An essential element in evaluating a health care organization's overall strategy entails examining the company's resources and competitive capabilities. Are they sufficient to allow the organization to pursue the best market opportunities, while minimizing external threats?
The most widely used tool in conducting this evaluation is a TOWS matrix. A well-executed TOWS analysis provides the basis for crafting the organization's strategic plan. A key difference needs to be addressed here. SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis has been a popular way to display pertinent external issues and internal strengths and weaknesses. This type of analysis involves listing the organization's strengths and weaknesses and perceived external opportunities and threats. SWOT, however, does not provide much insight into what strategy decisions might result from the list of strengths and weaknesses and opportunities and threats. As a result, the TOWS matrix (threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths) was developed to provide a better way to develop and evaluate specific adaptive strategic alternatives.
This assignment provides an opportunity for you to complete a TOWS matrix and corresponding analysis, as well as draft a high-level strategic plan based on your TOWS matrix.
By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assignment criteria:
Competency 1: Analyze organizational structure, design, culture, and climate in relation to environmental forces.
oIncorporate methodologies from the knowledge-economy management approach in a strategic plan.
oIntegrate recent strategy management research findings into a strategic plan.
Competency 2: Develop a strategic organizational plan that provides human and financial resources to support targeted organizational outcomes.
oSynthesize operational and financial components into a strategic planning process.
Competency 3: Recommend an organizational structure and design to optimize a strategic plan.
oDetermine the organizational structure that best facilitates a chosen strategy.
Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly professional, and consistent with expectations for professionals in health care administration.
oCreate a clear, concise, well-organized, and professional TOWS matrix analysis and strategic plan draft.
oApply proper APA formatting and style guidelines to citations and references.
Your boss congratulates you on a fantastic job on the environmental analysis. She now needs your help with the next step in developing a strategic plan for the CEO—completing a TOWS matrix and accompanying analysis. After completing the TOWS matrix and your analysis, your boss also wants you to prepare a high-level, draft strategic plan for the organization.
You know that a TOWS matrix is a decision-making tool for developing strategic alternatives. You also know that you will be better able to develop a more effective strategic plan based on an in-depth analysis and understanding of the current environment.
Note: For this assignment, you will continue to work with the organization you selected in Unit 2.
Complete this assignment in two parts:
Part 1: TOWS Matrix and Analysis
Complete a TOWS matrix and accompanying analysis. Download the TOWS Analysis Worksheet, linked in the resources, and complete it for your selected health care organization.
Incorporate your findings from the current environmental analysis you completed in Unit 3. Be sure to include a minimum of 3–5 items in each quadrant of your matrix, which will give you a total of 15–20 identified and categorized items.
After completing your matrix, summarize the findings from your analysis of each of the four quadrants and develop a high-level, draft strategic plan containing alternative strategies.
Part 2: Draft Strategic Plan
Prepare a high-level, draft strategic plan for your selected organization.
The focus of this assignment is on applying the insights you have gained from your TOWS matrix and the environmental analysis you completed in Unit 3 to the strategic plan. The information from the four quadrants of your matrix will serve as foundational criteria for developing your draft plan.
You must be able to look at your TOWS matrix results and then formulate four overarching strategies with at least one operational goal to support each strategy. Whether your strategies are to enhance the strengths you have identified or to improve weaknesses, your draft strategic plan must align with your organization's mission, vision, and values.
As you prepare your plan, it may be helpful to review common strategies and goals many health care organizations develop and monitor. Use the following document, linked in the Resources, to guide your analysis of the TOWS results for your selected health care organization:
Common Strategies and Goals Health Care Organizations Develop and Monitor.
Include, with each of your strategies, the core assumptions regarding environmental opportunities and threats, organizational strengths and weaknesses, and organizational behavioral dynamics that are foundational to the strategy. For example, consider:
Service/product life cycle.
Available funding to execute strategies.
Strategic Plan Requirements
The requirements, outlined below, correspond to the grading criteria in the TOWS Matrix Analysis and Strategic Plan Scoring Guide, so be sure to address each point. Read the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.
Incorporate methodologies from the knowledge-economy management approach in a strategic plan appropriate for your organization.
Integrate recent strategy management research findings into your strategic plan.
Synthesize operational and financial components into your strategic planning process.
Include your determination of the organizational structure (functional, divisional, or matrix) that best facilitates your strategies.
Create a clear, concise, well-organized, and professional TOWS matrix analysis and strategic plan draft.
Apply proper APA formatting and style guidelines to citations and references.
Prepare your TOWS matrix analysis and draft strategic plan using a familiar and appropriate document format used by health care organizations, such as a memo, business report, or white paper.
Page Length Requirements
Your TOWS matrix should be 1–2 pages in length.
Your TOWS matrix analysis should be 4–5 pages in length (roughly one page per quadrant).
Your draft strategic plan should be 1–2 pages in length.
Health care is an evidence-based field. Consequently, readers of these documents will want to know the sources of your information, so be sure to include applicable, APA-formatted source citations and references.
Submit all three documents for this assignment: 1) TOWS matrix, 2) TOWS matrix analysis, and 3) draft strategic plan. Remember: you do not need to submit your practice matrix from Unit 4.
Proofread each document to minimize errors that could distract readers and make it more difficult for them to focus on the substance of your work.