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Board Brief Part A – Framing the Problem/Opportunity
Effective leaders understand that actions must be based on facts. Which facts are most important, however, depends on how the problem is framed. Failure to adequately define the problem can set in motion a series of misguided undertakings in which irrelevant data are gathered, unnecessary analyses are completed, and unsupported decisions are made. The first step in developing your Board Brief is to craft a clear statement of the problem/opportunity, and then determine which data are most critical to solving that problem. This is your opportunity to begin using the business analytics tools that will guide you throughout your Project.
For all assignments in your Project, your work will be based on the organization you identified in your Discussion Question post. In this assignment, you will submit a 2 to 3-page paper in which you will include a brief overview of market conditions and develop a clear and well-focused problem/opportunity statement. This requires you to provide sufficient background on the competitive environment and the organization to accurately frame the problem for your Board. Your deliverables are:
1. Present a brief overview of market conditions, the competitive environment, and the strengths and weaknesses of your organization relative to your competitors. You should draw on one of the methodologies you have studied (such as Jack’s 5 Step Strategy Framework, SWOT, PESTEL, or Porter’s Five Forces) to guide you, but DO NOT present a full-blown market analysis to the Board. Your Board members will already possess significant knowledge of the market and the company, so use this overview to set the stage for the rest of your brief. Distill your overview down to 2 components.
a. First, provide a general overview of market conditions, trends, and big issues. For example, you may begin with a line such as “As you know, we have experienced considerable challenges in this space over the last two years…”
b. Then, summarize the competitive environment. Open with a sentence such as “Our biggest competitor ABC has made bold steps to develop X and has made significant gains in market share in Y. This has presented us with a number of challenges…”
2. Problem/Opportunity Statement
Following your overview, identify the specific problem or opportunity that, if properly addressed, will have a significant positive impact on the success of the organization. This will include your “testable hypothesis” for which you will gather and analyze data to validate in your next assignment. To accomplish this:
a. Define a clear problem or opportunity that addresses what is important to the organization in order to meaningfully improve its competitive strength. Note: It is expected that you will refine the problem/opportunity statement you drafted for your Discussion Question, leveraging the feedback you received from your classmates and professor.
b. Identify key data and metrics you will study that are relevant to addressing the problem/opportunity.
c. Identify stakeholders who will be involved in addressing the problem/opportunity. At this stage, you do not need to name specific people, but you must identify functions, departments, geographical areas, etc., that will be impacted. You must also explain the nature of the potential impact.
d. Include relevant information on previous experiences or findings related to this problem/opportunity. This information may be noted in an appendix if that is more appropriate for context and flow.
Formatting and Submission Requirements
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, your professor’s name, and the course title and date
Include a references page with your sources
The cover page and the references page are not included in the required page length
Use professional font (Times New Roman or Arial), 10-12 font size, and double-space
Use headings to identify main topics and subtopics
Separate paragraphs by a single space