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Understand how to assess information and knowledge needs

Unit 4:   Improving the Management of Communications, Knowledge and Information

Unit code:           T/504/537

QCF level 4:         BTEC Professional

Credit value:      11

Guided learning hours: 44

Unit aim

The aim of this unit is to give learners knowledge and understanding of the importance of managing communications to improve the flow of knowledge and information in the workplace for the success of the organisation.

Unit introduction

Information and work-based knowledge is the most valuable resource that an organization possesses. The effective                gathering, protection, analysis, processing and dissemination of information are vital to the success of any organisation. As globalisation and the 24-hour economy develops and increases, organisations must ensure that their information systems are reliable, efficient and able to cope with rapid change. This unit is designed to develop understanding of the interaction between communications, knowledge and information which will help learners to understand that communications do not automatically take place effectively in organisations and that both information and work-based knowledge is often insufficient when decisions are made. Managers can improve the planning of their communications processes as well as their communication skills. This unit will help learners to understand why managers need to adopt a more inclusive approach to stakeholders affected by their decisions and why they need to network on a more structured basis. Learners will also examine how managers can make the information and knowledge they gain accessible to other parts of the organisation.

Organisations whose information systems previously dealt purely with data processing have now introduced systems to support strategic management and decisions. Decision making depends on having information that is relevant and timely and that can be used to justify decisions taken. Information and communications technology (ICT) have changed many aspects of the decision- making process. In this unit learners will develop an understanding of the importance of analysing the information needs of an organisation at different levels and within different functional areas such as financial analysis, econometric, auditing, production and operations, including services improvement and market research.

On completion of this unit, learners will understand the importance of effective information systems and how these systems contribute to the decision-making process.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

In order to pass this unit, the evidence that the learner presents for assessment needs to demonstrate that they can meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria determine the standard required to achieve the unit.

On completion of this unit a learner should:

 

Learning outcomes

 

Assessment criteria

1          Understand how to assess information and knowledge needs

·         describe the characteristics and sources of data that a selected organisation needs

·         describe sources of information and knowledge needed to ensure effective decision taking

·         evaluate the importance of information and knowledge in the management decision making process

2          Understand how to create strategies to increase personal networking to widen involvement in the decision- making process

·         assess the benefits of personal networking

·         evaluate the suitability of methods used to develop business relationships

·         evaluate strategies for improving personal networking

3          Understand how to develop communication processes to improve the gathering and dissemination of information and organisational knowledge

·         evaluate the effectiveness of the current communication processes in an organisation

·         recommend improvements to ensure greater integration of systems of communication in that organisation

·         explain the importance of producing a personal plan to improve own communication skills


 

Learning outcomes

 

Assessment criteria

4          Understand ways to improve systems relating to information and knowledge

·         assess existing approaches to the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge in an organisation

·         recommend improvements to the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge in that organisation

·         assess the benefits of developing a strategy to improve access to systems of information and

·         knowledge, taking into account any legal, ethical and operational issues


Programme of suggested assignments

The table below shows a programme of suggested assignments that cover the criteria in the assessment grid. This is for guidance only and it is recommended that centres either write their own assignments or adapt Excel assignments to meet local needs and resources.

 

Criteria covered

 

Assignment title

 

Scenario

 

Assessment method

1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1,

2.2, 2.3

Communications in Business

Investigation into the types of information used to inform decision making

Presentation or report

3 .1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1,

4.2, 4.3

The Way Forward             

Investigation of the

communication

and information processes and systems in an organisation and how these could be improved,

taking account of legal and ethical issues

Presentation or report


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