Final Project: Applying the P-O-L-C (Week 8)
Students will read the case study that focuses on the four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling (P-O-L-C). You have been hired as a consultant to help Mike Davis and his family to solve the problems with his business. You will create a consultancy plan that covers the four functions of management. In creating the management plan, you must also demonstrate how the four functions of management are interrelated showing how issues in one function impact other functions.
In speaking with Mike, Ethan and Daisy, you already know the following about the business owners:
- failed to develop or share a mission statement;
- failed to determine the best way to organize resources, including personnel;
- underestimates the importance of recruitment, job design and descriptions, and training;
- assumed that motivation will occur naturally;
- fails to define standards and other measurable outcomes;
- ignored negative information;
- delayed actions to improve organizational outcomes.
Note: A report is not written like a paper. Please use the Outline for the Consultancy Report
Required Elements of the Consultancy Report:
Students will create a consultancy plan that helps Mike, Ethan and Daisy run the business, both day-to-day and over the long term (strategically). Be succinct in your writing but persuasive so that the recommendations will have positive outcomes for the business.
Students are not using buzz-word and are not defining terms using a dictionary. Students are expected to present the material in a professional manner describing and explaining to the owners. As a consultant, you should be secure in your presentation to Mike, Ethan and Daisy.. Avoid telling the owners that they should do this or must do that but write in an action-oriented manner. Students are expected to make connections between the facts of the case study and concepts, theories, and ideas presented in the course material.
- In creating the consultancy report, students will first assess the business and identify specific areas of strengths and weaknesses of the business as it relates to the components of the P-O-L-C. In completing this section, do not create a heading for each element of the P-O-L-C but write from the perspective of the consultant discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the business;
- Select a management style (class hierarchy, democratic hierarchy, collaborative management or collective management) and explain why the selected model is most appropriate for Outdoor Adventure Paintball Park;
- Develop roles and responsibility of the owners and employees (Be creative in completing this task);
- Discuss why these positions are necessary to the business;
- Make specific recommendations for improving the management of Outdoor Adventure Paintball Park. Cover all aspects of the P-O-L-C. This area of the paper specifically addresses the areas of strengths and weaknesses identified above and puts in place a plan for the short and long –term success of the business;
- Create a balanced scorecard that will help Outdoor Adventure Paintball Park align its business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improves communication and monitors performance against goals;
- Students are expected to show what they have learned in the course by applying theories and concepts. Be sure to support your reasoning.
Required Formatting of Consultancy Report:
- The consultancy report should be single-spaced, 12-point font, and between 6-8 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page;
- Title page with your name, the course name, the date, and the instructor’s name;
- An introductory paragraph, a summary paragraph and the use of headings are required;
- Use the course material to support your reasoning. Outside resources may be used but the majority of the support will come from the course readings with a wide array of readings used;
- Writing is expected to be clear and concise;
- Use APA formatting for in-text citations and reference page. You are expected to paraphrase and not use direct quotes;
- Write in the third person;
Outline For The Consultancy Report
I. Title Page
The title page of a formal report works in collaboration with the cover page to provide a solid
introduction to the consulting report. Your team’s report will certainly have a sense of
permanence; it will likely be filed and periodically reviewed and consulted. Therefore, the title
page should include specific information regarding the report:
• Names of the authors or other contributors, including contact information and the name of
the organization you’re working within.
• A very good and specific title that reflects, as much as possible, the main points of the
• The name of the business or organization that your team is consulting
II. Executive Summary
An executive summary is designed primarily to serve the person who, at least initially, does not
intend to read the entire report. It usually states the main points of each section and emphasizes
results, conclusions, and recommendations, usually in around three pages. Executive
summaries are ideally suited to the needs of readers who are seeking advice about a decision or
a course of action. These summaries are called executive summaries because some decision makers
rely wholly upon their advisors to read and evaluate the rest of the report.
For the purposes of this project, the executive summary should be three pages, and should
concentrate on listing the tasks performed by the team. This would involve summarizing
problem/opportunity areas, methodology, conclusions, and recommendations. It’s not a bad idea
to develop an executive summary during the early stages of your team’s writing process, as this
document can help to provide your team some focus. Keep in mind, however, that this will also
be a document that will need to be revised to properly reflect your report.
III. Introduction to the Report
The introduction allows your readers to preview the nature of the project you have undertaken for
your client. Essentially, the introduction forecasts the basic organization of the report. Some
writers and readers insist that the following questions should always be addressed and/or
considered in the introduction to the report:
• What is the problem or the opportunity? Be specific. Whenever you can, quantify.
Describe the problem or opportunity in monetary terms, because the proposal itself will
include a budget of some sort and you want to convince your readers that spending
money on what you propose is smart. Be positive. In other words, don’t say that a
problem is slowing down production; say that it is costing $4,500 a day in lost
• What is the purpose of the proposal? Even through it might seem obvious to you, the
purpose of the proposal is to describe a problem or opportunity and propose a course of
action. Be specific in explaining what you want to do.
• What is the background of the problem or the opportunity? In answering this
question, you probably will not be telling your readers anything they don’t already know.
Your goal here is to show them that you understand the problem or opportunity, as well
as the relationships or events that will affect the problem and its solution.
• What are your sources of information? Review the relevant literature, including
internal reports, memos, external public articles, or even books, so that your readers will
understand the context of your work. Clients are looking to you for sound advice. If your
research is sloppy, incomplete, and rather nominal (for example, you checked out a few
websites that the client could do on his or her own free time), your report will be less
convincing, and your ethos as a provider of sound advice will be suspect. The best
reports always contain complete and thorough research–and complete and thorough
research cannot be completed in the waning moments of the semester.
• What is the scope of your proposal? If appropriate, indicate what you are proposing to
do as well as what you are not proposing to do.
• What is the organization of the proposal? Indicate the organizational pattern you will
use in the proposal.
• What are the key terms that will be used in the proposal? If you will use any new,
specialized, or unusual terms, the introduction is an appropriate place to define them.
In addition, you will want to include the following information in your introduction:
• The report is written both to provide the client with a record of the project and to fulfill one of
the requirements for Management 451.
• List the members of the consulting team, and acknowledge anyone who has provided the
team with assistance, including your project advisor and the faculty who have taught
Because not all clients will necessarily be competent in your field, the background section needs
to clearly articulate the context behind your research.
The Background Sections require you to conduct comprehensive research. Your suggestions
need to be based on the research that your team has conducted, and this research needs to be
demonstrated to your client.
Again, your ethos as a sound provider of business advice is largely based on the research that
supports your findings and ideas.
Normally all of the categories of background information listed in the report outline can be fully
developed. The order of these sections can be varied if such an alteration makes sense.
Open the “background” sequence with a major heading, BACKGROUND, followed by a brief
introduction that explains how the background sections help to key frames of reference for your
analysis. Open each section with an appropriate heading. The generic headings can be revised
so that they are more specific. For example, Client Profile can be revised to read A Look at Our
Client: Historic Harmar Merchants.
Clearly organize each of the sections. Open each section with an introductory preview of the
material. Even more importantly, end each section with a conclusion that summarizes and
explains to the client what the information is designed to demonstrate.
Relate and unify all of the sections so that it reads as a coherent whole. Use good transitions
between sections, and conclude with a section in which you pull together and evaluate the
The Background section is an important phase in researching and coming to understand your
client, the firm, and the situation and environment in which they operate. It is an important part in
the structure of your final paper, and should be between 8 and 10 pages.
Please remember that the Background section is not the place to analyze problems and
opportunities. These sections provide the background and frame of reference for the analysis of
V. a Client Profile
The purpose of the Client Profile is to both “bring the client to life” and to tie the information
together by explaining how it helps portray your client as a member of the business community.
Do not hesitate to interpret information and to draw conclusions. If your client is a group of
people of whom your contact person is a member, you may want to treat the group as a
“collective client.” Do a profile of the group as a whole (for example, the history and makeup of a
Some things that you will want to include in the Client Profile:
• Places of residence
• Educational and training background
• Career experience
• Civic interests and activities
• How and why your client became interested in this business
• Your client’s business philosophy and/or attitude towards business
• Any other information that contributes to a portrait of your client as a person who has
chosen to become the operator of a small business
VI. Defining the Firm’s Objectives
This section should include:
• A description of the firm’s short-term and long-term objectives
• Prioritization of primary and secondary objectives
Objectives should be stated as specifically as possible (for example, “…to increase net income by
20% of the end of FY 2005”).
VII. Defining the Team’s Tasks
First, this section should clearly describe the tasks that the consulting team has agreed to carry
out and explain how the team and client chose those tasks. Normally, these tasks can be
identified concisely (for example, “Task One: Developing a Market Plan. Task Two: Selecting a
New Location”). This section should also identify any tasks that the team originally agreed to
perform but which, for whatever reason, was unable to complete.
The team must clearly point out how a general task breaks down into component tasks. For
example, “Developing a Market Plan” will involve several component tasks. The tasks may
include: “Designing and Administering a Market Survey”; “Designing an Advertising Strategy”, etc.
By the same token, if a team is presented with only one general task, such as “Crafting a
Business Plan”, they will need to break that general assignment into component tasks. The goal
is to break down each task into its smallest components.
Secondly, this section is pivotal because it serves as a preview for the following section, in which
you explain how you actually carried out each of the tasks.
Write about your team’s tasks in the past tense, as if the project and the tasks are already
VIII. Carrying out the Team’s Tasks: Problem, Methodology, Conclusions,
This is a rather lengthy section that is organized around the team’s basic tasks. A “Table of
Contents” might list as follows:
Task One: Developing a Marketing Plan
Task Two: Selecting a New Location
Task Three: Securing an SBA Loan
Each task section should be organized to:
• Describe the current situation (in effect, the “problem and /or opportunity”) and the
needs / opportunities it creates
• Narrate and explain the procedure the team followed in addressing the needs
created by the market situation
• Draw conclusions and make recommendations
The following example illustrates such an organization, using “Task Two” from the sample above:
Task Two: Selecting a New Location
• Evaluating the Current Location
This is a headed section that describes any advantages but more significantly the
disadvantages of the current business location. This section explains the problem
and the needs it creates.
• Identifying and Evaluating Alternative Locations
This is a headed section that describes alternative locations and compares them to
the current location and to each other. This section narrates and explains the team’s
method of operation that addresses the needs created by the problem; it shows the
team in action.
• Conclusion and Recommendations
This is a headed section that pulls the evaluations together, states the solution, and
justifies one or more recommendations.
If a task area involves two or more related tasks, the organization would reflect how the basic
task breaks down into component tasks.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Important Note: The organization of this section should be marked by clear headings and subheadings.
Also, this is a good time to reflect back on the research that your team conducted. Your team’s
ideas should not appear as if they developed out of “thin air.” Use sentences that point your
reader back to the research that your team conducted.
IX. Summary Conclusion
This final section pulls the report together, offers some words of assurance to the client, and
states the team’s (we hope) pleasure in having undertaken this consulting project. In pulling the
report together, carefully summarize your findings and what you see as the prospects for your
“Bibliography” or “Works Cited” – call this section what you want. Whatever the case, you must
list all resources that you used for this report. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep track of all
the sources that your team used in the report.
Furthermore, in the text of the report you must cite your sources whenever you use ideas or data
generated by someone else. You must cite these sources, even if you do not quote from them
directly. When you do borrow exact wording, including key phrases, you must use quotation
For examples of proper documentation and bibliographic form, see the handout from Aldred,
Brusaw, and Oliu The Business Writer’s Handbook, 6th edition. You can also access MLA and
APA citation style guides from the Campus Writing Center’s webpage
As Brusaw’s Handbook states: “An appendix contains material at the end of a formal report…
that supplements or clarifies” (54). Depending on the nature of a consulting team’s tasks,
appendices will be more or less useful to the client. Among the kinds of material which might be
included in appendices would be complete statistical readouts, copies of surveys and
questionnaires, reprints of helpful articles, or excerpts from book length resources, brochures,
copies of letters, etc.
The appendix should reflect the amount of research that the team put into the project. Be careful
that you don’t overdo it, though. If your appendix is too voluminous, you risk the chance that your
client will simply refuse to wade through it to seek out important information.
Make sure that Appendix Materials are also referenced in the text of the report.
Case Study #3 Final Project
Mike Davis worked for one of the big outdoor sporting goods stores for more than seven years. Although he never completed his degree, Mike took some management courses at the local community college. The knowledge he gained from his coursework along with his own tenacity enabled him to rise into entry-level management. Although Mike enjoyed his job, he couldn’t help wondering if there was more to life. Mike always wanted to open his own business because he wanted to be his own boss and thought he might be able to earn a decent living.
Recently, retired from a career with the school system as a PE teacher and sports coach, Mike’s Aunt Daisy was looking to fulfill her dream of having an outdoor adventure business. She had inherited some property years back but had not done anything with the land to this point. When Aunt Daisy learned that Mike was thinking along the same lines, she determined it was time to start a business. The two decided to go into business together and brought in Mike’s younger brother, Ethan, who was working part-time as an athletic trainer. The trio combined their savings and started hashing out a plan to use the five acres of land that Aunt Daisy had inherited.
The concept was simple…to open a business where teenagers, young adults, and work teams from local businesses could enjoy hours of outdoor fun and entertainment. There was limited sports and entertainment for the target audience so the family decided to open a themed outdoor paint ball park, which they called Outdoor Adventure Paintball Park. Outdoor Adventure offers customers a choice of five battlefields, each offering a different level of play.
Each field provides a unique experience for hours of enjoyment. There is the civil war field with a simulated headquarters and trenches; an old castle, which is made of multiple levels and a tower; the woods, which offers a true woodsy battle with placement of several man-made buildings for additional cover; the village, which is a large field with a wooded section running down one side, a two story building and bunkers in the middle, with a creek running down the other side; and the hill, which contains a wooded section and a number of bunkers on a steep incline. A small store is strategically placed in a location central to the fields to eliminate the need for guests to leave the playing area.
The costs to customers vary, with rental packages starting at $25 per person. Customers may also purchase a la carte based on their individual needs. Additionally, season passes are available for a cost of $150 and birthday party packages are available for $300. The minimum age to participate in a paint ball event is 10 years.
In addition to the five battle fields, there are six air ball fields that are formatted for 3, 5 and 7-man tournament play. Air ball fields offer a variety of layouts that are constantly changed to keep up with the latest craze in tournament play. Many of the fields have dedicated fill stations to eliminate the need for players to leave the field to reload.
The facility also includes a shooting gallery designed to allow individuals to sharpen their shooting skills. The gallery contains high velocity paint guns and a variety of still and moving targets. Players may practice aiming, have shootouts or just blast away at targets for sheer enjoyment.
Mike manages the business and spends most of his time in his office with the door closed, Ethan trains new employees and supervises paint ball events, and Aunt Daisy has oversight of the shooting gallery. The business started with three employees but has grown quickly to a staff of 20.
The venture seemed like a good idea. The family’s passion for sports and working with youth appeared to be paying off. There are loyal repeat customers who purchase expensive equipment and supplies from Ethan. These customers also enjoy attending extra training and information sessions. The tournaments have become popular and the local news has been covering the events. Moreover, the business has a reputation for being a safe family friendly environment.
However, recently, Outdoor Adventure has been experiencing growing pains. Scheduling is becoming more challenging as the activities on the field increase. Staff is pulled from one area of the park to provide coverage in another. Employees are starting to complain that they do not understand their job duties outside of the paint ball fields and feel they need additional training and procedures. Additionally, a major event was missed due to double-booking. A number of customers have expressed their displeasure with the service and, as a result, spending less time on the field. Local businesses are not responding to special discounts for employee events. There has been an increase in workplace mistakes but fortunately these have not resulted in serious accidents. Customers and employees are starting to question the leadership and often ask, “How long can a business like this one last?” or “Who’s running the show?”
Mike has noticed a dip in sales and is now starting to feel they are losing control of the business. While the two closest competitors are 30 – 45 miles away and do not offer nearly the same amenities, Mike understands that if they do not do something quickly, their customer base may decide travel to the competition. Moreover, his passion for owning a sports-oriented business is waning. He is concerned about the continued success of the business but the work no longer seems fun or interesting.
Aunt Daisy, on the other hand, is not interested in discussing the books and does not see any need to worry. She is not concerned about what Mike calls “a few random incidents” and sees the dip in sales as an indication that it would be a good idea to expand the offering. In fact, she has been presented with the possibility of forming a paint ball competing team. She feels this opportunity is too big to pass up and wants to convince the others that it’s a good time to pursue.