Develop and Implement Strategic Plans

Activity 1: Find a PESTEL

Find an example where a PESTEL analysis tool has been used. Provide the web link or upload a copy of the document here.

Activity 2: Accessing and reviewing your organisations mission

Accessing and reviewing your organisations mission

Source your organisations mission and vision. Do you consider this is a good mission or vision and how well is it implemented and understood in your organisation.

As a manager of a unit or section of your organisation how does it apply to you?

Explain in a 200 words.

Activity 3: Set the Context

In your plan you will be asked to provide some an explanation of the context for this report, your organisation and section. Why is this relevant and important? Explain in 100 words.

Activity 4: Find a Strategic Plan template

Search the web, on your organisations intranet etc find a template that you think would be appropiate for your plan. Attached a copy here.


Activity 5 – Porters 5 Forces – Strategic Practice Exercise

Porters 5 Forces – Strategic Power of Qantas

Evaluate the information below and undertake some further research to analyse Qantas’s postion in it the passenger airline industry.

In recent years, Australia’s the airline industry has become increasingly competitive.Since being deregulated during the 1990’s the structure of the industry has fundamentally changed, long established airlines such as Ansett, have gone out of business, and the new upstarts Virgin Blue and Tiger have successfully entered the market.Added to this was the fear created by the September 11 World trade Center catastrophe and terrorism which had made the public much more weary of air traveland the Bali Bombing the following year. This saw a drop in overseas travel and tourist coming to Australia. People are less willing to travel.

The government had recently announced new costs to be imposed on the airline terminals and air lines for improvements to security required to scan all luggage going through the airport. Australia’s postal service ’Post’ has also been requested to have customers who require packages to go overseas to provide identification otherwise the postal article will require scanning and thus be delayed.

These increased security measures are on top of the already extensive number of taxes imposed on the travelling public with the air port taxes, the Ansett Tax, GST etc. A fight from Adelaide to Melbourne may cost as low as $125 of which a third is the taxes or levies. Added to this is the rising cost of petrol and the extra charges airlines have been forced to impose to cover their rising fuel costs.

International carriers have permission to pick up passengers at capital city airports and so compete against the two Australian domestic lines.Virgin Blue has been able to enter the market at lower costs by offering Internet bookings with additional charges for any part of their service above the basic seat. With additional charges for meals, telephone bookings etc that where once considered ‘part of the service.’ Virgin Blue changes the market expectations. The industry has lost the traditional domestic carrier and is segmented into international carriers, regional airlines and specialist airlines which cater for tourists (e.g. Jetstar, Australian airlines) or business market (e.g. (Ozjet)

Qantas to compete looked at reduced their costs by instituting a cap on travel agent commissions.Travel agencies were livid at this cut in their livelihood, but they needed the airlines’ business in order to offer customers a total travel package. Servicing of planes was moved overseas where labour costs where lower. Loyalty programs and club membership is used by Qantas to retain and encourage high return passengers, such as business class and corporate customers, to use their service.

Globally it seemed as though every nation had to have its own airline for national prestige.These state-owned airlines were expensive, but the governments subsidised them with money and supporting regulation.For example, a foreign airline was normally only allowed to fly into one of a country’s airports – forcing travellers to switch to the national airline to go to other cities.During the 1970s and 1980s, however, many countries began privatising their airlines as governments tried to improve their budgets.To be viable in an increasingly global industry, national or regional airlines were forced to form alliances and even purchase and airline in another country or region.For example, in December 1992 Qantas formed a strategic alliance with British Airways (BA) in order to obtain not only Australian/Europe destinations, but also Asian travel routes, thus making it one of the few global alliances. British Airways which already has a 22 percent stake in the Qantas has expressed an interest in raising its holding.Australia’s foreign investment rules control the portion of the carrier that can be owned by foreign companies to 49 percent and 25 percent for any single overseas airline. Qantas has been pressing for a relaxation of the rules, which it sees as a barrier to growth however in August 2002 the government rejected any changes to its rules.

In October 2002 Qantas took a 22.5 per cent cornerstone shareholding in Air New Zealand.

Costs were still relatively high for all of the world’s major airlines because of the high cost of new airplanes. Just one new jet plane cost anywhere from $25 million to $100 million.By the 1990s, only three airframe manufacturers provided almost all of the commercial airliners: Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell Douglas.Major airlines were forced to purchase new planes because they were more fuel efficient, safer, and easier to maintain.Airlines that chose to stay with an older fleet of planes had to deal with higher fuel and maintenance costs-factors that often made it cheaper to buy new planes. This was demonstrated by the demise of Ansett, due in part to its high cost of maintaining a fleet of old planes from a variety of manufacturers.

In 2002 Qantas’ launches new international subsidiary airline under the historical name of ‘Australian Airlines’Australian Airlines is at full-service, single class international holiday airline.

Australian Airlines specialises in international leisure travel from a number of Asia Pacific ports. During 1st phase of operations the focus was on inbound travel to Australia (predominantly to Cairns, Gold Coast andSydney) from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and UK/continental Europe passengers connecting with Australian Airlines flights in Singapore

On the 25th May, 2004Jetstar started as Australia’s new low fares airline. There aim was to provide consistent low fares to the Australian domestic leisure traveller and to compete directly with Virgin Blue. But it has done this by using some secondary airports in capital cities such as Melbourne’s,Avalon Airport enabling it to reduce its costs. Other arrivals have also made the industry more competitive with Virgin Blue and more recently Tiger Airways.

Aug 21, 2008 Finally some good news for Qantas, which has recorded a $970 million full year after-tax profit a 35 per cent increase on last year s results. Qantas says the business is starting to see the effects of a slowing economy and rising fuel prices.

Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd is a low cost airline which commenced services in the Australian domestic airline market on 23 November 2007. It is a subsidiary of Tiger Aviation, a Singapore based company, which is owned in part by Singapore Airlines. The airline is based in Melbourne, Victoria, with its main hub at Melbourne Airport and a secondary hub at Adelaide Airport which opened on 1 March 2009. Recently there has been some


Where are they currently?

Ferguson Adele ‘Jetstar-ing’ of Qantas accelerates under Joyce’ SMH Feb 17th 2011 down loaded 24/2/2011 reports the following after the release of the 2010 results:

‘If there was any doubt that Qantas boss Alan Joyce was “Jetstar-ising” the national carrier, the December profits give the strongest indication yet that Jetstar is getting close to overtaking Qantas as the carrier’s most profitable brand.

The results, and a bullish outlook for the full year, pushed the share price up 5.4 per cent to $2.52 – their best day since June 2006.

But a closer look at the December-half results shows that the low-cost carrier, Jetstar, returned a record profit of $143 million for the six months on revenue of $1.3 billion. The Qantas unit itself reported a profit of $165 million on four times the revenue of $5.7 billion.

This outcome is a startling wake-up call on how big Jetstar is getting, how profitable, and how few headaches the division has in terms of unions and costs. In the previous corresponding period, Qantas reported a profit of $60 million, while Jetstar’s was $121 million.

Like Jetstar, the group’s frequent flier division recorded a record profit.

The main problem for Qantas is its international unit, which loses money. Joyce recently ordered a review of the international arm of Qantas to see how to restore profitability. The most likely impact will be further route cuts for the Qantas brand and a transfer to the Jetstar brand.

Between 2003 and 2009, international capacity to Australia increased by 39 per cent, but inbound passengers increased by just 10 per cent. This trend was due to many factors, including airlines from the Middle East taking market share, as well as Qantas reducing routes and capacity on some of these routes, allowing Emirates and others to fly into the breach.

Jetstar grows

In terms of capacity, its latest accounts show that Jetstar increased domestic capacity by 20 per cent and international capacity by 18 per cent. This pace is in contrast to Qantas, which expanded capacity by 3.3 per cent, with plans to increase it 4.5 per cent.

Jetstar has a lot of advantages over Qantas, including fewer unions and different pay scales. This divergence has caused a lot of consternation among staff and unions, who argue that younger pilots are being pushed into the lower pay and worse conditions at Jetstar. The argument is that Jetstar is getting the newer planes and the younger pilots, while the more experienced pilots are with the Qantas brand.

Joyce was appointed to the top job in July 2008, after running Jetstar. The elevation was the first indication that the board had a lot of faith in the budget airline model, particularly as it set out to build the Jetstar business at a time when it was winding back the full-service provider Qantas. Still, Qantas is one of the few airlines with two successful brands. Joyce will have to be careful that he doesn’t destroy the Qantas brand as he turbo-charges growth in Jetstar.’


  1. Evaluate each of the forces driving competition in the airline industry from Qantas’s view :
High Medium Low
Threat of New Entrants
Rivalry Among Existing Firms
Threat of Substitutes
Bargaining Power of Buyers and Distributors
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
Relative Power of Other


Explain why you have categorised them as high, medium or low?

  1. Which of these forces are changing? What will this mean to the overall level of competitive intensity in the airline industry in the future? Would you invest or look for a job in this industry?



Activity 6 – Apple

“As fast as dry cleaners, as friendly as the concierge at a hotel- can Apple leap tall buildings too? Apple retail stores, crucial for the company’s success and accounting for 20 percent of the company’s revenue, have lead to its recognition as one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies. Before it opened its own retail stores, Apple allowed product sales through large retailers, which meant the company depended on these large electronic retailers. The retailers had not special incentive to market Apple products, nor did they have the training necessary to sell the technologically advanced items. Apple therefore realised that the only way it could ensure its unique products really stood out was by taking the responsibility for selling into its own hands.

In the course of this decision, Apple spent significant time and effort designing its store. The company leased warehouse space to create a prototype store that it could then replicate all over the country. After a few iterations, the ultimate Apple Store emerged, based on the design that considered how customers shop for products, not just product categories themselves.

It’s largest store in the United States, located in Boston, appears like a glass cube with a glowing Apple logo surrounded by traditional Boston buildings. Its New York City location was the first to utilize this avant garde glass cube design. In this location, the cube houses a spiral staircase that leads to the underground store. Even some of the smaller stores carry this theme, with ceilings that make the store appear as if they are lit by the sun. The computers are connected to the internet, and customers are free to surf the Internet and chat on line. If you are in need of an Internet café, Apple stores even provide the service for free!

The Apple Store has become more than just a retailer to sell its iMacs, iPods,   

Apple TVs, and so forth. The store offers an array of free services and is designed to allow customers to try out different products before buying them. This benefit is especially important for early adaptors who wanted to try out new technologies as soon as they are available. For customers who need more assistance with products, the store offers Personal Shopping. A customer can make an appointment with a “Specialist’ at a store to learn about the products of interest, with out being obligated to make a purchase. For free technical services, the store offers a Genius Bar, with “Geniuses” who have been trained at the corporate headquarters on Apple products.

The store offers free workshops, focusing on everything from the basics of using Apple products to using Apple Photoshop to create business presentations. For professional photographers, musicians and filmmakers, workshops teach the detailed applications that they can use to optimise their finished products. The Apple stores also offer camps for children, workshops for families, and more.

When customers enter the store, a person wearing an orange shirt, the “Concierge”, directs them where they need to go. The store avoids checkout counters; instead EasyPay, sales people use wireless credit card readers to check out customers.

Apple can also brag about achieving the best-per-square-foot sales in the country – $4,500 per square foot, far more than Saks Fifth Avenue at $363, Best Buy at $950, and even Tiffany & Co. at $2,746. [i]  If companies had middle names, “innovative” would be Apple’s. The company continues to demonstrate its willingness to do what it takes to be unique, while still producing the best technology and customer service in the retail industry.”


Steven Fenech, “Apple’s Theme Park”, Herald Sun, May 28, 2008; (accessed May 28 2008)


And it continues 

“CUPERTINO, California—July 21, 2009—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2009 third quarter ended June 27, 2009. The Company posted revenue of $8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.3 percent, up from 34.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 44 percent of the quarter’s revenue. “

Press Release “Apple Reports Third Quarter Results, Best Non-Holiday Quarter Revenue and Earnings in Apple History”, (accessed Oct 16th 2009)

Questions 1 

  1. Why as a manufacturer did apple move into the retailing? What is the term used for this strategic move?
  2. What is an ‘early adopter’? What characteristics do they tend to have? Why was it important to design and locate the stores that met their needs and how did they attract and encourage this group? Why is important for Apple to attract them?
  3. Who is the ‘Personal Shopper ‘likely to attract? (Which segment)
  4. Can you compare Apples approach to a store such as Bunnings?


Questions 2 (Revisit) 

  1. How would you define/categorise Apples strategic position?
  2. What is the problem with this strategic position?
  3. Can you from your own understanding of Apples products identify which products fit into the BCG matrix?


[i] David Chartier, “Apple Retail Stores Stomping Competition Foot by Foot” InfiniteLoop, January 8, 2008


Activity 7 – SWOT

You have been brought together as a think tank for the State Government. The critical question is what strategies should the state government pursue to ensure the long term prosperity of the state?

Your have been commissioned by the State Government to develop strategies for the state to achieve the following vision. See:

Vision – South Australia’s Strategic Plan – creating the future


Produce a SWOT for the state and come up with some strategies that use this analysis consistent with the visions provided.


(The activity is to demonstrate that you know how to use the SWOT tool it is recognised that you are not an expert in the state government polocies or processes.) 



Activity 8 – The Iphone

In 2004, when Apple announced it was developing an “iPod phone” in partnership with Motorola, consumers and Apple investors were filled with great anticipation. But the resulting ROKR phone prompted widespread disappointment, and less than a year later, Apple discontinued its iTunes support, making the handsets it had sold basically obsolete.

Despite the dismal failure of the first iPod phone, just three years later, Apple announced its iPhone. What could have made Apple decide to offer another cell phone, and what did it do differently when introducing the iPhone?


Apple manufactures and sells computer, music, and phone hardware, along with related software. Since its incorporation in 1977 58 under the name Apple Computer Incorporated, Apple has introduced products that challenge the conventional approaches in the electronics industry. It pioneered modular design with the Apple II, engineered the initial graphical interfaces with the Macintosh, and offered the PowerBook as the first laptop to include a built-in track pad. 59

In 2001, Apple changed how consumers listen to music when it entered the portable music player market. Since then, it has sold more than 100 million iPods, making it the market leader with a 74 percent market share in the MP3 arena. 60 According to most consumers and technology experts, the success of the iPod resulted from its incredible ease of use. By combining a music store, software, and portable player into one simple system, Apple eliminated the problems consumers faced with other music players and thus created value by simplifying the digital music experience.


Three years after it introduced the iPod, Apple decided to partner with Motorola to produce a music phone. When Apple and Motorola came out with the ROKR in 2004, they had high hopes that they could capitalize on the popularity of portable electronics by combining two devices that members of the target market commonly carried: a cell phone and an MP3 player. It seemed like a perfect partnership, with Apple supplying access to affordable content and Motorola providing cell phone manufacturing and marketing experience. But the ROKR had a major flaw, according to cellular carriers such as Sprint and Cingular. These carriers earn revenue from the bandwidth used to download songs and the purchase price. But the ROKR could not purchase songs over the air and only played songs purchased through iTunes, so carriers made much less money from the ROKR phone and therefore did not push it.

Consumers also found the new cell phone disappointing, mainly because the phone was extremely slow to load music, 61 artificially capped capacity at 100 songs, and was sluggish when running iTunes. 62 Thus, half of its value proposition—that is, that it would replace MP3 players—failed to satisfy those who adopted the ROKR. After less than a year, Motorola discontinued its partnership with Apple and announced that the next-generation ROKR would not use iTunes.


When Apple decided to introduce its second version of a music cell phone, it faced significant barriers. As early as 2005, Wired Magazine pointed out that “music phones are the biggest threat Apple has faced since Windows.” 63 Although Apple dominated the dedicated MP3 player market, more and more phone manufacturers were adding music playback to their handsets. Primary phone manufacturers, such as Nokia and Motorola, already had existing relationships with cellular carriers, so they achieved a distinct advantage in the U.S. market, where cellular carriers dominate the distribution market for handsets. (Only 0.05 percent of all cell phones are sold by noncarriers in the United States. 64 ) To address this problem, Apple partnered with Cingular, now AT&T. But it could not negotiate price support, which meant that consumers would have to pay the entire $699 list price—a major issue indeed.


Despite these issues, Apple decided to develop the iPhone, but it made two important decisions about this release. First, it would redesign the buying process for cell phones. Second, Apple would introduce new iPod features unique to the iPhone. To improve the cell phone purchasing process, Apple relied on simplification to make the ordeal as painless as possible. Customers who disliked shopping for phones could buy online and register through iTunes. Those who wanted to be among the first to get their hands on an iPhone could turn to AT&T sales locations and Apple stores, which provided no-risk trials. Apple even took control of the customer service and troubleshooting functions for the iPhone to ensure it determined all aspects of the user experience.

Then, to differentiate the iPhone from anything else available on the market, Apple developed unique features that were unavailable to iPod owners. In creating special value for technologically savvy, forward-thinking consumers, Apple designed the iPhone to feature a touch screen, wireless capabilities, and a much larger viewing screen. By late 2007, Apple added these features to its iPod Touch.


Despite the failure of the ROKR, the high purchase price of the iPhone, and the widespread tendency for consumers to get locked into long-term contracts with their existing cellular carriers, on the first day the iPhone was available, consumers lined up in the streets in hopes of having an opportunity to purchase it. In late 2007 Time named the iPhone the “Invention of the Year.”


  1. How did Apple know that the cell phone market would be a good opportunity?
  2. What important differences led to the success of the iPhone and the failure of the ROKR?
  3. Why did AT&T agree to partner with Apple? Could Apple have succeeded with another partner? Without a cellular partner?
  4. What kind of industry analysis did Apple likely conduct before releasing the iPhone?
  5. Do you think the iPhone will continue to be a success? What environmental factors support your position?

Source: Grewal , Levy “Marketing’ 2ed 2008 McGraw-Hill PP64-65










Activity 9 – Levers of Control


One of the most difficult problems managers face today is maintaining control, efficiency, and productivity while still giving employees the freedom to be creative, innovative and flexible.

Giving employees too much autonomy has led to disaster for many companies, including such well-known names as Sears and Standard Chartered Bank. In these companies and many others, employees had enough independence that they were able to engage in and mask underhanded, and sometimes illegal, activities. When these deviant behaviours finally came to light, the companies incurred substantial losses not only financially, but also in internal company morale and external public relations.

One method of preventing these kinds of incidents is for companies to revert to the “machinelike bureaucracies” of the 1950s and 60s. In these work environments, employees were given very specific instructions on how to do their jobs and then were watched constantly by superiors to ensure the instructions were carried out properly.

In the modern corporate world, this method of managing employees has all but been abandoned except in those industries that lend themselves to standardization and repetition of work activities (e.g., in casinos and on assembly lines). In most industries, managers simply do not have time to watch everyone all the time. They must find ways to encourage employees to think for themselves, to create new processes and methods, while still retaining enough control to ensure that employee creativity will ultimately benefit and improve the company.

There are four control levers or “systems” that can aid managers in achieving the balance between employee empowerment and effective control:
1. diagnostic control systems,
2. beliefs systems,
3. boundary systems, and
4. interactive control systems.

Diagnostic Control Systems

This control lever relies on quantitative data, statistical analyses and variance analyses. Managers use these and other numerical comparisons (e.g., actual to budget, increases/decreases in overhead from month to month, etc.) to periodically scan for anything unusual that might indicate a potential problem.

Diagnostic systems can be very useful for detecting some kinds of problems, but they can also induce employees and even managers to behave unethically in order to meet some kind of preset goal. Meeting the goal, no matter how it’s done, ensures the numbers won’t fluctuate in a manner that would draw negative attention to a particular department or person.

Employee bonuses (and sometimes even employment, itself) are often based on how well performance goals have been met or exceeded, measured in quantitative terms. If the goals are reasonable and attainable, the diagnostic system works quite well. It enables managers to assign tasks and go on to other things, releasing them from the leash of perpetual surveillance. Empowered employees are free to complete their work, under some but not undue pressure to meet a deadline, productivity level, or other goal, and to do it in a way that may be new or innovative.

However, when goals become unrealistic, empowered employees may sometimes use their capacity for creativity to manipulate the factors under their control in order not to fall short of their manager’s expectations. Such manipulations can only have very short-term positive effects and can very possibly, depending on their magnitude, lead to long-run disaster for the company.

Beliefs Systems

This control lever is used to communicate the tenets of corporate culture to every employee of the company. Beliefs systems are generally broad and designed to appeal to many different types of people working in many different departments.

In order for beliefs systems to be an effective lever of control, employees must be able to see key values and ethics being upheld by those in supervisory and other top executive positions. Senior management must be careful not to adopt a particular belief or mission simply because it is in vogue to do so at the time, but because it reflects the true nature and value system of the company as a whole.

It is easier for employees to understand on an informal, innate level the mission and credo of a company that operates in only one industry, as did many companies in the past. As companies grow more complex, however, it is becoming more and more necessary to establish formal, written mission statements and codes of ethics so that there can be no mistaking where the company is going and how it is going to get there.

Boundary Systems

This control lever is based on the idea that in an age of empowered employees, it has become easier and more effective to set the rules regarding what is inappropriate rather than what is appropriate. The effect of this kind of thinking is to allow employees to create and define new solutions and methods within defined constraints. The constraints are set by top management and are meant to steer employees clear of certain industries, types of clients, etc. They are also intended to focus employee efforts on areas that have been determined to be best for the company, in terms of profitability, productivity, efficiency, etc.

Boundary systems can be thought of in terms of “minimum standards,” and can help to guard the good name of a company, an asset that can be very difficult to rebuild once damaged. Examples of these kinds of standards include forbidding employees to discuss client matters outside the office or with anyone not employed by the company (sometimes including even spouses) and refusing to work on projects or with clients deemed to be “undesirable.”

Many times a company will implement a boundary system only after it has suffered a major crisis due to the lack of one. It is important that companies begin to be proactive in establishing boundaries before they are needed.

Boundary systems are the flipside of belief systems. They are the “dark, cold constraints” to the “warm, positive, inspirational” tenets of belief systems.

Interactive Control Systems

The key to this control lever is the word “interactive.” In order for this kind of control system to work, it is critical that subordinates and supervisors maintain regular, face-to-face contact. Management must be able to glean what is most critical from all aspects of an organization’s operations so that they can establish and maintain on a daily basis their overall strategic plan for the company.

Companies use many different tools to accomplish this kind of regular communication. One popular method of doing this is to analyze data from reports that are frequently released (for example, the Nielsen ratings), internally generated productions reports, and professional journals.

Though this may seem somewhat like the diagnostic control system discussed earlier, there are four important characteristics which set the interactive control system apart: 1) the interactive system focuses on constantly changing data of an overall strategic nature, 2) the strategic nature of the data warrants attention from all levels of management on a regular basis, 3) the data is best analyzed in a face-to-face setting in groups that include all levels of employees, and 4) the system itself stimulates these regular discussions.

Harness Employees’ Creativity with the Four Levers of Control

Potential Organizational Blocks Managerial
To achieve Lack of focus or of resources. Build and support clear targets. Diagnostic control systems.
To contribute Uncertainty about purpose. Communicate core values and mission. Beliefs systems.
To do right Pressure or temptation. Specify and enforce rules of the game. Boundary systems.
To create Lack of opportunity or fear of risk. Open organizational dialogue to encourage learning. Interactive control systems.


Empowering employees is necessary for the continuing health and improvement of most companies. Using the four levers of control discussed above in conjunction with one another, managers can unleash the creative potential of their subordinates without losing overall control of their team and its objectives.

Simons, R. 1995. Control in an age of empowerment. Harvard Business Review (March-April): 80-88.


Discussion question


    1. In industries where constant surveillance is a must (in casinos, for example), where do the concepts of employee empowerment and the entrepreneurial spirit fit in, if at all? If not at all, why?
    2. As an employee, has it been your experience that the behavior of managers and other supervisory personnel exhibits the core tenets of the corporate beliefs system (i.e., corporate culture) on more than just a superficial level? How did (or does) their behavior influence yours in this regard?
    3. If you were a manager, in which kind of work environment would you feel most comfortable – one in which the employees you supervised had a great deal of autonomy (and you didn’t necessarily know what they were actually doing when they were “working at home,” for example) or one in which you had more control over your team’s daily activities? Where would the balance between empowerment and control lie for you?






So 9 activity questions and one big Individual report around 3000 words/

Individual Report

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”  Joel Barker, In the training video “The Power of Vision”.

“Companies often manage strategy in fits and starts. Though executives may formulate an excellent strategy, it easily fades from memory as the organization tackles day-to-day operations issues, doing what HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan calls “fighting fires.”Lagace  Martha  ‘Strategy Execution and the Balanced Scorecard Q&A with: Robert S. Kaplan’ H Harvard Business School,  August 11, 2008

Your manager has requested that you prepare a report on how your unit/section would contribute to the strategy direction of the organisation. As part of this process you are required to critically analyse and discuss how as a manager you can understand and interpret your organisations and unit/sections external and internal environment. Using this knowledge you will need to develop and implement strategies for your section/unit. Apply a systems approach to your report.

The organization you choose you need to be familiar with, but you do not necessarily have to be currently employed by.

It is expected that you:

  1. Confirm organisational vision and mission
  • Clarify the vision/mission or equivalent statements for your organisation. How well are these interpreted and recognised in your work unit?
  • Review or develop organisational values to support the vision and mission statement
  1. Analyse the internal and external environment
  • Assess the influence of the general (mega) environment trends on your organization/unit or association. Analyse and assess the influence of specific external trends (task) that impact and influence the operations of this organization or work group. Gain support for strategic planning process from all relevant stakeholders
  • Analyse the general environment using ‘Porters 5 forces’to identify the power dynamics (changing power relationships) in the industry.
  • Use the ‘Resource Based Model’to evaluate the organisation/unit. To develop identify strategic resources, capabilities and core competencies
  • Apply the Values Chainand/or statistical evidence to assess in analysing the current processes or situation.
  • Construct a SWOT analysisto summarise the above analysis for your unit.  Make some recommendations on the future actions that are available to the unit that are likely to enhance its competitive position or secure its future.
  • Create a relevant scenario/sfor 2015 (1) if you do not implement change and (2) if you adopt a new or improved strategy.


  • Evaluate therisks attached to your chosen strategy and opportunity cost of not adopting the new strategy.


  1. Write strategic plan
  • Document your strategic plan including relevant research and background to substantiate and justify your strategy
  • Create a shared visionso that you can communicate you ? Is this vision consistent to with the organisations mission/vision?
  • Formulate strategic objectives and strategies(e.g. Balance Scorecard). Detail each strategy with an assigned priority, a timeframe, responsible parties and measurable performance indicators


  1. Implement Strategic Plan
  • Set up a program for communicating and implementing the unit’s strategy.  Circulate strategic plan for comment, support and endorsement, make any necessary refinement.
  • Communicate strategic plan to all relevant parties and brief people with a specific role in relation to strategies
  • How will you review effectiveness of plan and consider methods for improving strategic planning processes.
  • Demonstrate how and when are you going to review the success of your unit’s strategies, how will you Use performance indicators to monitor progress in implementing plan and evaluate achievement of objectives at agreed milestones


Assessment of your assignment will take into account:

  • You are to take a managers perspective to the assignment.
  • Relevance of your answer to the question or task set
  • Clarity of expression
  • An ability to apply class theory and terminology to your organization
  • Proper acknowledgment of documentation and use of a bibliography
  • Logical planning and sequence of materials
  • Evidence of original and critical thinking
  • Evidence of an ability to undertake academic research and to use this research to substantiate statements.

DUE DATE:        Week 9 from commencement of studies

LENGTH:              3000 words

Proportion of marks 75%

Please see Assessment Activities in this guide for full details of these requirements.  In addition to being assessed as competent, you will also be graded.  Details of assessment and grading are included in the Student Handbook provided to you on enrolment.  Some key points to consider are:

Credits and Distinctions are only awarded for excellent work and not given out routinely.  If you are aiming to pass this unit with a grade higher than a Pass, you should ensure that group and individual assessments:

  • show application of theories/concepts from topic (this should incorporate workplace examples and practices where appropriate)
  • show a thorough understanding of all theories and concepts
  • are written / presented succinctly and comprehensively
  • documents have been spell checked andproof read
  • are well presented and on time
  • have been discussed with your work group and opinions of others have been incorporated appropriately
  • demonstrate evidence of additional research into theories/concepts

Individual assignments must be your own work.  It is expected that you will undertake considerable research for this unit.

Please be aware of the plagiarism policy (refer Student Handbook).  Correct referencing of work for both your group presentation and individual report is essential.