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Strategic Planning Software LECTURER USER GUIDE

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  1. Strategic Planning SoftwareLECTURER USER GUIDE For use with Business Strategy: an introduction David Campbell, David Edgar & George Stonehouse

  2. Welcome to the user guide for Strategic Planning Software for use alongside Business Strategy: an introduction by Campbell, Edgar and Stonehouse. We will take you through the main phases of the software, explaining how it works, how it will benefit your students and how to get started.

  3. Before getting started, you need to email the technical support team (email addresses in the Support tab on so that you can be verified as a lecturer using the textbook and your institution can be set up on the system, enabling you to log in.

  4. After providing your students with the company they are going to research and analyse (or allowing them to choose their own), students work through the software step-by-step, conducting research to enable them to input data and analysis about their company into the frameworks provided. Alternatively, if you do not wish to set a research assignment but focus on analysis, students can use the detailed case study about a fictitious company on the book’s companion website. This case study contains all the facts and figures they will need to fill in the software’s frameworks. The Strategic Planning Software is divided into 3 main phases: Phase 1: Strategic Position Analysis Phase 2: Formulation of Strategy Phase 3: Conclusions and Recommendations

  5. Phase 1: Strategic Position Analysis takes the student through the main topics and frameworks they must consider to evaluate a company or industry. The main sections of this phase are External Analysis, Internal Analysis, SWOT Analysis and Organisational Purposes. Phase 2: Formulation of Strategy enables them to analyse a company or industry’s competitive strategy and development strategy, and to make decisions about the business portfolio. Phase 3: Conclusions and Recommendations provides the tools with which the student can bring together all of their research to make major conclusions and key recommendations based on the results of their analysis.

  6. Next we will take a look at the contents of the software in detail. Each new heading represents a new page of the software. Students do not have to follow the stages of the software in this order, however; they can complete the analysis according to how the module/course is structured. They can save their work at any point and come back to it later.

  7. 1.2 Internal Analysis 1.2.1 Resource Audit Human Physical Financial Intangible 1.2.2 Value Chain Primary Activities Secondary Activities 2.1.1 Divide the firm into products/services 2.1.2 Measure the growth rate 2.1.3 Measure the relative product share 2.1.4 Position SBUs along the matrix 2.2 Competitive Strategy 2.3 Development Strategy 2.3.1 Market Penetration and Consolidation 2.3.2 Product Development 2.3.3 Market Development 2.3.4 Diversification 2.3.5 Development Strategy Analysis Phase 3: Draw conclusions and recommendations Phase 1: Strategic Position Analysis 1.1 External Analysis 1.1.1 PEST Analysis Political Economic Social-cultural Technological Conclusion 1.1.2 Strategic Group Analysis 1.1.3 Industry Life Cycle 1.1.4 Porter’s Five Forces Threat of New Entry Threat of Substitutes Buyers Power Suppliers Power Competitive Rivalry Conclusion 1.3 SWOT Analysis 1.4 Organisational Purposes 1.4.1 Vision 1.4.2 Mission 1.4.3 Objectives Phase 2: Formulation of Strategy 2.1 Business Portfolio Decision

  8. We will now guide you through each main step of the software which has been filled in with data, analysis and conclusions by a student analysing a major steel company, Tata Steel, for their research project. This is the first page you will see when you visit, after watching the brief animated introduction. First, you should select ‘instructor’ as your user type from the dropdown menu then click ‘Create’.

  9. This will take you to the screen like the below, where you can choose your institution from the dropdown menu (which will have been uploaded by the software support team), fill in your contact information, and create a user name and password to log-in with next time.

  10. Now you are logged on to the software you can choose from the options on the left. Let’s look first at step2: creating a module/course, so that when students log in with their purchase codes (on the insert in the textbook) they can register on to your module/course.

  11. Add your module/course to the software by typing its name into the blank box and clicking ‘Add course’. This will add it to your list of existing courses. You can edit module/course information by clicking the pencil button, and delete it by clicking the red cross.

  12. If you are running more than 1 course entitled with the same name (here ‘Business Strategy’), you can click on the green icon as shown which brings up a box in which you can be more specific. So if you are running the module from Sept11-Jan12, you can name the section SEPT2011 and specify a start and end date, then ‘Save’. You can then add another session by clicking on the green icon and doing the same again (for example, this time naming the session FEB2012 and specifying a start date sometime in February and an end date of e.g. some time in June 2012.

  13. You can search for students and bring up a list of those who have registered for your course using the search function here. Select your module/course and sections from the dropdown menu, enter student name then click ‘Search’ You can also look at what students have been doing on the software and see the progress they have made with their projects by clicking ‘View students’ in the panel on the right. This will bring up a list of registered students. You can then click on the View Projects next to a registered individual.

  14. If you want your students to work in groups on projects, click ‘Create/Manage’ Groups in the panel on the right. This brings up the box here. Select your module/course and section from the dropdown menu and create a group name. All registered students will appear in the left-hand column and you can select the names of those you want to put in the group by clicking on their name then pressing the right-facing arrow to move their name into the right-hand column. Press ‘OK’.

  15. Other features of the software include: The ability to edit your profile (using the ‘View Profile’ tab) The ability to edit/manage the groups you have created using the ‘Manage Groups’ tab A ‘Help’ tab soon to contain an instructor manual A ‘Support’ tab where you will find contact details of the technical support team You can view and start using the software by clicking on the ‘Start SPS’ button.

  16. What does SPS look like when your students have logged in using the purchase code found on the insert in their textbooks?

  17. When the student is ready to begin, they click ‘Start Analysis’ . This will take them into Phase 1 – Analysis of the Organisation’s Strategic Position. They begin by filling in basic information about the company and background of the organisation. At any point on in each section of the software, they can ‘Save’ and come back later, or at the end of the section choose to ‘Continue’ on.

  18. Before beginning on each new section, the student can check out the Theory tab at the top of the page. For this introductory page under the Theory tab there is an overview of business strategy and an explanation of how the ‘strategy roadmap’ works, which is the blue and orange diagram shown below).

  19. The Theory tab also provides a link to the relevant chapter in the textbook (Business Strategy: an introduction) for further reading.

  20. There are also links at the end of each chapter to point the student towards the section of the software that chapter will help them to complete.

  21. As with the Theory tab, at any point the student can click on the Suggested Websites tab. This brings up a list of websites useful in their research, e.g. for finding out sales figures for their company, or as below, for more information on the BCG Matrix.

  22. There is also a really useful Glossary tab, again which can be clicked at any point, where key terms in strategy relevant to that section are helpfully defined.

  23. After pressing ‘continue’ at the end of this page, the student will be taken to the interactive strategy roadmap so they can see where they are up to in their journey through the software. Each major ‘pit stop’ of the roadmap can be expanded for more detail, so when ‘External Analysis’ is expanded we see the below The student can use this roadmap to navigate the software by clicking on a particular ‘pit stop’. This will take them to the relevant page of the software they need to complete.

  24. If the student clicks on the PEST analysis pit stop on the strategy roadmap, they are taken to this page and asked first to analyse political factors. Based on their research, they can rank the political factors here from 1-5 and provide a reason for their decisions in the blank box. When they have filled in all the boxes, they press ‘calculate’ and the software calculates the average ‘score’ for political factors and the student must provide a brief conclusion in the blank box below.

  25. The student works through the remaining sections within PEST in the same way until they reach the conclusion (section in the navigation bar). Here a bar chart is produced from the data they have entered to help them to analyse their findings.

  26. After completion of the PEST analysis (1.1.1) the student can move on to Strategic Group Analysis (1.1.2). As before, they can choose to skip this section and come back to it later by either clicking on a different section on the left-hand navigation bar, or by clicking on the strategy roadmap at the top of the page and clicking on their chosen ‘pit stop’. The student enters in information from their research (here their company’s competitors), tick relevant boxes and select values from dropdown menus in order to generate results.

  27. The remaining sections of phases 1 and 2 function in much the same way as our PEST and Strategic Group Analysis examples: students enter in data, statistics and information from their research into their chosen company by filling in blanks, selecting values from dropdown menus and ticking boxes and the software generates line graphs, bar charts, and matrices to help them make sense of their research.

  28. A line graph created from sales figures in the Industry Life Cycle section A Quality Price Matrix generated in the Competitive Strategy section A BCG Matrix generated in the Business Portfolio Decision section

  29. When the student has completed Phases 1 and 2, they are ready for the final stage: Conclusions and Recommendations. This final phase is simply a place for them to reflect on their findings and analysis, and write a conclusion which incorporates recommendations for the future direction of their company. When they have finished, they should click the ‘Report’ tab. The software then generates a report either as a Word document, a PDF or an Excel spreadsheet. This contains everything they have entered into SPS, plus the diagrams, charts and matrices that were generated. The information is ready formatted as an assignment to be submitted.

  30. You have now reached the end of the user guide to the Strategic Planning Software for use with Business Strategy: an introduction by David Campbell, David Edgar and George Stonehouse! To read examples of student reports on HP and Fossil, visit Here you will also find examples of presentations students can create using their written reports, the detailed case study on a fictitious company for those lecturers not setting a research assignment, an FAQ section and advise on technical support. You can also see a demo of the software pages pre-filled with information about a company