The brief will outline and analyze a non-confidential strategic challenge (a negative problem or a positive growth aspiration), which their current or desired future employer is facing.
To help you get stimulated, scan the topics of the readings, so as to see what types of strategic problems are being diagnosed. Take particular note of frameworks and concepts applied or described. Try to let at least 1-2 frameworks or concepts inform the analysis in your memo and feel free point out their limitations (no framework can ever serve as a cookie-cutter tool).
The memo should contain the following sections:
Brief summary of background and experience with strategic projects
- Name of the organisation and student [1 sentence]
- Headline of the challenge [1-2 sentences]
- Placement of the challenge into one of the topic areas on Days 1, 2, or 3 of the course, and rationale for it that reflects the readings. Be specific and go beyond framework names. [1 paragraph]
- Description and brief analysis of the problem, including identification of the internal or external actors that are part of or effected by the problem [6-7 paragraphs]
- Estimated measurable impact of the challenge [1 paragraph]
- Key recommended actions and questions that you want to pose to fellow students to help you come up with thought-nuggets or ideas for an approach to the challenge [1 paragraph or 5-6 bullets]. PLEASE NOTE that the rubric in myCourses reads “Action Recommendations” but for the purpose of our assignment we will treat it as “Recommended Actions and Questions.”
Upon review of your brief by the professor, he will down-select a number of briefs for further curating in the cohort.
If your brief is chosen, some of you will then be assigned to a particular day (which may or may not be the day you chose, based on the best judgment of the professor). On this day, you will be given a short time slot to talk about the challenge to your peers for a total of 5 min. You do not have to, but you may, use the whiteboard or a PPT slide or two to support your talk.
The cohort will then conduct a quick “huddle,” i.e. a brief brainstorming for 15 min in plenary or in teams on pointers they want to give you for your approach. This will include knowledge, insights and wisdom gained during their own diverse careers and backgrounds.
We will ask the cohort in plenary or a few teams to report out their ideas for another 10 min.
Whether or not a caselet brief gets picked is not an indication of whether a brief was particularly good or bad, but rather how well it lent itself to learning of the cohort during a particular spot during our weekend.
Strategic Challenge Facing Alive IT Solutions Company
To: The Management of Alive IT Solutions Company
From: (Insert Title)
Date: February 24, 2016
Subject: The Strategic Challenge Facing the Company
For more than 15 years, I have worked with complex technology, thus attaining critical skills and experience in offering technological solutions and dealing with services brokerage and sales team development. The skills acquired allow for the implementation of strategic projects and delivering transformative impact through large-scale solutions and services contracts. Essential knowledge was acquired in dealing with different organizations and governmental bodies. For instance, from 2002 to date I have worked alongside other steering committee members and teams to implement multiple projects on security, governance, banking, and transportation among others. Such projects include the Command and Control Information Systems, Mobility and Inspection Systems, Digital and Mobile Strategy, and the National PKI Infrastructure. Additionally, through the years, I have been involved in other projects in the provision of parking solutions, border security and control, the banking information and transformation solutions, and the management of national performance among others. These projects offered learning platforms and grounds for the development of knowledge and skills on technological problems and solutions.
The development of skills and the acquisition of knowledge on technological issues is critical for the enhancement of efficiency in the provision of solutions to problems in the sector. The different projects enhance a person’s competence and skills, and improve understanding of any issues of concern. Moreover, working as a Government Services Lead – Business Technology Solution, continues to influence skills and competence development. The work experience gained in the provision of technological solutions and the implementation and development of various projects serves an important role in the enhancement of knowledge on different aspects in the industry. The knowledge acquired from the various projects and working experience equip one with exceptional understanding of trends within the sector of technology and strategic challenges in offering services and solutions.
The Alive IT Solution Company was founded ten years ago and works on the development and implementation strategic projects on the national level. It forges partnerships with various strategic consulting firms to ensure effectiveness in all the processes of strategic management and implementation of the strategic projects. The various changes experienced in the technology sector and related industries pose a strategic challenge to the organization. It is imperative for the management to manage such change to ensure continued operational effectiveness, efficiency, improved productivity, and profitability (Porter, 2016). The changes influenced by new technologies and changing trends in the sector call for effective change management. Additionally, the change demands the adoption and implementation of new strategy through an effective change management program.
Technological change causes a critical strategic challenge for the Alive IT Solution Company. As newer and more efficient technologies emerge, the company faces a challenge in implementing strategic projects and thus must focus on effective management of change. The emergence of the technologies comes with new entrants in the market and it threatens to substitute existing products and services. Alive, which offers IT solutions, faces a major challenge from increased competition, rivalry from the new and existing companies, and uncertainty in its provision of services (Porter, 2016). Also, as new entrants compete for market share, they bring new capacity and put pressure on prices and costs thus influencing the profitability of the sector and impacting on Alive’s economies significantly. Additionally, the company will continue to experience a strategic challenge in the implementation of strategic projects since it relies on older technologies. However, as an established business, it stands a chance for efficient change management more so in countering technological changes.
The changes experienced in the sector and within Alive IT Solution Company pose a usability challenge. The company faces a challenge in the delivery of its services and in the promotion of change within the organization. As products and services of higher usability emerge, the company must focus on enhancing operational efficiency to boost the usability of its products and services. The learnability and use of tech products and services decreases poses a new challenge every time a new technology or change is recorded. As such, focusing on improving effectiveness and efficiency in organizational processes is critical for the improvement of usability (Kim & Mauborgne, 2016). Moreover, needs analysis, improvement of clarity of interaction between systems and service-providing software, and usefulness of the services and products must be integrated in the management of change.
project management and development demands the application of efficient and
articulate strategy. However, strategic challenges hinder efficiency and the
achievement of organizational objectives. For instance, following technological
changes and changes in market trends for tech products and services in the
global market, Alive IT Solutions Company faces a serious strategic challenge that
demands change management. As such, the company must analyse the market, its
competitors, new entrants, threats and weaknesses in the market and within its processes.
Moreover, it must focus on attaining a competitive advantage over competitors
by ensuring quality improvement and value creation at lower costs. Additionally,
the company should invest in innovation, research and development, and in
training of its employees. Also, it should focus on implementing change in a
way that involves the staff to allow for their progressive change and development.
Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne. (2016). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 1-11.
Porter, M. E. (2016). The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 1-18.
Porter, M. E. (2016). What is strategy? Harvard Business Review, 1-20.