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One of the first things that you will need to do when you start up a new business is to create your business strategy. The strategy that you decide up will be incredibly important for the future of your business since it will influence many of your future decisions and shape the nature of your university business. It is, therefore, it's essential to take the time to make sure that you choose the right strategy for you and your new business. Making the right choice now will affect the chances of your university business becoming a success.
When you choose your business strategy, you will need to make sure that it is one with which you will feel comfortable, but you will also need to ensure that your strategy is compatible with the type of business you want to run and the industry in which you will be working. You need to choose the strategy that will be right for your particular business.
Your business strategy will be the overall strategy that you use to shape and run your business. It may incorporate a number of smaller missions, plans or goals that set out what you want to achieve with your business. These may relate to your business focus, the differentiation of your business from its competitors, or the other factors that will determine what makes your business a success.
A pioneer business is one that is creating a new product, or developing something new, and, which is therefore based upon innovation. If you want to follow this type of strategy, then you will need to continue creating new products and offering new services in Leeds University, so you will need to make sure that you have the necessary resources for this kind of innovation. If your business strategy will be to set up a business as a follower rather than a pioneer, you will be entering into a field that has already been established by other businesses. This will offer certain advantages since you will be able to exploit services which have already been created and proven successful. However, it will mean that you will need to be ready to take on the competition.
In order to increase your chances of success as you enter an established market as a follower, you may want to focus your business strategy on a particular niche. You can choose to offer a broad range of products or services, although this will open you up to a large number of different competitors and it is likely to require more resources. Alternatively, you can focus on a particular, specialized niche or area of business, such as the sale of a particular service. Another important consideration when you are choosing your business strategy is the type of market which you would like to target. The types of products and services that you want to offer and the customers you will need to appeal to may vary a great deal in value, from high end to low end products. You should decide which end of the market you want to target, taking into consideration your skills, experience and resources as well as the characteristics of each type of market.
In order to make the right choice of business strategy, you will need to consider a number of different factors, such as the resources that you have available, the opportunities that are available in the market and the types of skills and experience that you are able to take advantage of, both in yourself and in your employees.
When you are choosing your business strategy, you should consider the future of your business as well as your current resources and situation. You may want to think about the long-term potential of your business strategy and how it may develop and change as your business grows. Your business strategy can change over time, but it is still important to ensure that you choose the right strategy for the present, in order to ensure that you achieve the success you need now before you can think about growth and expansion into new areas of the market.
4.1 Compare the Roles and responsibilities for strategy implementation?
Task: Evaluate the function and the day-to-day job for plan execution of Leeds University.
The key to a successful execution is alignment. Strategy, people, and day to day work processes need to be effectively linked. The strategic plan must be understood by the entire organization, the right people need to be in the right jobs to allow for maximum work performance, and action plans must be developed, implemented, and reviewed. A common issue is that individuals within the various departments in an organization may view the goals and objectives of the company very differently. Where a communication vacuum exists, Sales, Manufacturing and Finance may view a singular priority very differently. This miscommunication between "functional silos" can be very counterproductive. To effectively align strategy, people, and the tactical action plans that lead to a successful execution, a lot of hard work and diligent communication must happen. We cannot communicate too much - guiding an entire organization to the same place takes consistent repetition for the message to stick permanently in the minds and hearts of employees.
Another critical point is that plan execution is a process, not a specific step. There is no discrete beginning or end. Markets and competitors are ever-changing. Although the broad strategy and direction should not waver, what things get done, and in what order, will evolve due to changing conditions in the world around us. Then we evaluate and adapt and to gain traction and ground on the competition. As the world changes, communication, once again, is very important to minimize any confusion within the ranks.
The bottom line is that effective execution is difficult. There are formidable roadblocks, hurtles, and changing dynamics that get in the way and can injure the implementation of a good strategy. But well run businesses do this all the time, although there is no singular process to manage the execution of a business plan, there are basic processes and fundamentals to be followed.
1) Once the broad Mission, Vision and strategy for the organization has been established, focusing on its core competencies, specific quantifiable goals to support the strategy must be formulated.
2) The organization must be evaluated. Do you have the right people with the right skills in the right jobs? Should human resources be reallocated? Do you have the right number of employees in the appropriate departments?
3) Identify the key initiatives and broad actions that must be accomplished to achieve this strategy. Identify the transitional issues, or the "gaps", between where you are today and where you plan to be. Push the initiatives throughout the organization. They must be consistently understood in all functional departments. Every employee needs to understand their individual role in accomplishing some aspect of the plan.
4) Develop a budget to support the plan. This may be an iterative process until the right combination of strategy, tactics, and financial prudence is achieved.
5) Communicate! Get the message out to the entire organization. Develop compensation and reward systems to support the future Vision of the organization. Create decision filters that help guide the organization through a thought process for those times when the organization wrestles with a concept that may stray from its strategy.
6) Establish a review process. As the markets, customers, competitors, government regulations, economy, etc. evolve, some priorities, and possibly some goals, may change. Go back to the beginning, review each step, and determine if further changes are necessary.
4.2 Evaluate resource requirements to implement a new strategy for a given organization?
Task: Assess what type of resource requirements are needed to implement a new strategy for the Leeds
For Leeds University which have a plan in place, wasting time and energy on the planning process and then not implementing the plan is very discouraging. Although the topic of implementation may not be the most exciting thing to talk about, it's a fundamental business practice that's critical for any strategy to take hold.
The strategic plan addresses the what and why of activities, but implementation addresses the who, where, when, and how. The fact is that both are critical to success. In fact, companies can gain competitive advantage through implementation if done effectively. In the following sections, you discover how to get support for your complete implementation plan.
All components must be in place in order to move from creating the plan to activating the plan.
The first stage of implementing your plan is to make sure to have the right people on board. The right people include those folks with required competencies and skills that are needed to support the plan. In the months following the planning process, expand employee skills through training, recruitment, or new hires to include new competencies required by the strategic plan.
You need to have sufficient funds and enough time to support implementation. Often, true costs are underestimated or not identified. True costs can include a realistic time commitment from staff to achieve a goal, a clear identification of expenses associated with a tactic, or unexpected cost overruns by a vendor. Additionally, employees must have enough time to implement what may be additional activities that they aren't currently performing.
Set your structure of management and appropriate lines of authority, and have clear, open lines of communication with your employees. A plan owner and regular strategy meetings are the two easiest ways to put a structure in place. Meetings to review the progress should be scheduled monthly or quarterly, depending on the level of activity and time frame of the plan.
Both management and technology systems help track the progress of the plan and make it faster to adapt to changes. As part of the system, build milestones into the plan that must be achieved within a specific time frame. A scorecard is one tool used by many organizations that incorporates progress tracking and milestones.
Create an environment that connects employees to the organization's mission and that makes them feel comfortable. To reinforce the importance of focusing on strategy and vision, reward success. Develop some creative positive and negative consequences for achieving or not achieving the strategy. The rewards may be big or small, as long as they lift the strategy above the day-to-day so people make it a priority.
4.3 Discuss targets and timescales for achievement in a given organization to monitor a given strategy?
Task: Discuss the targets and timescale needed for the University of Leeds to achieve its vision of securing a place in the top 50 universities of the World by implementing the above strategy.
A key strategic objective for the University of Leeds is to secure a place among the top 50 universities in the world by 2015. To achieve this, the University will have to develope a number of initiatives to support the further development of core activities such as research, learning, teaching and knowledge transfer. Supporting each of these core activities are university staff and resource, whose further development is critical to enabling the University's primary objective can be achieved effectively.
According to Leeds university official website, The University has engaged in a wave of modern expansion since 2008, and has invested more than £300 million in transforming its campus over the coming years, resulting in new state-of-the-art educational, research, residential and leisure facilities with a further £80 million being spent to improve current assets. The programme of this expansion being one of the biggest capital investment projects in British higher education. Its overarching vision is to provide staff and students with a world-class campus which is integral to the university's ambition and vision of securing a place among the world's top 50 universities
The University of Leeds, having selected Jadu Content Management following an extensive formal tendering process, are currently implementing enterprise web content management across the University's faculties. The Jadu CMS system, which has been integrated with the University's LUMINIS student portal system and Google Search Appliance (GSA), will form the basis of all online publishing at the University over the next 10 years.
A manager might want to speed up the process of team development to the performing stage. Given the uncertainties and conflict of the storming stage, it might also seem apparent that team spirit and solidarity should be developed as soon as possible. So how do you build a team?
Question 5: (Covers some elements of assessment criteria 4.1 and getting merit M2))
Read the following statements and decide to which category they belong (forming, storming, norming, performing, doming and justify your answer with reasons.
-------Two of the group arguing as to whose idea is best. Storming
Storming is characterized by competition and conflict within the team as members learn to bend and mold their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit the team organization. Although conflicts may or may not surface as group issues, they do exist. Questions about who is responsible for what, what the rules are, what the reward system is, and what the evaluation criteria are arising. These questions reflect conflicts over leadership, structure, power, and authority. Because of the discomfort generated during this stage, some members may remain completely silent, while others attempt to dominate. Members have an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment.
In order to progress to the next stage, team members must move from a testing-and-proving mentality to a problem-solving mentality. Listening is the most helpful action team members and the team leader can take to resolve these issues.
-------Progress becomes static performing
The performing stage is not reached by all teams. Those teams that do reach this stage not only enjoy team members who work independently but also support those who can come back together and work interdependently to solve problems. A team is at its most productive during this stage.
Team members are both highly task-oriented and highly people-oriented during this stage. The team is unified: Team identity is complete, team morale is high, and team loyalty is intense. The task function becomes genuine problem solving, leading to optimal solutions and optimum team development. There is support for experimentation in solving problems, and an emphasis on achievement. The overall goal is productivity through problem solving and work
-------Desired outputs being achieved. Norming
When the team moves into the "norming" stage, they are beginning to work more effectively as a team. They are no longer focused on their individual goals, but rather are focused on developing a way of working together (processes and procedures). They respect each other's opinions and value their differences. They begin to see the value in those differences on the team. Working together as a team seems more natural. In this stage, the team has agreed on their team rules for working together, how they will share information and resolve team conflict, and what tools and processes they will use to get the job done. The team members begin to trust each other and actively seek each other out for assistance and input. Rather than compete against each other, they are now helping each other to work toward a common goal. The team members also start to make significant progress on the project as they begin working together more effectively.
-------Shy member of group not participating. Forming
The "forming" stage takes place when the team first meets each other. In this first meeting, team members are introduced to each. They share information about their backgrounds, interests and experience and form first impressions of each other. They learn about the project they will be working on, discuss the project's objectives/goals and start to think about what role they will play on the project team. They are not yet working on the project. They are, effectively, "feeling each other out" and finding their way around how they might work together.
During this initial stage of team growth, it is important for the team leader to be very clear about team goals and provide clear direction regarding the project. The team leader should ensure that all of the members are involved in determining team roles and responsibilities and should work with the team to help them establish how they will work together ("team norms".) The team is dependent on the team leader to guide them.
-------Activities being allocated. Forming
During the forming stage, team members not only get to know each other but also familiarize themselves with their task and with other individuals interested in the project, such as supervisors. At the end of the forming stage, team members should know the following:
The project's overall mission
The main phases of the mission
The resources at their disposal
A rough project schedule
Each member's project responsibilities
A basic set of team rules
The Griswold cutlery Company is an old established firm, selling high quality stainless steel cutlery to markets in the UK, France and Germany. It is based in Sheffield. The managing director, Mr. Paul Griswold, great grandson of the firm's founder, has just taken over from his father, Matthew Griswold. Matthew Griswold was a manager of the old school. As the boss, he liked to exert power and employees were afraid to disagree with him. He encouraged strict conformance to company procedures: rules are rules, they are there to be followed, and I don't like changing them.
Question: 6 (Covers some elements of assessment criteria 4.2 and getting merit D1))
Paul Griswold wants to introduce MBO. Do you think this will be an easy task? Justify your answer with reasons.
I will give my opinion at the end of the answers but first the Definition of MBO:
"MBO is one of the rational school of management's successful products."
- The Economist
Management by objectives (MBO) is a systematic and organized approach that allows management to focus on achievable goals and to attain the best possible results from available resources. It aims to increase organizational performance by aligning goals and subordinate objectives throughout the organization. Ideally, employees get strong input to identify their objectives, time lines for completion, etc. MBO includes ongoing tracking and feedback in the process to reach objectives.
Management by Objectives (MBO) was first outlined by Peter Drucker in 1954 in his book 'The Practice of Management'. In the 90s, Peter Drucker himself decreased the significance of this organization management method, when he said: "It's just another tool. It is not the great cure for management inefficiency.
Features of MBO:
1. Management by Objectives is a philosophy or a system, and not merely technique.
2. It emphasizes participative goal setting.
3. It clearly defines each individual responsibility in terms of results.
4. If focuses attention on what must be accomplished (goals0 rather than on how it is to be accomplished.
5. It converts objective needs into personal goals at every level in the organization.
6. It establishes standards or yardsticks (goals) as operation guides and also as basis of performance evaluation.
7. It is a system intentionally directed toward effective and efficient attainment of organizational and personal goals.
8. MBO process (or management by Objective cycle or key elements of management by Objectives or minimum requirements of management by objectives.
Steps in MBO:
What are the steps involved in the process of MBO?
The basic steps that are common in all the processes of management by objective (MBO) are:-
1. Central goal setting: defining and verifying organizational objectives is the first step in MBO process. Generally these objectives are set by central management of the organization but it does so after consulting other managers. Before setting of these objectives, an extensive assessment of the available resources is made by the central management. It also conducts market service and research along with making a forecast. Through this elaborate analysis, the desired long run and short run objectives of the organization are highlighted. The central management tries to make these objectives realistic and specific. After setting these goals it is the responsibility of the management that these are known to all members and are also under stood by them.
2. Development and individual goal setting: After organization objectives are established by the central management, the next step is to establish the department goals. The top management needs to discuss these objectives with the heads of the departments so that mutually agreed upon objectives are established. Long range and short range goals are set by each department in consultation with the top management. After the department goals are established, the employees work with their managers to establish their own individual goals which relate with the organization goals. These participative goals are very important because it has been seen that employees become highly motivated to achieve the objectives established by them. These objectives for individuals should be specific and short range. These should indicate the capability of the unit of the individual. Through this process all the members of the organization become involved in the process of goal setting.
3. Revision of job description: In the process of MBO resetting individual goals involves a revision of job description of different positions in the organization which in turn requires the revision of the entire structure of the organization. The organization manuals and charts may also have to be modified to portray the changes that have been introduced by the process of MBO. The job description has to define the objectives, authority and responsibility of different jobs. The connection of one job with all other jobs of the organization also needs to be established clearly.
4. Matching goals: The establishment of objectives cannot be fruitful unless the resources and means required to achieve these objectives are provided. Therefore the subordinates should be provided required tools and materials which enable them to achieve the objectives efficiently and effectively. Resource requirements can be measured precisely if the goals are set precisely. This makes the process of resource allocation relatively easy. Resource allocation should be made after consulting the subordinates.
5. Freedom implementation: The task team of manager and his subordinates should be given freedom in deciding the way to utilize their resources and the way to achieve their objectives. There should be very little or no interference by the seniors as long as the team is working within the framework of organization policies.
6. Establishing check points: The process of MBO requires regularly meetings between the managers and their subordinates to discuss the progress achieve in the accomplishment of the objective established for the subordinates. For this purpose the mangers need to establish the standards of performance or check points to evaluate the progress of their subordinates. These standards need to be specified as for as possible quantitatively and it should also be ensured that these are completely understood by the subordinates. This practices needs to be followed by all managers and these should lead to an analysis of key results has the targets are represented in terms of the results. The analysis of key results should be recorded in writing and it generally contains information regarding :
(I) the overall objectives related with the job of subordinates.
(ii) The key results which must be achieved by the subordinate to fulfil his objectives.
(iii) The long term and short term priorities, a subordinate needs to adhere to.
(iv.) The extent and scope of assistance expected by a subordinate from his superior and other departmental managers and also the assistance, the subordinates is required to extend to other departments of his organizations.
(v.) Nature of information and the reports receive by the subordinate to carry out self evaluation.
(vi.) The standards use to evaluate the performance of the subordinate.
7. Performance appraisal: An informal performance appraisal is generally conducted in routine by the manager; a periodic review of performance of the subordinates should also be conducted. Periodic reviews are required as the priorities and conditions change constantly and need to be monitored constantly. These reviews help the mangers as well as the subordinates to modify the objectives or the methods whenever require. This significantly increases the chances of achieving the goals and also ensures that no surprises are found at the time of final appraisal. Periodic performance appraisal needs to be based on measurable and fair standards so that these are completely understood by the subordinates and there are also aware of the degree of performance required at each step.
8. Counselling: Periodic performance review helps the subordinates in improving his future performance.
Advantages of MBO:
â€¢ MBO programs continually emphasize what should be done in an organization to achieve organizational goals.
â€¢ MBO process secures employee commitment to attaining organizational goals.
â€¢ Motivation - Involving employees in the whole process of goal setting and increasing employee empowerment increases employee job satisfaction and commitment.
â€¢ Better communication and Coordination - Frequent reviews and interactions between superiors and subordinates helps to maintain harmonious relationships within the enterprise and also solve many problems faced during the period.
â€¢ Clarity of goals - With MBO, came the concept of SMART goals i.e. goals that are:
4. Relevant, and
5. Time bound.
The goals thus set are clear, motivating and there is a linkage between organizational goals and performance targets of the employees.
Disadvantages of MBO:
â€¢ It over-emphasizes the setting of goals over the working of a plan as a driver of outcomes.
â€¢ It underemphasizes the importance of the environment or context in which the goals are set. That context includes everything from the availability and quality of resources, to relative buy-in by leadership and stake-holders
â€¢ Companies evaluated their employees by comparing them with the "ideal" employee. Trait appraisal only looks at what employees should be, not at what they should do.
â€¢ It did not address the importance of successfully responding to obstacles and constraints as essential to reaching a goal.
The use of MBO needs to be carefully aligned with the culture of the organization. While MBO is not as fashionable as it was before the 'empowerment' fad, it still has its place in management today. Because in mbo the objectives are discussed and agreed, based upon a more strategic picture being available to employees. Engagement of employees in the objective setting process is seen as a strategic advantage by many. So in my opinion its very different process from how The Griswold cutlery Company used to be managed and I don't think I will be an easy task, but if achieved it will be very rewarding
Hall Faull Downes Ltd has been in business for 25 years, during which time profits have risen by an average of 3% per annum, although there have been peaks and troughs in profitability due to the ups and downs of trade in the customers industry. The increase in profits until five years ago was the result of increasing sales in a buoyant market, but more recently, the total market has become somewhat smaller and Hall Faull Downes has only increased sales and profits as a result of improving its market share.
The company produces components for manufacturers in the engineering industry.
In recent years, the company has developed many new products and currently has 40 items in its range compared to 24 only five years ago. Over the same five year period, the number of customers has fallen from twenty to nine, two of whom together account for 60% of the company's sales.
Question: 7 A. (Covers some elements of assessment criteria 2.1 and getting merit D2))
Give your appraisal of the company's future,
My personal opinion of Hall Faull Downes future is the we will see:
#1 a decrease in profit over the next few years which will lead to the lowering the average of 3% growth per annum
#2 the company will lose of its customer base over time therefore It will lose even more substantial market share
#3 the company is in risk if both or one of the two customers that account for 60% of their business sales decided to pull out from trading with hall Faull Downes #4 the number of clients may continue to drop and we might see the business offer even more products in its range which could mean that the business may become non-specialized, finally the company could branch out from producing just components in the engineering industry.
And if the business doesn't make some changes, it might run into major financial problems, which in this economy state could mean bankruptcy for Hall Faull Downed
And suggest what it is probably doing wrong
#1 the decreasing market share, Market share is the number one health indicator for your company. If it is flat or - worse yet - falling, you have a serious problem on your hands. So you need to develop techniques that can help you reverse this problem and ensure that this trend does not surprise your company again.
#2 the increase in the range of products the company produce, While carrying a wide range of products may at first sound like a great idea because your business may appeal to a variety of customers, chances are this will backfire unless you have a business model that is designed to carry lots of products (think variety stores or stores such as Wal-Mart or Target).
Most companies have specific business models when they are launched and if your business isn't designed or marketed to be non-specialized, carrying a wide range of products is likely going to have the opposite desired effect and put your business at a huge disadvantage. A business that attempts to sell a plethora of products is going to need a strategic plan to support the rationale for carrying a wide range of products. Most of the time, this reason doesn't exist.
The reason for this is because by offering too large a variety of products, you eliminate the specialization factor and this is usually one of the best strategies to increase business and grow your customer base. A business that tries to grab onto too many market areas is going to find they stagnating instead of growing because they are too diversified.
There are many advantages of selling niche products and maintaining specialized inventory. The primary benefit is if you focus on a specific area, you will increase credibility as an expert. This factor will make you visible to customers as a company people turn to when they need a product; they want to buy from someone who knows their product and can stand behind what they offer because they know all the ins and outs.
Additionally, if you aren't specialized, you'll have to keep in mind that they'll be more competition. While it's true you may garner some 'one-stop' shoppers, you'll be hard-pressed to cultivate a loyal following if you are a jack of all trades in terms of inventory.
When making these decisions it is important to keep a strategic plan in place because you don't want to saturate your shelves with the wrong products or alienate your desired market segments. The goal is to develop a loyal customer base and provide the products they need, not drive customers to your competitors' doors.
Carrying a wide variety of products to sell may take away any potential competitive advantage you may have gained by being specialized. What you sell, how you market it and how you sell it is going to make or break your business. Be sure you and your employees know your products well, choose a niche area and cultivate a loyal base.
#3 having two very big essential clients while the rest only compensate just 40% of sales, too many companies have seen an untimely demise due to basing their business on one large client or one specific industry. So the business needs to realize that and start taking appropriate action towards that