Part 1: Evaluation
You are required to answer each question with short answers.
- List three benefits of gaining support for the strategic planning process from all relevant stakeholders prior to writing and implementing the organisation’s strategic plans.
- Give examples of risks and risk management strategies relevant to strategic planning including intellectual property rights and responsibilities
- Outline strategic planning methodologies including political, economic, social and technological (PEST) analysis and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis (SWOT)
- Identify internal and external sources of information relevant to the organisation’s market, competitors, customer base, vision, values and capabilities
- Outline techniques for developing organisational values.
- In conjunction with these stakeholders, explain a process that you could use to review or develop organisational values to support the vision and mission statements and make any changes or refinements to these statements as required.
- When developing and implementing strategic plans, explain an example for each point on the relevance of this legislation, law or regulation:
- Business codes of practice
- Intellectual Property legislation
- Privacy laws
Part 2: Case Study
Task A: Case Study 1
Read this TNT (UK) Case Study on developing and implementing strategic plans and complete the task that follows below.
TNT is the market leader in the provision of business-to-business (B2B) express delivery services. It delivers documents, parcels and freight securely between businesses, using road or air transport.
Ken Thomas founded TNT in Australia in 1946 with a single truck. It became Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT) in 1958 and TNT Express Services UK in 1978. Today TNT is a global company and serves customers in over 200 countries around the world, employing 10,000 people in the UK. TNT has two operating divisions in the UK.
As a global company, TNT seeks to project a consistent image across the world. For example, it uses the global strap line ‘Sure we can’ on all its vehicles, aircraft and communications material.
TNT’s values underpin the way the organisation runs. These values are the core principles or standards that guide the way TNT does business. While business plans and strategies may change, the core values of business remain the same. TNT’s values are:
- Be honest
- Aim to satisfy customers every time
- Challenge and improve all we do
- Be passionate about our people
- Act as a team
- Measure success through sustainable profit
- Work for the world.
Every aspect of TNT’s business strategy focuses on ‘delivering a superior customer experience’. For example, TNT uses sophisticated technology to enable customers to check exactly where their deliveries are at any time.
Delivering through people
TNT Express UK delivers over 3.5 million items every week around the world. It is listed among Britain’s Top Employers and provides first-class working conditions and care of its employees. The company needs high-level skills to cover a wide range of functions, including distribution, sales and marketing, finance, customer services and HR. To attract and retain the best people, TNT offers interesting careers, with opportunities for people to progress.
The case study explores how TNT delivers its business strategy and achieves consistently high standards of service through its people.
Mission, aims and objectives
TNT is the fastest and most reliable provider of express delivery services and is the European market leader. Organisations do not become market leaders by chance. It takes vision, careful planning, outstanding quality and a committed, highly trained staff. This organisation-wide planning is known as a business strategy. Organisations identify the goals that they want to achieve through:
A business’ mission is a statement that reflects its core purpose and principle business aims. It states what the business is, what it does, and where it is heading. Employees and other stakeholders who have an interest in the organisation’s activities need to be able to understand the mission easily. TNT’s mission is to:
- ‘Exceed customers’ expectations in the transfer of their goods and documents around the world,
- Deliver value to our customers by providing the most reliable and efficient solutions through delivery networks,
- Seek to lead the industry by instilling pride in our people, creating value for our stakeholders and sharing responsibility around the world
Aims and SMART Objectives
The aims are supporting this mission focus on efficiently transferring goods and documents, providing customer satisfaction and behaving responsibly. To achieve these aims, the organisation needs to establish objectives at a number of levels. SMART objectives are designed to ensure that everyone understands what is required and by when. They make it easy to measure performance so that the business knows if and when its aims have been achieved. Where necessary, it can change its plans to overcome any problems or obstacles.
- Specific – exactly what is to happen?
- Measurable – by quantity or proportion
- Achievable – capable of being achieved within available resources
- Relevant – to the overall business or corporate objectives
- Time-related – with a deadline attached
Measurable objectives cover every aspect of TNT’s operations and service. The top-level objective is ‘to achieve profitable growth’. Examples of SMART objectives across the business that contribute to this include:
- ‘Answer 85% of calls from customers within ten seconds’. This objective fits with the mission ‘to provide the most reliable and efficient solutions’ for customers. TNT’s customer focus is one of the key ways in which it aims to differentiate itself from competitors.
- ‘To improve TNT’s carbon efficiency by 45% by 2020 (measured against the 2007 baseline)’. This example of a longer-term objective reflects TNT’s aim to reduce the environmental impact of its business.
Building a strategy
- Business strategies are the means by which businesses achieve objectives. They usually take the form of long-term plans relating to the chosen markets, products and the environment. A competitive strategy can be based on:
Having a distinctive position in the market. TNT’s market position is based on differentiating itself from rivals through its speed, reliability and provision of services of the highest standard.
- Building core strengths (known as core competencies). TNT’s strengths are based on attracting and developing high-caliber staff that are able to exceed customer expectations so that customers remain loyal to the business.
TNT’s strategies need to take into account a number of important areas. These include:
- What goods and services to produce, e.g. an integrated delivery service
- Which territories will deliver the best return on investment? TNT’s international operations focus on key trading areas of Europe, Asia, North America and South America.
- How to build a competitive advantage, e.g. by providing the most reliable, customer-focused services.
TNT’s Strategy Map
TNT’s Strategy Map puts the customer at the heart of everything that the business does. It communicates to everyone involved with the business how the company will meet its goals. Specifically, it acts both as a practical guide and as a framework to achieve the business objective of growing profits. A strategy map also serves as a reference point to align the whole organisation. This is vital to ensure everyone is focused on the aims and objectives and understands his or her role in the delivery of them.TNT Express’ commitment to the company strategy has been recognized as exceptional. The basis of the Balanced Scorecard is, ‘what gets measured gets done’. It helps organisations to establish how operational activities link to the strategy and provide measurable impact. TNT’s strategic map and its communications plan to cascade the strategy was judged by the Hall of Fame as ‘best in class’. Since undertaking the Balanced Scorecard, TNT has increased market share, improved customer loyalty and achieved a higher return on sales.
Businesses deliver their strategies through a series of tactics. TNT’s practical measures are set out under three main headings – Operational Excellence, Customer Relationship Management and Innovation. The map describes the journey that TNT is taking towards achieving long-term aims. For example:
- The map shows that Operational Excellence will be achieved through a solid foundation of fast, reliable and quality services.
- From there, Customer Relationship is improved by understanding what different customers want. This builds a stronger allegiance and loyalty.
- Innovation is about anticipating the future needs of TNT customers. Through stronger relationships, the business can develop a joint approach and shared a vision
Delivering the strategy
TNT segments its customers according to their requirements. For example, some customers provide the company with ‘one-off requests’. Others are major accounts regularly placing large orders. TNT responds to the needs of each of these customer groups in different ways and hopes for loyalty in return. The market is highly competitive, and it is more cost-effective to keep repeat business than to generate new customers.
TNT’s customer promise
TNT monitors customer satisfaction through regular Customer Loyalty Measurements. TNT’s Customer Promise is part of its key strategy to retain customers by delivering superior customer experience. To back this up, the company has set out ten promises. In practical terms, meeting customer requirements involves delivering to the right place, at the right time. TNT Express often carries many different types of goods for which on-time delivery is vital. This ranges from delivering blood supplies for the NHS to freshly-felled fir trees for Christmas
TNT recognizes that its people are the foundation on which it builds its customer-focused strategy. It needs to have the right people and skills to deliver the promises it makes. The business is committed to staff development. It promotes around 70% of its managers from within the organisation, enabling people to have long-term careers. Nearly 500 staff have at least 25 years’ service each. One key factor in TNT’s development of its people has involved training managers in becoming assessors and coaches of their teams. Through appraisals, managers find out what employees’ needs and aspirations are as well as their strengths. Identifying skills gaps as well as who is aiming for promotion enables TNT to put together effective training programmes. All managers possess a great knowledge of the way TNT works and with training can pass on that knowledge to make new workers more effective, more quickly.
Strategic direction and strategy gaps
TNT has high-quality people working within the organisation in many different roles. These range from the front-line distribution of parcels and documents to accounts, sales and marketing functions. However, in places, TNT may require additional skills to bridge the gap between its existing human resources and those required to implement the strategy fully. This is referred to as a strategic gap.
By developing its people, TNT ensures that it will have the capability to meet and implement any necessary changes in its strategy quickly. TNT is committed to minimising the environmental effects of its operations and conducting its business in a sustainable way. For example, it recognised the value the business could gain from making drivers more aware of methods of driving, which would improve safety and efficiency. Drivers have, therefore trained in SAFED (safe and fuel-efficient driving) techniques, earning certificates of competence.
Another element of TNT’s strategic and innovative approach has been in the development of pioneering training qualifications with education providers. For example, students on the TNT Foundation degree with Hull College study on-the-job, at home and at college for nationally recognised degree-level qualifications. TNT also offers in-house a five-year apprenticeship programme for people under 22 years old, providing experience and relevant qualifications in vehicle maintenance.
These qualifications increase the skills and knowledge of employees, improving their ability to earn promotion and gain career advancement — the business benefits in terms of increased efficiency and cost savings. TNT’s programmes enable new recruits quickly to bridge the gap between study (at school, college, or university) and work. This makes commercial sense for TNT as it ensures that its workforce is committed, motivated and able to deliver on the Customer Promise.
TNT’s philosophy is that there are no limits to how far the right talent can rise. For example, the recently retired Managing Director originally started out as a driver. Graduates joining TNT work on major projects across the company from the outset and often progress to management positions within five years. Such projects have included the Common Systems project. This involved implementing a new computer system for improving data entry across 50 different locations. This has reduced the time taken for data inputting significantly and has helped speed up service delivery. Creating and delivering an effective business strategy involves:
- having clear aims and objectives
- building a competitive advantage by developing core competencies
- Identifying gaps and seeking to close these through the development of resources.
TNT demonstrates good practice in each of these areas.
The company has clear business aims and objectives that are time-related. It focuses on developing competitive advantage through its strategies for customers, innovation and its people. TNT ensures that the people working for the business have adequate opportunities to grow. It meets any gaps in the ability of the workforce to deliver its strategy by training and to develop its existing people. This retains their skills and offers attractive career opportunities to recruit new talent.
Task: Upon review of thisTNT Case Study and considering their processes, please write a 750-word overview on how they successfully implemented their strategic plan.
Base your overview of the information provided, your acquired knowledge and your interpretation of how these processes were implemented and include a reference to these key areas:
- Communicate the strategic plan to all relevant parties
- Brief people with a specific role in relation to strategies
- Use performance indicators to monitor progress in implementing a plan
- Make the necessary refinements to plan
- Evaluate achievement of objectives at agreed milestones
- Review the effectiveness of the plan and consider methods for improving strategic planning processes
For the following questions, you must conduct your own research
- State the current vision and mission for TNT (UK)
- Identify any changes or refinements that were made.
- Describe and explain the methods that you would follow to
- Check with stakeholders that organizational mission and vision statements are still current and are supported.
- To review or develop organizational values to support the vision and mission statement.
- To gain support for the strategic planning process from all relevant stakeholders.
Case Study 2: FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING PTY LTD
Angela Sanders completed her degree in finance and decided to join her father’s firm. Finance and Accounting PTY Ltd. The company provided services in the area of accounting and tax-related matters for businesses in NSW.
Finance and Accounting PTY Ltd
“To excel in providing accurate and timely data, demonstrate integrity in relationships, and foster a keen focus on providing insight to our customers.”
Finance and Accounting PTY Ltd‘s mission is to provide our clients with the finest financial thinking, products and execution. This means setting the highest standards for behaviours that embody our business principles.
We value teamwork, fairness, communication, competence, integrity, adaptability, and humour.
For the past five, Angela’s father, Sam Sanders, has run a financial advisory business headed by Ms Nish Carr. She provided advice on products such as shares, mutual funds, superannuation and real estate investments to clients who were interested in planning their financial future. Most of her customers came from Finance and Accounting Pty Ltd’s existing clients. Nish also has a degree in finance, has attended various seminars and training courses and is a member of different financial networks.
The financial market has seen a downward trend in the past six months, and most of Finance and Accounting Pty Ltd’s clients have lost money. Real estate is also experiencing a decline, and not many of Nish’s clients are willing to invest further. As many financial institutes have gone bankrupt overseas, the federal government is debating bringing in tougher laws and stricter penalties for businesses operating in these areas. However, there are new opportunities emerging, as Generation X has started to plan their future and the government is offering grants and incentives to first home buyers.
Sam has called a meeting to introduce Angela Sanders to the team. Sam has asked the financial advisory services to come up with an action plan to boost the business.
Angela and Nish got off to a good start by reviewing Finance and Accounting Pty. Ltd.’s strengths and weaknesses. Angela will continue to work on this area and collect necessary information from Sam.
They also decided to work on threats and future opportunities available to their business. Nish has suggested some websites to Angela to scan the business environment. She decided to talk to her friends in her networks to get information on the market trends. They decided to collect information in the areas of competition, new and developing market trends, technology government policies, employment, customer profiles, demand for different financial products, social and cultural changes and other economic indicators.
You have been invited to assist the team of Finance and Accounting Pty. Ltd
Source: Management Strategies and Skills by Judith DWYER
Task: Upon review of this case Study, and your own research, please answer the following
- Identify and consider the strengths and weaknesses of existing and potential competitors and allies.
- Analyze organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Apart from the information mentioned in the case study, what other information would be useful in completing a SWOT analysis.
- Formulate strategic objectives and strategies needed for the future.
- Analyze political, economic, social, and technological developments in a global context.
- What factors should be considered prior to consider cooperative ventures that are supported by risk and cost-benefit analyses, are consistent with the organizational vision, mission and values and provide for due diligence.
Part 3: Project Task
Nominate a business of your choice to develop and implement strategic plans. You will also need to consider how you would monitor performance once the plan is implemented and how you would respond to results. This may be a business that you own, manage or currently work in. Alternatively, you may use a business that you have an interest in or a theoretical business. Any company information used in this assessment will be held in confidence.
- Relate the questions directly to that business scenario
- You may also use this nominated business in the other assessments.
Develop a documented plan outlining your organizational strategic plans by firstly analyzing the internal and external environment and then writing the strategic plan. This plan should be 6 – 10 pages. Please include the following criteria in your plan:
- Determine the information requirements and undertake or commission research to deliver relevant information.
- Background and research relevant to the plan
- Legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including for intellectual property
- Objectives, strategies and priorities
- Roles and responsibilities
- Performance indicators
- Consideration of co-operative ventures
- cost-benefit and risk analysis
- Analyze any relevant political, economic, social, and technological developments in a global context
- Seek advice from the appropriate experts wherever necessary
- Identify and consider the strengths and weaknesses of existing and potential competitors and allies
- Analyze the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis)
- Consider any cooperative ventures that are supported by risk and cost-benefit analyses, are consistent with the organizational vision, mission and values and provide for due diligence
- Check that the analysis of the internal and external environment is consistent with the perspectives of other informed people
- Document the relevant research and background for inclusion in the strategic plan
- Formulate the strategic objectives and strategies needed for the future
For the strategic plans that you prepared in Task A,
- Create a PowerPoint presentation of 12-15 slides that you could use to circulate for comment, support and endorsement to key personnel.
- Detail each strategy with an assigned priority, a timeframe, responsible parties and measurable performance indicators.
Based upon feedback from relevant parties
- Recommend necessary refinements to plan
- Evaluate achievement of objectives at agreed milestones
- Review the effectiveness of the plan and consider methods for improving strategic planning processes
|Part 4: Practical Application For skills and Knowledge|
|The Practical Application of Skills & Knowledge forms part of the assessment for this unit. You are required to write 1-2 sentences in the space provided that outlines how you would conduct yourself in the workplace. Your Assessor will assess the response you provide and confirm the detail with you or your supervisor in the workplace (if applicable||YES||No|
|Identifies and analyses complex organisational texts to determine business requirements|
|Reviews, evaluates, interprets and applies content from a range of sources to aid in development of strategies|
|Prepares strategic plans for relevant stakeholders incorporating appropriate vocabulary, grammatical structure and conventions|
|Incorporates amendments to documents according to organisational requirements|
|Collates and compiles data to convey specific information, requirements and recommendations|
|Presents information and seeks advice using language and register appropriate to audience|
|Participates in discussions using listening and questioning to elicit the views of others and to clarify or confirm understanding|
|Interprets and analyses statistical data and mathematical information to consider trends and resource implications of proposed strategies|
|Works autonomously making high level decisions to achieve and improve organisational goals|
|Takes a lead role in the development of strategies to achieve organisational goals|
|Selects and uses appropriate conventions and protocols when communicating with internal and external stakeholders to seek or share information|
|Collaborates with others to achieve joint outcomes, playing an active role in facilitating effective group interaction, influencing direction and taking a leadership role|
|Seeks feedback or expert advice where required|
|Develops flexible plans for complex, high impact activities with strategic implications, taking into account capabilities, efficiencies and effectiveness|
|Systematically gathers and analyses all relevant information and evaluates options to inform decisions about organisational strategies|
|Evaluates outcomes to identify opportunities for improvement|
|Applies problem solving processes to identify risks, evaluate options and determine solutions|
|Performance EvidenceEvidence of the ability to: Consult and communicate effectively with relevant stakeholders to: Confirm or revise the organisation’s mission, vision and values Validate findings of research and analysis Get input to and endorsement of strategic plans Brief relevant parties about the plan Analyse organisation’s internal and external environment to formulate strategic plans including: Background and research relevant to the plan Legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including for intellectual property Objectives, strategies and priorities Roles and responsibilities Performance indicators Timeframes Consideration of co-operative ventures Cost-benefit and risk analysis Seek advice from appropriate experts wherever necessary Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan and make refinements as appropriate Review effectiveness of planning processes and identify opportunities for improvement. Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided at least once|
|Knowledge Evidence To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, the individual must: Outline the legislation, regulations and codes of practice relevant to the organisation’s strategic plan. Give examples of risks and risk management strategies relevant to strategic planning including: Intellectual property rights and responsibilities Other risks Outline strategic planning methodologies including political, economic, social and technological (PEST) analysis and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis (SWOT) Identify internal and external sources of information relevant to the organisation’s market, competitors, customer base, vision, values and capabilities Outline techniques for developing organisational values.|
Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance of typical activities experienced in the management and leadership field of work and include access to: relevant legislation, regulations, standards and codes workplace documentation and resources case studies and, where possible, real situations Interaction with others. Assessors must satisfy NVR/AQTF assessor requirements