Module 1 - Company Introduction
Select the company and secure instructor approval.
This is an overview of the expectations and instructions for each of the 3 Phases. Please refer to each Phase to review the specific requirements and due dates associated.
Allthough the information below provides the essential information for your Project, it is highly advised that you download Project Guidelines (pdf).
The Project Guidelines includes tips, an example outline, and the grading rubric for your Strategic Management Case Project.
Navigate to review each section of your Project.
Deadline: Phase 1 will be submitted in Module 3.
If there are any general situational assumptions or limitations on the scope of the analysis, these should also be specified here. This section should be limited to a maximum of five pages.
Note: For Some students may select a new business venture for a firm they would seriously consider starting. For these students, this section will focus on a research based history, critical strategic events, emerging competition, and industry leaders.
Deadline: Phase 2 will be submitted in Module 6.
The results of each strategic tool are presented along with a discussion of importance and implications. Also required are sections for financial analysis and assumptions, although the specific contents of these sections may vary considerably.
Deadline: Phase 3 will be submitted to the Chalk and Wire Assignment Folder in Module 8.
This section should integrate the findings from all of the analytical exercises employed in Phase 2. A final and all-encompassing analysis is presented, along with the recommendations that you would make to the firm’s board of directors. This would include identifying what you would and would not do, and outlining any relevant alternate scenario plans or contingency plans. Be sure to address any potential competitive reaction.
Select the company and secure instructor approval.
Complete an EFE and CPM for your company (including analysis and conclusions) and insert in your working draft which you will hold until you submit Phase 1 during Module 3.
Complete an IFE and calculate financial ratios (including analysis and conclusions) for your company and insert in your working draft.
Submit your working draft of Phase 1 to the Assignment Folder no later than
Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EST of Module 3.
Remember to review Phase 1 requirements.
Review and integrate instructor feedback from Phase 1.
Develop SWOT, BCG, SPACE, and IE matrices with strategic implications for the company.
Develop alternative strategies for your company with strengths and weaknesses of each.
Phase 2 includes revisions to Phase 1.
Submit your working draft of Phase 2 to the Assignment Folder no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EST of Module 6.
Remember to review Phase 2 requirements.
Develop a product-positioning map with strategic implications for the company.
Conduct final evaluation of alternative strategies and detailed description of selected strategy.
Develop detailed implementation and assessment plan.
Complete financial projections.
Create presentation with audio.
Complete the executive summary and insert into the plan.
Complete all editing, verification, and citing of all sources, and insert graphs and illustrations.
Phase 1 - begins the working draft.
Phase 2 - includes the revisions to Phase 1.
Phase 3 - includes the revisions to Phase 1 & 2.
Submit all of Phase 3 (which inclused Phase 1 & 2) to Chalk and Wire no later than Thursday 11:59 PM EST/EST using the link in the Module 8 folder.
Remember to review Phase 3 requirements.
o Description of the firm and its products
o Company history (brief history, critical events, competitors, leadership), including strategic elements of its history
o Vision and mission statement
o Assessment of mission and vision
Review FAQs to learn how to select a company.
In Module 2, you will complete an EFE and CPM for your company (including analysis and conclusions).
ADD to your working draft that you began in Module 1. This information will be included in Phase 1 that you submit in Module 3.
o EFE and CPM with strategic implications
o Analysis of competitive position, opportunities, and threats
o IFE with strategic implications
o Financial ratio analysis with key conclusions and implications for strategic choice
o Overall analysis of internal capabilities and implications for your strategic decisions
Phase 1 Deadline Reminder: Submit all of Phase 1 to the Assignment folder no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EST of Module 3. (This Assignment may be linked to Turnitin.)
In Module 5, you will develop SWOT, BCG, SPACE, and IE matrices with strategic implications for the company.
You will include the following information when you submit Phase 2 in Module 6.
o Current strategy (brief description of the firm’s current strategies), including current use of technology
o SWOT matrix with strategic implications for the company
o BCG matrix with strategic implications for the company
o Space or other matrices with strategic implications for the company
o Possible strategic alternatives
o Evaluation of current organizational structure
o Recommendation changes (if needed) to the structure, culture (including values), processes, rewards, or technology
Phase 2 Deadline Reminder: Phase 2 includes Phase 1 revisions. The length for this Phase is 4-6 pages. Submit all of Phase 2 to the Assignment folder no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EST of Module 6. (This Assignment may be linked to Turnitin.)
o Product-positioning map with strategic implications
o Detailed desciption of the selected alternative strategies
In Module 8, you will develop detailed implementation and assessment plan and complete financial projections. You will also create a presentation that includes audio.
You will include the following information when you submit Phase 3 in Module 8.
o Create presentation with audio
o Complete the executive summary and insert into the Plan
o Complete all editing, verification, and citing of all sources, and insert graphs and illustrations.
Review FAQs to learn more about the executive summary.
Phase 3 Deadline Reminder: Phase 3 includes Phase 1 and Phase 2 revisions. The length for this Phase is 7-9 pages. Submit all of Phase 1 to the Assignment folder no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EST of Module 3. (This Assignment may be linked to Turnitin.)
This course is designed to help you develop strategic skills that can be used in management. The process of strategic planning is an iterative cycle of research and analysis, ending with a series of choices about what will be attempted and how it will be approached. The most tangible output is the strategic planning document. The most important output is the increased understanding that the participants acquire.
Accordingly, the assessment of the final project will be heavily dependent on the quality of the strategic thinking inside that polished report. Students that focus on the expeditious completion of the steps may find that they have shortchanged the important and time-consuming exploration and thinking that is necessary to create a quality strategic case. Since not all tools can tell the planner which factors and alternatives are important to consider, the planner should pull in as much diverse information and perspectives as possible.
Additionally, you should put yourselves in the competitor’s shoes and consider how the “game” will play out. Your homework and subsequent improvements are intended to become a primary basis for the exploration and questioning that drives your strategic understanding and creative ideas. In addition, it is important to test your strategic thinking and your use of analytical tools in preparation for your final project.
As you select an organization for your class project, it is important that you select one that is interesting, possibly useful to you in your career, industry, or interests, and allows you to explore strategic challenges in a meaningful way.
If you select the industry in which you currently work, you must address two critical issues: (1) integrating and clearly citing existing information. (You will need to delineate work you’ve contributed as opposed to pre-existing information), and (2) succinctly presenting existing information while adding new insight, analysis, and plans that substantially add to strategy development, implementation, and/or assessment of the organization. An organization or industry you are interested in should give you better access to information although you need to pay careful attention to the points made above.
Do not underestimate the degree to which you will need to be an expert in the selected industry and related areas. It is impossible to create a strategy without understanding the terms, technologies, market changes, and so forth in great depth. As soon as you select a topic, you should establish (or monitor) news feeds from several major sources of business news to keep abreast of actions in your industry.
Public companies are preferred for these plans as SEC filings and investment analyses are available through research. Some of the firm’s main competitors will likely be public so that you can research them as well. Large, diversified, companies can be difficult for purposes of this course (unless their diversification is relatively narrow, and largely in one “solutions space”). Large organizations (e.g. GE) may file consolidated reports, and you may not have access to dis-aggregated information on the division that you are analyzing. Additionally, it’s better to select a company/industry under “duress” or at least struggling. The reason is its very difficult to add new strategic ideas for a company that is doing well.
You may select any form of organization including profit, non-profit, and government organizations. However, please take into consideration that within these various organizations, the strategic thinking can be quite different and some can pose challenges for the planner. Most organizations have some type of customer base and opportunities for improvement. Charitable organizations compete against other nonprofits for time and money. Educational organizations compete for students.
Regulated utilities compete for customers among themselves (e.g., gas versus electric) and in conjunction with governments to attract new industry. Units of governmental entities may be the most difficult, but even those organizations have customers who can choose to live in a different locality or elect government officials willing to change the status quo. If you are undecided, medium or small-size competitive, profit-oriented organizations may provide the best platform for applying course concepts.
Presentation with audio
The final submission for your project includes developing a PowerPoint presentation with
embedded audio files. Each slide must contain an audio file in which you offer insight to the material in the slide and key points the professor should take away from the visual
information in the PowerPoint.
You should minimize repeating points made in the slide other than emphasizing important components. To put this simply, please do not read the slides verbatim but make sure to add value to what is presented on the slide to improve the understanding of your work.
The presentation with audio is a significant component of the final submission, so please makes sure to offer your best work, speak clearly, emphasize the strategic implications of your work, and engage the viewer.
Executive summary (compiled with concise and critical elements from the detailed work)
While done as a last step, this goes in front of the report, after the index.
A final and all encompassing analysis is presented, along with the recommendations that you would make to the firm’s board of directors. This includes identifying what you recommend, and briefly outlining alternatives considered, key implementation steps, and the impact of the implementation on the company’s performance and competitive position.
Please do not jeopardize completing your MBA! Before you begin, read the plagiarism policy in the syllabus and catalogue. There is zero tolerance for plagiarism in this course. Any case of plagiarism will be taken seriously. All assignments will be submitted to Turnitin and be subject to additional validation by the professor. Work from prior classes cannot be used in this course without prior, written permission from the professor.