and needs maintenance. The printer, a Hewlett-Packard 4250tn, has several problems including a non-functional secondary paper tray and frequent paper jams that occur for no apparent reason. Survey respondents reported that several computer workstations were not functional. The staplers are all broken and chairs are starting to break. The Lab is a heavily utilized resource. It is also a small work space for a large number of students. Maintaining the Lab in good operating condition is essential in order to support the needs of project teams. The first step in maintaining the Lab is to document all the current problems. Then you should research the service options available for the program’s current technology resources. For cost purposes in this proposal, I have included the cost of a 12-month manufacturer’s on-site service contract for the printer and two workstations. In addition to the technology repairs, the staplers must be replaced with basic but reliable models. The replacement of several task chairs is necessary as well. Survey respondents expressed a need for additional office supplies and technology in the IBM TQ Tools Lab. The full range of tools normally available in the office environment should be stocked in the Lab for project use. These items should be kept in the Lab on an honor system because student schedules and deadlines often lead to project work being conducted far outside of normal business hours. The first step in stocking the lab would be to assess what items are most necessary. Second, an honor system policy should be written and posted and, finally, the Lab should be stocked with supplies. In terms of more advanced technology, teams need 24-hour access to print, scan, copy and fax documents in monochrome or color in order to offer a professional image to their clients. The program should consider replacing or supplementing the current monochrome laser printer with a new color laser multi-function printer. I propose the purchase of a Dell 3115cn workgroup printer. This highly-rated printer could provide monochrome printing for 1.4 cents per page and color printing for 9.4 cents per page; by comparison, the cost per page of the current HP 4250tn is 1.5 cents per page (standard toner cartridge). Finally, survey and interview respondents pointed out a need for professional communication channels between students and external organizations. Communications between project teams and their client champions, as well as during interviews and benchmarking, frequently involve both on-site meetings and teleconferencing. Teams should be given access to professional meeting space such as executive conference

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rooms like room 4444 in Van Munching Hall. And the use of communications tools such as audio and video teleconferencing, which is currently available from the Smith School, should be supported by the QUEST program. For the most part, access to these resources will be driven by expanding access to new group meeting areas as described earlier. Access to video teleconferencing, however, will require a financial commitment from the program. As point-to-point ISDN video teleconferencing costs $120 per hour, I propose that next year’s Total Quality Practicum teams be sponsored for one hour of video teleconferencing per team. Facilitating access to new group meeting areas, managing the demand for work space resources and providing professionally equipped work space are comprehensive steps towards meeting the needs of student teams. These recommendations are structured so that incremental steps can be taken towards addressing each concern. Personnel A fundamental strength of this proposal is it requires no additional personnel to implement the proposed solutions. Accommodating students’ work space needs is largely a matter of communication and policy. Your experience in administration and events coordination for the program gives you a good background to implement these policy changes. Some solutions go beyond changes in policy. One material solution is the development of a work space reservation tool on QNet. Your experience facilitating the development of QNet as the website content manager gives you the background necessary for this task. Another notable solution is the improvement of Lab upkeep and investment to increase resources available within current work spaces. Nicole Cottrell’s Program Manager role in QUEST identifies her as an ideal leader for this task. Budget Another strength of the proposed solutions is their reasonable cost. Since no new personnel are necessary for implementation, employee overhead remains the same. The costs of implementation are as follows:
• • • • • • •

Educate students on currently available resources in Smith, Clark and CMPS Grant additional resource access in Smith, Clark and CMPS to QUEST students Develop an online room reservation tool for QNet Schedule key deliverables at different times in concurrent QUEST course Schedule Introduction to Design & Quality and The Total Quality Practicum during different semesters Repair existing equipment to a serviceable state Expand the resources available in the Lab

$0 $0 $1,000 $0 $0 $1,103 $1,093

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Provide access to executive conference rooms and teleconferencing services

$1,440

As you can see above, most of the recommendations involve changes in policy and cooperation with existing systems; these solutions cost nothing. Four solutions will require an investment totaling $4,636. Given that these solutions will support the work of 225 QUEST students per year, these changes will cost $20.60 per student. This cost is reasonable because the changes will help student teams to more effectively learn and meet the needs of their clients. In fact, these changes are likely to pay for themselves. As you know, QUEST earns about $4,500 in revenue for each of the 15 project teams in The Total Quality Practicum course each year. Meeting the resource needs of these student teams will lead to higher quality and more timely work. And if student teams are able to exceed client expectations, the value of the work delivered will increase. Specific details regarding the figures shown above are listed in Appendix B. I look forward to discussing this proposal with you and to collaborating on efforts to begin its implementation.

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Appendix A. Sample Survey Form
QUEST Work Space Survey Are you a QUEST Student? [ ] YES [ ] NO

Expected Graduation Date __________ On scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) how would you rate your satisfaction with the work space that is provided for QUEST students? 1 2 3 4 5

What is your biggest concern regarding work space for QUEST work in your experience?

How could the program better meet its students’ needs for work space?

Please return this survey to xxx xxxxx via email to xxxxxxx@umd.edu. Thank you!

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Appendix B. Overall Survey Response Data
Idcode 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 IdCode 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 ExpGrad 2008 2008 2008 2009 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2008 2007 2008 2010 2010 2010 Major Chemical Engineering Mechanical Engineering General Business Marketing Finance Civil Engineering Operations Management Finance SatScore 1 4 2 2 4 2 3 2 3 3 2 4 3 4 4 IdCode 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 6 InProgram Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Improvements Expand computer lab Classroom reservations Expand computer lab New tools (copier or scanner) New tools (printer) Engineering lab Smith second lab Update lab furnishings Expand computer lab Smith second lab Engineering lab Add tables Expand computer lab New tools (projector) Presentation practice space

Accounting Business Electrical Engineering Marketing

KeyConcerns Space too small Teams need private space Variable demand Space too small Variable demand Space too small Space too small Teams need private space Space too small Variable demand Insufficient workstations Limited venue options Space too small Variable demand Space too small

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IdCode 7 7 8 9 9 10 11 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 15 15

KeyConcerns Supplies insufficient Teams need private space Space too small Broken tools (printer) Space too small Insufficient workstations Broken tools (computers) Broken tools (staplers) Space too small Supplies insufficient Variable demand Space too small Space too small Broken tools (computers outdated) Variable demand Space too small Furnishings not conducive to group work Space too small

IdCode 6 7 7 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 14 15 15

Improvements Update workstations Add tables Expand computer lab Expand work space Expand computer lab Presentation practice space Closet to hang suits New tools (refridgerator) Proactive space management Stock consumables Smith second lab Add group space during peak times Add tools (smart boards) New tools (teleconferencing) New tools (professional communication with external organizations) New tools (whiteboards) Update workstations Add group space during peak times Add tables Rearrange lab for group work

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Appendix C. Survey Response Analysis. Student Satisfaction with QUEST Work Space Resources.

Figure 1: Student Satisfaction with QUEST Work Space Resources
6 5 4 3 2 1 Number of Respondents 0 1 2 3 4 5

Satisfaction Score (1 is Very Dissatisfied and 5 is Very Satisfied)

------------------------------------------------------------Appendix C. Survey Response Analysis. Quality Concerns with QUEST Work Space Resources. Figure 2: Quality Concerns with QUEST Work Space Resources

Inappropriate Space 36%

Broken Tools 37%

Ill-Equipped Space 27%

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Appendix C. Survey Response Analysis. Availability Concerns with QUEST Work Space Resources.

Figure 3: Availability Concerns with QUEST Work Space Resources

Variable Demand for Space 27%

Insufficient Workstations 9%

Space Too Small 64%

------------------------------------------------------------Appendix C. Survey Response Analysis. Recommendations to Improve QUEST Work Space Resources.

Figure 4: Recommendations to Improve QUEST Work Space Resources

Improve Space 11% Improve Management 3%

Add Space 49%

Add Tools 37%

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Appendix C. Survey Response Analysis. Recommendations Regarding the Addition of Work Space Resources

Fi
------------------------------------------------------------Appendix C. Survey Response Analysis. Student Concerns with QUEST Work Space Resources

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Appendix D. Budget Details Repair of Current Equipment Maryland Correctional Enterprises Sapphire Chair ($171*4) Part #122SAP1 HP 12-month 4-hour on site service Dell 1-year Next Business Day on site service ($79*2) Staples standard stapler ($15*2) Total ------------------------------------------------------------Addition of New Equipment Dell 3115cn workgroup multifunction printer Maryland Correctional Enterprises Square Table Part #106WO0202 Basic office supplies (est.) Total ------------------------------------------------------------Teleconferencing Smith IT Video Teleconferencing Fee $1,440 At $120 per hour for 12 student teams (estimated actual use) Total $1,440 $699 $244 $150 $1,093 $684 $231 $158 $30 $1,103

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Appendix E. Photographs of IBM TQ-Tools Lab

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