HMD 454 Spring 2015
INDUSTRY PROJECT: STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN
Part 1: Conducting a Strategic Analysis
Part 2: Business Plan
Part 3: Presentation to the Board of Directors
Companies for Industry Analysis
The Company’s Board of Directors is concerned about the financial future of your company and its ability to deliver shareholder value and growth now and in the future. Senior management has assembled a task force of its top managers (your team!) to conduct a strategic analysis, prepare a business plan and present it to the Board. Your task force has been empowered to do “whatever it takes” to develop innovative strategies that ensure the company’s long term success. The Board will approve your recommendations as long as you have research and analysis to support them, resources in place, an implementation plan, and a feedback process. You have been given three months to complete this project.
Teams of 5 will be formed with an attempt to match schedules and a drawing will be held for choice of hospitality company (listed at end). The project contains three parts (1) conducting a strategic analysis, (2) writing a business plan, and (3) making a presentation to the Board.
Timeline and Deliverables
|Project Stage||Points||Deliverable||Completed Draft||Final Report|
|Strategic Analysis||20||PR1: Direction Setting||2/18||2/20|
|20||PR2: Environmental Analysis||3/4||3/6|
|20||PR3: Competitive Analysis||3/18||3/20|
|20||PR4: Strategy Development||4/8||4/10|
|20||PR5: Strategy Implementation||4/24||4/26|
|20||Report Manager||on assigned dates|
|Business Plan||40||Single Integrated Business Plan||5/4
|Presentation||40||Team project presentation||N/A||4/27, 4/29, 5/4|
Progress Report due days
- Completed hard copy draft and team meeting with instructor – Wednesday
- Online progress report submission for grading– Friday midnight via Webcampus. Use the following naming convention: PR#_TeamName, e.g. PR1_Starwood
- Team member evaluation submitted through Webcampus –Friday midnight
A Webcampus discussion board will be created for each team to facilitate communication. Teams should meet as soon as they are assigned and:
- Appoint a team leader to coordinate team activities
- Select a Report Manager for each progress report (see separate section)
- Decide on meeting format/dates/times and how you are going to communicate
- Develop a timeline for completing each report.
- Have a completed draft on the listed due date (not partial sections).
- Each team must meet with the CEO (instructor) on Wednesday to review the draft. A complete, printed report must be brought to the meeting, annotated to show where each of the grading criteria are met. The group has until Friday at midnight to revise the report and submit for grading. All team members are expected to attend, but at least 3 members, one of which is the report manager, MUST attend. At the first meeting, inform the instructor who the team leader is and who is report manager for each report. Grading for each team meeting will be as follows. Everyone gets the same score.
|Number of members present||Points|
|Complete hard copy draft||2|
|Report manager not present||-1|
|Late to meeting||-1|
|Maximum points per meeting||5|
A different report manager is responsible for each report. The RM coordinates the report activities, integrates everyone’s input into a coherent single document, solicits and incorporates feedback from team members, and conducts a final review and edit prior to submission. The report manager will receive double the report grade, so it is in his/her best interest to ensure that the report meets quality standards. The report manager is NOT responsible for writing the entire report. Any team member who does not contribute will get a score of 0 out of 20.
This is a group project, and every team member is expected to contribute to every stage of the analysis. Working in groups is not easy, but it is a fact of business life and the task force approach is intended to mirror the real world. In business, employees do not get to choose their teams and often end up on projects with low performers or employees with other priorities. A manager who uses this as an excuse for poor performance is not going to get very far in the company. If you have difficulty with a team member, take action immediately, do not wait until it is too late. Two methods will be used to ensure full participation by each team member.
- Team member evaluation form: Every student is required to complete a team member evaluation form for each progress report, the business plan, and the final presentation. Team member evaluation forms are due on Friday of the week the report is due, and should be submitted through WebCampus assignments. Each evaluation is worth 5 points. Your score is your relative contribution x 5. For example, in a 5-person group, each person should contribute 20%. If your rated contribution is 10%, your teamwork score would be 2.5. If you do not turn in an evaluation form, your teamwork score for that stage of the project is 0. Low contributors may have their project score adjusted as well.
- Voting out team members: In extreme cases, teams can vote to exclude a low contributing member from their team. That individual must complete the remainder of the project individually, join another group, or join with others who have been voted out. In order to vote a member out, the entire team must meet in my office, provide documented justification, and vote by secret ballot whether to exclude the member in question. The vote must be unanimous except for the member to be excluded. Voting out cannot take place after March 6.
Part One: Conducting a Strategic Analysis
The first part of the project requires each team to do research and summarize their findings as a written report. There are five stages which will be submitted in the form of progress reports, each with a report manager. Guidelines for each report are provided below, along with a grading rubric with point values. 4-6 pages per report, 1 point deducted for every page over the limit. Going under is okay!
Progress Report Grading Guidelines
Components that should be included in each report follow on the next 5 pages, along with points allocated by item. Please note that “suggested length” is a general guideline to help you plan the report. Yours can be either longer or shorter in different sections.
PR5: Strategy Implementation.
In this section, you put all the pieces together to ensure that you can carry out and evaluate your intended strategies (derived from PR4). Content from Chapters 7 and 8, class material, and your previous progress reports should be used.
|Interorgan-izational relationships||1 page||
|Functional Strategy Audit||
||Conduct a functional strategy audit (see Table 7.3)
|Organiza-tional Structure||1 page||
|Implemen-tation plan||1 page||
|Format||Overall flow, organization, formatting, following guidelines, grammar, spelling, references, etc.||2|
Progress Report Submission Format
- The title should be informative. “PR3” is not informative, “Competitive Analysis” is.
- 4-6 pages, excluding references
- Be concise and to the point! Shorter is better as long as coverage is adequate
- Use bullets rather than wordy sentences
- “Suggested length” is not required length
- Omit “empty” statements that add no content
- “Suggested length” is NOT required length. It is just a guideline.
- Do not quote or paraphrase ANYTHING from the company website. Restating content from the website in your own words is not allowed.
- Single-space paragraphs, double space between paragraph
- 12-pt. Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins, portrait orientation.
- Large tables only can be 10-pt and must stay within margins in portrait orientation.
- Well organized with headings and subheadings
- Use tables to display categorized or numerical information (never split between pages)!
- Number pages consecutively
- Name should be typed on paper along with company name and title. Please do not include the professor/course name.
- References for all sources in a list at the end in APA format. Every reference needs a title, date, and author (if available). A reference listed as www.etc. will receive no credit. Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference and reliable sources must be used.
- Submit through WebCampus in MS Word only. One submission per group.
Part 2. Business Plan
This is where the task force merges its collective efforts into a single, coherent business plan. The business plan is not simply the progress reports strung together; however, it should contain all of the analyses/components required for each report. Many teams ignore this point and their grade on the business plan reflects this. The PRs should be revised based on the feedback provided, and integrated into one document that can be given to the Executive Team and Board of Directors. They must be packaged in an effective report suitable for company executives. The business plan is limited to 25 single-spaced pages, excluding TOC and references. Everything should be contained in a single electronic document.
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Direction Setting
- Environmental Analysis
- Competitive/Resource Analysis
- Strategy Development
- Implementation Plan
- References in APA format
Business Plan Grading Criteria
|Executive Summary||The Executive Summary gives the reader the “bottom line” of the business plan. It should stand alone and is not an introduction or a summary of the whole report. Be concise!||5|
|Packaging, Format, Organization||
|Body of Report||The main business plan consists of the most important items from the progress reports. In most cases, you will not be writing anything new, just revising and packaging what has already been done. Make sure you make the revisions suggested by the GM, since that will influence your grade. In business, the sure path to failure is to disregard suggestions made by your boss!|
|Conclusion||The conclusion should be brief (1 paragraph) and persuasive. End on a strong optimistic tone.||
It is very important that the plan flows. With each member preparing part of the plan, it can end up looking like a bunch of independent reports dumped together. Check for repetitiveness and inconsistencies, provide transitions, and make sure the report is consistently formatted throughout. Start each section (PR) with a primary heading.
Don’t do a “Sales Pitch”
A business plan is an important internal document. It is used by the executives to drive decisions and actions. Your job is not to tell the executives how wonderful the company is! Be critical and try to focus on problems and solutions, rather than advertising the virtues of the company.
Keep it short and simple!
The reports should be clear, concise and well-written. Tables, charts and figures are often better than words if they are effectively displayed, but make sure there is a brief explanation of their contents. Use short, targeted paragraphs and bullet points rather than lengthy essays. Every page should have several headings/subheadings to separate topics. A business executive will not read a page that is simply filled with words and neither will the instructor!
The business plan should contain all the components required for each progress report. Do not shorten it by eliminating important items.
The report should be submitted in 2 formats: (1) a hard copy suitable for submission to company executives, (2) an electronic group submission through WebCampus.
Part 3. Presentation to Board of Directors
The final presentation is your chance to pitch your idea to the Board of Directors. Your presentation should be professional but you can also be more creative in your slides and delivery. Focus on key findings and effective visual representation of findings, leaving the detail to the written report.
- 20-slide, 20-minute maximum plus 5 minutes Q&A
- Use Microsoft PowerPoint only.
- Should include major components of the business plan
- Presentation should present strong case for adopting the recommended strategies.
- Teams NOT presenting should be prepared to ask questions in their role as Board of Directors and rate the presenting teams on a form provided.
- No reading! Teams should rehearse so the presentation flows smoothly.
- Every team member must present one section. Anyone who does not present gets no credit for any aspect of the presentation.
- Team leads its own Q&A and keeps track of its own time.
- Submit electronic copy via Webcampus and hard copy in class.
- Presenters should dress in professional business attire. No sandals, tennis shoes, shorts, jeans, caps, t-shirts, mini-skirts, logo apparel. Business suit preferred.
Presentation Grading Criteria
The grade will be a combination of instructor and peer ratings.
|Delivery||Nonverbal Communication||Maintains eye contact, stands up straight, effective (not excessive) gestures, pleasant facial expression||4|
|Verbal Communication||Loud and clear, effective rate of speed, articulates clearly, avoids “ums”, correct grammar, vocal variety||4|
|Professionalism||Business attire, demeanor, respect, coordinated flow of presentation||4|
|Q&A||Handles Q&A Effectively||4|
|Time Management||Stays within allotted time. Does not “hog” time.||4|
|Content||Introduction||Catches audience attention, establishes credibility, previews main points||4|
|Body||Well organized, relates topic to audience, main points fully supported||4|
|Includes all main sections of business plan|
|Conclusion||Reviews main points, memorable, strong ending, recommendations made||4|
|Visual Aids||Effective use of charts, graphs, text and visuals in Powerpoint||4|
|Not cluttered, big enough to see, no typos, professional yet appealing||4|
Companies for Analysis
The company must be a publicly traded hospitality business. Listed below are several to choose from. A lottery will be held to determine the order of choice.
- Carnival Cruise Corporation (CCL): multi-branded cruise company
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCL): multi-branded cruise company
- Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG): International hotel chain
- Starwood Hotels (HOT): International hotel chain
- Darden Restaurants (DRI): Multi-branded casual dining chain
- Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK): Regional casino resort operator
- Wynn Resorts (WYNN): International casino resort operator