The final project for this course is the creation of a strategy and change management plan. This course provides a broad survey of topics that together contribute to an overall business acumen that managers need to possess in order to be successful in todays business environment. Organizations are looking for managers with a broad base of understanding that includes accounting, business environment analysis, employee motivation, sustainability, and how all these factors blend together with the organizations values to influence its strategic direction and the means in which it chooses to pursue it goals.
In your final project, you will choose one of the provided case studies and assume the role of a consultant hired by the executive management of the company described in your chosen case study to construct a high-level strategy for success based on the various economic, competitive, and management challenges faced by the company.
The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three, Four, and Seven. The final product will be submitted in Module Nine.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
Assess current performance of an organization through analysis of financial statements for informing a strategic plan
Analyze the internal and external environment of an organization for determining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
Develop a basic strategy to promote an organizations goals based on the analysis of the internal and external environment
Determine appropriate key performance indicators for effectively measuring the success of a proposed strategy
Determine the impact of proposed strategic decisions across departments in an organization for identifying potential internal challenges
Assume you are a consultant who is tasked with advising a company facing a strategic challenge. To determine the best approach, you will assess the organizations current business situation and make recommendations on how the company should change its approach to doing business in order to maintain profitability and sustainability.
You will choose one of the following cases from the HBR Coursepack for your analysis:
Long-Term Orientation in the Benedictine Monastery of Admont
American Apparel: Drowning in Debt?
Your presentation must address the following prompt: Select a case study and construct a high-level strategy for success based on the various economic, competitive, and management challenges faced by the organization. To accomplish this task, you will describe the organizations mission, vision, and values;
perform a TOWS analysis on the organization; and recommend a strategy that uses the organizations strengths to capitalize on available market opportunities, identifies its organizational weaknesses, and prescribes appropriate actions to address the threats that it faces. Additionally, you will identify metrics that will serve as key performance indicators to track the success of your recommended strategy, and develop a risk mitigation plan to minimize any adverse consequences.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Introduction: In this section, characterize the organization you have chosen for your final project.
A. Identify the organizations mission, vision, and values.
B. Explain the challenge(s) facing the organization. Support with specifics from the case.
II. Business Environment: Analyze the internal and external setting of your chosen organization.
A. Perform a TOWS analysis to determine a strategic approach to threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths for your chosen organization.
B. Based on the TOWS analysis, ascertain strategic areas for improvement in the organizations approach to doing business. Support with specifics
from the case.
C. Prioritize the areas to address by how well they align with the organization mission and values.
III. Financials: Examine the companys financial statements to assess organizational health.
A. Explain what the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement reveal about how the company is functioning.
B. Calculate financial ratios and interpret what those say about the organizations financial health. Support with specifics.
C. Identify the potential problem areas in the company as reflected in the financials.
IV. Strategy: What does the company need to do to change direction?
A. Devise a basic strategy to move the organization in a new direction based on the environmental analysis.
B. Identify the key players in implementing the strategy (marketing, operations, accounting, sales, HR, etc.) and describe how it affects them.
C. Develop a basic (high-level) plan to improve organizational performance.
1. Define goals for profitability based on specifics from analyses.
2. Explain in detail how the goals are in alignment with the company mission, vision, and values.
D. Describe in detail how this plan affects the organizations departments (marketing, operations, HR functions, etc.).
V. Key Performance Indicators: What does success look like?
A. Determine the specific KPIs you will use to effectively measure the success of the strategy and explain how/why these KPIs align with the
identified strategy and with the organizations mission, vision, and values.
B. Identify at least one KPI for each profitability goal identified previously.
A. Explain why your basic strategy is the most appropriate for meeting the organizations goals. Support with specific details from the case.
B. Identify departmental risks associated with your strategy and develop a risk mitigation plan.
C. Predict what other factors may affect your ability to implement the mitigation plan (costs, regulations, unions, etc.).
In Module Three, you will submit the Introduction and Analysis of Business Environment. You will characterize the organization you have chosen for your final
Milestone One: Introduction and Analysis of Business Environment
project and analyze the internal and external setting of your chosen organization. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone One Rubric.
Milestone Two: Analysis of Financial Situation
In Module Four, you will submit your Analysis of Financial Situation. In this milestone, you will examine the companys financial statements to assess organizational health. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.
Milestone Three: Strategy and Key Performance Indicators
In Module Seven, you will submit the Strategy and Key Performance Indicators. In this milestone, you will discuss what the company needs to do to change direction and what success will look like. This milestone will be graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.
Final Submission: Strategy and Change Management Plan
In Module Nine, you will submit your final project. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final project prompt. It should reflect the incorporation of knowledge gained throughout the course and feedback from each of your milestone worksheets. This submission will be graded with the Final Project Rubric.
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