DETAILED ASSIGNMENT BRIEF
What is the rationale for a Group assignment with both team (40%) and individual (20%) components A. Group Component (40%)
A.1 Group Composition:
Strategy is a group activity. Simulating collaboration in a group assignment gives you a chance to work on a case study as a team-based activity. This process is used at many leading business schools around the world. It is advisable that each member takes on the responsibility of one to two components of the assignment and that all members read and review the entire report.
This is a group assignment. No student can submit an individual assignment. You have to form groups of three members from within your own seminar. A group comprising two members may be allowed in exceptional circumstances at sole discretion of the unit chair.
You will enrol your group on Cloud Deakin. Your group will act as consultants in a strategic consulting firm, and report to the principal consultant (unit chair). Group members coordinate with each other to develop a comprehensive strategic solution to a business problem. Similar to the workplace, group members are encouraged to exhibit professionalism and to get the project ‘in’ on time and to the task.
A.2 Group Contract:
All members must enter into a written group contract. This contract should include:
•Group Members Names with Student ID
•Roles and responsibilities allocated to each student in the group
•Target grade (Pass, Credit, Distinction, or High Distinction)
•Signature of each student to show they agree to the contract
•Contact information for each student
•Tutor’s name and seminar day & time
We believe in self-moderating groups. Groups will endeavour to resolve the unlikely disputes within the group, and are expected to sort out group problems on their own- You must make your group function. In light of this, choose your group members carefully because non-contributing students may bring your grades down. You must have a team leader who coordinates group work – ensuring agreement on roles and responsibilities, timely completion of tasks, assignment quality, and assignment submission as per guidelines. Group leader should ensure the report is complete and is to the desired level agreed in the group contract.
In an unlikely case of a dispute between team members, group leader will resolve these issues among the members. Failing resolve, you may request the teaching team to mediate conflict. In such a case, we will refer to the group contract, which is treated as promises made among group members. These promises will be considered by the teaching team and the unit chair in resolving the dispute. In case a dispute cannot be resolved, each member will have to complete a confidential peer-evaluation form that states the percentage of marks awarded to other group members. The final grade awarded to each group member will be an average of what their peers have awarded them, or the assessed assignment mark, whichever is lower.
If you do not have a contract, we will decide on the outcome based on our own assessment of the situation.
If you are experiencing difficulties in interacting, please approach your tutor prior to handing any work in.
Upon submission of an assignment, we will not mediate group problems, and all group members will be given the same mark for the group component. Please upload your group contract by Week 4 of the trimester. We will keep this contract until the results for this unit are released.
The group component includes two sub-components: Part A: Situation Analysis, and Part B: Strategy Development, Implementation and Control
A.3 Group Component Outline/Structure
Part A: Situation Analysis
Situation Analysis is based on the strategic analytical methods covered in this unit. Analysis and critical thought is important for situation analysis. You must focus and rely on the information and timeframe given in the case study and plan for the next three to four years. Also, only summarising the information given in the case study without any analysis or critical thought will be awarded extremely low marks. Attend lectures and tutorial regularly. Your tutor will often discuss assignment tasks during the tutorials. Please feel free to consult with the teaching team.
Situation analysis comprises:
A1) Industry Analysis – Define and characterize the industry in which the focal firm is operating in the period given in the case study. In order to assess the industry’s attractiveness, you will need to use one or more relevant strategic tools (e.g. PEST, TREND etc.) that we discuss during the trimester.
A2) Competitor Analysis – In terms of business and other types of sustainability, who are the company’s major competitors? What are the major threats? Use relevant strategic tools to categorize these.
A3) Critical Issues that industry faces and identification of key success factor (KSFs)—List a set of critical issues in the industry based on the information provided and then identify which of these translate into key success factors at the market level for the players within that industry.
A4) Develop a Competitive Strength Grid
Part B: Strategy Development, Implementation and Control
Building on the situational analysis of Part A, in Part B you will develop high level marketing strategy and will include how to implement and control your proposed strategies. This plan must account for the constraints on the business’s future. This plan should also suggest some alternative strategies if applicable. Your job is to describe the strategic thrusts needed to achieve one or more complimentary strategic directions.
B1) Identification of strategic segments, possible target markets and positioning of your case company and addressing where the company (or its main stream product/services offer) are positioned within the PLC.
B2) Setting Mission and Vision, including Marketing Goals and Objectives for 3-4 years for your firm in the case study. These may be set at the SBU level, product/service level, or both levels, depending upon the case.
You may wish to break down objectives in terms of projected growth, customer acquisition/expansion, sales, profit etc. over the next three to four years. You also need to show through an organizational chart/diagram that depicts who (or which function/division) is responsible (i.e., owns) the objectives you have set.
B3) Creating value through marketing mix i.e., what is your overall strategy in terms of product, price, promotion and placement. IF and ONLY relevant to your case study, you may include other elements of the marketing mix (people, process, and physical evidence). You may wish to describe this entire section through creating a detailed table, however you may also use a different approach.
B4) Resource Allocation: In this section, you need to breakdown the resources you plan to allocate to implement your marketing mix strategies (section B3) in order to achieve your marketing objectives (section B2). You will also need to show what will be the company’s expected expenditure over the next 3-4 years to support your strategy. You may think about using a table or figure for this purpose.
Please provide rationale for your resource allocation as you craft the table or figure to address this section (B4). You may also discuss how the company expects the resources to be generated in the next 3-4 years. You will need to derive information given in the case and also use your judgement and critical thinking and assumptions for forecasting the required resources.
B5) Monitoring and Control – How would you monitor your strategy? (i.e., for example setting KPIs, objectives) and what sort of control mechanism will you have in place? (You may show this through a detailed table or Figure with short explanation).
You are required to use graphics, charts and tables to present your solution clearly. Tables and graphs should add value to the assignment, and should not repeat information. Assignments without graphs, flowcharts and tables will be awarded substantially lower marks. Look at the “General Assignment Standards” section of this document for formatting guidelines. All work MUST be your own.
Answers will be assessed for appropriateness and persuasiveness. Application of strategic marketing concepts is expected. You are expected to use only the information given in the case study. Do NOT research outside of the case content and lecture material. The aim is to analyse and make deductions from the evidence available in the case study, and not to conduct unnecessary research.
References (not counted in the word limit)
Appendices (not counted in the word limit)
Success in this assignment (and in the business world) depends on your ability to communicate effectively. You should apply a sustained effort on this assignment throughout the trimester – do not leave writing to the last minute. Your write-up will be graded on the quality of your expression. Keep it clear and concise.
A.4 Individual Component Outline (20% , individual submission)
Our past teaching experience into this unit and student evaluation feedback received indicates that majority of students are motivated, punctual and dynamic. However, some students do not commit equally to the group assignment. We also aim for ‘assurance of learning’ for individual students. In light of this, the applied strategic marketing report also comprises of an individual component.
A) The Story of your strategic report
Briefly state your own story of the key issues, and strategic recommendations made in the strategic report
B) Sustainable and Socially Responsible Planning (SSRP):
Explain why you think the strategic plan you developed is sustainable and socially responsible. You may use key strategic marketing concepts to justify your answer. We want to see your applied creativity and critical thinking at its best in this sub-section.
C) Individual reflection and group Interaction:
Each student within the team has to include an individual reflection on their personal learning process during the assessment and unit. Use the following guidelines as headings for your personal reflection. Individual Reflections are about the team building process, the work process, and learning of the content and how this helps you in completing the project.
1.How I have worked in the assignment process – be critical
2.What have I learnt from the content
3.What improvements could I have made to assist the team process?
A.5 General Assignment Standards
A high standard of presentation is expected. All written assignments will be marked accordingly. As a guide, the following requirements must be observed:
•Correctly referenced (Harvard Referencing), with a Reference List. Plagiarism (i.e. copying) of any kind will not be tolerated.
•All pages should be numbered. Include a cover page, Table of Contents, headings, and use paragraphs.
•Must be neat, free from spelling/punctuation mistakes, typographical errors and be grammatically well-composed.
We assume that you have an adequate command of:
•Written and oral English – you are expected to understand, and be able to express yourself in written assignments and oral presentations according to prevailing Australian business standards,
•Basic mathematical and statistical skills,
•Basic computing and internet use and Library research skills, and
•Word processing and presentation skills.
This unit requires a substantial amount of reading and preparation. If you are not well-versed in any of above areas, you should make every effort to learn these skills by undertaking additional reading and/or practice in your own time. Do not hesitate to ask your instructor about the level of work required.