In this project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following competencies:
- Manage stakeholder relationships to sustain a competitive advantage
- Align and integrate a short-term goal with a strategic plan
- Create a change management strategy
You are a business development manager reporting to the vice president (VP) of business development at one of the largest life sciences organizations in the Midwest. While the organization has shown constant growth and profitability since its inception in 1999, the owners have decided that it is time to sell. Given the current uncertainty in global markets, the organization’s board of directors is not convinced that this is the right approach.
While work was underway to find a potential buyer, the VP called on you to join the strategic planning team to assess the organization’s exit strategy and make recommendations to its board of directors. You have been working closely with your strategic planning team to make some initial analyses and recommendations to help plan for the sale of the organization.
As part of the planning team, your first task was to select people from your organization to build a guiding coalition to help the organization transition during and after the acquisition.
Then, you were asked to analyze one of the organization’s core strengths, its talented pool of employees. This included analyzing the attrition data to understand why employees have left the organization and recommending ways to ensure employee stability in the future. This essential information will be provided to potential acquirers to assure them of the organization’s ability to retain talent.
While planning was underway, your first potential buyer started to get cold feet. So, you were asked to research an alternative buyer and build a contingency plan. This contingency plan is an important part of your exit strategy and your report to the board of directors. You and your team were also asked to formulate an acquisition road map that lays out the action steps and timelines for the plan.
Now that the initial analysis and plans are complete, your VP is ready to make the presentation to the board of directors. The VP has asked you to prepare a formal report that you will send to the board prior to the presentation. This report will include the analyses and plans you have developed over the last few weeks. It is important to note that your report will provide a first impression to the board about the upcoming presentation and meeting. You need to craft a compelling message that provides insights based on all the work your team has done and substantiates your position with data. In addition, as a part of your report, you will also outline a change management strategy that will help ensure a smoother transition after the sale of the organization.
Write a merger integration report that includes your analyses and insights and provides a change management strategy for moving forward toward a sale of the organization in the course scenario. Compile your work from Milestones One, Two, and Three in your report. Remember to address and incorporate any feedback you may have received from your instructor on your milestone assignments.
Guiding coalition: Use the organizational chart and the employee personas provided to guide your selection of the guiding coalition for the organization in the scenario.
Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria:
- Recommendation: Use the organizational chart and the personas to identify people who should be part of the guiding coalition. Review the personas to identify the individuals who have the influence and commitment to make a positive impact while providing guidance for the change initiative.
- Rationale: Justify your choice of guiding coalition team members. Your responses should address the following for each individual you recommend for the coalition:
- What is the person’s title and how many people do they manage?
- How long has each person been with the organization?
- What area(s) of the organization does this person influence?
- What is your rationale for choosing the person? Consider the person’s characteristics for your rationale.
- What role will each person fulfill as a member of the guiding coalition?
- Team-building strategies: Describe activities and strategies you will introduce to build a well-functioning team. Your response should address the following:
- What strategies will help the members align with the change initiative of the organization in the scenario?
- What steps or actions will you take to establish a sense of urgency within the team?
- How do these activities and strategies help build trust?
Employee attrition analysis report: First, use the employee attrition data to create visuals in Tableau that capture the trends and possible reasons for retention and attrition in the organization. Then, write a report about the current state of human resources and attrition. Include screenshots from your visualizations to support your report. Remember to consider the employee’s employment status when visualizing and analyzing the data. The Status column in the spreadsheet indicates whether the employee is a current or former employee of the organization.
Specifically, you must address the following criteria:
- Current employee demographics: Summarize the current employee demographics for the organization from the course scenario.
- Use Tableau to visualize the demographic data such as age, sex, marital status, and experience and include the corresponding screenshots in your summary. Choose the graphs or charts that that are best suited to represent the demographic data.
- Choose at least two different graph or chart types to represent the demographic data and include the corresponding screenshots in your written summary. Explain why you have selected the specific chart types to represent your data.
- Attrition analysis : Analyze the given employee data to answer the following questions about attrition in the organization, including its causes and the relationship between attrition and various employment factors. Use Tableau to create a visual summary of the data and include the corresponding screenshots in your analysis. Choose the graphs or charts you believe are best suited to represent the required data.
- Identify the five top reasons for attrition.
- For those who left the organization, how many years had it been since their last promotion?
- At what age does an employee typically exit the organization?
- After how many years of employment does someone typically leave the company?
- What is the connection between how many times a year a person was trained, how long they stayed at the organization, and whether they have left?
- Retention: Compare the attrition analysis data with your current employee details to evaluate and prevent future attrition. Your response should address the following:
- Using the trends from the attrition data identify if more current employees are likely to leave. Explain your findings.
- What does your attrition analysis tell you about employee stability in the organization? How is it likely to affect your organization’s evaluation by a potential buyer?
- Actionable steps: Based on finding from your retention analysis, provide three specific actions that the organization can take to prevent employees from leaving. Provide rationale.
Alternative buyer research report: Recommend one potential buyer from the alternative buyer options list provided and justify your choice. Visit the potential buyer’s website and research the company’s market and financial situation. Include this recommendation as an appendix in your report.
Explain your recommendation based on the following selection (and rubric) criteria:
- Current market: Describe the current market of the selected potential buyer.
- What types of products does this organization manufacture?
- Who are their customers?
- In which industry do they compete?
- Financial situation: Analyze the organization’s (potential buyer) financial situation, including revenue, expenses, and profitability.
- Recent developments: Visit your selected organization’s (potential buyer) website and review their news and announcements over the past year. What notable recent events has the organization experienced that might make them more or less attractive to your organization as a buyer? Explain your reasoning.
- Buyer rationale: Justify why this potential buyer is the best option for the life sciences organization. Use data from your research to support your rationale.
Acquisition road map: Develop an acquisition road map as a tool for sharing the project with the strategic planning team and the guiding coalition.
Specifically, you must address the following criteria:
- Acquisition-related tasks :
- Describe the tasks and steps that have already been taken toward an acquisition since you were appointed to the strategic planning team.
- Recommend the tasks and steps that would need to happen over the next one to two years to evaluate and complete an acquisition. For each task and step, provide estimates for how long it will take to accomplish them, the responsible parties, and any dependencies.
- Gantt chart: Using the provided template, create a Gantt chart that visually illustrates the tasks and steps that you’ve indicated above (Note:You can copy the chart to include it in the road map document). Your chart should include the following:
- Indicate tasks and steps that have already been completed since you were appointed to the strategic planning team. For example, be sure to include guiding coalition, industry, and competitive research aspects.
- Indicate “in process” tasks and steps that are currently being performed.
Exit strategy recommendations and plan: Outline your change management strategy for transition after the acquisition.
Specifically, you must address the following criteria:
- Change management strategy: Using Kotter’s change model as a guide, explain each step of the change management strategy that you recommend. Your response should address the following:
- How will you create a sense of urgency?
- How will the guiding coalition continue to guide the change? Who will they impact? Identify which critical tasks from the acquisition road map the guiding coalition should complete. Also, determine the expected timelines for these tasks to be completed.
- What is your strategic vision for the company, its operations, and its employees after the acquisition?
- What is the plan for enlisting a group of employees to get other employees united around the common vision?
- What barriers to change do you foresee? How do you plan to remove them?
- How will you track progress?
- How will you communicate short-term wins?
- Summary: Summarize your strategy and assessment of risks.
- Describe the overall strategy that you recommend for the organization’s acquisition goals.
- Explain how the strategy will fit in the business environment of the oncology market segment in the pharmaceutical industry. Consider using an external business environment analysis to inform your conclusions.
- Risks: Identify three potential risks that may be associated with your recommendation and explain steps the organization can take to mitigate those risks.
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