Personal reflection on the Research and Analysis Project (RAP)

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An Analysis of Business and Financial Performance of


(Period 2009/10 to 2011/12

1872 Words



1 Introduction……………………………………………………... 1

2 Evaluation of Meetings with Project Manager………………... 2

2.1 First Meeting..…………………………………………... 2

2.2 Second Meeting…………………………………………. 3

2.3 Third Meeting…………………………………………... 4

3 RAP objectives and their achievements………………………... 4

4 Assessment of Interpersonal and communication skills used… 5

5 How it Benefits in future Studies………………………………. 6


This report is written in order to express skills learned during the process of undertaking the Research and Analysis Project (RAP). It attempts to answer all the questions as required by Oxford Brookes University for the accomplishment of the requirement of the RAP.


In order to successfully complete the RAP, the meetings with the Project Manager has helped me a lot. However to administer a productive meetings and get valuable information out of it, Planning is essential as it keeps you on track.

As far as the Project Manager is concerned he should be a person that truly understands the needs and broaden your knowledge and help you progress and in my view Mr Muhammad shahid is one who can guide and help me with the progress smoothly towards achieving the targeted goals. I discussed all the requirements of the RAP with him and ask for his time and availability as my mentor during the project. I conducted three meetings as described with him which are as follows;


First meeting was held as planned to scrutinize the ideas which I gather around for the purpose of preparing RAP. As instructed in the info pack, before the meeting held; I did some pre research on organizations and topic areas. So it can be presented to a Project Manager (PM) for further discussion. I was a bit nervous as I have never conducted such a detailed analysis, however after the meeting I came out more confident because PM believed that I could accomplish what I have started with.

Every thing goes smoothly as decided we started discussion as per decided time and I presented my initial research and schedule about the RAP. I had planned that I wanted to do the business and financial analysis as I find myself good with numbers and the analytical skills require to do analysis, all my previous studies add on making it clear but was not quite sure which sector to go for. After hearing and looking into my workings he starts asking questions in order to find out my interests. After few minutes we came up with the industry, as I worked in heath and toiletry sector so decided to take on with, he left the choice of organization with me and I came out of the second largest of the sector i.e. Superdrug Stores Plc (SSP). I selected it because of the reasons which also been presented to him was

  1. SSP is the only one in the sector that provides products at low prices even during the worse recession times and I was keen to know & analyze how it’s been done so successfully
  2. Furthermore, SSP is going through restructuring and this campaign help them in securing a Position among top five in non food best retailers
  3. SSP is been considered a rivalry on a high street to a giant of health and beauty market i.e. Boots UK Ltd. Which in size far bigger than it.

After agreeing on Rap title and industry, I delivered my ideas and present him a schedule of how I wanted to carry on with this, which he acknowledged.

After the meeting I felt enlightened and confident that I am on right track, his cross questioning technique and advice helped me think, rethink and coming up with better options revealed that if one knows what to do and how ensures high quality of research reports.


Before the second meeting I did put my efforts to gather all the information and data, also make some calculation so it can be presented during the meeting, as the purpose of the second meting was to update Project Manager about the RAP progress so did I.

He was very pleased with the fact that I have done my research observing with aims and objectives which was established earlier. His assurance really boosts up my morale and energy levels. However he did advice me on sorting which Ratios so I wouldn’t go beyond word count restrictions, at this point I was very sure how and what can e added in completing the RAP.


At this time I have completed RAP and aware that I have to do a presentation on it. It was very important and crucial step as I have to explain to others of my view point about the performance of the SSP and how I think they can improve it if there can be any improvements. I was bit nervous, because I never done such a presentation.

Project Manager Assurance about my working and completeness of RAP help regain my confidence, this was a time where I could show my communication skills. Sharing my experience with others was a very good feeling and the hard work really came through when I come to know that it is ready to give it a go.


There is a saying; a goal without a plan is just a wish, and a plan without set objectives is a disaster.

From the very first day after reading the info pack I understand how important it is to set objectives, as it helps you to track down your target and to follow on your progress at any given time making you realise; is it what I really wanted or there is something else that can be done.

In my personal view point I was very much successful in meeting the objectives of the RAP,

As I was aware of the fact that clear objectives help you in doing well. So I noted down in detail. How I want to proceed? What do I have to achieve? And what resources do I have? What are the constraints?

First thing comes first, I have to plan my RAP and prepare a draft as it helps me in tackling the project successfully and also on time, then gathering data and process it into presentable information by using the analytical tools.

The tools I decided to utilize was ratio analysis to measure financial performance, SWOT Analysis and Porter’s five forces Analysis to cater all the possible factors that influence the performance of SSP over the last three years period.

After doing all these steps the next objective was to interpret the results and support them by valid points so it can be understand well. I spent more time on it; as it is a crucial stage of analysis, as it not only require you to critically assess the position taken by company but also to find out what makes it happen and how better position can be observed.


What I believe is the purpose of the having a project manager and meetings with him is not only to get the guidance but it is to form a relationship to practise and develop skills and professionalism. Also I believe by preparing this project there is an immense improvement in my interpersonal and communication skills.

As I was aware of the importance of the meetings hence before every meeting I note down what was expected from me and what I want from my mentor as it helps me in communicating well and to accomplish the task in a better way.

Effective communication is an art and needs a lot of practise to master, as one could have a really good idea but if not effectively communicated to others may not have the opportunity of understanding. Source of information is they key for effective communication as he/she has to decide what medium to be used and how to deliver successfully.

In the meetings usually ideas was shared verbally, as I conducted all the research and documented it; so the responsibility lies on my shoulders to encode the message in a way or format that is understandable, i.e. information delivered should be in accounting and business language not in a layman’s terms.

The channel of communication is as important as the source of information is; it should have to be appreciating in order to get the info through with out any hindrance. Spoken words are used in oral communications, Hearing and sight channels are used most commonly; however communication can be influenced by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking. Hence I utilized these factors during the meetings for the better understanding of the facts and to deliver messages effectively.

As the sessions were advised short, one could have lot to ask, as I had but short time span urge them to analyze the importance of the matter and relevancy so that the time spent must be utilized in a better way and productivity can be enhanced.

The big and golden opportunity for the said purpose was in third meeting in the shape of presentation, this is where I can demonstrate my interpersonal and communication skills better of all. As preparation is the key to success, so I did prepared well for my presentation and answer the questions on research that I have conducted.


This project was an exciting experience for me and I’m glad that while working on this project I had gain a good understanding of analytical skill there implementation and how I can communicate my findings with others. Which would not only help me with my further studies but will developed further as I proceed in my professional career.

I took this project as it was very relevant to my current studies and also day to day business activities. Before attempting this project I was not pretty sure of the real life scenarios faced by organizations and how they approach to there solutions, the way firms implement there strategy, what happened if the matter stay unsolved, what other factors organization should looked for other than financial perspectives to avoid poor performance. Now I learned the approach of doing business analysis of the real company and this approach will be very helpful in future accountancy exams and in future career.

Furthermore this project revealed on me that how important is it to learn technology and its uses in current business environment, as it assist you to roundup, present and deliver your message more appropriately. I was weak in MS Office skills which I had learned long-ago I thought it might had any uses as the readily available software packages has taken over but this project gives me an opportunity to enhance my IT skills.

As I had gone through meetings with mentor and interacted with different people while gathering information, I gained confidence and learned improved ways of communicating effectively and building interpersonal skills.

Last but not the least and in my view that was the important of it i.e. The Presentation as it is the crucial part of the management roles in real life jobs. This was totally a new experience for me as I never had a chance to do such a presentation. I learned how to make presentations and how we can deliver them effectively. Not only this but also I learned to justify my stance in front of public and how to convince someone by providing valid supporting information.