Research Theories and Methods for the Implementation of Capacity Planning
OLB 7002, Assignment 2
DuBose, Justin Z.
Dr. Michael J. Kranzusch
20 August 2017
This paper is an analysis of the usefulness and effectiveness of SWOT analysis on capacity planning for organizations. Various theories and methodologies are discussed as well as their translating into organizational process goals.
These theories and methodologies are then applied to the organization of Columbus Christian Academy in Whiteville, North Carolina. Organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are discussed and the feasibility of immediate adjustments being made. The paper concludes with a SWOT analysis of current capabilities and aligning these capabilities to future organizational goals.
Theories and Methods of Capacity Planning
Every organization has a consistently pressing need to self-evaluate for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness. Regardless of any particular field of which the organization is included, this need to conduct both internal investigations and external comparisons will never dissipate due to the nature of competition in the business and not-for-profit sector. Therefore, organizations must constantly conduct what is known as “capacity planning” to evaluate their current capacity while considering present and future goals. In doing so, current resources can be aligned to meet organizational goals and organization efficiency can be greatly enhanced in the process.
While there exist multiple theories of capacity planning, the goal for each planning process is the same: increased efficiency and better alignment of resources to meet future goals. Nested within organizational capacity planning is the implementation of a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is commonly used to examine an organization’s “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” (Brooks, 2014). As Brooks noted, “SWOT can be helpful and useful in setting short-term and long-terms goals and aligning organizational resources to aim at these goals” (Brooks, 2014).
A SWOT analysis encompasses both internal (Strengths and Weaknesses) as well as external (Opportunities and Threats) analysis and reveals much about the current standing of the organization (Coman & Ronen, 2009). Multiple theories exist of how to analyze each of elements. The Five Forces Model of Competition (Porter, 1991) evaluates industry trends and external threats in the form of competition. The Driving Forces Model (Thompson, et al, 2012) looks at the external forces which are driving the industry and bringing about industry-wide change. Each of these are effective and provide substantive theory and methodology for conducting a SWOT analysis.
How SWOT Improves Capacity
In conducting a GAP analysis for Columbus Christian Academy, certain key organizational strengths and weaknesses emerged. It was discovered, for example, that from the capacity dimension of human resources and organizational resources (Bourgeois, 2014), our Academy is operating at a very healthy capacity level. Our staff-to-student ratio of 1:12, our current campus size of 30 acres, and our operating budget of approximately $500,000 are all signs of healthy organizational capacity. However, it was in our areas of learning benefits and evaluation planning (Bourgeois, 2014) that we discovered the greatest gaps. This was evidently primarily in our organizational areas of faculty certification, continuing education, and staff evaluations. Each of these areas were identified as weaknesses. No initial examination was undertaken of external factors.
Establishing Capacity Goals
In just examining Strengths and Weaknesses of Columbus Christian Academy, it was determined that faculty evaluations and broader course offerings were an area in which organizational capacity could see immediate improvement. Furthermore, a SWOT analysis reinforced the need for broader course offerings as other area schools were increasingly offering a broader selection of course offerings to students. This lack of a wide selection of course offerings was also a reason multiple school families cited for leaving Columbus Christian Academy in exit interviews. Therefore, a strategic decision was made “based on both a thorough analysis and the integration of various internal and external considerations” to immediately address this organizational weakness and threat (Blackwell, 2014).
As for the other areas of faculty certification and continuing education, it was determined through the GAP and SWOT analysis that, while these were areas identified as weaknesses and threats, they required more resources to be immediately addressed than were presently available. However, in planning organizational process goals, it was concluded that these areas would strategically be addressed over a longer period of time. As SWOT analysis is designed to create both short and long-term organizations goals and recommendations (Brooks, 2014), these particular weaknesses were identified as long-term process goals to increase organizational capacity.
SWOT Analysis for Columbus Christian Academy
20 August 2017
1. Our current staff-to-student ratio of 1:12 is the lowest ratio in the county.
2. Our 30-acre campus is the largest physical campus in the county.
3. As a private school, we have greater flexibility over curriculum and course offerings than any other school.
1. Our current percentage of certified faculty (10%) is the lowest in the county.
2. Limited course offerings
3. We currently have no institutional faculty evaluation process.
1. Our athletic program has tremendous potential with good coaches and resources and should be invested in.
2. Our policy manual and employee handbook can be revised to align with organizational goals and vision.
3. The implementation of an institutional faculty evaluation process will encourage professional development.
1. Area schools with 100% certified faculty threaten our enrollment due to academic concerns.
2. Our limited course offerings limit the types of students attracted to our school.
3. Our large 30 acre campus creates additional security concerns and makes us more vulnerable to attacks.
Blackwell, R. & Eppler, D. (2014). " An Approach to Strategic Situation Analysis: Using Models as Analytical Tools ". The Journal of Global Business Management, 10(1), 80-86. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
Bourgeois, I., Whynot, J., & Theriault, E. (2015). "Application of an organizational evaluation capacity self-assessment instrument to different organizations: Similarities and lessons learned". Evaluation and Program Planning, 50(1), 47-55. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
Brooks, G., Heffner, A., & Henderson, D. (2014). “A SWOT Analysis Of Competitive Knowledge From Social Media For A Small Start-Up Business”. Review of Business Information Systems, 18(1), 23-34. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
Coman, A., & Ronen, B. (2009). “Focused SWOT: Diagnosing critical strengths and weaknesses”. International Journal of Production Research, 47(20), 5677-5689.
Porter, M. E. (1991). “Towards a dynamic theory of strategy”. Strategic Management Journal, 12, 95-117.
Thompson, A. A., Peteraf, M. A., Gamble, J. E., & Strickland, A. J. (2012). Crafting and executing strategy: The quest for competitive advantage. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
NG, LR, NCU, USAR
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