US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Your final task as a team is to prepare a Strategic Plan Report as outlined below.
Each team must create or revise a mission statement and strategic plan for an organization. This could be for an established small business, church, school, or another non-profit organization with which a team member has a relationship. It could be for an organization featured in one of the textbook case studies. Alternatively, it might be for an imagined startup venture in an emerging industry. Your team will be formed early in the trimester and will work together throughout the trimester.
Among key project tasks and deliverables would be: Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
- At initial sign-in, each student will be asked to specify first and second choices regarding type of organization for the team project work, drawing from the following options: federal government, other public sector, US military, healthcare, education, other nonprofit, large corporation, small business/startup venture, banking/financial. Choices are due at end-of-day Monday, end of Week 1.
- Create a team agreement and project plan that will serve to guide the team’s work during the semester; about three pages due in the designated Study Group Forum at end-of-day on Monday, end of Week 6, clearly marked as version for instructor review (Find Team Agreement Template in Content Week 6).
- Conduct brainstorming sessions to define and advance on team objectives, posting recorded conversations/minutes in the team’s discussion area, ongoing over the semester.
- Conduct research on critical internal and external factors affecting organization competitiveness and performance, ongoing over the semester.
- Write a Strategic Plan Report that: i) describes the organization’s mission, vision, values, and objectives, ii) outlines the strategic plan and iii) explains the business model complete with outlook projections due in the designated Study Group Forum at end-of-day on Wednesday, Week 12, clearly marked final version for instructor review.
- Each student should contribute a short assessment statement for posting in a Final Reflections discussion forum during Weeks 11-12.
- Complete Confidential Peer Reviews conducted in the individual Team Assessment Assignment area and due by end-of-day on Friday, Week 12.
Note: The team project is intended as an academic exercise between the team and professor. The project findings are not intended to satisfy any consulting obligation to an organization and may not be distributed outside of the course venue. Also, the selected organization should not be the focus of any team member’s individual assignments in this course.
Grading: The Strategic Plan Report accounts for 20 percent of the course grade. I will be looking to see your level of critical thinking and assess how well you applied course concepts to critical aspects of strategic planning, with attention to how persuasive you are in conveying what you did, how you did it, and the cogency of your arguments and discourse fluency. The required team agreement and work plan is ungraded. To make this useful, it should be viewed as a “living document” that you would wish to review and revise as you proceed through the trimester. See Team Agreement Template posted in Content/Week 6.
Team Report: Strategic Plan and Forecast: The management team should draft a Strategic Plan and Forecast outlining a competitive strategy for the selected organization over a three-year outlook period.
Reference the team’s vision/mission/values/objectives and performance expectations. Analyze the organization’s industry.
Review company baseline statistics regarding marketing, product design, assembly, human resources and finances which in turn may be summarized in a brief SWOT and tied to financial and market share outlook targets. Develop annual income statement projections.
Indicate benchmarking criteria. Specify prudent ex ante measures for dealing with business risks that may arise and could jeopardize performance and survivability. Discuss expected outcomes and cite surveillance data for determining if mid-course adjustments would be required.
The Strategic Plan and Forecast should be an ex ante, forward-looking document. The team strategy must be tailored to case specifics and might deviate from any particular generic competitive strategy option, such as the low cost leadership or differentiation or focused forms discussed in the textbook.
The report should include a brief introduction indicating report organization and contributions of the participants. End the report with a summary and conclusions. The report should amount to around 15 pages of narrative text, not counting title page, any appendixes, list of references or tables and figures, etc. Demonstrate good grasp of course concepts — but do not include lengthy reviews of literature or repetition of textbook material within the principal sections of the report. An example table of contents follows.
Example Table of Contents
Strategic Plan SWOT Analysis
Competitive Strength Assessment
Michael Porter’s Five Forces of Competitive Position
Product Design Strategy
Labor and Compensation Strategy
Note: This table of contents is a bit long, but I wanted to provide an idea of what you might include. Also, I would note that planning for a startup venture likely would be more speculative and less quantitative than for an operating business project.
Note on Team Functioning: Each student co-manager should make substantive contributions to the team effort. Teamwork implies that each member works collaboratively, assumes responsibility for the entire project, and is responsive to teammate needs for assistance.
The Introductory section of the final report should contain a paragraph telling how the study was accomplished, mentioning the individual contributions of each of the team-members. Please let me know if there would be any unusual situations affecting personal ability to perform as expected.
Team projects figure extensively in all of the top-flight graduate management and business programs. I believe that they are very important to success in graduate school and beyond. In cases of gross negligence a student would be dropped from the team and receive a grade of F on the project. Please, each of you, do your best in support of the team effort.
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