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This submission needs some additional work to demonstrate an understanding of all project competencies and ability to apply those competencies to your organization, the SSA. The rubric contains an assessment of each competency as well as comments. Rubric comments are also noted below.

This course provides the opportunity to update and resubmit your project to demonstrate your competency grasp. As noted by the syllabus, this must be done within the 2-week project submission window (i.e., by Wednesday, 19 February). However, given my delay in reviewing and providing feedback on this project, your deadline is Thursday, 20 February. I encourage you to update and resubmit this project within the next week so you can gain in-progress feedback and can hone competency areas that need further work. The syllabus addresses the project resubmission process.

In updating this project, I urge you to carefully re-review the project steps, as well as the Helpful Hints posted in the Project 2 Discussion Board space, as well as the project announcements. As noted in the project rubric comments, I also encourage you to reach-out to the UMGC Effective Writing Center for feedback on your writing clarity and logic, as well as attribution process.

As noted in the course syllabus, and course announcements, successful completion of this course requires successfully earning a grade of at least meets standards in each and every project and doing this requires earning a grade of at least meets standards on every project competency.

I look forward to seeing your updated submission.

Please let me know how I can be of further assistance.


1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.:

  • 2/10

Preponderance of sourcing was focused on SSA; sole non SSA source – Galpin – was unclear. As used you were attributing to Galpin that SSA used a focused strategy and therefore a recommendation was to change the organization’s structure. The Galpin source was used only in the Executive Summary. An Exec Summary should not include sources; though, to the extent it was considered so critical it was noted in the Exec Summary, it was never subsequently used.

While the project demonstrated some understanding of the APA attribution process, tighter editing and proofreading is needed to ensure appropriate attribution of key facts, sourcing is appropriately formatted, and there is a synchronization between cited and referenced sources. For example, there are numerous citations for SSA (n.d.) and eleven references that have this same identification; APA style rules have a process for handling this, which can be seen in the Purdue OWL source noted in the Project 2 Discussion Board Helpful Tip space. The UMGC Effective Writing Center is a valuable free resource you can access to assist with this competency.

In future projects, identifying and actively using relevant quality business sources in explicitly defining/describing key terms, as well as connecting research/best practices with proposed recommendations will be critical to project success.

In providing the specified required update of this project, care should be taken to attentively use course materials and/or quality business literature in defining/describing key concepts and then applying those concepts to your organization. Additionally, key organizational details/facts need to be attributed (i.e., how do you know? What is the source of your information?).

1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.:

  • 2/10

Paper is designed and generally formatted somewhat consistent with the project template and APA style requirements; a Table of Content is not required.

As noted in the in-progress feedback, this paper needs more attentive editing and proofreading to ensure responsive to the project’s requirements, signaling of that focus through topic paragraphs and sentences, and appropriate spelling/word choice, grammar, and syntax.

The project’s stated purpose (p. 5) with is focus on “platform” deviates from the purpose stated in the “Start Here” step.

The Exec Summary, Intro, and Overview are not sufficiently clearly written and responsive to the project requirements. In addition to re-reviewing Steps 1 & 2 regarding details in preparing these sections, recommend reviewing the Project 2 Discussion Board space Helpful Tip addressing these topics.

In providing the specified required update of this project, care should be taken to attentively edit and proofread to ensure project competency responsiveness, logical flow of discussion/analysis, and accuracy of information, with appropriate associated attribution. I recommend you reach-out to the UMGC Effective Writing Center for gaining a critical assessment and feedback of draft submissions. As noted in the course syllabus, clear graduate-level writing is a critical skill for the UMGC MBA program.

Additionally, the Exec Summary, Intro, and Overview should all be updated to more fully reflect required content, as discussed in Steps 1 & 2, as well as the Project 2 Discussion Board Helpful Tip space.

6.3: Analyze an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses for strategic value.:

  • 2/10

This section seemingly identifies weaknesses associated with technology and personnel performance; though, these weaknesses are not logically derived from the discussion/analysis provided earlier in the paper and not built upon any sources (i.e., how do you know? What facts/analysis support this conclusion).

This section seemingly identifies the organization’s strength as being a federal agency, and as such is funded. Given the project’s focus – providing a situation audit of the Agency – how is this a strength, as opposed to merely a fact that the organization operates in the federal space.

In updating this section, recommend reviewing Step 9, as well as Discussion Board and course announcements about this Project Step. In short, this section should be built upon the project’s earlier analysis. I recommend thinking in terms of articulating and supporting 3-strengths and 3-weaknesses.

6.4: Develop and recommend strategies for an organization’s sustainable competitive advantage.:

  • 2/10

The project ends with 3-recommendations – improve performance, eliminate potential instances of fraud, and create a hybrid structure. While the first two comments are noted earlier in the paper, they are not associated with any attributed discussion of what these ideas mean nor analysis of these being significant organizational issues. The last recommendation, hybrid structure appears to be a new thought and has no connection to the earlier discussion of organizational structure.

In planning your update of the Conclusion and Recommendation Section, I recommend reviewing Project Step 12. Remember, like the Strength and Weakness Section, the conclusions and recommendations need to be derived from the project’s earlier analysis.

In future projects, explicitly connecting recommendations with course material/quality business literature will be critical for project success.

8.1: Evaluate major business/organizational systems and processes and make recommendations for improvement.:

  • 2/10

This competency would be more strongly demonstrated by clearer articulation of ideas and connection of discussion/analysis with evidence-based analysis.

8.3: Identify and distinguish among organizational structural types and their respective implications for performance.:

  • 2/10

The Organization Size and Structure Section (Step 6) comments that SSA has a hierarchical structure, and operates decentrally, particularly at the regional level, though what this means is minimally discussed. An SSA organization chart is included. There is no connection to course material or other quality business literature in discussing the type of organizational structure SSA has nor the implications of that structure for the organization’s performance; nor a discussion to support the project’s concluding comment about moving to a hybrid organization. The Governance Section includes a comment about the organization operating decentrally and that contributing to autonomy.

The Organizational Size and Structure Section needs to be updated. In updating this Section key organizational structure concepts, as described in Step 6 of the course materials need to be explored and then applied to SSA. This update also needs to include a discussion of the implications of SSA organizational design/structure and the rationale for the project’s conclusion – if it is retained – of what it means to move to a hybrid organization and why this is recommended.

9.1: Design organizational structures, systems, and processes that support the strategic goals of the organization.:

  • 2/10

This competency was not met.

In updating this project, the narrative needs to connect the design of SSAs organizational structure, systems, and processes with SSA’s strategic goals.

9.2: Evaluate how human capital serves as a source of competitive advantage.:

  • 2/10

This project’s discussion of human capital, within the Critical Resources Section, is focused on the role of the Human Resources Organization, as opposed to SSAs human resource process and their contribution to the organization’s performance and as this competency says, the contribution of human capital/people to the organization’s competitive advantage. The Leadership & Management Section is very descriptive of the organization’s structures/positions, though does not discuss concepts within Step 8, relevant to human capital management (i.e., what is the organization’s approach to management). The Leadership and Management section notes an “outcome approach”; though never explains.

In updating this project, to successfully address this competency, recommend explicitly connecting with key human resource/capital processes explored in Step 7 & 8 and then applying those concepts to SSA’s operation.

10.2: Analyze financial statements to evaluate and optimize organizational performance.:

  • 2/10

The financial resources section of this project would have been stronger by more fully connecting with discussion of the financial resourcing trend over the past 5-years, resourcing process, and more fully explaining the rationale and meaning of the chosen funding numbers provided given the project’s focus, a situation audit, the intent was how SSA accomplishes there mission.

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