Project 1: starting an external environmental analysis


BMGT 495 – Project 1:  Starting an External Environmental Analysis (Week 2)

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NOTE:  All  submitted work is to be your original work (only your work). You may  not use any work from another student, the Internet or an online  clearinghouse.  You are expected to understand the Academic Dishonesty  and Plagiarism Policy, and know that it is your responsibility to learn  about instructor and general academic expectations with regard to proper  citation of sources as specified in the APA Publication Manual, 6th Ed.  (You are held accountable for in-text citations and an associated  reference list only). 

Project 1 is due Sunday at 11:59 p.m. eastern time of week 2 unless otherwise changed by the instructor.


This  project is the first of four projects.  This project provides the first  steps in completing an external environmental analysis of your focal  company’s strategic management plan.   You will use tools and apply  concepts learned in this and previous business courses to demonstrate an  understanding of how organizations develop and manage strategies to  establish, safeguard and sustain its competitive position in the 21st century’s (rapidly evolving/shifting/changing), uncertain hyper-competitive business environment. 

Completing  a company overview and assessing the general environment is a key  aspect of performing an external environment analysis.  This project  provides you with the opportunity to evaluate the competitive position  of one of the organizations listed below and integrate that information  in the beginnings of a external environmental analysis. 

The  company you will be analyzing operates within the global market.  You  will assess the company in terms of the global industry.  Industries  differ widely in their economic characteristics, competitive situation  and future profit potential.

In  this project, you are presenting a report document.  The expectation is  that the report provides the level of details to help the audience  grasp the main topics and to understand the General Environment. 

Analysis  is the operative word.  In analyzing the external environment, you are  expected to thoroughly research and take that research and break it into  small parts to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the  external environment of the business.  In researching an industry, it is  important to understand that every company within an industry is  different so gathering information on one company does not mean that the  collected information is relevant to other companies within that  industry.  When researching, parsing the material is critical to an  accurate analysis.  Avoid presenting just any information as that may  lead to using irrelevant information.

You  will then write the report in your own words to share the external  analysis.  You are expected to present information and support the ideas  and reasoning using the course material and your research.  You will  not lift any information from source documents without properly citing  and referencing.  For the technical analysis aspect of the project, you  are required to create the technique on your own and may not use from  any source material that you happen to find.  No work from a  clearinghouse or similar website may be used or cited as a credible  source. 

Outcomes Met With This Project:

  • utilize a set of useful analytical skills, tools, and techniques for analyzing a company strategically;
  • integrate  ideas, concepts, and theories from previously taken functional courses  including accounting, finance, market, business and human resource  management;


In  completing the report, you will use the chapters in the eBook and other  course material, and perform research on the company and industry in  which the company operates and answer the required elements below in  narrative form following the steps provided.

Step 1:  Specific Company for All Four Projects is  SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. ((TSX:SNC) 

In this project, you will complete a Company Overview, an Evaluation of the General Environment and a conclusion.

You  will be assigned by your instructor one focal company to complete the  analysis.  The assigned company must be used for all four projects in  this course. You are not allowed to write the report on any other  company different from the company specifically assigned by your  instructor.  If a company other than that assigned to you is used, a  zero will be assigned.

The  instructor will assign you a company from the list below.  (Students  may not select the company).  All companies can be found on Mergent  Online.

  • SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. ((TSX:SNC)
  • Students  must complete the project using the assigned company.  Deviating from  the assigned company will result in a zero for the project.  You will  look for the company assigned to you in the Announcement area of the  classroom.

Step 2:  Course Materials and Research

  • You  are required to research information about the focal company and the  internal environment for this project, You are accountable for using the  course materials to support the ideas, reasoning and conclusions made.   Course materials use goes beyond defining terms but is used to explain  the ‘why and how’ of a situation.  Using one or two in-text citations  from the course materials and then relying on Internet source material  will not earn many points on the assignment.  A variety of source  material is expected and what is presented must be relevant and  applicable to the topic being discussed.   Avoid merely making  statements but close the loop of the discussion by explaining how something happens or why something happens,  which focuses on importance and impact.  In closing the loop, you will  demonstrate the ability to think clearly and rationally showing an  understanding of the logical connections between the ideas presented  from the research, the course material and the question(s) being asked.
  • Note: Your  report is based on the results of the research performed and not on any  prepared documentation.  What this means is that you will research and  draw your own conclusions that are supported by the research and the  course material rather than the use any source material that puts  together any of the tools or techniques whether from the Internet,  for-pay websites or any pre-prepared document, video or source  material.  A zero will be earned for not doing your own analysis.
  • Success:  The  analysis is based on research and not opinion.  You are not making  recommendations and you will not attempt to position the focal company  in a better or worse light than other companies within the industry  merely because you are completing an analysis on this particular  company.  The analysis must be based on factual information.  Any  conclusions drawn have to be based on factual information rather than  leaps of faith.  To  ensure success, as stated above, you are expected to use the course  materials and research on the focal company’s global industry and the  focal company.  Opinion does not earn credit nor does using external  sources when course materials can be used.  It is necessary to provide  explanations (the why and how) rather than making statements.   Avoid  stringing one citation after another as doing so does not show detailed  explanations.

Library Resources

  • On  the main navigation bar in the classroom select, Resources and then  select Library.  Select Databases by Title (A – Z).  Select M from the  alphabet list, and then select Mergent Online.   You may also use Market  Line and should be looking at the focal company’s Annual Report or 10K  report.  You are not depending on any one resource to complete the  analysis.  It is impossible to complete a Porter’s Five Forces,  competitive analysis or OT by using only course material.
  • You should not be using obscure articles, GlassDoor, or Chron or similar types of articles.  
  • Research for Financial Analysis: Financial Research
  • Research for Industry Analysis CSI Market
  • UMGC library is available for providing resources and services. Seek library support for excellence in your academic pursuit.  

Library Support

  • Extensive library resources and services are available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at to support you in your studies.  The UMGC Library provides research assistance in creating search strategies,  selecting relevant databases, and evaluating and citing resources in a  variety of formats via its Ask a Librarian service at
  • Scholarly Research in OneSearch is allowed.
  • To  search for only scholarly resources, you are expected to place a check  mark in the space for “Scholarly journals only” before clicking search.

Step 3: How to Set Up the Report:

  • The  document has to be written in Word or rtf.  No other format is  acceptable.  Pdf files will not be graded.  Use 12-point font for a  double-spaced report.  The final product cannot be longer than 8 pages  in length, which includes all tables and matrices but excludes the title  page and reference page.  Do no use an Appendix.
  • Create a title page with title, your name, the course number, the instructor’s name.

Step 4: Company Overview

  • Provide  a company overview, which is an essential component to the strategic  management process.  The company overview includes the purpose(s) for  the founding of the company, i.e, what problems was it formed to solve  and/or opportunities it was formed to exploit, who are the founders,  home country or state, current management, employee headcount, last  year’s revenue, etc.).

Step 5: Evaluate the General Environment

  • Identify the global industry in which the company operates.  This will come from Mergent Online.
  • Discuss  the company’s general environment by developing a PESTEL analysis.   First, use the course material to identify the elements of the PESTEL  and what components make up each element.  Then, complete the analysis  using research on the industry and the focal company. Be sure to  thoroughly present and support the reasoning for what is presented.  You  may not use a PESTEL analysis that is already completed and available  on the Internet.   A zero will result if used as the analysis has to be  the result of your research and your own development.  NOTE:   A PESTEL analysis is not a table and it is not a bulleted assessment.
  • Identify  and discuss one key trend for each letter of the PESTEL for the  industry.  Key trends are separate from the PESTEL analysis.
  • Select  one of the six trends identified in the previous requirement and  discuss how the focal company could be affected by the selected trends.
  • Discuss  key areas of uncertainty related to the identified trend for the focal  company that could potentially impact the company’s strategy.
  • Perform a strategic analysis of the company’s mission, vision and objectives.

Step 6: Conclusion

  • Create  a concluding paragraph.  The Conclusion is intended to emphasize the  purpose/significance of the analysis, emphasize the  significance/consequence of findings, and indicate the wider  applications that are derived from the main points of the project’s  requirements.  You will draw conclusions about the findings of the  external environment analysis.

Step 7:  Review the Paper 

Read the paper to ensure all required elements are present.

The  following are specific requirements that you will follow.  Use the  checklist to mark off that you have followed each specific  requirement.  



Specific Project Requirements


Proofread your paper


Read  and use the grading rubric while completing the paper to ensure all  requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade. 


Third  person writing is required.  Third person means that there are no words  such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use  of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in  the third person, view this link:


Contractions are not used in business writing, so do not use them.  


Paraphrase  and do not use direct quotations.  Paraphrase means you do not use more  than four consecutive words from a source document.  Removing quotation  marks and citing is inappropriate.  Instead put a passage from a source  document into your own words and attribute the passage to the source  document.  There should be no passages with quotation marks.  Using more  than four consecutive words from a source document would require direct  quotation marks.  Changing words from a passage does not exclude the  passage from having quotation marks.   If more than four consecutive  words are used from source documents, this material will not be included  in the grade.  


You  are expected to use the research and weekly course materials to develop  the analysis and support the reasoning.   There should be a robust use  of the course material.  Material used from a source document must be  cited and referenced.  A reference within a reference list cannot exist  without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.  Changing words  from a passage does not exclude the passage from having quotation  marks.   


Use in-text citations and provide a reference list that contains the reference associated with each in-text citation.


You  may not use books in completing this problem set unless part of the  course material.  Also, do not use a dictionary, Wikipedia or  Investopedia or similar sources. You may not use Fern Fort University, Ibis World or any other for-fee website.  


Provide  the page or paragraph number in every in-text citation presented.   Since the eBook does not have page numbers, include the chapter title  and topic heading.  If using a video, provide the minutes and second of  the cited material.