Scenarios and the Design of Strategic Plans

Scenarios and the Design of Strategic Plans

In the final project you will design a strategic scenario for a department or organization. The assignment is designed to provide you with the opportunity to apply the principles of strategic planning to a practical application that combines three key strategic tools: systems thinking, environmental scanning, and scenario building.
Directions: To make the scenario building project more realistic, you will work in teams of 2 or 3 students to create a set of scenarios for one organization or department. The final project will require you to conduct an environmental scan of the key trends and societal drivers that will affect your organization in the coming decade. Remember, scenarios are not meant to predict the future; rather, they are tools for learning about the future. The completed project should demonstrate your knowledge of strategic theory, systems thinking, practical planning, environmental scanning, and scenario building. The result should be a final project that is theoretically based and grounded in best practices.

Organization of Project/Final Paper

The best scenarios are usually developed from the point of view of consultants approaching a problem situation in a real or mythical organization. As you walk into the organization armed with strategic planning tools that include the SWOT analysis and at least one strategic model that fits the situation, consider the following.

The Report
Prepare a report to the organization leaders based on the team?s findings drawn from the scenario analysis. The structural format for the report should be as follows:

? Title Page
? Table of Contents
? Introduction (including specific purpose of the report)
? Body of Findings (an overview of the development of your scenario that includes the contents from the checklist described in the section below)
? Conclusion (revisits the purpose and summarizes the main issues)
? Recommendations and suggestions for improvement
? References (current)
The paper should be about 8-10 pages with approximately 7 peer-reviewed references used for citations. Sometimes, more is not better; therefore, make every paragraph a tightly-knit presentation of ideas. The team?s editor should delete repetitive information from the various members? submissions and use bulleted listings where appropriate. Consider, too, that most organization leaders will scan a lengthy report to see if you have found the problem areas. They will look at how you have unscrambled the complexities and highlighted only the major ideas and results of investigation.

Your analysis must be clear and in compliance with all APA form and style guidelines. Additionally, it is the quality of your analysis that will be of paramount importance in the overall evaluation of your report.

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