The goal of the SAP project management homework help

The goal of the SAP project is to write a paper that analyzes the industry and the company and develops recommendations that will improve the competitive position of the firm.  In order to do this, your group will have to demonstrate an understanding of your firm’s current competitive position, an awareness of how the industry is changing and what opportunities are being created by that change, and insight into what your firm needs to do remain or become competitive going forward. It is highlighted that this is a group project, not a collection of individual papers stapled together.  You must work together as a group to produce a quality paper that reflects a collective effort.

The SAP project consists of a paper and a presentation. The specific content requirements of the paper will be discussed below and presentation guidelines will be disseminated and reviewed later in the semester. Both sets of guidelines will be posted on Blackboard.

You will work in teams to develop those papers and will be graded as a group (for specific point allocations, see paper evaluation form). Individual grades will be determined through the use of group and individual peer evaluations. In order to assess performance of all team members, each student will complete a peer evaluation form after turning in each of the three major sections of the paper and after both the class and client presentations. Thus, peer evaluations will be conducted five times during the semester.  See attached peer evaluation form (peer evaluation may move to online platform).

The SAP paper should include the following sections and be organized as follows:

a)  Table of Contents: a table of contents with page numbers for each of the following sections should be included to facilitate access to each of the sections in the paper.

b)  Executive Summary: The executive summary summarizes the key findings of each major section of your paper (the external analysis, the internal analysis, and the recommendations). The reader should be able to get a complete picture of your paper by reading the Executive Summary. It should be single-spaced and not exceed two pages (preferably fits on one page).  This section should be written last and turned in only with the final draft.

c)  General introduction: The general introduction to the paper should provide a brief introduction and clearly set up the outline and content of the rest of the paper.

d)  Industry (or External) Analysis: content discussed below)

e)  Company (or Internal) Analysis: content discussed below)

f)  Recommendations: content discussed below

g)  Conclusion: the general conclusion should summarize the key points from each section.

h)  References: Works Cited

i)  Appendices

The three major sections on which the SAP paper is based are: 1) an external analysis, 2) an internal analysis and 3) recommendations how that company can improve its competitive position. The content for each of the major sections follows. 

Content Guidelines

External Analysis  The first major section of the paper is the External/Industry Analysis. The goal of this section is to identify relevant opportunities and threats. Please note that this section is about the industry and industry-related environments, not about your company which is internal.  You may refer to your company to illustrate a point but you should discuss the actions of other firms in the industry as well (competitor analysis).

You should start with a brief introduction to this section that explains the analysis and identifies the subsections of the Industry Analysis. Each section that has multiple parts should also have a brief introduction for each section as well.  You want to guide the reader through your paper.

The external section of your strategic plan should include five subsections (title each section clearly):

1.  Before starting the analysis, clearly identify the client’s industry (start with a NAICS code- is it accurate?  If not, how do you want to define the industry? Check the Hillsborough County Business Directory for classifications).  After your group agrees on how to define the industry, describe the economic characteristics of the industry.  For example, you may address the followings:

a.  market size (sales)

b.  sales growth rate

c.  stage of the life cycle (of the industry)

d.  types of products sold (highly differentiated, weakly differentiated or very similar products)

e.  scope of rivalry (local, regional, national, international, global)

f.  key competitors in the industry (who are key competitors? where are they? What size are they? Is competition fragmented or consolidated?)

2.  You should identify the key success factors (KSF) for the industry. What are the critical factors that determine whether a firm will be successful in this industry?  What must a firm deliver to be successful? You should identify 3-5 factors that are unique to being successful in this industry and give examples of companies that illustrate each key success factor. Be specific on how you know these factors are important to be successful.

Don’t try to cover everything a company needs to do to be successful (i.e. make a good product, make money, have good employees….) but try to focus on what is unique to being successful in this industry. What differentiates the successful and not so successful companies?

3.  The third part is to discuss structural forces affecting industry profitability using Porter’s 5 Forces analysis.  If one of Porter’s Five Forces is deemed not important in the industry, then you do not need to discuss that force.  Nevertheless, you should mention in the introduction to the section what the five forces are and indicate which forces aren’t relevant (and why) and which forces will be addressed.

Be sure to utilize your research to demonstrate with concrete examples how strong forces negatively affect profitability or how particularly weak forces create an opportunity for increased profitability.  You need to show how buyers, suppliers, new entrants, competitive rivalry or substitutes have negatively affected profit margins.

4.  The fourth step is to identify and discuss driving forces or macro environmental trends (economic, social, demographic, legal/regulatory, ecological, and technology) that are creating opportunities or threats to the industry. Again, focus on the trends that are impacting the industry.  If ecological trends aren’t important, for example, don’t force them into your paper. 

**The use of research and concrete examples are critical to demonstrate how these trends are creating growth opportunities or threats to future growth. Do not rely on your common sense or what your gramma told you over a dinner table.

5.  Conclude the section with a summary of the opportunities and threats for the industry.  You should include all opportunities and threats you have identified and discussed throughout this section (i.e. in the KSF, Five Forces Analysis or in the Trend Analysis). The list should not contain any opportunities that you did not include in your analyses of KSF, Porter’s 5 forces or trend analysis (but it should include all that you did discuss!). Since you have already discussed the opportunities and threats, you do not need to repeat the same discussion here.  Develop and list the opportunities and threats that you have identified (maybe in bullet forms).

Please note that this section is about the industry and not your company.  You may refer to your company to illustrate a point but you should discuss the actions of other firms in the industry as well.

Internal Analysis  The second major section is the Internal/Company Analysis.  The goal of this section is to identify strengths and weaknesses of your company relative to your competitors. Start with a brief introduction to this section that explains the analysis and identifies the subsections of the internal analysis. Each section that has multiple parts should also have a brief introduction to each section.  You want to guide the reader through your paper.

Your internal analysis should include five subsections (title each section clearly):

1.  Similar to the industry section, begin this section with an introduction. Provide a brief description of the company that include the followings:

a.  Description of the company’s products or services

b.  Description of the customers

c.  Geographic location or regions of operations

d.  Description of the company’s size in terms of sales, number of employees, etc.

e.  Company’s history including the founding year and growth history/trend.

2.  Clearly identify the vision/mission of the company. If the company does have a vision/mission statement, evaluate its effectiveness (does it address all the components we discussed in class that a vision/mission should?).  However, If the company does not currently have a mission statement, note that as a weakness. You should plan to write one for the client and include it in the recommendations section.

3.  Assess Performance: (3 steps)

a.  What is the company’s generic strategy and is it implemented well?  Provide a brief discussion of what functional level strategies the company uses to fulfill its strategy. If the current strategy is not clear, identify issues and give examples of implementation problems. You can more fully discuss the success or shortcomings of the company in the VRIN or value chain analysis.  You should propose how the company can better clarify and develop their strategy in the recommendations section.

b.  How well does the company meet the key success factors you identified in the external/industry analysis? You must refer back to the list of key success factors you identified in the industry analysis and rate your company on those factors. Please give examples of what your company does to fulfill KSF and examples of what competitors do better than your company.

As you may cover some of content raised in this section later in the VRIN analysis or the value chain analysis, you can briefly address whether the company fulfills the key success factor, note your reasons and refer the reader to the section where this may be more fully discussed later in the company analysis.

c.  Conduct a financial analysis.  In addition to looking at sales growth rates for the last three years, this analysis should include analysis using the four types of financial ratios for the same three-year period.

Don’t just crunch the numbers here, you want to also analyze the trends and try to explain what is contributing to these trends. Don’t just present the numbers; discuss what they mean and what factors are affecting the numbers.

4.  Identify resources and capabilities of the firm and evaluate them using the VRIN analysis. You have two basic approaches you can use to analyze resources and capabilities:

a.  One approach is to categorize resources and capabilities into four categories (physical, human, organizational, and financial) and assess eachof these four types of resources and capabilities on each of the VRIN dimensions (value, rareness, imitability, non-substitutable).

If you use this approach, you do not want to repeat the financial analysis in this section.  For financial resources, focus more whether the financial resources that the firm has at is disposal (cash flow, equity/retained earnings, debt, outside investors for example) are sufficient to develop/pursue opportunities and sustain operating performance.

By applying these dimensions to various resources and capabilities, strengths and weaknesses should become obvious.  Core competencies that lead to a competitive advantage are those resources and capabilities that meet all four VRIN criteria

b.  An alternative approach is to utilize a value chain approach to classify strengths and weaknesses.  To do this you will need to first identify what this company’s value chain looks like and then evaluate firm performance at each stage in the value chain (organizational infrastructure, human resource management, technology development, procurement, inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service).  If the traditional value chain does not reflect the activities of your company, you may have to redefine the value chain to reflect what your company does. For each stage, decide whether this value chain activity represents strength or weaknesses by applying the VRIN dimensions.

Regardless of whether you use resources and capabilities or the value chain approach (or Both), you must make sure that you demonstrate how performance is affected.  Demonstrate how a resource, capability, or value chain activity is a strength or weakness.

For example, does the resource/capability/value chain activity hurt performance?  Does it hurt efficiency?  Does it weaken corporate culture?  How does your company compare to competitors?

In other words, you need to support your assertion that something is a strength or weakness. Be specific about how you know this is a strength or weakness.

5.  Conclude this section with a summary of the strengths and weaknesses you have already identified and discussed throughout this section. If you haven’t discussed a strength or weakness in this section, you cannot include it on the list. Again, develop a list of strengths and weaknesses (maybe in bullet) that summarizes what you covered in the section of the company analysis– mission, KSF, performance assessment or evaluation of resources and capabilities/value chain activities.

Recommendations  The third major section of the paper is the Recommendations.  These are your recommendations a s group about what you think the company should do to improve its competitive position.

This section should have the following three subsections:

1.  Start this section out by reviewing the critical strategic issues facing the firm.  This is where the SWOT analysis comes together since these strategic issues should be based on your previously identified opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses.  Use the bulleted lists at the end of the Industry and Company Analyses to develop a SWOT table and discuss the implications of the table.  Be clear about which strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats you are focusing on in the recommendations.

2.  Based on the SWOT table, offer clear and realistic recommendations in order of priority (present recommendations in order of perceived importance).  Since the client has specified the key issue to be considered here you should start with the recommendation and fully develop your plan for this recommendation. 

In particular, proposing the recommendations involves two parts:

a.  Explain why you are making the recommendation (for each recommendation: what opportunity, threat, strength or weakness are you trying to address?) and be specific about what you are recommending that the firm do. The recommendation must be tangible not a theoretical idea the firm might want to consider. This means you need to include cost estimates or savings estimates.

Remember that a strategic recommendation must be valuable to the company.  It must either generate new revenue or reduce costs.  You are working with a real company with real problems. Your recommendations must therefore be practical and realizable and based on a thorough and meaningful analysis. That is, the firm should be able to act on your recommendations to improve its bottom line.

b.  Each recommendation must also be supported by an Action Plan.  Prioritize recommendations and address what (specifically) must be done to implement recommendations.  For example, include:

·  what are the actual steps needed to implement these recommendations?

·  who will take these actions?

·  what is the time frame to implement each recommendation?

·  what resources will need to be allocated to the implement the recommended change? (how many more people will this take?  how much will it cost?)

·  Where possible, include information about names of companies that may help the client implement your recommendations. For example, if you are recommending a new or different web page, include the names of web designers the firm might call and provide cost information.

3.  Conclude this section with a summary of your recommendations and an overall time line for implementation of all your recommendations. What should the firm do and when? How long will it take to implement each recommendation? 

So, list the recommendations in order of when the company should start to implement them (this may be different from your order of perceived importance because you may recommend that the company undertake some quicker, less expensive steps before tacking bigger steps) and estimate how long you think it will take to accomplish each recommendation.

Writing Guidelines

·  Incorporate “hard” data in your analysis where appropriate. General and qualitative statements must be supported by specific data from your research and you must cite the source of your supporting data using APA style. The source of your data is not the web site address.  In the references, you can supply the address but cites should consist of the author and page number (or the title and the page number if no author is available) and should immediately follow the information you referenced.  If you prefer to use footnotes or endnotes that is also acceptable but be consistent throughout the paper.

If you do use footnotes or endnotes, you still must include an alphabetical list of references at the end of the paper. Check various style guides, pick one and use it consistently throughout your list of references.  In general, references should contain the author, the title of the article, the name of the publication, and the date the article was published. Do not include sources on your reference list if you do not cite them in your paper.

I urge you to be careful with cites.  You must cite your sources for ideas that are not your own and are not general knowledge. Also, be careful to give credit where you directly include quotes from other sources but avoid overuse of quotes. Do not use quotes that are 4 or 5 lines long.  You should be able to paraphrase and synthesize the opinions and research of others.

Again, in addition to cites throughout the paper, a complete list of references should be included at the end of the text but before the appendix. The references or Works Cited Page should be in alphabetical order.

·  Papers must be well organized. This means you should have a general introduction that clearly states what the paper is about and each of the three sections should have an introduction with a well-defined thesis statement that serves to guide the reader through each section.

I strongly urge you to use headings for the three major sections of the paper and headings for the various subsections within the industry and company reports.  Use topic sentences within sections to further organize and present your position and don’t be afraid to use paragraphs!

A detailed Table of Contents is also required.

·  Be concise, specific, and grammatically correct in your statements.  Do not forget to read the final report for form and content.  Do not just rely on “spell check”.  Pay particular attention to:

1.  The thesis statement and a well-organized paper.

2.  Typographical errors.

3.  Sentence structure.

4.  Paper format.  Following the organization established in the introduction, use headings and paragraph breaks to make the paper easy to follow and read.

5.  Overuse of possessives (its, their).  Relate your comments to the company or the top managers.

6.  Subject-verb agreement (they have vs. they has)

7.  Do not refer to companies with personal pronouns such as they, them or their.

8.  For team papers, do not use the word “I”, focus on the team.

9.  Do not use the passive voice. Do not use colloquial language. Be professional and straightforward.

If you need help with your writing, I will be happy to provide guidance or I can refer you to the Saunders Writing Center.

·  The body of the report must be written in narrative form using complete sentences (i.e., not in an outline format).  Bullets and other formatting techniques may be used sparingly.

·  Please use 1.5 spacing at least.

·  Please number the pages.  Note that you should put the numbers in the top right corner.  The paper you will print the final copy on to deliver to the client has a footer centered on the bottom of the page.

  • Papers must be word-processed and look professional. You are encouraged to use the available database, spreadsheet, and graphics programs in the preparation of the report and exhibits. Drafts of the paper can be stapled together but for the final version (the version to be delivered to the client), please do not bind your project. Please submit all documents as word documents, not in a pdf or txt format.

·  An unlimited number of appendices are allowed but the exhibits must be your own tables and graphs.  Do not photocopy tables from other sources to include in your report or attach articles in the appendix.  Exhibits, which should be mostly located in the appendix, must be clearly titled (i.e. “EXHIBIT 1: Company Sales Trends) and reflect the source of the information in the exhibit. You must reference the exhibits in the body of your report.  Do not just add information in the appendix that has not been discussed in the text.

·  Submission policy: Every written assignment must be submitted to BB on the day and time that they are due. Late papers are not acceptable.  A 10% penalty will be levied for each 24 hour period after the due date.

Important Notes

·  Your reputation, my reputation, and the reputation of the Sykes College of Business, are influenced by the quality of the products and services that we provide our SAP clients.  Your projects must demonstrate expertise in analytical thinking, mastery of content, and be professionally written to ensure a passing grade.  Ill-conceived and poorly written projects will not be given to the client and will result in the group members not passing the course.  Since these organizations will rely on your work, unprofessional work will not be accepted.

·  You are free to draw upon a number of data collection methodologies. For example, you may use a list of questions that you would ask the top management team of a company, or you may develop a set of surveys for identifying critical issues, etc.

·  Our clients exist in a competitive environment. All team members will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the client. That is, you are not allowed to divulge your findings to anyone outside your team, myself, or the business you are assessing. Any disclosure outside these limits without the permission of the client would be an extreme violation of business ethics and may be subject to legal action.


The final draft of the paper will be evaluated on how well you demonstrate the following:

1.  An understanding of the organization’s industry and the key structural factors affecting the organization and its industry as well as trends in those factors.

2.  An understanding of the organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses (including financial analysis).

3.  An ability to identify significant strategic issues: Did your team sort through the data and find the critical issues that needed to be resolved?

4.  The formulation of high quality and useful recommendations: will management be able to take meaningful action based on your short and long term recommendations?

5.  The development of an appropriate and thorough implementation plan: did you provide sufficient details provided, specify a time horizon, and thoughtfully consider available resources and constraints?

6.  Well developed research capabilities: did the team support analysis with research?  Was the team resourceful in identifying and gathering of data (e.g., on-line, CD-ROM, library resources, interviews, surveys, etc.)?

7.  Insightful analysis (beyond description) that correctly applies/utilizes course concepts and analysis tools.

8.  Mechanics: Organization, grammar, spelling, writing quality, presentation quality (i.e. graphs, charts, overall appearance and creativity) and references.

9.  Are the graphical representations of the contents enough in quantity and appropriate in quality?

 Evaluation of External Analysis Section of SAP


A.  Content (60 points total)

Above Average


Below Average

Breadth of research (intro, KSF, five forces, trend analysis)

[25 points max]

Research is diverse and wide-ranging covering all relevant areas of the environment.

Some key areas omitted or weakly covered.

Poor identification of key areas. Important information blatantly missing.

Depth of content

[25 points max]

Appropriate for target audience; found information not easily available.

Too much detail for target audience; shallow treatment of some important areas.

Shallow treatment of all content areas.

Analysis (beyond description) and application

[5 points max]

Student(s) carefully analyzed the information collected and drew appropriate and inventive conclusions supported by evidence. Theories are used appropriately.

Good effort was made in analyzing the evidence collected. Attempts to apply theories.

Student(s) conclusions could be supported by stronger evidence. Level of analysis could have been deeper. Theories misapplied or reflect little thought.


[5 points max]

Information is gathered from multiple electronic and non-electronic sources and cited properly.

Information is gathered from multiple electronic and non-electronic sources.

Information is gathered from limited electronic and non-electronic sources.

B.  Mechanics (20 points total)

4 points

2 points

0 points


Well-organized; headings used throughout; easy to follow from data to conclusions

Some headings; hard to follow writing in areas

Poor organization; no/few headings used.

Clarity of Writing

High quality writing throughout; fully edited.

Inconsistent quality

Poor quality writing throughout

Grammar & Spelling

No errors

Five or less errors

More than five errors

Presentation quality; conforms to guidelines (including graphs and charts)

All guidelines followed (page numbers, appendices, format etc)

Most guidelines followed.

Inconsistent application of guidelines.


References are correctly cited throughout the paper and works cited section

References in the paper or in the Works Cited are incorrect

Both the references within the paper are in the works cited are incorrectly formatted


 Evaluation of Internal Analysis Section of SAP


A.  Content (60 points total)

Above Average


Below Average

Analysis of mission

[10 points max]

Analysis provides clear support for what is effective/ineffective. Revised mission (if needed) is creative and highly effective. Strong evidence given for revised mission.

Mission is identified and analyzed based on information/theory provided in class. Revised mission created (if necessary).

Weak or superficial analysis of mission. Revised mission (if needed) is not well thought out or does not meet all effectiveness criteria.

Performance assessment

(business & functional strategy, financial performance)

[20 points max]

All aspects of performance reviewed and analyzed completely. Presentatio

Do you need a similar assignment done for you from scratch? We have qualified writers to help you. We assure you an A+ quality paper that is free from plagiarism. Order now for an Amazing Discount!
Use Discount Code "Newclient" for a 15% Discount!

NB: We do not resell papers. Upon ordering, we do an original paper exclusively for you.

© Copyright 2020. Academic Writers Den
Open chat
Need Help?
Need Help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp +1(209)962-2652
Feel free to seek clarification on prices, discount, or any other inquiry.