Strategic Planning and Execution Coursera Quiz Answers

All Weeks Strategic Planning and Execution Coursera Quiz Answers

Avoid the pitfalls of strategy planning and execution with the tools and skills from this course. In this course, developed at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and taught by top-ranked faculty, you’ll learn the pillars of strategy execution–analysis, formulation, and implementation–and how to use the 4A model to effectively approach strategy execution. Finally, a panel of leaders from entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and industry, share their expertise gleaned from years of successful strategy planning and execution.

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Strategic Planning and Execution Coursera Quiz Answers

Week 1: Strategy Analysis

Q1. You’re in charge of strategic execution at your company. Which of these options describes a plan that will most likely result in successful strategy execution?

  • Ask company leadership to choose the single most important element of the strategy execution and prioritize just that aspect.
  • Focus on strategic analysis, as formulation and implementation will be less likely to impact the overall strategic execution.
  • Recommend an iterative plan that includes analysis, formulation, and implementation.
  • Design a sequence so that the analysis, formulation and implementation won’t overlap and will be completed separately over an approved length of time.

Q2. You’ve just started at a company and have been given your predecessor’s initial plan for a strategic analysis. Which of the following items would you revise in the predecessor’s analysis plan?

  • Use of a wide variety of tools and frameworks
  • A look at the company’s external environment, via a review of the competition
  • A preference to focus the analysis on a specific functional element within the company
  • Time for research, grounded in analytics and data

Q3. Why is it important to consider a firm’s valuable competitive position when analyzing strategy?

  • Considering the valuable competitive position eliminates the need to use extensive tools and frameworks.
  • Strong strategies emerge from the values, opportunities and capabilities of a firm.
  • The valuable competitive position determines who should be conducting the analysis.
  • Careful review of the valuable competitive position lessens the complexity of the analysis.

Q4. Who is most likely to formulate and implement an organization’s strategy?

  • An investor who is making financial projections
  • A government official who is responsible for drafting regulations
  • An activist concerned about a company’s values and mission
  • An entrepreneur, owner of a small business, or an organization’s president or CEO

Q5. How is a SWOT analysis most helpful to strategists?

  • It provides a method to test hypotheses.
  • It provides questions that help strategists understand and characterize the competitive environment.
  • It is most useful for providing simple classifications of opportunities and threats.
  • Its greatest contribution is revealing major trends impacting the industry.

Q6. A strategist is analyzing an organization. Which of these tools will most likely help her understand the firm’s mission and values?

  • A strategic map to determine positioning
  • A competitive life cycle analysis to estimate when a new strategy might emerge in the industry
  • A capabilities analysis to better understand the sustainability of firm assets
  • A stakeholder analysis to better understand what is expected of the firm

Q7. How does a five forces analysis contribute to a strategic analysis?

  • It reveals the attractiveness of a market and whether or not there are barriers to competition.
  • It identifies the competitive position of a firm relative to rivals
  • It forecasts industry growth.
  • It provides insights into what others expect of a firm.

Q8. You are about to give a presentation on your strategic analysis. Which of these best describes the final product you’ll present to your client or supervisor?

  • A focused review of select components of the strategic analysis
  • An avoidance of uncertainties
  • Possibilities, concerns, and issues gained from insights you’ve gained by using a wide variety of tools
  • Thorough display and summary of each tool so that the client or supervisor can draw his or her own conclusions.

Q9. You’ve been tasked with leading the research efforts for a strategic analysis. The research budget is very small. Which resource are you least likely to use?

  • Annual reports of competitors
  • Third party research, such as analyst and consulting reports
  • Publicly available databases
  • Interviews and surveys on market trends and customer desires

Q10. You’ve been brought in to help a team that is stuck in the research phase of a strategic analysis. They’ve gathered some information and aren’t sure what to do next. What are you most likely to do in order to improve the situation?

  • Identify as many research sources as possible
  • Focus on analyzing the marginal value of each possible piece of data.
  • Create a research plan that identifies the critical path to executing decisions
  • Curate a list of free and publicly available sources of information

Q11. How do analysts make data “speak”?

  • Creatively explore and iterate as needed to get insight from the data
  • Use only tools and measures that result in measurable and not inferential outcomes
  • Spreadsheets are the preferred sole method for data presentation
  • Complete a list of prescribed tools, which can be applied to all strategic analyses to make the research available for presentations

Q12. How do organizational performance measures contribute to strategic analytics?

  • They reveal the concentration of players within an industry.
  • They can provide insight into the strategic direction of firms, such as investments in marketing or innovation.
  • They help analyze the threat of substitutes within an industry.
  • They can help analysts understand an organization’s future growth potential and earnings.

Week 2: Strategy Formulation

Q1. If you’d like to create a learning organization, what should you do?

  • Schedule annual sessions for executives to plan and set the year’s strategy
  • Hire executives capable of setting and sharing precise strategy plans with the rest of the company
  • Build an understanding that it is important to get strategy right the first time
  • Nurture an atmosphere that accepts the need for change and adjustment

Q2. You’ve been tasked with securing a room for an upcoming strategic war room session. Which of the following spaces would be most effective?

  • A small meeting room with a large round table, so company leadership can easily see each other while seated
  • A large conference room with blank wall space in a corporate meeting rental space
  • The company’s main conference room, where all meetings are held
  • A large, open gathering space with walls filled with serene water and plant features

Q3. An outdoor adventure supply company is considering the implementation of a new peer rating system for its products. How might it best use rapid prototyping to consider this strategic initiative?

  • Gather employees and subject matter experts to reflect on the strategy using visual sequencing
  • Create a rapid prototype of an outdoor product and ask users to rate it.
  • Invite a group of customers, clients, and suppliers to test a beta version of the rating system.
  • Document the plan in a business model matrix and look for emerging strategies.

Q4. Which of the following is the most likely outcome of a design thinking strategy approach?

  • A succinct summary of the nine business model elements
  • Steady, incremental changes to existing products or services
  • Creation of products or services to pilot test
  • Inventions that provide higher order solutions

Q5. You’ve had some experience using business model canvases at a prior company, and you’ve been asked to share what made them particularly effective. How would you describe the benefits of this approach to strategy formulation?

  • The business model canvas is a tool that helps companies explore and document the nine elements of their value proposition.
  • They provide a comprehensive and detailed structure for a business model.
  • Concerns about capabilities and costs can be set aside until further product iterations are made.
  • The structure provides transparency and flexibility; everyone can easily see and adjust the plan.

Q6. Which of the following would most likely help an organization improve its corporate governance?

  • Eliminate concerns about the external market and focus exclusively on internal processes
  • Adopt a proven detailed governance checklist
  • Prepare contingency plans in case things go wrong
  • Observe customers using its products in order to gain more empathy for stakeholders

Q7. An entrepreneur is building a company that matches nannies and other short-term child care providers with individual clients and event organizers. How might the founder’s past experience with a similar endeavor in a university setting most likely impact her ability to formulate and implement strategy in her own company?

  • The entrepreneur’s benchmarks for assessing her company’s performance will be more objective.
  • As a leader of her own company, she’ll be more likely to disregard her past experience, including what she liked and disliked about the previous company.
  • The entrepreneur is likely to try to mimic the strategies she observed at the previous company.
  • Behavioral theory research indicates she’ll be more likely to execute the best possible strategies to improve her company’s offerings over those she experienced in the previous company.

Q8. Which of the following is the strongest example of a strategy execution failure caused by an organization’s failure to understand itself?

  • A manufacturing company has found a set of products that sell well, and it produces essentially the same product each year.
  • A shoe company fails to understand the dynamics of the industry it is in, including the trends and uncertainties of the competitive market.
  • A company that designs paper goods may not have the capabilities to support a new calendar product line, which also hasn’t been selling well in stores or online.
  • A tech company, facing pressure from its investors, goes through a rapid growth phase that doesn’t sync with its strategy.

Q9. How does the “How was our strategy created?” question help companies prevent strategy failure?

  • This question reveals whether or not the goals and strategic purpose are clear.
  • This question helps organizations determine if they have made the strategy a priority and implemented milestones to check progress.
  • This question addresses whether or not there is alignment between what the organization can do effectively and easily.
  • This question reveals whether or not the strategy was created using a fair and open process, involved a range of stakeholders, and considered behavioral influences.

Q10. How does the structure of an organization impact its corporate governance?

  • Organizational structure minimizes and can even eliminate external pressures.
  • A well-structured company has less need for risk management policies.
  • A company’s organizational structure has almost no impact on its corporate governance.
  • An organization’s structure clearly delineates the reporting and oversight responsibilities within the company.

Q11. REVIEW: You’re in charge of strategic execution at your company. Which of these options describes a plan that will most likely result in successful strategy execution?

  • Ask company leadership to choose the single most important element of the strategy execution and prioritize just that aspect.
  • Design a sequence so that the analysis, formulation and implementation won’t overlap and will be completed separately over an approved length of time.
  • Recommend an iterative plan that includes analysis, formulation, and implementation.
  • Focus on strategic analysis, as formulation and implementation will be less likely to impact the overall strategic execution.

Q12. REVIEW: You are about to give a presentation on your strategic analysis. Which of these best describes the final product you’ll present to your client or supervisor?

  • Thorough display and summary of each tool so that the client or supervisor can draw his or her own conclusions.
  • Possibilities, concerns, and issues gained from insights you’ve gained by using a wide variety of tools
  • An avoidance of uncertainties
  • A focused review of select components of the strategic analysis

Week 3: Strategy Implementation

Q1. Executives report that most of their time is spent on strategy execution rather than development or implementation, and execution is what leads to success. Review how companies can improve their execution in “The 4A Model of Strategy Execution” video.

  • The most critical aspect of the 4A Model is human resource management, because people are a firm’s most important asset.
  • Successful models should include a timetable with specific deadlines for completing strategic initiatives.
  • The model should include a comprehensive implementation plan.
  • Human and organizational resources paired with the potential and kinetic energy of the firm are underlying dimensions of alignment, ability, architecture, and agility.

Q2. Why is internal misalignment problematic for companies?

  • Internally misaligned companies miss opportunities to have mutually reinforcing processes, practices, and structures.
  • Internal alignment is particularly challenging because it cannot be mapped or measured.
  • Internal misalignment describes the degree to which employees have inconsistent perspectives and difficulty working with common strategic intent.
  • Internally misaligned companies have operations that don’t support market strategy.

Q3. How can efforts to align a company potentially diminish performance?

  • By focusing on consistent company performance goals, employees create agency problems.
  • Spending time articulating strategy can cause employees to lose valuable time focusing on tasks.
  • Companies experience diminished performance when they allow change to occur.
  • Accountability measures can result in employees setting less challenging goals rather than encouraging high performance expectations.

Q4. You’ve just been hired as the CEO of a reusable packing box company. Which most critical change would you implement to minimize the talent syndrome?

  • Separate tasks so that each person is focusing on their own responsibilities and isn’t distracted by other aspects of the company
  • Reduce spending on talent in order to focus on other strategic investments
  • Be very available and dedicate time responding to people issues
  • Identify talent needed in critical areas and devote resources to counteract the shortfall

Q5. When identifying strategic talent pools and making management decisions, which of these is the most effective?

  • Map the talent pool to identify and invest more in positions that are are unique to the firm, critical to strategy, and create value
  • Develop training programs to build innovation and creativity and develop stringent metrics for improving efficiencies
  • Quickly adopt a detailed and rigorous performance management system and ask managers to implement it immediately
  • Eliminate inefficient use of execution resources by forming a talent management plan that can be applied to all employees and will be durable over the long term

Q6. Which of the following is the strongest example of a firm’s architectural structure following the firm’s strategy?

  • An established construction company has an opportunity to bid on the development of a mixed-use subdivision but isn’t able to complete the bid process in time because internal processes are too time consuming.
  • A fast food restaurant decides to deliver food to tables rather than handing it to customers at the counter. They design new processes to enable this service enhancement.
  • A gymnastics training center realizes they’ll have a need for more competitive coaches in a few years and begins training eligible staff.
  • After mapping its talent pool, a tech firm realizes it needs to hire or internally train more Ruby on Rails developers in order to meet a product launch.

Q7. In a large, complex organization, managers follow standardized processes and report to centralized leadership. How would you advise that the company enable a flatter, more decentralized architecture?

  • Reduce information processing so managers have an easier time making decisions.
  • Reinforce decision making by centralized leaders rather than investing in lateral relations.
  • Decrease the velocity of change in the company in order to simplify strategy.
  • Use technology to share up to date information quickly with business managers in order to inform decentralized decisions.

Q8. A company that develops board and card games has had creative success in the past but is having trouble. Core competencies are stable and decentralized managers are empowered to make decisions. Game innovators continue to experiment with and share new product ideas as well as design successes and failures, but the company isn’t building on its strengths and moving forward. Which of these aspects of Dorothy Leonard Barton’s model best characterizes the difficulty preventing the company from being agile?

  • Managers aren’t solving problems where they occur.
  • Employees aren’t sharing information internally.
  • The company isn’t trying new things.
  • The company isn’t engaging with or building external networks.

Q9. When trying to increase the agility of a company, which of the following is the most effective move for company leaders?

  • Focus on performance in order to minimize risks taken by employees
  • Adapt quickly to build momentum and encourage the company to rapidly sprint to achieve successive strategy execution goals
  • Predict necessary changes for the organization
  • Facilitate and invest in opportunities for disciplined reflection of successes and failures

Q10. The founding members of a tech startup have been working together for five years and have built a thriving and still growing company. How does transactive memory impact the leadership unity of such a group?

  • Transactive memory can diminish the team’s ability to make thorough decisions.
  • Transactive memory slows down the decision making process, leading to less agile organizations.
  • By knowing each other’s varied perspectives and areas of expertise, the leadership team can quickly and thoroughly debate and reach decisions.
  • Because team members don’t have overlapping areas of expertise or shared perspectives, teams find it difficult to create a shared identity or reach a consensus.

Q11. Who would be most likely to analyze strategy for evaluation purposes?

  • A company president or CEO
  • An entrepreneur or owner of a small business
  • An investor who needs to make projections about future financial performance
  • A business unit or general manager

Q12. Which of the following is the most likely outcome of a design thinking strategy approach?

  • Creation of products or services to pilot test
  • Inventions that provide higher order solutions
  • Steady, incremental changes to existing products or services
  • A succinct summary of the nine business model elements
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