Category: Uncategorized

Project Plan Presentation

Now that you understand the full project life cycle and how all the pieces fit together, go back and prepare a  project plan presentation. . Portions of the deliverables will be completed by the group; others will be completed by the individuals—see the table following. It must have a consistent look and feel, and there should not be any redundancies, contradictions, or gaps. The document and presentation must flow as if one project manager created all of it.

Create a slide presentation with speaker notes that will provide a comprehensive summary of the project plan (20–30 slides with speaker notes). It will be presented to the project sponsor and other members of senior management and should be organized as follows:

Project Section Detail To Be Developed By
Project Plan Overview Provide an introduction to the project. Develop the project charter and identify the project sponsor and customer. Describe how the project will be measured for success.

Describe the components of the project plan, how it will be used throughout the project, and its benefit to the sponsor.

Entire group
Project Scope Describe the scope of the project—the major deliverables as well as the items that are not part of the scope. Be sure to address the full scope, not just the area addressed in the earlier activity.

Describe how scope will be approved and how changes to the scope will be documented, reviewed, and approved.

Individual contribution
Project Leadership and Communications Identify the sponsor, stakeholders, and key customers involved in the project. Describe any special considerations for staffing the project. Based on the structure of the organization, describe how staffing changes will be identified, escalated, and resolved.

Illustrate the communication structure—escalation, reviews, approval, and information. Be sure to address all the audiences, not just the ones identified in the earlier activity.

Individual contribution
Project Schedule Use a work breakdown structure or similar tool to explain the major activities to be completed as part of the project. Describe the major milestones for the project. For each milestone, identify the associated deliverable, the approximate effort involved in creating the deliverable, and the people involved. For two of the milestones, detail the activities to be completed to achieve the milestone. Be sure to address dependencies, duration, and resource effort.

Describe how changes to the schedule will be identified, escalated, and resolved.

Individual contribution
Project Budget Describe the budgeting process that will be used for the project. Identify the components of the budget, the items that will need to have costs associated with them, and the mechanisms that could be used to estimate the project.

Describe how changes to the budget will be identified, escalated, and resolved.

Individual contribution
Project Risks Describe the possible risk events for the project. Identify the high probability, high-impact risk events. For each of those risk events, identify the possible actions to mitigate the risk.

Describe how changes to the risk management plan will be identified, reviewed, and approved.

Individual contribution
Project Metrics Describe the metrics that will be captured throughout the project for schedule, budget, utilization, and status components. Describe the frequency with which the metrics will be captured and how the resulting analysis will be applied and communicated. Individual contribution
Potential Barriers to Success Describe what may adversely affect the project’s ability to succeed. Consider the amount of change, attitudes toward project management, cultural differences, different priorities by business unit, etc. Individual contribution
Actions for Success What can be done to remove/reduce the barriers identified? Individual contribution
NOTE: Each student in the small group should select one of the following barrier categories and develop the barriers and actions sections:

  • Logistical barriers
  • Communication and decision-making barriers
  • Scope and complexity barriers
  • Leadership and staffing barriers
  • Priorities and goals barriers
  • Cultural barriers

Regression Analysis- Benefits & Intrinsic

Perform the following Regression Analysis, using a .05 significance level

  • Run a regression analysis using the BENEFITS column of all data points in the AIU data set as the independent variable and the INTRINSIC job satisfaction column of all data points in the AIU data set as the dependent variable.
    • Copy and paste the results of the output to your report in Microsoft Word.
  • Create a graph with the trendline displayed the 3 regression.
    • Copy and paste the results of the output to your report in Microsoft Word.

TEST #2: Regression Analysis- Benefits & Extrinsic

Perform the following Regression Analysis, using a .05 significance level

  • Run a regression analysis using the BENEFITS column of all data points in the AIU data set as the independent variable and the EXTRINSIC job satisfaction column of all data points in the AIU data set as the dependent variable.
    • Copy and paste the results of the output to your report in Microsoft Word.
  • Create a graph with the trendline displayed for the regression.
    • Copy and paste the results of the output to your report in Microsoft Word.

TEST #3: Regression Analysis- Benefits & Overall Job Satisfaction

Perform the following Regression Analysis, using a .05 significance level

  • Run a regression analysis using the BENEFITS column of all data points in the AIU data set as the independent variable and the OVERALL job satisfaction column of all data points in the AIU data set as the dependent variable.
    • Copy and paste the results of the output to your report in Microsoft Word.
  • Create a graph with the trendline displayed for the regression.
    • Copy and paste the results of the output to your report in Microsoft Word.

Overview of the Regressions

Complete the table with the following information:

Dependent Variable Slope Y-intercept Equation
Intrinsic
Extrinsic
Overall

  • State the slope and the y-intercept for the three regressions.
  • State the least squares regression line equations for the threes regressions.
  • State the R-squared value for each of the regressions.

Analysis of the Regressions

Make very specific comments and give reasons regarding any similarities or differences in the output results.

Which regression produces the strongest correlation coefficient result? Why? What does it mean to a manager?

The report should be well written and should flow well with no grammatical errors. It should include proper citation in APA formatting in both the in-text and reference pages and include a title page, be double-spaced, and in Times New Roman, 12-point font. APA formatting is necessary to ensure academic honesty.

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Legacy to Cloud Computing Migration Project

Due Week 10 and worth 180 points

This assignment consists of three (3) sections: a written paper, a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and a Gantt Chart. You must submit each section as a separate file for the completion of this assignment. Label each file name according to the section of the assignment it is written for.

Imagine that you have been hired as a project manager to oversee the migration of a legacy system to a cloud computing based platform within a government agency. The resources within the organization are limited in number, knowledge, and availability. This project will require outsourcing of skilled resources and expertise to move forward with the initiative. The organization is characterized by working in silos and having redundant functional resources available within many of its divisions.

To complete this assignment, you will be required to research similar cloud migration projects and understand the resources and challenges that an information systems project of this magnitude requires. Using the concepts presented throughout the course, you will develop a project plan that will meet the project goals and requirements.

Section 1: Written Paper

Required Format (MS Word File)

  • Write a ten to twelve (10-12) page paper in which you:
    • Use the Internet to research similar cloud migration projects that have been successful. Of the researched projects, recommend measurable organization values for a project of this type and include expected benefits in terms of money, percentage, or potential optimizations.
    • Write a two to three (2-3) paragraph executive summary which defines the phases and their activities that the project will require. Develop the executive summary for a senior management audience.
    • Perform a stakeholder analysis for the researched project in which you:
      • Include all major stakeholders that the project will require.
      • Describe each stakeholder’s title, role within the project, and objectives each should meet for the project.
      • Provide details if this organization is more of a functional organization or project based.
      • Suggest at least three (3) risks that should be monitored based on the selected organization type.
    • Produce a procurement management plan for the activities that will be required within the project in which you:
  • List the activities that will be outsourced, the skills / labor / material required, and the contract type.
  • Analyze the monitoring requirements and potential pitfalls for each selected contract type.
    • Provide a scope change control method that could be used within the project management process in which you:
  • Describe the review and approval process that will ensure scope control.
  • Suggest at least three (3) scenarios that could resemble scope creep.
    • Perform a risk impact analysis in which you:
    • List at least ten (10) risks that could take place within this project.
    • Provide the probability for each risk (%), level of impact, and a probability impact score.
    • Prioritize your list based on the probability impact score and develop a risk response plan for the top five (5) risks.
    • Include the risk, the trigger, response, and resources required for response.
  • Based on the Gantt Chart created in Section 3:
    • Explain the basis for your assumptions and constraints
    • Explain the basis for your estimates on tasks, skills, material, and equipment costs for each activity.
    • Identify the resources you used to arrive at your assumptions, constraints, and estimates.

Note: This criterion references criterion 3biii in Section 3: Gantt Chart. You will need to complete Section 3: Gantt Chart prior to completing this criterion for the written paper.

Section 1 of the assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

Section 2: Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Required Format (MS Project File)

  • Use MS Project or an Open Source alternative, such as Open Project to:
    • Develop a hierarchical Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) with defined activities and estimated budgets per activity in which you:
      • Group each activity under each major phase.
      • Identify a control account index number for each activity.
      • Include at least twenty to twenty-five (20-25) work packages in the WBS that show the various efforts required to complete the project.

Section 3: Gantt Chart

Require Format (MS Project File)

  • Use MS Project to develop a Gantt chart in which you:
    • Group all activities (tasks) by phase, duration estimates of each activity, start and end dates, major milestones (with black diamond), resources required per activity (in terms of personnel, labor and material), activity precedence relationships, and costs per activity.
    • Use at least (ten to fifteen) 10-15 resources in your Gantt chart.
    • For each activity:
      • Ensure that control account index numbers match the WBS in Section 2.
      • Provide resources required in terms of labor and material, estimates of duration, and risks that each activity may have. Note: To document risks, you will need to create a new column and label column titled “Risk”.
      • Base cost estimates on research you perform on the Internet for similar tasks, skills, material, equipment, etc. Note: Be sure to explain the basis and research sources for costs in your written paper.

Note: This criterion references criterion 1g in Section 1: Written Paper. You will need to complete Section 3: Gantt Chart prior to completing the criterion for the written paper.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Initiate, specify, and prioritize information technology projects, and determine various aspects of feasibility of these projects.
  • Describe the foundations of project management, including its definition, scope, and the need for project management in the modern organization.
  • Explain and apply the phases of the project management life cycle.
  • Develop processes that initiate technology projects, including project selection and defining project scope.
  • Analyze and develop project schedules with appropriate techniques and software tools.
  • Prepare strategies to manage project resources to include human resources, capital equipment, and time.
  • Identify project risk, and the techniques for ensuring project risk is managed and controlled in a technology setting.
  • Summarize the project procurement process including external acquisition and outsourcing.
  • Design project execution activities including change control and communicating project status.
  • Summarize methods to control technology projects through information tracking and cost and change control techniques.
  • Develop a complete information systems project plan using project management software tools.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in information systems.
  • Write clearly and concisely about Information Technology Project Management topics using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.

Risk Management and Effective Communication Planning 

Due Week 8 and worth 140 points

Imagine that you have been asked to participate as a project manager for a website renovation project for a clothing department store. The Website will be mobile-user friendly and will target global customers to expand business overseas. The scope requires your project team to decompose the project into the following phases: design a sample Website, attain consensus on the design from upper management, develop the Website, test the Website functionality, and transition Web services to the new Website. A project of this magnitude carries many risks. For instance, the marketing department has a habit of adding requirements and requesting features toward the end of the project.

System network administrators have expressed their concerns for cyberattacks and other cyberthreats that are prevalent across the industry. The IT Operations team also has provided feedback and is worried about having enough bandwidth for the additional global visitors who will now be accessing the Website.

For this assignment, you will be expected to develop a risk management plan and assist in coordinating communications amongst the project stakeholders.

Write a three to five (3-5) page paper in which you:

  1. Develop a risk assessment using the table format below to:
  • Select at least two (2) risks that could take place for each phase of the project which includes:
    • Designing a sample Website
    • Attaining consensus on the design from upper management
    • Developing the Website
    • Testing the Website functionality
    • Transitioning Web services to the new Website
  • Identify a risk owner and his / her role in the project.
  • Describe a strategy for managing each risk.
  • Describe the response to the risk.
  • Identify the resources that would be required to provide a risk response plan.

Note: Document the risk assessment by using the following table format.

Risk Management Plan

Risk

Category

Risk

Owner / Role

Strategy for Managing Risk

Response

Resources Required

Designing a sample Website
Attaining consensus on the design from upper management
Developing the Website
Testing the Website functionality
Transitioning Web services to the new Website

Consider the following communication requirements:

  • The project manager will need to present the project status to executive management on a weekly basis. The project manager will need to provide a written status report to the Chief Financial Officer on a monthly basis.
  • The Website manager will be notified via email on all Web services requests required for the project. Request notifications will include time constraints and impacts, which will identify the urgency of the request for service.
  • The project team will have weekly update / status meetings to review completed tasks and determine current work priorities. Minutes will be produced from all meetings.
  • The project manager will provide the project sponsor, executives, and project team with project team minutes and steering committee status reports.
    • The financial analyst assigned to this project will need to provide the project team a report of actual costs that are tied to the project.
    • An enterprise newsletter is expected to be produced by the project team to inform all employees of the undergoing changes to the Website. The newsletter should be attached to the employee paychecks, which get distributed every two weeks.
  1. List at least three (3) benefits that could be achieved by anticipating possible risks. Use the completed risk management plan to provide an example.
  2. Explain how a properly developed risk management plan could help functional resources and executives, external to the IT Project Management team, to mitigate possible delays or increased costs.
  3. Develop a project communications plan based on the completed risk assessment, which describes the various communications that will be produced throughout the project.

Note: Document the plan by using the following table format.

Project Communication Plan

Stakeholder

Report/Document

Description and Format

Time Frame / Frequency

Benefit to the Project

  1. Evaluate the role of communications management within project management.
  2. Describe at least three (3) benefits that a project team could achieve by having properly planned communications. Use the completed project communication plan to provide an example.
  3. Suggest how communications management could optimize communications within the project team and other stakeholders.
  4. Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do not qualify as quality resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
  • Include charts or diagrams created in Excel, Visio, MS Project, or one of their equivalents such as OpenOffice, Dia, and Open Project. The completed diagrams / charts must be imported into the Word document before the paper is submitted.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Explain and apply the phases of the project management life cycle.
  • Identify project risk, and the techniques for ensuring project risk is managed and controlled in a technology setting.
  • Identify and plan communication strategies for project constituents and stakeholders across global teams and those internal to the organization.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in information systems.
  • Write clearly and concisely about Information Technology Project Management topics using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.

Successfully Funding Your Business Venture

For Assignment 1, you imagined that you were going to start a company that offered an innovative product or service. In Assignment 1 you also determined the business structure you would use for that venture. For this assignment, you can use that same idea and structure or imagine different ones. Use the Internet and the Strayer Online Library to locate any additional information needed to complete this assignment.

Write a six to eight (6-8) page paper in which you:

  1. Determine the steps you would need to take to officially establish your company with the business structure that you feel is most appropriate. For each of those steps, be sure to include specifics that are relevant to your market and geographic area.
  2. Examine at least three (3) funding sources that might be appropriate for your business. Describe what those sources of capital are, and explain the pros and cons of each.
  3. Select the funding source that you believe to be the best fit for your business and explain why.
  4. Determine the form(s) of intellectual property that you will have to protect when starting your business. Develop a plan to protect these intellectual properties.
  5. Choose one (1) of the following approaches: Assume you decide to revamp your product or service so that it is completely virtual / online and concentrates on fulfilling a social need. Propose two (2) ways that you would need to alter your preferred funding sources and explain why. Determine whether you would or would not have additional forms of intellectual property to protect. Support your decision. Or If your initial business product or service was already completely online and geared toward social entrepreneurship, determine ways that you might need to revise your funding and protection of intellectual property had your company not been rooted in social entrepreneurship and had a physical location.
  6. Imagine that you established your initial idea for a company and have been successfully operating for five years (5). Describe how your hypothetical need for capital changed over the years. Determine which sources of funding would be the most appropriate if you wanted to raise capital to expand your hypothetical business. Examine how, if at all, those funding sources might have differed from those needed in early stage funding.
  7. Use at least three (3) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Examine the process of developing a business plan and setting up the company.
  • Analyze money sources for finding and managing funds.
  • Compare the different forms of intellectual property and how they differ.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in entrepreneurship.
  • Write clearly and concisely about entrepreneurship using proper writing mechanics.

What is the role of the sender and receiver or encoder/decoder in e-communication today?

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

Discuss with your colleagues your ideas on how the communication model applies to today’s communication techniques. Include the following in your discussion:

  • What is the role of the sender and receiver or encoder/decoder in e-communication today?
  • How do you decide what type of communication tool to use?
  • What do you consider when selecting an e-communication channel in a professional environment versus a social environment?
  • What are some of the things you anticipate from the receiver or decoder side of the model today? For example, the expectation of a speedy response via instant messaging or the lack of spontaneity when using e-mail versus traditional face-to-face discussions may influence the type of sender tool you use.

    Margaret Mead and Elise Boulding Contributions to Social Science

    The Major Theoretical Position Of Elise Boulding And Margaret Mead

    Margaret Mead and Elise Boulding were the first Americans to devote themselves to American sociology. American social anthropologist Margaret Mead participated in public communications as frequently as feasible throughout the 1960s and 1970s (Murray et al., 2018). Humanist Elise Boulding produced some outstanding works on peace research. Both Boulding and Mead felt the need to transform society in unique ways; thus, they chose to work in traditionally male-dominated fields to achieve their goals. Margaret Mead focused on individuals, their beginnings, and their connections. She expanded the study of identity and society and significantly influenced how the concept of community was introduced in the fields of medicine, education, and open discourse. She completed practical work in Samoa after completing her schooling. She focused on the life of the young women, even learning their regional dialect. She served as an assistant caretaker of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History after her practical work there. The study of categorizing humanity into races is called ethnology. She wanted Americans to understand social humanities like they understood paleontology. Elise Boulding has been cited as the leading female figure in the advancement of peace studies in the 20th century.

    Read also Women’s Roles in Science – Research Paper

    On the other hand, Boulding showed interest in and played a significant role in research on the events of peace, women’s studies, and destinies. Before starting her academic career, she was a peace activist and renegade. Theoretical work on families and societal change was influenced by it. She also focused on the role that women played in promoting peace.

    Read also Women Role in the French Revolution and Art

    How The Scientist’s Theoretical Position Altered Or Changed The Way Social Scientists View Culture

    Any social-exploratory hypothesis, regardless of its theoretical genesis, must account for change since it is a transparent component of social reality. Meanwhile, it is important to recognize that the historical context of thought has greatly varied in the ways social change has stood out. Additionally, the beginnings of progress appear to have represented the real. In the eighteenth century, the burgeoning discipline of social and social human sciences was also dominated by evolutionary ideas. Burnett Taylor, an anthropologist, and Lewis Henry Morgan categorized modern social structures using a transformative scale. Modernization is the growth of personal adaptability and independence. Social norms become weaker when society develops, becomes more generic, and loses its sense of tradition and community. As a result, people become freer to act independently and think for themselves. Even so, most of us would applaud this increase in personal adaptability and categorize people according to their levels of creativity or sources of subsistence. Many regarded her as the fascinating sociology researcher of the 20th century. Some experts disagreed, claiming that her research was not exploratory. Culture as a whole, not necessarily the specific tribal practice held up (Giddens & Duneier, 2017). It requires explanation. It convinced people that those cultural wonders weren’t the result of quirky creativity or just plain luck but rather determined by necessary prerequisites and the possible consequences of meeting them. This realistic notion was believed to depict separation and assortment and the standard measure in the assortment. The current volume represents his last carefully regulated expansion of the idea that they claimed she relied much on local lore and perception. They claimed she didn’t put enough effort into corresponding studies. They believed her renown resulted equally from her dazzling persona and research; this belief also impacted his youthful assistant. Margaret Mead suggested that research be done on the Pacific island of Samoa. Mr. Boas feared about her welfare. Whatever the case, he let her leave. He advised her to research the upbringing of young Samoan women.

    The Major Factors And Impetus That Led The Sociologists To Conduct The Research In The Manner In Which They Did

     Recent turmoil, dominance, and the progress of natural science all contributed to the rise of humanism. It is the study of human society as a whole and how people interact with each other. When European social observers began to analyze using experimental methods in the mid-nineteenth century, it emerged as a particular control. Sociologists investigate societal norms and how they change over time, including their economic, religious, political, and legal systems. In Europe, the Industrial Revolution marked a major shift in social and political norms. According to Giddens & Duneier (2017), many English farmers were forced to relocate to cities because landowners were taking over their land for active farming structures. People in urban areas developed innovative ideas on the majority rule system and political rights. The future political uprising had its roots in the emergence of concepts like the single right to life, the pursuit of happiness, and the fight for freedom. Dominance was the second factor that spurred the development of human science. As Europe conquered many parts of the world, it exposed Europeans to various cultures. As a result of their shock at the wide range of lives, they began to ponder the reasons for these societal shifts. In the end, the accomplishments of the natural sciences stimulated people to examine critical elements of their social environment. It marks the beginning of an experimental technique for thinking about human behavior. Outside variables had been obliterated by the “Spirit of Laws” in human social institutions. Saint Simon, a 19th-century French researcher, sought to establish a new science that would examine social life in the exact way material science explores the physical universe.

    Whatever the case, the emergence of humanism can be traced back to some developments in the 18th and 19th centuries, most notably the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution. Events like this, which brought together people of two distinct ages, altered the course of human history. Sociologists can use the scientific method to collect, decode, and break down data. They go into the process with an open mind and the purpose to learn as much as possible (Giddens & Duneier, 2017). They’re preoccupied but disconnected from the results. There are no political or societal biases that influence their investigation job. Not all scientists are fundamentalists. They also have their personalities, with their tendencies and presumptions. Sociologists intentionally use the investigative technique to maintain objectivity, center, and consistency as possible in a certain study.

    Virtualization and Cloud Computing World

    The popularity and rapid adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) by a number of organizations has impacted internal IT / IS departments. These services provide a virtualization infrastructure that covers data storage, networking, desktop computing, mobile computing, and so on.

    Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:

    1. Describe at least three (3) items that an organization’s IT / IS department should consider when an organization’s strategy calls for the use of SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS.
    2. Evaluate the ways that SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are used to reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increase Return on Investment (ROI).
    3. Create SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS architectural diagrams using Microsoft Visio or an equivalent such as Dia. Note: The graphically depicted solution is not included in the required page length.
    4. Examine the impact to the IT support personnel when an organization embarks on the strategy stated in Question 1.
    5. Analyze three (3) considerations that the organization’s management should be aware of.
    6. Examine three (3) security issues that could arise from this type of an infrastructure.
    7. Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar Websites do not qualify as quality resources.

    The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

    • Describe the process of administering enterprise systems, including the use of virtualization and monitoring, power and cooling issues.
    • Evaluate the total cost of ownership and return on investment for enterprise architecture alternatives
    • Use technology and information resources to research issues in enterprise architecture.
    • Write clearly and concisely about enterprise architecture topics using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.

    Walmart External and Internal Environmental Analysis

    External and Internal Environmental Analysis Assignment Instructions

    Complete the external environmental scan for your organization- (Walmart) and perform an internal competitive environmental scan Write a summary of no more than 1,400 words that does the following:

    • Identifies and analyzes the most important external environmental factor in the remote, industry, and external operating environments
    • Identifies and analyzes the most important internal strengths and weaknesses of your organization: include an assessment of the organization’s resources
    • Assesses the organization’s competitive position and possibilities
    • Analyzes the structure of the organization and how this affects organizational performance

    Read also Business Level and Corporate Level Strategies – Walmart Inc

    Walmart External and Internal Environmental Analysis – Sample Answer

    The External and Internal Environments

    According to (Kemp, Schotter, & Witzel, 2012) political, social, economic and legal factors have some effect on every player in an industry. These elements of the general environment allow the organization to develop business strategies that will align its business. Similarly, an analysis of the internal and external environments is pertinent to an organization that wishes to establish lucrative business strategies. The general, internal and external business environments are separate yet integrated. This paper will discuss the elements of general environment, and analyze the external threats, weaknesses, threats of Wal-Mart Inc.

    Read also Wal-Mart Stores Inc Gaining Control over Target – Business Acquisitions

    Wal-Mart Inc.

    Wal-Mart stores are renowned American retail stores, which were founded in 1962 by Sam Walton (Brea-Solís, Casadesus-Masanell, & Grifell-Tatjé, 2014). The company is among the largest employer, with over two million employees and many discount and departmental stores. The company was incorporated in 1969 and was listed in the New York Stock exchange in 1972. Wal-Mart has its head quarters in the Bentonville in Arkansas State. The company has witnessed rapid expansion over the years and currently operates 8,416 stores in over 15 countries in the world. In order to have a good understanding of the company’s general environment, it is important a good knowledge about its major strengths and weaknesses be developed.

    Read also Key Challenges Facing Wal-Mart in Reaching Consumers

    Elements of the General Environment

    In order for Wal-Mart to develop effective strategies that contributes towards its bottom line, it is imperative that the company develops an understanding of the general environment in the industry it operates.  Wal-Mart is not only a big retail and discount store, but its operations stretches beyond the United States. The company operations are influenced by political, technological, legal, sociocultural and economic factors. While technological factors are largely insignificant in many countries owing to globalization, there remain significantly huge differences in social, political and legal aspects in the various countries that the company operates.

    A company that goes global faces legal challenges related to employee recruitment, remuneration, licenses and taxation (Yüksel, 2012). Similarly, political aspects such as political stability and cultural differences are of great significance. However, the most important elements of general environment to Wal-Mart are legal and economic factors.

    Read also Cross Cultural Perspectives -Cultural Issue Affecting Walmart

    The Legal Factors

    There are various ways in which the legal factors exert an influence on the retail industry. Some of the ways include the employment practices of the retail companies. Being a multinational company, Wal-Mart must comply with the recruitment and selection criterion of the countries that the company operates. For example, employee selection must be based on a criterion that offers an opportunity to the employees from divergent cultural, ethnic and religious groups. Similarly, sex, age and gender should not be employed a employee selection criterion as this could lead to legal problems for the company.

    Wal-Mart has been at the centre of legal disputes arising out of the failure of the management to follow equal and fair employment procedures and fair treatment of personnel.  Wal-Mart is also subjected to other requirements of laws and regulations. These include food safety regulations and tax law reforms. The company must meet these components of the legal framework as they influence directly their operations. Tax reforms offer potential threats to the company operations especially if they lead to higher tax rates. Conversely, food safety regulations can be taken by the company as an opportunity to improve its quality standards.

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    The Economic Factors

    Economic changes place significant pressures on the operations in the retail industry including those of Wal-Mart. Economic changes have direct influence on the net revenues and the company bottom line. According to (Miles, 2003), economic factors play a significant role in business stability and success, affecting the potential of a company to make investments. Favorable economic conditions attract organization to make investments as it provides opportunities for both local and foreign companies. Although Wal-Mart has been able to use economic down turn as an opportunity, it has created negative impacts on profitability and sales of different retail companies.

    As outlined in (Brea-Solís, Casadesus-Masanell, & Grifell-Tatjé, 2014) has offered discounted prices to its customers who seek favorable prices during economic down turns. Economic changes affect the consumer disposable income, which ultimately influence the retail companies. Retail companies, such as Wal-Mart must have a clear understanding of the impact of changes in economy to enable them to develop effective sales strategies to transcend in such circumstances. Wal-Mart has been able to counter changes in economy through its sales discounts.

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    Forces of Competition

    According to Porter, the essence of completion is for a firm to cope with the industry completion (David, 2010). In the fight to gain market share, competition is not only viewed in form of the other players in the industry. Competition stretches to include company economics, customers, suppliers, potential entrants and substitute products. Porter identified the five forces of competition that apply to all industries. These forces of competition that shape company strategy are:

    • Competitive rivalry
    • Bargaining power of customers
    • Bargaining power of suppliers
    • Threat of substitute products/services
    • Potential entry of new players in the market

    The strategic direction of Wal-Mart is based on its response to the Five Forces in the industry (Stankevičiūtė, Grunda, & Bartkus, 2012). The competitive environment in which Wal-Mart operates is unique. The company major competitors are the general merchandise retailers. However, the other competitors of Wal-Mart include supermarket retailers, and warehouse clubs.

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    A five force analysis of Wal-Mart Inc. in its industry external environment based on the model outlined by Porter reveals the implications of competitive rivalry, bargaining power of suppliers/buyers, threat of new entrants/substitutes and threat of substitutes. All these elements have an impact on the success of the company. However, the intensity of competition and threat of new entrants are the most significant for the company’s growth.

    Wal-Mart faces stiff competition within and without the United States (Stankevičiūtė, Grunda, & Bartkus, 2012). In the U.S target market, the major competitors include Macy’s, Best Buys, Kmart, and Sareways stores. The company’s Sam’s Club faces stiff competition from BJ’s Wholesale club and Costco. Regionally, in North America, the company faces competition from Target and ShopKo. In Canada, it major competitors include Giant Tiger, Hart and Canadian Superstore. In South Korea, the company was not able to withstand the competition and had to withdraw from the market.  In Germany, the company withdrew from stiff competition and sold its outlets to Metro, a local retail company.

    Wal-Mart has been able to overcome the threat of competition owing to its competitive prices (Burton, 2011). The company enjoys bulk purchase and thus receives huge discounts from its suppliers, allowing it to offer lower prices, which are passed to its customers. In addition, the company’s large size and competent executive has allowed the company to manufacture its own brands and makes purchases from local suppliers in bulk, which its supplies in retain.

    The other force of competition that is of high significance to Wal-Mart is the threat of new entrants. The company deals in a variety of consumer goods that include groceries, home furnishings, hardware, hardliners, entertainment, apparel and pharmaceuticals. These ranges of product portfolio are in market segment that is easy to penetrate. The groceries market segment possesses little barriers to entry and thus exposes the company to the risk of competition.

    However, the company has shielded itself against potential entrance to new players in the industry through its competitive prices. The lower prices that the company offers makes it hard for new entrant to gain significant market share. Moreover, the bulk purchases places the company at a significant advantage over new entrants as the company can attain outrageous discounts thus allowing it to offer lower prices. Finally, the ability of the company to diversify its product portfolio offers an edge over new entrants. The large product portfolio creates product differentiation which makes it difficult for new entrants to compete with the company in the market.

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    External Threats and Opportunities

    Threats

    The most prominent external threat facing Wal-Mart is competition, from local and international companies (Stankevičiūtė, Grunda, & Bartkus, 2012). In addition, the company has been faced with attacks regarding unethical practices. The company has been accused of providing low pay and poor working conditions to its employees. The other sources of external threat are the environmental issues, hidden legal barriers in countries such as France, and political instabilities in countries such as Kosovo and political turbulence in France have been major causes of external threats to the company.

    Opportunities

    External sources of opportunities for Wal-Mart come from its expansions to other countries, which creates an opportunity for partnerships (Stankevičiūtė, Grunda, & Bartkus, 2012). The acquisition of ASDA, a United Kingdom based company offer opportunities for new markets and an expansion into the market already established by acquired company. The creation of convenience stores and the rise in internet shopping provides an opportunity of reducing costs and increasing the customer base.

    The company can deal with the serious threat of completion through the creation of convenient stores. This will ensure the availability of goods and services at the places that customers need them most. The company can exploit the opportunity of growth in internet by developing an online shopping platform with 24 hours customer support presence, which will receive orders and ensure customer product delivery. Moreover, it the company should partner with leading online payment platforms to ensure their accessibility of the service to many customers.  This will reduce operational costs related to warehousing and help in increasing market share and company revenues.

    Wal-Mart has more strengths than weaknesses and the company must exploit those strengths while minimizing the weaknesses. The large market share, low cost and differentiated product portfolio provides strengths that must be maximized to gain growth and profitability.  The company should increase the product availability as it already enjoys price advantage in the market. The adoption of convenient stores, online shopping and product catalogues can substantially increase sales.

    The company major weaknesses are poor remuneration and living conditions for its employees and poor product quality. The company should develop partnerships with suppliers to enhance quality of its product, a major weakness that the company faces. In addition, the human resources department must be designed in line with government employment policies to prevent the violation of employee rights and thus ensure competitive wages and good living conditions are provided.

    Wal-Mart’s Resources, Capabilities and Core Competencies

    Resources

    Wal-Mart’s has the tangible and intangible which has propelled the company to the level of success it enjoy today. The company’s tangible resources include the buildings and store fronts. Wal-Mart all of its buildings and storefronts in the surrounding, a fact that is different from what most retailers do, hire. The company continues to purchase and develop new locations, refurbishing old ones and reselling unused ones. The company intangible resources include the long held change culture and experience in handling of retail business.

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    Capabilities

    Capabilities are defined as the narrow set of tasks that company excels (Greitemann, Christ, Matzat, & Reinhart, 2014). The Wal-Mart capabilities include supply chain management, buying power and logistical superiority.

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    Core Competencies

    A firm’s core competency is what the company does best (Greitemann, Christ, Matzat, & Reinhart, 2014). Wal-Mart’s core competencies are its low cost strategies. This has been achieved by the company’s ability to generate large sales volumes owing to its core capabilities.

    Wal-Mart’s Value Chain

    The success of Wal-Mart has been attributed to its efficient value chain which is focused on cost reduction and customer needs. Through the hub-and-spoke system, the company employs a central distribution system where goods are ordered, assembled (at hub) and distributed to its retail stores (spoke). The centralization of purchases of goods in large quantities has enabled Wal-Mart to attain cost advantages. The goods are distributed along the company owned logistics infrastructure. Moreover, the company procures using the EDI system, directly from the manufacturers, surpassing all the intermediaries. However, the company faces inventory management problems.

    Wal-Mart can improve its supply chain management the company must use its resources effectively. The company should store varieties of goods in its distribution stores rather than in its backrooms. This will allow the company to be more flexible and meet customer demands.

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    Marketing plan for a hypothetical product-based company

    From the start of this course, you have accessed the Interactive Marketing Plan tool and used the step-by-step guide to complete Part B of your marketing plan. You are required to submit a marketing plan for a hypothetical product-based company. Your plan must include the company’s mission, introduction and branding, and information collected from Step 5 of the Interactive Marketing Plan, located in the course shell. Note: Some elements may not be covered in the Interactive Marketing Plan and will require additional research.

    Note: You may create and /or make all necessary assumptions needed for the completion of this assignment.

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    Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

    1. Revise your executive summary from Assignment 1, based on feedback from your instructor.
    2. Develop a branding strategy for your product that covers the brand name, logo, slogan, and at least one (1) brand extension.
    3. Develop a marketing strategy for your product and determine an appropriate time table for execution of the plan (e.g., phase 1, phase 2, etc.). Provide a rationale for your response.                                                   Read also 7 Page Marketing Plan – Star Mobiles Inc
    4. Develop a positioning statement which should include, at a minimum, a benefit, user, competitive, or innovative statement about your product. Provide a rationale for your time frame for execution of your positioning statement.
    5. Examine the relevant marketing science of customer behavior for your product.
    6. Develop your company’s mission statement and company introduction.
    7. Use at least three (3) academic resources as quantitative marketing research to determine the feasibility of your product / service. These resources should be industry specific and relate to your chosen product / service. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

    Read more on What A Marketing Plan is and Components of A Marketing Plan

    The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

    • Analyze the marketing framework including the concepts of the 5Cs, STP, and 4Ps.
    • Examine the marketing science of customer behavior and products in the marketing exchange process and create dynamic strategies for competing.
    • Evaluate the basis for market segmentation and approaches to segmentation.
    • Evaluate target customer segments and positioning products within these segments.
    • Examine the marketing science of customer behavior and products in the marketing exchange process and create dynamic strategies for competing.
    • Develop branding strategies for existing and new products.
    • Use technology and information resources to research issues in marketing management.
    • Write clearly and concisely about marketing management using proper writing mechanics.

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