THINKING ABOUT STRATEGY;As you prepare to build a strategic plan, here are some ideas that may guide your;thinking. This is a Strategic Plan written by an MBA student. It is not a term paper. Rather than;discussing issues, your task is to develop a clear plan stretching over the next 3 to 5 years;that will help the organization improve itself. These improvements should be clear business;accomplishments. These include profits, revenue, market share and company image. When you;read the case, figure out what is going wrong. Pick out what the main issues are. As a sharp;business investigator, you will want to do some background research. See if the case is accurate.;You should get to know the company much better than relying on the material in the case;permits.;A strategic plan needs to have annual goals. The reader will want to know where the;company will be in one year, two years, etc. So, if you plan to achieve a 5% increase in market;share over 5 years, then a 1% increase each year is reasonable. Keep all annual goals measurable.;Writing a Plan that says ?improve sales? is not measurable. Improving by $5,000,000 in year one;or by 3% in year two is measurable.;The best way to start is to identify five or six key areas and state where the company is;right now. For example, sales are at $xxxx and market share is at xxxx%. Then identify where;you want the company to be in five years. So, if the market share is 10% now, perhaps 14% is;five years would be the target. Your sketch would be framed this way;Company Today Company Five Years From Now;Market share;Sales;Etc.;Then identify how to reach your five-year targets. For example, an increase of market share;might require more advertising, more sales force and product enhancements. Assume that the;reader is an executive at the organization. You need to summarize the current situation at the;company, but do not overdo it. Senior executives know what their problems are and do not want;to read ten pages about how poorly the company has done. Besides, your major task is to set a;course for improvement.;A good strategic plan looks at and grows out of the ?bigger picture? ? going beyond a;case and looking at the industry and the company. If you pick Coca Cola, for example, their;annual report and current financials are readily available on the Internet. How profitable are;they? What does the CEO say in the annual report about their future goals. This background;research is important in figuring out where they should be going in the future. The strategic;framework is critical ? the goals over the next few years. But, you also have to show how the;organization will get there. These are the tactics necessary for success. For example, if the;company is going to build sales, will it need additional sales people? Marketing? Etc.;If you use another source, identify the source. Do not highlight and copy parts of articles;from the Internet and show them as part of your plan. What typically happens is that the;sentences you borrow do not fit the rest of the paper in content, structure or style. A good;strategic plan deals with the overall progress and success of the business. It would be of interest;to executives and shareholders. A Strategic Plan is not merely an attempt to fix a single problem.;For example, gasoline prices are rising. If you are looking at an airline company, this would only;be a tactical issue. It should be seen in the context of profitability and where the company stands;in terms of fixed and variable expenses.;A good strategic plan gives detail not generalities. For example, Jet Blue should ?be;profitable.? OK, no one will argue against that. But, how profitable? Be specific. Look at;their annual report or Yahoo Finance for details. How much did they make last year? How much;will they make next year under your plan. Good papers are convincing and detailed.;You also need to look over the case alternatives and select your topic early. Do not wait;until the later weeks. Pick a topic and begin doing the background work needed for a;successful plan.;A good strategic Plan is also professionally put together. It has been proofread (not just;Spell Checked). Imagine a senior executive reading a paper that identifies the future direction of;the company that has grammatical errors. The author?s credibility would be shattered. When;Patton went to Berlin, he set checkpoints along the way. Of course, he needed supplies and;equipment and so on. These are the tactical elements that make your strategic plan achievable.;Also, think in terms of presenting this to senior management. What questions would they have;and how will you answer them? Naturally, you should be ready with good answers!;Feel free to email me with any questions.
Paper#29804 | Written in 18-Jul-2015Price : $62