IMPROVING TRANSVERSAL SKILLS IN THE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT SUBJECT IN GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY MASTER IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (MBA) BY APPLYING THE SCRUM METHODOLOGY
Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Adapting the university to the European Higher Education Area is leading to skills being developed as learning results from training, methodological renovation and using evaluations as a strategy that must positively influence students’ learning. The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) has set up the UPV Transversal Competences Project, whose main objective is to accredit the UPV transversal skills to graduate students of any official degree taught at the UPV (UPV, 2017).
In the specific case of the Master Degree in Business Management (MBM), an Advisory Council for the MBM was created in April 2017, made up of some of the most important companies in the area of influence. The objective was to incorporate, into the master’s undergraduate profile, the real requirements of its business context. During the Advisory Council’s first meeting, the need for the MBM students to acquire transversal skills was detected, along with the technological knowledge taught in it. Stress was placed on the need to acquire problem-solving and teamwork skills.
Thus the Academic Master Committee considered the option of cross-sectionally using a problem-solving and teamwork methodology in several MBM subjects so that students and teachers could reinforce these specific competences. Having analysed several available options, a decision was made to use the SCRUM, methodology, which is a framework within which students can tackle complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value (Schwaber & Sutherland, 2016). SCRUM allows partial and normal deliveries of end products to be made, which are priorised for the benefit they offer the party that receives the project (Proyectos Ágiles, 2017).
The purpose of the present work is to present the results of applying this methodology to the subject entitled “Strategic Management in Global Environments” of the MBM at the Alcoy Campus of the UPV.
To this end, work was done as part of the subject to propose new innovative business models for four companies that belong to the MBM’s Advisory Council. Students were divided into four self-managed teams, where students were sure of the role they played in them by periodically delivering works and always complying with the requirements agreed on by students, the teachers and the involved companies. There could be a reaction if deviations occurred in companies’ requirements and/or needs, and it could be necessary to adjust to these new requirements. The intention was for students to be capable of working in teams, solving companies’ genuine problems in real time and adapting to companies’ requirements and/or needs at all times. The ultimate objective was to improve academic performance, and acquiring and improving transversal skills, mainly analysing and problem solving, teamwork and leadership, and planning and managing time by practically and completely applying SCRUM to the work done in the subject.
This work has been developed as part of an educational innovation project funded by the Universitat Politècnica de València (PIME/2017/B/008) “Application of an agile and collaborative work methodology (SCRUM) in the Master in Business Administration (MBA) to improve transversal skills”.
Keywords: Scrum, strategy, transversal skills, Business Managements (MBM), collaborative work.