DBA 750 – Final Strategic Management Project
Please do not jeopardize completing your DBA! Before you begin, read the plagiarism policy
in the syllabus and catalog. There is zero tolerance for plagiarism in this course. Any case of
plagiarism will be taken seriously. All assignments will be submitted to Turnitin and be subject to
additional validation by the professor. Work from prior classes cannot be used in this course
without prior, written permission from the professor.
This course requires you to construct a detailed and well-thought-out analysis of a business by
employing all the relevant strategic tools studied in the course, which will be supplemented by
This course is designed to help you develop strategic skills that can be used in management.
The process of strategic planning is an iterative cycle of research involving critical analysis and
the use of your research to end with clear strategic choices with detailed implementation steps
and consequences anticipated from a successful implementation. The most tangible output is
the strategic plan. Accordingly, the assessment of the final project will be heavily dependent on
the quality of the strategic thinking articulated in the plan. You will need to use research on the
company, its industry, and the competition to create a quality strategic plan. It is critical that you
fully understand each of the tools presented in your textbook and use those tools to determine
the best approach for achieving sustainable competitive advantage based on your research.
Tips for Selecting an Organization
It is important that you select an organization that is interesting to you (or the team) and in need
of change. Public companies are preferred for these plans, as SEC filings and investment
analyses are available through research. Large, diversified companies can be difficult for the
purposes of this course (unless their diversification is relatively narrow). Large organizations
(e.g., GE) may file consolidated reports, and you may not have access to dis-aggregated
information on the division that you are analyzing.
Do not underestimate the degree to which you will need to be an expert in the selected industry
and related areas. It is impossible to create a strategy without understanding the terms,
technologies, market changes, and competition.
You may select any form of organization including profit, non-profit, and government
organizations. However, please take into consideration that within these various organizations
the strategic thinking can be quite different, and some can pose challenges for the planner.
Most organizations have some type of customer base and opportunities for improvement.
Charitable organizations compete against other non-profits for time and money. Educational
organizations compete for students. Regulated utilities compete for customers among
themselves (e.g., gas versus electric) and in conjunction with governments to attract new
Note: You must accurately cite all sources of information. Additionally, it’s paramount that you
provide a thorough narrative with each model used in the plan that clearly describes the
strategic implications of your work.
- Final Strategic Project Proposal (Module 3)
- Final Strategic Project (Module 7) – Each team member must submit a copy to the
assignment folder. (This assignment is linked to turnitin)
- Final Strategic Project Presentation (Module 7) o The narrated presentation will be
posted to the Final Strategic Project
Presentation discussion board
Note: The Final Strategic Project Presentation discussion board is located
in Module 8 o The presentations will be discussed in Collaborate Session 3
(Optional). (Module 8)
- Limit the Final Strategic Paper to 50 pages.
- On all deliverables, label them with the Group Letter and list all members in the Group.
At the front of the Final Strategic Paper, include a “Who Did What” statement to
address which individual elements each member of the group contributed to for the Final
Strategic Paper and Presentation.
Final Strategic Paper
1) Executive summary (compiled with concise and critical elements from the detailed work)
a) While done as a last step, this goes in front of the report, after the table of contents.
b) A final and all-encompassing analysis is presented, along with the recommendations
that you would make to the firm’s board of directors
c) This includes identifying what you recommend and briefly outlining alternatives
considered, key implementation steps, and the potential impact of the
implementations on the company’s financial performance and competitive position
2) Introduction of the company (limit to a maximum of three single-spaced pages)
a) Description of the firm and its products
b) Company history (brief history, critical events, competitors, leadership), including
strategic elements of its history and the competition
c) Assessment of mission and vision
3) External assessment
a) PESTEL Model with strategic implications
b) Five Forces Model and implications for strategy
c) Overall analysis of external environment and implications for your strategic decisions
5) Internal assessment
a) VRIO Framework and strategic implications
b) Value Chain Analysis and implications
c) Financial ratio analysis with key conclusions and implications for strategic choice
(See the text for important financial ratios)
d) Current strategy and competitive advantage/disadvantage (see core competencies)
e) Evaluation of current organizational structure
f) SWOT matrix with strategic implications for the company
g) Recommended changes (if needed) to the structure, culture (including values),
processes, rewards, or technology
h) Overall analysis of internal capabilities and implications of your strategic choices
6) Strategic analysis and formation
a) Business level strategy choices considered
b) Evaluation of strategies and objectives to achieve competitive advantage
c) Anticipated competitive responses to choices considered
7) Strategic Choice
a) Conduct final evaluation of alternative strategies and detailed description of selected
strategy. Clear description of the selected strategy (e.g., Cost, Differentiated,
b) Use of vertical or horizontal integration
c) Make/Buy Decisions
d) BCG matrix and implications for investment or divestiture
e) Use of mergers or acquisitions
f) Description of your innovation approach
g) Global implications of your strategy
a) Description of how you would implement your strategies
b) Clear description of organizational structure as a result of your strategy
c) Role of Corporate Governance, culture, and values including behavioral expectations
for the workplace, for customers, for the community and changes needed in Human
Resource Policies and Practices.
d) Milestones (steps for each major initiative with its timeline)
e) Specific results you want to achieve including market, financial, and product or
f) Financial projection (minimum three years). You must align investments with the P&L
and Balance Sheet
Complete all editing, verification, and citing of all sources; and insert graphs and
Presentation with audio
The final submission for your project includes developing a PowerPoint presentation with
embedded audio files. Each slide must contain an audio file in which you offer insight into the
material in the slide and the key points the professor and class should take away from the visual
information in the PowerPoint. You should minimize repeating points made in the slide other
than emphasizing important components. To put this simply, please do not read the slides
verbatim, but make sure to add value to what is presented on the slide to improve the
understanding of your work. The presentation with audio is a significant component of the final
submission, so please make sure to offer your best work, speak clearly, emphasize the
strategic implications of your work, and engage the viewer. Note, that you and your team will have a
maximum of 25 minutes to present the entire project.
NOTE: To ensure that everyone can hear and view your presentation, be certain to save all
audio files in MP3 format and all video files in MP4 format.
For the presentation, you may need recording/editing software. There are many free audio
recording/editing software packages available on the Internet. Just search for, select, and
download the one you want to use and follow the instructions for recording/editing audio.
Instructions for how to embed audio to your presentation can be found by using the PowerPoint
help feature. Click Microsoft’s PowerPoint Narration Guide for additional resources.
- Project Evaluation
All sections of the plan are evaluated based on:
- Correctness and completeness: Models/matrices used in the case are reasonably
sound/accurate and thorough.
- Strategic analysis and conclusions: Points made are insightful and clear with relative
importance distinguished (not just a “rehash” of the facts).
- Logical sequence and continuity of writing: The reader can seamlessly move from
paragraph to paragraph or section without losing his or her train of thought.
- Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure are at the DBA level.
- External sources: The ability to integrate and interpret external sources of information in
proper APA format. The external research is extensive, relevant, and informative to the
company’s direction, its competition, industry, and choices.
- Language: The effective use of standard business terms, especially those emphasized
in the text and prior business courses.
- Participation: Be sure to specify (clearly and briefly), in the written report and
presentation, who was responsible for what parts of the report and presentation (all
members must contribute).
See the full grading rubric at the conclusion of this document.
Additional Tips for Completing the Project
You should expect to build up a large mass of analyses before you can put together a coherent
plan. In the end, a great plan will always look “simple” relative to the countless hours spent
going down many different paths in order to build understanding. The following suggestions are
designed to serve as a reminder for things not identified distinctly in the assignments, the
syllabus, or the textbook guidelines.
- Company and industry background
Following the guidelines above, use your own judgment to determine the amount of
background to include. Overly detailed company history is usually irrelevant and rarely
improves the report. On the other hand, a history of strategic moves and competitive
reactions might be very illustrative. Decide what to include based on whether that
information is important to understanding the future environment and strategic choices.
Market share, financial strength, brand image, and the like are always relevant
- Address uncertainty
In your strategic analysis, make sure to state any assumptions related to your business.
If you believe there is going to be high risk, describe contingency plans or alternate
- Discuss the things that create the organizational culture and behavior necessary
to support the strategy
a. What operational and motivational processes create the culture (acting your way into
a new way of thinking may be necessary, identity orientations may be necessary,
b. What organizational structure fits the mission/vision and the operational approach;
are the needs for adaptability or stability necessary?
c. Make sure to delineate your ethics standards, including the values that the company
will live by.
Your implementation strategy must show how it is aligned with your strategic objectives.
The strategic-level implementation questions are mainly resource-related (where the
money/people come from) and timing issues (when are initiatives expected to happen).
In addition, if there is something specific mentioned in the analysis (e.g., a trend, a
weakness, concerns about the competitive response) that affects implementation, then
you need to include the new/relevant part of the implementation approach mentioned as
part of the strategy. If there is nothing new in this particular area, then specific content is
not required in the report.
Again, follow the APA style guide to write the case. Cite within the body of your case and
include a reference list. This is particularly true for any source data that will come from
financial reports and corporate websites.