Assignment 2: LASA 2—Capstone Strategic Audit
In this assignment students integrate all the pieces of work they have drafted and formally turn it into the capstone strategic audit.
In previous assignments, you performed multiple, specified analyses of your company (or any company of your choosing). Those individual analyses provide the needed research to successfully complete the following LASA:
Using the tools and framework learned in class and throughout the program, prepare a 15-page strategy audit of your company with a companion presentation. The strategy audit is a comprehensive analysis of the company’s business strategy and operating performance, and culminates in a series of recommendations for improving your company’s performance based on the findings and conclusions of your analysis.
A strategy audit involves assessing the actual direction of a business and comparing that course to the direction required to succeed in a changing environment. A company’s actual direction is the sum of what it does and does not do, how well the organization is internally aligned to support the strategy, and how viable the strategy is when compared to the external market, competitors, and financial realities. These two categories, the internal assessment and the external or environmental assessment, make up the major elements of a strategy audit.
In your strategy audit:
- Provide a high-level analysis of the company’s business strategy and operating performance. Be sure to complete the following:
- Analysis of the company value proposition, market position, and competitive advantage
- External environmental scan/five forces analysis
- Internal environmental scan/organizational assessment
- SWOT Analysis
- Balanced scorecard/strategy scorecard
- Recommend specific tactics for improving your company’s strategic alignment and operating performance.
- Recommendations can include but are not limited to tactics in marketing, branding, alliances, mergers/acquisitions, integration, product development, diversification or divestiture and globalization (if you recommend your company go global, you must include a supply chain analysis and an analysis of your firm’s global capabilities).
- Explain how the recommendations will help the company achieve its strategy and vision.
You are to write this report as though you are a consultant to your company, and are addressing the executive officers of this company. You will collect and analyze a large amount of data in producing your report, but your final product will be condensed and focus on presenting your analysis findings and conclusions.
Your report should consist of the following sections in the given order.
- Executive Summary (1 page): A concise and insightful summary of the significant findings of your analysis and the recommendations you have for your executive team.
- Strategic Issues and Recommendations (5 pages): Identify 5–7 most important strategic issues facing your business unit. Strategic issues arise from a mismatch between internal capabilities and external trends such that important opportunities are not being pursued or significant external threats are not being addressed under the current strategy.
The strategic issues list should integrate your SWOT analysis, your Five Forces analysis, and the organizational assessment and external environmental scan completed earlier during the course. These detailed analyses are the foundation for your final set of findings and recommendations presented to the executive team.
In developing your recommendations for addressing each strategic issue, consider misalignments that might be apparent in different operating areas:
- Product Portfolio: Are there changes to the target market segment, value proposition, or positioning of the product or service line needed?
- Structure: Are the organizational roles and responsibilities, decision-making authority, skill requirements, and work assignments properly configured and aligned to support the strategy?
- Organizational Culture or Behavior: Does the organizational culture inspire behaviors that support the strategy? Are the mission, vision, and values clearly articulated and aligned with the strategy? What new behaviors are needed?
- Value Chain Activities: Does the organization value chain fully align with the strategy? Are their activities that should be added, eliminated, or modified significantly?
- Performance Measures: Do the organization’s performance measures focus on the key drivers of strategic success? Is there a strategy scorecard that ties the main elements of the strategy to specific operating capabilities, including goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that give an indication of incremental or predictive progress toward reaching strategic goals?
Your recommendations should fall into these general categories, but be specific in terms of scope and expected impact.
These sections are completed earlier in the course, and should appear as appendices:
- SWOT Analysis (2 pages—completed in Module 6): SWOT matrix illustrating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Balanced Scorecard / Strategy Scorecard (4 pages—completed in Module 6): Develop a Balanced Scorecard for your business unit that reflects the key drivers for your business strategy.
- Organizational Assessment (3 pages—completed in Module 5)
- External Environmental Scan and Five Forces Analysis (3 pages—completed in Module 3)
- Market Position Analysis (3 pages—completed in Module 2)
Write your report in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M7_A2.doc.
Finalize the companion PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the audit and recommendations in a compelling manner that persuades senior management to explore and possibly implement your recommendations. The elements of the presentation should include the following:
- Summary of audit
- Key measurements
- Risks and benefits
- Call to action
- Next steps
Develop a 10-slide presentation in PowerPoint format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M7_A2.ppt.
Use information from your previous assignments to support your conclusions and recommendations and conduct additional research when needed. Make sure you properly reference and cite so that the location of information is clear.