Applied Project Situation Analysis The Applied Project Course places the student in

Applied Project Situation Analysis
The Applied Project Course places the student in a position as the Project Manager for a project requested by a business in an environment that may be unfamiliar to the student. It is vital for the student to quickly learn as much as possible about the components of the environment in which they will be operating to be able to properly plan and implement the project.
The Situation Analysis describes the environment within which the business exists or will exist—if it is a new business venture..
The components of the environment consist of:
the Industry the business is part of,
the competitors against whom the business competes, and
the business’s own culture. Understanding these three aspects of the environment will provide the Project Manager with a focused perspective. The Project Manager will have a clear understanding of why the project is being facilitated, and how it fits into the overall universe within which the business functions.
Assessing the current position of the business can be accomplished by utilizing Porter’s five-forces model which provides a framework for analyzing the environment facing the new business.
SWOT ANALYSIS
In addition, you can include a SWOT Analysis. SWOT analysis is a strategic technique used to plan and help identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats related to business competition or project planning.
In your Situational Analysis you may include BOTH the 5-forces mode and the SWOT analysis –
METHOD
A good approach is to begin examining concepts such as the environment on a macro level. This refers to obtaining a broad understanding of the external forces that impact the business. Trends, legislation, customer (or stakeholder) perceptions, competitor actions, technology, economic forces and similar factors may influence what you need to accomplish. Your research in preparing a Situation Analysis should begin here. Always keep your project in mind. How can the external forces influence, impact or in some way affect your project?
Next, it would be important to examine the competitors. What are they doing that can impact your project? What are they doing to resolve, mitigate, overcome, circumvent or in some other way interact with the challenge your project is intended to address? Never underestimate the competition. They are very bright. They have faced the issues you face, and have often developed outstanding solutions. Learn from them!
Finally, you must examine the company whose project you will manage. You need to understand who the stakeholders are. You need to understand the culture of the company and how things get done. You need to understand what else is going on that may impact your project. You will want to understand what needs to be done to effectuate your project and you will also want to understand what can actually be done. These may be in conflict with each other. This kind of thinking separates leaders from followers.
When planning, implementing and managing a project you don’t work in a vacuum. Properly investigating the environment within which you will operate will provide you with a clearer understanding of what you need to accomplish and might lead you to better, more effective means to achieve your project goals.
A Situation Analysis must be thorough. It must include details and explanations. You must include your understanding of the forces that will impact your efforts. You should provide your thoughts about how you will deal with these. Finally, you must provide your rationale for the direction you expect to take in implementing and managing your project to assure it is the very best solution.
The Situation Analysis you are expected to prepare for the Applied Project course will be a proactive strategic guide to the development of the solution for the challenge your project addresses. It focuses on the macro level factors and leads you to your project strategies. The balance of your project effort will focus on the micro-level strategic elements involved in facilitating your solution.
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