Course Project – Strategic Analysis
In Units 3-7, you will develop a portion of a strategic analysis due to the instructor each unit by Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT. In Unit 8, the final paper is due by Thursday 11:59 p.m. CT. Note: Most of the 290 points are accumulated in the weekly assignments!
The final project paper will have roughly 11-16 pages double spaced body (plus title page, abstract page and reference page(s) for a typical total of 14- 21 pages (not more than 24!). Title page, abstract, headings, cites and references, and font (Times New Roman 12) need to be in APA format. When using information from sources to support your analysis, be sure to cite the sources.
Sources should not include other student papers from the internet, blogs, Wikipedia (or other reference/dictionary type sites), and should be professional credible sources – company web sites, journals, and professional periodicals. Look carefully at web sites to be sure they are credible. Do not use sites that are repositories of student papers or sites where authors’ credentials are uncertain. DO NOT use SWOT’s, 5 Forces and other analyses completed by others. Use sources to develop YOUR analysis. You will lose points or have your work zeroed if your sources are not credible, MBA level research sources.
· Do not use sources applying the same tool you are using in the assignment work (a Marketline SWOT as a source, for instance, for your SWOT).
· Do not use websites where student work is shared.
· Do not use the web site www.strategicmanagementinsight.com by Jurevicius. It is not a credible source and much of the content has been copied from other sources; he is a Bachelor student.
· Do not use Panmore Institute. There is no such company/organization; this is a site with student papers
· Do not use research-methodology.net – John Dudovskiy is a portal with a lot of copied content. Take care to find the original source for the information posted here.
· Do not use work by Adam Kasi on porteranalysis.com – the work is dated and not well cited to sources
· Do not use Fern Fort University – this is not a college; it is a web site where students post their work
· Do not use Case48- another web site repository of student work
Unit 3 – Introduction and Problem Statement (2 pages) 40 points
Introduction: Under the first heading of Introduction, write a clear, concise introduction/ overview of a company listed on the stock exchange (check to be sure they have annual reports available online). This may not be a company you have used in any team or individual assignments in your previous studies. Describe the company and their product(s)/service(s), a brief history, their vision and mission (if they do not have formal statements describe what you feel they might be) the industry they are in, their size (sales, income, number of employees), and your perception of their competitive advantage(s). Use the company’s web site and their annual report. State what the company’s goal may be ($xx sale for the coming year, for instance, or a certain percentage of profit). Provide some content about the competitive environment the company operates in. Explain major trends in the company’s primary industry.
Under the next heading, Problem Statement: After doing background reading on the company, write a Problem Statement paragraph. The paragraph will begin with the sentence: The problem at XXX is how to build sales, profits, and market share in the xxx industry. Provide a short background about the problem within the single paragraph.
Submit these 2 sections of your project in a single file by Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT.
Unit 4 – Strategic Analysis Part 1 (1-1.5 pages) 40 points
Strategic Analysis: Under the heading Strategic Analysis, describe and justify the use of three strategic tools that you could (and probably will) apply to help solve or improve the problem and why you feel each of those tools is appropriate. At least one of the three tools must consider financial data. Additionally, describe at least two tools that you considered but will not use and why. This is a total of 5 tools that you will have reviewed in this short 1-1.5 pages assignment. Note: There are three handouts in this unit. (1) Strategic Management Tools Preview the document (2) Dyer: Appendix A – Sources for External and Internal Analysis Preview the document (3) Dyer: Appendix B – Financial Ratios and Analysis Preview the document. Submit this section of your project by Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT.
Unit 5 – Strategic Analysis Part 2 (6-8 pages of body) 150 points
This is the largest section of the paper. As you apply the selected tools, there must be content from the company’s most recent annual report. Under sub headings containing the tool name (under the main heading Strategic Analysis), develop a strategic analysis using three. The analysis should be stating clearly what appears to be working well and what is not. How is your company doing compared to previous years? Compared to competitors? Be sure one of your tools addresses some appropriate financials (for example: sales, profit, equity, debt management, cash management, or asset management). At the end of each tool’s analysis conclude with a summary paragraph of how the information relates to the problem identified (This tool shows that …). Submit this section of your project by Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT.
Unit 6 – Strategic Analysis Alternatives (2-4 pages) 80 points
Under a main heading Alternatives, develop a list of options. Feel free to include those that maybe “far fetched” without judging them. There should be multiple alternatives/options for actions to solve the problem (3-8 is typical). Alternatives may include business, corporate, or international level strategies. Evaluate the alternatives by considering if the company can afford it; whether it will evoke a response from competitors; how employees/customers/ stakeholders are likely to view the change; and how the alternative fits with organizational culture, vision, mission and goals. Submit this section of your project by Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT.
Unit 7 – Strategic Analysis Recommendations (2 pages)50 points
Under a main heading of Recommendations, select one or more alternatives that your analysis supports as being a good solution for your company’s problem. Describe exactly what the company needs to do. Explain why this course of action will solve your stated problem using facts and figures to justify the recommendation. Include suggestions on how to best implement the recommendation(s). Check the recommendations against the problem you identified; be sure the recommendation “fits” the problem. Add a paragraph in which you express your opinion: how likely is it that the organization would be successful implementing your recommendations (have they successfully implemented changes in the past)? Submit this section of your project by Sunday 11:59 p.m. CT.
Unit 8 – Final Paper 40 points
Reread the Assignment summary under the Course tab :Assignments. Reviewing the instructor feedback comments in the grade book for all of the sections of your project paper, organize the document into a single file with a title page, abstract page and references page in APA format. Make changes to any earlier sections impacted by the information you gained as you conducted the strategic analysis. Add a final Conclusion heading with a summary paragraph. Submit your final project paper by Wednesday 11:59 p.m. CT.
Course Project Rubric
Contains a well-developed descriptive overview of a company and its environment
Contains some descriptive overview of company and its environment
Contains a briefly developed descriptive overview of company and its environment
A problem is clearly identified; contains factual background.
A problem is not clearly identified; contains little or no background.
The content is not a problem and contains little or no background
Multiple tools are analyzed for appropriate application to the problem. Three tools are applied. One tool has a financial component.
Multiple tools are not analyzed well or not related well to the problem. Three tools are applied. Some financial data is included
Multiple tools are not analyzed or not related well to the problem. Two or no tools are applied. Financial data is not included.
Three or more alternative strategies are evaluated including how the alternative might fit with organizational culture, vision, mission and goals; competitor response is described.
Three or more alternative strategies are briefly evaluated and not related well to their fit with the organization; competitor response is described.
Less than three alternatives are evaluated or evaluated poorly and/or not related well to their fit with the organization or competitor response.
Recommendations are made from the list of alternatives including the likelihood of successful implementation
Recommendations are made but they do not appear in the list of alternatives or do not include the likelihood of successful implementation
Recommendations are not from the list of alternatives and/ or do not include the likelihood of successful implementation
Content is well written, with APA formatted fonts, headings, citations, and references.
Content contains some writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or has some APA formatting errors
Content has multiple writing errors (spelling, grammar, syntax) and/or multiple APA formatting errors
Assignment submitted on time by Thursday 11:59 p.m. CT in Unit 8
Assignment submitted on time by Thursday 11:59 p.m. CT in Unit 8
Assignment submitted late; after Thursday 11:59 p.m. CT in Unit 8
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