tows matrix part 2 of 5 1

TOWS Matrix

Part 2 of 5



Create a 3–5-page draft for a strategic plan for your selected organization using a TOWS matrix and portfolio analysis in addition to any other appropriate tool of your choosing.

Questions to Consider:

  • How does value chain analysis and planning logic enhance strategy formulation and/or implementation?
  • What recommendations would you give to a CEO of a health care facility when creating a service and contingency operations?
  • What assumptions are being taking for granted by stakeholders? What alternative assumptions exist?
  • What information do you currently have and what kind of information are you missing?
  • How would someone demonstrate intellectual and intercultural fairness when considering the community at large (outside the walls of the institution)?
  • What criteria would you use to evaluate the quality of the information, implementation and/or effectiveness of existing or suggested strategies?

Step One: Critical Thinking Skills Practice

The TOWS matrix is a decision-making process for developing strategic alternatives. Your ability to think critically is key to organizing your thoughts throughout the strategic planning process.

In preparation for this assessment, you are required to view the Riverbend City: Ruby Lake Evacuation Mission simulation (linked in the Resources). This activity is an ideal setting to practice thoughtful application of critical thinking skills. This media piece addresses multiple competencies, some of which are difficult to practice and assess without a real world or a simulated setting. As you begin your TOWS matrix, keep the following categories of critical thought in mind as you consider the threats, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses of the Ruby Lake Evacuation scenario.

  • Assumptions: What assumptions are being taking for granted by the people in this simulation? What alternative assumptions could be useful in this situation?
  • Information: What information did people have and what kind of information were they missing?
  • Fairness: How was intellectual and intercultural fairness demonstrated?
  • Criteria for Evaluation: What criteria would you use to evaluate the quality of the information, implementation and/or effectiveness?

Complete a practice TOWS matrix for this scenario before proceeding to Step Two. This practice matrix does not need to be submitted.

Step Two: Complete a TOWS Matrix

Apply the same critical thought process to a real-world setting that is relevant for your selected health care organization’s future success. In addition to completing a TOWS matrix, you may use any other appropriate analysis tools to determine alternative strategies.

Include the following as you develop alternative strategies:

  • Incorporate the use of new methodologies from the knowledge-economy management approach that might be appropriate for this organization.
  • Correlate recent research findings regarding strategy management into your approach.
  • Synthesize operational and financial components in your strategic planning process.
  • Incorporate your findings from your current environment analysis.
  • Determine the organizational structure that best facilitates the strategy—functional, divisional, or matrix.

Step Three: Draft Strategic Plan

Re-examine your work from Assessment 1 and create a high-level draft of a strategic plan that incorporates insights from your environmental analysis and the TOWS matrix exercise. The goal is to focus upon application of the concepts and new insight. Keep it brief and substantive.

Preface your draft with the core assumptions regarding environmental opportunities and threats, organizational strengths and weaknesses, and organizational behavior dynamics that are foundational to the strategy.

Include a brief description of the proposed strategy that reflects the choices made regarding:

  • Service/product domain.
  • Market domain.
  • Level of investment in the respective service/product and market domains.
  • Positioning approach for achieving competitive advantage.
  • Maneuvers that will be used to implement the positioning approach.
  • Distinctive competencies or assets that will be relied on to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Analyze organizational structure, design, culture, and climate in relation to environmental forces.
    • Apply methodologies from the knowledge economy management approach appropriately to the organization.
    • Integrate recent research into a strategic management plan.
  • Competency 2: Develop a strategic organizational plan that provides human and financial resources to support targeted organizational outcomes.
    • Synthesize operational and financial components into a strategic planning process.
    • Analyze strategy in relation to achieving competitive advantage.
  • Competency 3: Recommend an organizational structure and design to optimize a strategic plan.
    • Recommend an alternative organizational structure model that aligns with organizational goals.


SWOT Analysis
  • Ojala, M. (2017). Locating and creating SWOT analyses. Online Searcher, 41(1), 59–62.
  • Shahmoradi, L., Darrudi, A., Arji, G., & Nejad, A. F. (2017). Electronic health record implementation: A SWOT analysis. Acta Medica Iranica, 55(10), 642–649.
Knowledge-Economy Management Methodologies

These resources will help advance your understanding of how to apply value adding strategies in the evaluation process.

  • Ginter, P. M., Duncan, W. J., & Swayne, L. E. (2013). Strategic management of health care organizations (7th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Chapter 7, “Evaluation of Alternatives and Strategic Choice,” pages 259–312.
    • Chapter 8, “Value-Adding Service Delivery Strategies,” pages 313–358.
  • Gingrass, J. (2015). Changing the channel: Strategies for expanding patient access. Healthcare Financial Management, 69(4), 64–68.
  • Landwehr, C., & Klinnert, D. (2015). Value congruence in health care priority settings: Social values, institutions and decisions in three countries. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 10(2), 113–132.

These articles discuss the importance of learning to sustain innovation and the importance of being prepared.

  • Ballé, M., Morgan, J., & Sobek, D. K. (2016). Why learning is central to sustained innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(3), 63–71.
  • Sheffi, Y. (2015). Preparing for disruptions through early detection. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(1), 31–42. TOWS Matrix


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