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Team Course Project Update Report: Look at your original Team Charter and Plan completed in Week 1. What must be updated since you originally created that document? What have you learned? Give a detailed status report on the following items. 

Porter's Generic Strategy: Which strategy did your team choose initially, and how did it change as the course moved on? 

Target Market: Which of the five market segments did your team choose initially, and what has happened since? 

Project Plan: How did your team do hitting the milestones? What had to be added or should have been added? Did any specific project management skills help in this area? Share your updated Gantt Chart. 

Conflict Management Plan: Give examples of how this worked for your team. 

Team Rules: Share the team rules, and explain how they helped your team. 

Ethics: How has your team adhered to ethical principles?

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Porter’s generic strategy

The strategy that was initially chosen was that of niche differentiation. The product that was to be manufactured was customized as per the demands and requirements of the specific target market. As the course moved along, the team was able to understand and carry out better research, development and bring about newer innovations. The ability to deliver products of high quality was also explored, and it was easier to market them as well, since the benefits that the end-users would be having could be explained efficiently.

Target market

The five market segments that were initially chosen by the team are low-end, traditional, high-end, size and performance. As with any organization, the niche differentiation strategy helped the team focus on the market segments individually and pursue appropriate processes to achieve the desired targets.

Project plan

The team had specified a Gantt chart with the necessary timeline for the tasks that were to be undertaken to complete the project successfully. The team was able to get the charter ready and log into Capsim by the end of the second week. However, there was a little inconsistency that was visible in the subsequent tasks, which can be managed by extending the time allotted for rehearsals. Additionally, the dry run presentation can also be rescheduled to take place from Week 5 onwards, so that the team can get sufficient time for the report and final presentation.

Project management skills such as leadership, critical thinking and communication were the key aspects that facilitated a smooth continuance of the work plan.

The updated Gantt chart has been provided as follows:

1.01.png

Conflict management plan

The conflict management plan that was in place was quite an elaborate one, and care had been taken to ensure that all the possible conflicts were taken into account when framing the recommended solutions for the same. For example, when either of the team members were unavailable to attend the meeting, the rest of the members received an email stating the absence of that member. This helped reduce the confusion of whether or not that individual would be present on a certain occasion, and thus ensured that the proceedings went on smoothly as planned. Furthermore, there were instances where a certain team member was unable to complete the assigned work on time. However, since the other members had been informed in advance, they were able to provide the necessary assistance with the required project. This made sure the entire work was completed on time as the team members had been given a head start from before, which helped them control the outcome. Minor disagreements were resolved by analyzing the pros and cons of the situation at hand, and a voting procedure was taken to come to a concrete decision.

Team rules

A number of team rules had been laid out to help members collaborate together and manage the expectations, meetings, course work, conflicts and communication. For instance, the homework that was due had to be turned in by Saturday, so that Sunday could be kept reserved for the personal lives of the members. Every individual was entitled to a fair share of the work, and in case of any dispute on this issue, they were to be notified. In case the matter was not resolved, the professor was to be consulted. This helped to distribute the workload in a fair manner among the team members, thereby ensuring that the work could be completed smoothly and on time.

The team members had to adhere to their commitment statements to make sure that the work could be completed seamlessly. For instance, the team leader was in charge of ensuring that everything was done according to the project plan and the communication between the members was transparent. The vice president of the Research and Development department was in charge of improving the existing products, procedures and for maintaining a competitive edge. The team rules also suggested that the person in charge of Human Resources would have to undertake recruitment and promotion without any personal bias, and in a timely fashion. The person in charge of quality assurance had to ensure that the quality of the items was at par with the market standards. These rules helped the overall working of the team to a significant extent, as they enabled seamless communication, encouraged innovative outputs, and maintained a standard quality of the products, which ultimately helped maintain a good reputation.

Ethics

As outlined in the team rules, all the members are entitled to undertake equal share of the entire workload to promote fairness among the proceedings. In case any of the team members were not adhering to this rule, they were to be notified and asked to correct themselves. In the event that corrective action was not taken, the professor was to be consulted for further advice.

Another ethical principle that the team has adhered to is that of the use of products that are environment-friendly. In other words, ethical products were used to ensure that minimal pollution was caused during the making of the chips. Furthermore, it was to be understood that all the team members had different schedules and the plan of work was designed in such a way as to accommodate all of them. This encouraged mutual respect and helped foster a sense of professionalism among themselves.

Detailed Summary of Team Performance

Sales

As per the reports through 1 to 8, it can be observed that the sales that has been achieved by the overall team or Chester in particular were $50,097, $44,489, $46,593, $47,016, $73,814, $70,693, $35,617, and $92,794, respectively. Based on these figures, it can be determined that there has been high fluctuation in the overall sales through the reports 1 to 8, implicating that the overall sales have been an average $57,639. This further implies that the sales that have been achieved by Chester is the second lowest amongst the team, which is followed by the sales of Ferris. Therefore, it can be said that Chester is required to improve the marketing strategy that is being followed, so as to improve the sales.

Financials

The reports from the 1 till 8 represents that the financials of the team member Chester has been 22.9%, 25.1%, 27.1%, 27.2%, 20.2%, 15.2%, 21.9%, and 31.7%, respectively. Based on these figures, it can be determined that that there has been high fluctuation in the overall financials of Chester through the reports 1 to 8, implicating that the overall financials have been an average 23.6%. This further implies that the financials that have been achieved by Chester is the lowest within the team. Therefore, it can be said that Chester is required to improve the marketing strategy that is being followed, so as to improve the financials.

Stock Price

The reports from the 1 till 8 represents that the stock price of Chester in the team has been $17.29, $20.17, $21.96, $22.88, $23.23, $20.23, $18.12, and $35.08, respectively. Based on these figures, it can be determined that that there has been high fluctuation in the overall stock price of Chester through the reports 1 to 8, implicating that the overall stock price has been an average $22.26. This further implies that the stock price that have been achieved by Chester is the lowest within the team. Therefore, it can be said that Chester is required to improve the marketing strategy that is being followed, so as to improve the stock price.

Profit

As per the reports through 1 to 8, it can be observed that the profit that has been achieved by the team member Chester in particular were $4,087, $4,202, $4,153, $3,885, $3,178, $311, $99, and $15,264, respectively. Based on these figures, it can be determined that there has been high fluctuation in the overall profit through the reports 1 to 8, implicating that the overall profit have been an average $4,397. This further implies that the profit that have been achieved by Chester is the lowest amongst the team members. Therefore, it can be said that Chester is required to improve the marketing strategy that is being followed, so as to improve the profit.

Lessons Learnt: What Went Well and What Did Not Work Out

The simulation has been very helpful as it allowed to gain a better perspective regarding the various aspects of marketing from practical point of view. Furthermore, it also allowed to determine the different strategies that would allow the team to gain maximum advantage in the competitive markets. In addition, through the simulation, the team has been successful in developing effective conflict management plan that allowed the team member to work in a productive manner, all the while avoiding any kind of conflict. Furthermore, through effective team rules and ethics, the team has been able to maintain a strong harmony with each other, thereby fulfil every stage of the business plan in an efficient manner.

Strategic planning recommendations

As indicated by the facts, figures and research, team Chester had experienced a high degree of fluctuation as far as the sales are concerned. On an average, the sales figure was found to be around $57,639, making it the second-lowest among the other teams, which are its competitors. Additionally, the average financials stand at 23.6%7%, which is the lowest among all the teams, which calls for improvement in its marketing strategies. In fact, the profitability is also among the lowest, at an average of $4,397, which further reinstates the need for strategic planning. In order to deal with the low sales figures, it is imperative to partake in more vigorous marketing to encourage customers to make purchases. Team Chester can also deploy effective digital marketing strategies as part of the plan for improving its financials and profitability.

Industry analysis

While conducting an industry analysis, Porter’s Five Forces are an integral theory that can be applied to determine the profitability in the marketplace, along with the pace at which it is growing. It takes into consideration, the barriers to entry, internal competition, the power of the buyers and the sellers, and the available substitutes in the market that threaten to replace the products.

Competition in the industry: The number of existing competitors and their ability to threaten the profitability of a company in the chosen industry determine the level of competition in the industry. Greater the number of competitors, lower is the ability of the company to make an impact in the market. In this case, Chester is part of the food industry, and the products that are sold are quite widely available in the market, thereby leading to a high level of competition in the industry.

Threat of new entrants: A company’s position and profitability is also dependent on the number of potential entrants in the same industry. If the time and capital requirement for entering the industry is low, the threat is high as it is easy for new organizations to enter and establish themselves in the market. In this case, Chester has a moderate danger from new entrants. This is because it is not very expensive to procure raw produce for manufacturing the food products, but the establishment of a processing unit might turn out to be expensive.

Threat of substitutes: If a competitor’s products or services can easily replace an organization’s existing ones, the threat of substitutes is said to be high. If the substitute in the market is available at a lower price, the threat is further heightened, while if the substitutes are more expensive, it is easier for the company to maintain profitability. In this case, Chester is under grave threat since there are numerous players in the industry, which provide the same products at more attractive prices.

Bargaining power of buyers: The power that customers hold over the profitability of any organization in an industry is quite significant. The food industry is no different than the rest in this regard. If the client base is smaller and more powerful, it has greater bargaining power, which means it can influence the prices to drop significantly. In this case, the easy availability of substitutes has contributed to the increased power that the consumers have over team Chester.

Bargaining power of suppliers: The power that the supplier of the raw materials holds over the profitability of a company in the food industry constitute this bargaining power. This is essentially determined by the cost of switching from one supplier to another. In this case, team Chester faces low threat, as perishable raw materials are supplied by a large number of organizations at reasonable prices.

The food industry has been growing at an impressive rate, as the increase in population, along with the various facets of urbanization, have together contributed to the increase in the demand for products such as baked and packaged perishables. This high pace of growth makes this industry quite a profitable one, although the overall competition might be quite intense.

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