WEEK 4 ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
This week you will finish putting together all the elements of your Strategic Audit (SA). The SA is due by the end of the last day of the course on Sunday in Week 4. The SA is worth 180 points. Use the Week 4 Assignment link to submit your work.

The SA Scoring Checklist that I will use to score your SA is shown below and in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #5:
SCORESHEET – SA SCORING CHECKLIST – Updated 11 AUG 20.docx

ASSIGNMENT: Submit the complete Strategic Audit. Include your updated/improved/corrected EFAS, IFAS, and TOWS Matrix in your SA. Show your linkages. Identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, Core Competencies, and Distinctive Competencies in your SA.

The minimum attachments are as follows:
Exhibit attachment instructions – 3 options: Attach your exhibits at the end of your SA; in the body of your SA close to the corresponding paragraph; or as a separate document in the Blackboard Assignment Link.

Exhibit 1, EFAS

Exhibit 2, IFAS

Exhibit 3, SFAS

Exhibit 4, Ratio Analysis for the past 5 years. (Instructions: select the most important 6 to 10 ratios for your case to place into Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 5, Common-Size Income Statement for the past 5 years. (Instructions: your Common-Size Income Statement should mirror the historical income statement. Use the same identical titles for the lines of information).

Exhibit 6, Implementation, Evaluation, and Control Plan for your one selected strategic alternative. (Instructions: the lines in your IE&C Plan should cover your corporate directional strategy, your supporting business strategy, and your 3-4 supporting functional strategies.)

Exhibit 7, TOWS Matrix

Exhibit 8, Pro Forma Common-Size Income Statements for each of 3 strategic alternatives for the next 5 years.
(Instructions: your 3 Pro Forma Common-Size Income Statements should mirror the historical income statement. Use the same identical titles for the lines of information but they will project the future results for the next 5 years for each of your 3 strategic alternatives. You need to change the numbers to show what you think will happen in the future. Your 3 scenarios in Para VI should discuss the future trending of the 3 pro forma income statements).
Templates are provided for the paragraphing structure of the SA and for all Exhibits. You can find the SA Paragraphing Structure Template, the Expanded Paragraph View for Para VI, VII, and VIII, and Exhibit templates on the Course Resources Folders 5 and 6. Be certain you do not COPY from the templates. They are provided to help you format your effort – not to provide you words and numbers and discussion or analysis.

Additional Exhibits can be used to contribute to earning extra credit points and a superior score on your SA. These additional exhibits could be:
Common-size Balance Sheets for the past 5 years
Pro forma Balance Sheets for each strategic alternative for next 5 years.
Modeling
VRIO Analysis
Issue Priority Matrixes

DUE BY THE END OF THE DAY ON THE SUNDAY THAT ENDS THIS WEEK AND THAT ENDS THIS COURSE. STRATEGIC AUDIT IS WORTH 180 POINTS.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Level of detailed discussion and analysis: Your prose needs to be in sufficient detail to demonstrate your business knowledge, critical thinking and critical analysis abilities. One line statements do not show nor demonstrate satisfactory business knowledge. Bullets do not show nor demonstrate satisfactory business knowledge. Your writing needs to expand on each point in a paragraph where you discuss and analyze the important elements of that particular SA item. See Lecture Reading 4.6 in Week 4 for some examples of demonstrated critical thinking, critical analysis, good discussion / analysis for your paragraphs. Make your paragraphs good complete detailed discussion and analysis….. Not one liners. Do not copy from the textbook.

2. Formatting and Admin of the SA: Single space your SA with the appropriate line spacing between parts, sections, and paragraphs. Extra line spacing is a serious detractor. Follow the alphanumeric paragraph structure as in the text’s SA and as shown in the SA Paragraphing Structure Template and the Expanded Paragraph View for Para VI, VII, and VIII document. Do not use bullets. Use font size 10-12. Use Portrait page mode for your SA text – do not use Landscape page mode for your SA text. Use single space of 1.0 – do not use 1.15, nor 1.5.

Use the SA Paragraphing Structure Template and the Expanded Paragraph View for Para VI, VII and VIII provided below and in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #5.
SA Paragraphing Structure Template – BUS 480 – Updated 14 Oct 19.docx

EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII–Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII, VIII – Updated 14 Oct 19.docx
3. Appendix 13.C Missing Paragraphs: Appendix 13.C shows an example of a written SA. BUT it is missing Paragraph IIID and Paragraph IVD. Be sure to add Paragraph IIID and IVD to your SA. Be sure to identify your Opportunities, Threats, Strengths, and Weaknesses in Paragraphs III and IV using (O), (T), (S), and (W) or by using the tagged strategic factor identifier (O1, T4, W3, etc). Identify Core and Distinctive Competencies in Paragraph IV.

4. Use Appendix 1.A, Appendix 13.B and Appendix 13.C in detail as you prepare your Strategic Audit. Remember the SA is a complete strategic evaluation and analysis of the company. Appendix 1.A, pages 32-39, gives you some real good questions to ask as you evaluate and analyze the company and as you prepare your written SA.

5. Follow the guidance in the Office Hours sessions. Remember to keep your decision making at the strategic level – the Big Picture level. You are acting as the CEO/SVP. But you are also acting at the lower staff levels to brainstorm, generate alternatives, perform critical analysis, and make recommendations to the CEO/SVP levels. The decision maker CEO/SVP decides on the strategic alternative to implement.

6. For Para I: Current Situation:
a. For the paragraph on the Current Posture, discuss about how the company is doing currently in terms of revenues, profits, market share, etc. This is a big picture look at how the company is doing.

b. For the paragraph on Strategic Posture, state the current mission, talk about how the company is doing on its corporate, business and functional objectives, talk about the company’s strategy or mix of strategies, and talk about the company’s current policies. See page 32, Appendix 1.A for some good questions to evaluate and analyze in this paragraph.

7. For Para II: Strategic Managers:
a. For the paragraph on the Board of Directors (BOD), talk about who is on the BOD, how the BOD is organized, what are the important experience, knowledge, skills, background, and connections the BOD members bring, and what is their involvement and performance in the strategic management of the firm. See page 32-33, Appendix I.A for some good questions to work on. Just listing the BOD members is not a good way to show your analytical abilities.

b. For the paragraph on the Top Management, talk about who the top managers are, how they are organized, what are the important experience, knowledge, skills, background, and style the top managers have, and what is their involvement and performance in the strategic management of the firm. See page 33, Appendix 1.A for many good ideas to consider. Just listing some of the top managers is not a good way to show your analytical abilities.

8. For Para III: External Environment:
a. This paragraph covers the current status of the external environment facing the company. Don’t need HISTORY. Don’t talk about what the firm should or could do or might do in the future about these external factors. Keep focused on what is facing the company now in the external environment.

b. Cover the many factors in the External Environment that you discovered as you analyzed and evaluated the case study. You need to discuss and analyze the 10 Strategic Factors from the EFAS (O1, O2, O3, O4, O5, T1, T2, T3, T4, T5) and any other external factors that are important to a good complete discussion about the external environment that your company is facing. Be sure to put in the EFAS SF tags (O1, O2, T1, T4, etc) at the sentence or paragraph where you discuss/analyze those most important 10 SF from the EFAS. Be sure to put in an O or a T when you discuss other factors of importance. This is your place to shine with your analytical abilities in your discussion and analysis of the factors facing your company. Do a good complete discussion and analysis.

c. For the Task Environment, be sure to cover the 6 elements of Porter’s methodology of competitive forces. See pages 108-112 in the text.

d. Your Summary in paragraph D should summarize the most important external strategic factors facing the company.

9. For Para IV: Internal Environment:
a. This paragraph covers the current status of the company’s internal environment in three areas: Corporate Structure, Corporate Culture and Corporate Resources. Don’t need HISTORY. Keep focused on the current internal status of the corporation, not what they should or should not do in the future. Remember, Corporate Structure is about how the corporation is organized, not about the BOD nor the Top Managers. Remember, Corporate Culture is about culture, not about HR programs or top management personnel.

b. Cover the many factors in the Internal Environment that you discovered as you analyzed and evaluated the case study. You need to discuss and analyze the 10 Strategic Factors from the IFAS (S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, W1, W2, W3, W4, W5) and any other internal factors that are important to a good complete discussion about the internal environment of the firm. Be sure to put in the IFAS SF tags (S2, S5, W3, W4 etc) at the sentence or paragraph where you discuss/analyze those most important 10 SF from the IFAS. Be sure to put in a S or W when you discuss other factors of importance. This is your place to shine with your analytical abilities in your discussion and analysis of the factors facing your company. Do a good complete discussion and analysis.

c. Be sure to identify your 2 Core Competencies and your 1 Distinctive Competency.

d. Be sure to demonstrate your financial analysis skills by discussing some of your financial ratios as part of the paragraph on the Finance function. Discussing income statement trends is fine, but does not replace your good complete discussion and analysis of the financial ratios of your company.

e. Your Summary in paragraph D should summarize the most important internal strategic factors of the company.

10. For Para V: Analysis of Strategic Factors:
a. In your Situational Analysis, discuss the 10 most important Strategic Factors that are contained in your SFAS. These are the most important strategic factors to the company. Divide them up into paragraphs on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Be sure to identify them with your SF tags from the SFAS (S2, W4, T3, O2, etc etc)

b. In your Review of Mission and Objectives, the question here is – are the current mission and objectives good to go or not? And if they need to be changed, what do you recommend they be changed to? See page 38, Appendix 1.A for good analysis questions.

11. For Para VI: Strategic Alternatives and Recommended Strategy:
a. Pay close attention to your Strategic Alternatives and Recommended Strategy in Paragraph VI of your SA. Appendix 13.B, page 362, paragraphs A and B as discussed and modified here and in Office Hours sessions provide precise guidance.

In Para VIA, Your 3 Strategic Alternatives of Paragraph VI should be 3 mutually exclusive strategic alternatives.

At the Corporate Directional Strategy level (C) you choose from Growth, Stability or Retrenchment Grand strategies.

For each of these 3 corporate directional strategic alternatives, you need to provide an appropriate supporting Business (B) Competitive or Cooperative strategy.

For each strategic alternative, you need to identify 3 to 4 supporting Functional level (F) strategies from the Marketing, Finance, R&D, Operations, Purchasing, Logistics, HR or IT functional areas.

All 3 levels of strategy in the C, B and F hierarchy should be included in each of your 3 strategic alternatives. Remember to include the top-level Corporate directional strategy and its sub-level strategy as you identify the Corporate Directional Strategy. And remember to include the top-level Business strategy and its sub-level strategy as you identify the supporting Business level strategy.

b. Discuss in good complete detail each of the 3 levels of strategy in each alternative. Talk about what the Corporate level strategy is about. Talk about what the supporting Business level strategy is about. Talk about what each supporting functional level strategy is about.

Demonstrate the linkages between each of the 3 levels in each alternative’s hierarchy of strategy as you discuss and describe each level of strategy.

Then, discuss in good complete detail each of the 3 strategic alternative corporate scenarios with good reasonable estimations of future performance expressed in $$$. The big drivers of corporate performance for retail firms, such as Target and Best Buy, are shown in their income statements are Sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), and Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SGA). Be sure to include discussion of those 3 drivers in your Corporate Scenario discussions here.

Then discuss in good complete detail the Pros and Cons for each of the 3 strategic alternatives.

See the EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII: Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII, and VIII document in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #5, and linked below, for the specific instructions about how to build those specific paragraphs. If you follow that organization, then you’ll be sure to do good complete work to construct, analyze, and discuss in detail your 3 strategic alternatives under consideration. Remember, you need to have the hierarchy of strategy, the corporate scenario, and the pros/cons for each of your 3 Strategic Alternatives. Do NOT use the Para VI.A paragraph structure in the text on page 368.

c. Discuss in detail your decision making process in Paragraph VI.B.

First, state your one selected alternative.

Then second, provide a good complete discussion of the decision criteria you used to analyze your 3 alternatives and base your decision on.

Then third, discuss and analyze your 3 alternatives in terms of your decision criteria to show your rationale and justification for your selection. A good complete compare and contrast analysis would be very useful. Be sure to support your decision using your calculations from your 3 pro forma common-size income statements for your 3 alternatives.

Do NOT use the Para VI.B paragraph structure in the text on page 368.

d. Use the EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII: Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII, and VIII document provided below and in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #5 as you construct your Para VI discussion and analysis. Do NOT follow the paragraph structure in the text on page 368.
EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII–Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII, VIII – Updated 14 Oct 19.docx

12. For Para VII, Implementation, and Para VIII, Evaluation and Control:
a. Organize your discussion and analysis around your ONE recommended Strategic Alternative that you have chosen to implement. This discussion in Para VII and Para VIII is the verbiage that supports the data elements in your Exhibit 6, Implementation, Evaluation and Control Plan, for your one recommended Strategic Alternative. Your Exhibit 6 and Para VII and Para VIII should contain the same details about your one recommended Corporate Strategy, supporting Business Strategy, and 3 to 4 supporting Functional Strategies.

b. For Exhibit 6: Note: we will NOT follow the Exhibit 6 data element organization for the Maytag Corp as shown on page 372 of the text where the 9 Strategic Factors from the SFAS are merely transferred into the Exhibit 6 table. That is not the correct way to build an Exhibit 6, since in a particular corporate strategic alternative all the strategic factors from the SFAS will NOT be attacked – only some will be attacked as the corporation goes in the new corporate direction.

So, tailor your Exhibit 6 and Para VII and Para VIII discussion to focus on your single recommended Strategic Alternative, with its corporate, business and functional hierarchy, for your case on Best Buy or Target. See the Template for Exhibit 6 that illustrates this method using Olallieberry Pie Company’s (OPC) recommended strategic alternative – Growth: Concentration – Expand into International Arena by Forging Strategic Alliances or see the Exhibit 6 in Ms Hick’s sample SA. You will have corporate level actions, business level actions, and your 3 to 4 important functional level actions in the Exhibit 6 lines. These C, B, and F action lines will be expanded into good complete discussion in Para VII and VIII in your SA.
c. Use the Exhibit 6 template provided below and in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #6:
TEMPLATE – EXH 6 – IMPLEMENTATION, EVALUATION & CONTROL PLAN – OLALLIEBERRY PIE CO – STRATEGIC ALERNATIVE 1- Updated 26 Jun 2018.docx

d. For Para VII, Implementation, use the EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII: Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII and VIII document in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #5, and linked below, to build your Para VII discussion. Discuss and describe the details of the programs, budgets and procedures and the who, what, when, how, and how well details of the implementing plans at all 3 levels: corporate, business and functional. Do NOT use the Para VII paragraph structure in the text on page 368.
e. For Para VIII, Evaluation and Control, use the EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII: Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII and VIII document in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheets Folder #5, and linked below, to build your Para VIII discussion. Discuss and describe the who, what, when, how, how well, and metrics details of the evaluation and control plans at all 3 levels: corporate, business and functional. Do NOT use the Para VIII paragraph structure in the text on page 369.
f. Use the EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII: Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII, and VIII document provided below and in the Course Resources Assignment Instructions / Requirements / Score Sheet Folder #5 as you construct your paragraph VII and VIII discussion and analysis.
EXPANDED PARAGRAPH VIEW FOR PARA VI, VII, VIII–Additional Details and Instructions for SA Paragraphs VI, VII, VIII – Updated 14 Oct 19.docx

13. Three Strategic Alternatives Scenarios: Make sure to construct 3 separate corporate scenarios. That is one scenario for each of the 3 strategic alternatives. Use the attributes and estimates of your 3 corporate scenarios to develop your 3 Pro Forma Common-size Income Statements for Exhibit 8. Use a separate Pro Forma Common-size Income Statement for each of your 3 strategic alternatives.

14. SA Scoring Checklist: Check out the SA Scoring Checklist, which I will use to score your paper, to make sure you are completing your SA correctly and completely. Also review Lecture Reading 4.6 in Week 4 for scoring guidance and criteria.

Assignment Submission Procedures
Click on the “Week Four Assignment – Strategic Audit” link in the Week 4 Menu to submit your assignment. Use the “Attach File – Browse My Content Collection” button to attach your Strategic Audit. After attaching your document, you may add comments to your instructor in the “Add Comments” field if you wish. Then click the Submit button.

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