Module 1: Business Strategic Planning
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In this module, you will study the overview of business strategies and review the framework for this course. You will begin reading the Huff text, as well as engaging in the first graduate seminar discussion where you will explain the benefits of using strategic planning to attain specific goals. In addition, you will review the course project as well as write a proposal for your selected course project topic.
Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
* Explain the benefits of using strategic planning to help attain organizational and personal goals.
* Describe specific characteristics needed for an effective strategic plan.
* Evaluate the business strategy of a publicly-traded company.
Path to Complete the Module
For best results, you may wish to follow the course author's suggested path as outlined below:
1. Complete your Profile and get to know other students in the course by reading theirs.
2. Complete the assigned Readings.
3. Review the Course Project.
4. Read Theme 1: Understanding Business Strategies.
5. Read Theme 2: Process Analysis.
6. Complete Assignment 1.1: Graduate Seminar Discussion – Business Strategic Planning.
7. Complete Assignment 1.2: Course Project Part 1 – Business Strategy.
If you have previously filled out your Profile, and do not have any changes to make, you may skip this exercise/assignment. A profile is required of all students, but is not graded.
If this is the first time filling out your Profile, or if you need to make a change, click the Profile icon on the left. Then, click the edit icon next to your name to add or edit your information. If you wish, attach a photo of yourself.
It is suggested that you browse through the profiles of your instructor and your classmates to get to know them. Post any questions or comments you have about your classmates' Profiles in the course Forum and respond to questions about your Profile from others.
* Strategic Management: Logic and Action (text), Chapters 1 and 2
* Fromartz, Samuel (2009). The Mini-Cases: 5 Companies, 5 Strategies, 5 Transformations. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(1), 41–45 [Jones e-global library®: Business Articles] DEV NOTE: e-global URL – http://jiuproxy.egloballibrary.com/login?user=true&url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=44574565&site=ehost-live
Theme 1: Understanding Business Strategies
Business strategy is the foundation of every successful business. The best business strategies must find a path between the pressures regarding business continuity and the demands of a rapidly changing world.
Chief Executives are often tasked with finding ways to overcome low morale, high overheads, downtime and product rejects, which all can be considered an internal weakness of the organization. Total quality management, activity based management, and total productive maintenance are all concepts that can be applied to the business strategy to help eliminate these weaknesses.
There are also external influences that must be taken into consideration, such as; competitors, substitute products, new organizations, and the bargaining power of buyers and sellers. Overcoming these external factors can prove to be a challenge, however by choosing the most appropriate strategy an organization can do their best to minimize the effects these influences have on their bottom line.
Theme 2: Process Analysis
In today's business environment nothing is more common than change. Organizations are always striving for excellence while looking for ways to maintain efficiency. Change allows organizations to improve processes, expand in new directions and remain up-to-date with the times and technology. In order for companies to identify and recognize areas for possible change, upper management will frequently conduct a business process analysis.
Business process analysis is the activity of reviewing existing business practices and changing them so that they fit a new and improved process. By conducting process analysis of a business, companies can remain efficient, streamline the work flow and become more effective overall. In short, this analysis helps organizations to improve the way business is done.
In some cases, business processes may be problematic or in need of improvement. These problem areas could cause the company to suffer from high overhead costs, low morale and will lack decreased revenue. In order to avoid any further setbacks or losses, the company should analyze its processes and make improvements where necessary.
If these improvements are handled correctly, a business process analysis can help them implement the appropriate changes that will decrease operational costs while increasing their overall long-term profitability.
Assignment 1.1: Graduate Seminar Discussion – Business Strategic Planning
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Each week you will participate in a graduate seminar discussion. Likewise, each week your instructor will assign one or more of you to lead the discussion, as well as to provide a synopsis of the discussion for submission the final day of the module. The discussion for this module will focus on strategic planning and how it can be used to attain organizational and personal goals.
In this assignment you will….
1. Identify four research sources that provide the context for at least three characteristics of strategic planning. At least two of these must be from your own research.
2. Using the information from No. 1 above, describe specific characteristics needed to create an effective strategic plan.
3. Post your findings, a minimum of five pages in APA style, to the Forum by Tuesday of this week. Include citations from your sources.
4. Return to provide substantive feedback (at least two pages in APA style) to three of your fellow students' postings.
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This assignment is worth 30 points.
Your instructor will evaluate this assignment based on the Forum Discussion Rubric. [DEV NOTE: link to professional_discussion_rubric.doc]
Additionally, this assignment will be evaluated on the following criteria:
DEV NOTE: include workplace_competencies.html; numbers: 1, 2, 3
Assignment 1.2: Course Project Part 1 – Business Strategy
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In this assignment, you will identify your individual organization to study as your course project. You are encouraged to choose an organization that may be related to your field of choice, as your research will help you in creating your own personal strategic plan.
In this assignment you will….
1. Identify three possible organizations for your final project and take the time this week to research each possibility.
2. Post your possible organizations, including supporting research sources, to the appropriate Forum area by Thursday of this week.
3. Your instructor will provide substantive feedback to your three possible organizations.
4. Review the substantive feedback given by your instructor to finalize your project choice and provide a brief overview including questions that will be necessary to complete a business analysis. This paper should be two pages, APA style, and include an evaluation of the business strategy used by your selected organization.
5. Return to read the postings of your cohort members to share ideas and similar interests.
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This assignment is worth 70 points.
This assignment will be evaluated on the following criteria:
DEV NOTE: include workplace_competencies.html; numbers: 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, and 18.