At last I have finished the second assignment for the B301 Making Sense of Strategy Open University course that I am currently doing. I got a week’s extension to this one because I’d been a little unwell and very busy, so not managed to get any work done in time to get it done by 30th March (the original deadline).

The task this time was to find an annual report for an organisation on the web and use it to describe the strategy that the organisation had followed in the period covered and also to critically examine whether they had conformed to technical rationality (and the clue in the question was to explain why they hadn’t followed it).

Well this one isn’t as good as the last one, because although I got an extension to do it I spent much less time on it. Part of this was the sheer difficulty of finding a suitable annual report on the web. My first thought was my own organisation, but our Annual Report for 2009-10 was really just financial (largely because by the time we wrote/published it the Government had changed and we were busy scrapping all the things we’d done in the last couple of years, so no point talking about them in a new publication). I moved from there to another public organisation (London Fire Brigade because I thought it would be interesting – it was, but not really the right sort of material for the assignment). I then thought about Barclays Bank, one of the main subjects of the first assignment. While containing good material their report was nearly 400 pages long, and would have taken too long to properly digest. I then went to a SOCA committee, again very interesting, but not readily usable as the info was about activity and no discernable strategy (again I think a consequence of the change of government). In the end I came across a copy of the 2009 Annual Report of the Department for Communities and Local Government. This had a handy chapter on strategy as well as a House of Commons Select Committee report into it, so lots of usable material. However by the time I found it I only had five days left to do the work and also a terrible cold (or possibly minor flu) and higher brain functions were sadly absent.

Anyway, I did what I hope was a ‘good enough’ job and turned in something approximately close to the requirements by the (extended) deadline.

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