Author: Prang Poontawee (MA Innovation Management, Class of 2021)
The graduating class of MA Innovation Management 2021 hosted a graduate
showcase, inviting the industry to explore the concept of “Becoming" from prerecorded
panel discussions and written interviews with experts from the industry
under four sub-themes: Becoming hybrid, Becoming proactive, Becoming
social, Becoming affective.
The project’s purpose was to present the graduating cohort's individual and
collaborative research and interests, connect with the industry, and
encapsulate the happenings in 2021. The showcase was online similarly to most
events that happened in that year. The journey of making the Becoming
graduate showcase happen is a mix of the exploration of virtual collaboration,
imagining new possibilities, and discovering potentials among ourselves.
The making journey consists of two big stages: concept development and
execution. The concept development stage is where the cohort brainstormed
about potential concepts that represent individual research and collective
value. We unpacked and mapped what makes us unique as individuals and
collective and how we position ourselves in the industry. During this process,
we discussed our journey as MA Innovation Management students, personal
ambitions, and the influence of global emergence such as COVID-19 on our
The concept “Becoming” describes the continuous state of evolving, swerving
along with the world as it moves forward. It tells the story of who we were before,
who we are currently, and who we will become in the future.
The project was then proceeding with a hierarchic team structure in the execution
stage to assure the quality of the deliverables and the project’s timeframe. It is
also to delegate work across the cohort and give the right job to the right
person. The project structure consisted of four teams: Editorial team, Design
team, Event and Partnership team, and Marketing and PR team. Project
managers played the decision-maker role to ensure all teams move in the
The project was steered by weekly steering meetings between the Project
Manager and team managers, supervised by tutors to present ideas and
updates from each team. Managers discussed the issues and concerns and
made decisions in the steering meeting. At the same time, all ten students
worked collaboratively, and all voices were heard.
With the constraint of the pandemic, we planned and facilitated the project
using online tools and platforms. We tackled four main challenges:
communication, productivity, inspiration and production. We built a working
system where communication and documentation channels are centralised in
Microsoft Teams. It’s easy to keep track of progress and navigate through
information across teams. Everyone can access any activities that happened in
the channel for transparency which eases off digital fatigue.
From a project management point of view, two crucial keys are constant
communication. By adopting innovative practices we learned over two years,
we sensed things, acted on, and planned ahead. We need to be aware that
everyone works differently. Therefore, checking in with team managers and
members every week was crucial for spotting potential issues and solving
problems before it’s too late.