Is this to be a research project on a particular company and industry (of our own choice) or is the company/industry to be fabricated by the student?

Is this to be a research project on a particular company and industry (of our own choice) or is the company/industry to be fabricated by the student?

RESPONSE: This can be a real or imagined company. Because I think this course offers real world benefit and value, I like giving my students the opportunity to write about a real or fictitious organization. Students that have choose a fictitious organization typically use one that they have been mulling around. This gives budding entrepreneurs the ability to examine their ideas with deeper veracity.  While it is more challenging to do this, it does give you an idea of whether your business idea has merit. If you choose this option, you may have to meaningfully fabricate some of the information in order to comply with the assignment requirements.  Additionally, please do not share sensitive or confidential corporate information.


  1. What do you mean by eight different key concepts from the textbook?

RESPONSE: An example of a key concept is Supply Chain Management, Six Sigma, Innovation, etc. Pick eight of these concepts to discuss in depth.


  1. Can we use research from our previous key terms and responses within our Integrative Learning Project? For example, I replied to another student about the product life cycle. I would like to further research this, but I am concerned about reusing my assertions and original research.

RESPONSE: Yes, you can reuse the research from previous key terms and responses. I would not suggest that you just cut and paste them in your ILP without ensuring it makes sense and flows with your overall theme.


  1. Is there a minimum number of references required?

RESPONSE: At least 10 APA formatted references are required.


  1. How many items do you expect in the appendices?

RESPONSE: At least three well developed and professional documents.  Appendices often include information that is somewhat confidential, detail-oriented and/or tends to change a lot. Some examples include:

  1. A) Action Planning — Specifies objectives, responsibilities and timelines for completion of objectives
  2. B) Description of Strategic Planning Process Used — Describes the process used to develop the plan, who was involved, the number of meetings, any major lessons learned to improve planning the next time around, etc.
  3. C) Strategic Analysis Data — Includes information generated during the external analysis (for example, environmental scan) and internal analysis (for example, SWOT analysis), and includes listing of strategic issues identified during these analyses.
  4. D) Goals for Board and Chief Executive Officer — Goals of the board and CEO should be directly aligned with goals identified during strategic planning. This appendix will list goals for the board and can include recommendations for redesigning board committees to be associated with strategic goals. The appendix also lists goals for the CEO goals — these can be used (along with the CEO job description) to form the basis for performance evaluations of the CEO.
  5. E) Budget Planning — Depicts the resources and funding needed to obtain and use the resources needed to achieve the strategic goals. Budgets are often depicted for each year of the term of the strategic plan
  6. F) Operating Plan — Describes the major goals and activities to be accomplished over the coming fiscal year.
  7. G) Financial Reports — Includes last year’s budget (with estimated expenses and the actual amounts spent), this year’s current budget (again with estimated amounts and actual amounts spent), a balance sheet (or in the case of nonprofits, a statement of financial position), income statement (or in the case of nonprofit, a statement of financial activities), etc.
  8. H) Monitoring and Evaluation of Plan — Include criteria for monitoring and evaluation, and the responsibilities and frequencies of monitoring the implementation of the plan
  9. I) Communication of Plan — Describe the actions that will be taken to communicate the plan and/or portions of it, and to whom


  1. Can I submit my ILP early?

RESPONSE: Yes, in fact I encourage you to start it early and finish it early.  If you submit it early I will grade it early.


  1. What is the difference between an internal customer and an external customer?

RESPONSE: Since I work in Information Technology (IT), I will give you a real world example from my field.  My internal customer might be a person within my IT Division that needs service.  For example, one of my computer programmers might need technical support with his or her computer.  In his example, the computer programmer would be considered an internal customer of our Desktop support section because he or she is part of the IT division but requires support and/or service from another part of the IT division.

Contrast that with an accountant that works in the Administration Division who requires support with his or her computer.  In this instance, this customer would be considered an external customer.  Hopefully, both types of customers should receive the same level of great service.


  1. How do I define my value within the organizational setting for the ILP?

RESPONSE: Your value comes from the role that you can ascribe for yourself.  For example, you may choose to be a consultant for hire.  As a consultant your role might include an evaluation of the organization from multiple perspectives (key concepts) to determine how it can become more efficient and competitive.  Or, you may choose to be an executive and determine what opportunities might present themselves as a result of your key concept research to create greater competitive advantage for the organization.


  1. Do I need to create a heading for the Appendices in the ILP Outline assignment?

RESPONSE: Yes, and you must include all the major headings and subheadings for the major construct of your ILP.




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