For my final project organization, I am looking into the Department of Homeland Security, which was created as a result of merging 22 federal departments and agencies whose main concern was protecting the American citizens and their resources. The core mandate of the department is to ensure a safe environment for all Americans. Some of the responsibilities of the department include protecting the Americans from terror attacks such as nuclear weapons and biological attacks, making sure that the borders are secure, monitoring information systems that have a lot of bearing on cyberspace, and coming up with strategies that curb emerging disasters. The department also ensures that immigration policies and guidelines are upheld. (Homeland Security, 2011).
Lee et al. (1999) assert that strengths refer to the strong points of any given organization, and as such, they are a reflection of what the organization can do best. With reference to Homeland Security, one of their strengths lies in their quick response system, which ensures that issues are attended to as soon as they arise. Therefore, in the emergence of a disaster such as a terror attack, the department is able to attend to the situation within a very short time, thus reducing the extent of the disaster impact. Another strength includes their operational efficiency, which ensures that all departments meet their goals in due time (Homeland Security Institute 2008).
Roth and Washburn (1999) argue that identifying an organization’s weakness is an important aspect in the development of a strategy. Homeland Security’s major weakness is the lack of adequate funds to actualize most of its projects. This implies that the department is not able to tackle a variety of issues due to financial limitations. Further another weakness of this organization is its size in terms of employees. The organization has a workforce of over 230,000. With such a large number and the scarcity of available resources to run the organization, one can only conclude that a large number of employees impact pressure on the already available resources, therefore, proving to be a waste of resources to the American citizens (Homeland Security Institute 2008).
Organizations need to be in a progressive search for opportunities in order to grow in their respective niche (Lee et al., 1999). To maximize their quick response system applicability, it is important that Homeland Security maximizes the opportunity of offering better services by employing the use of advanced technology in their operations. Further, reversing their large number of employees’ status will also come in handy.
This can be done by avoiding more recruitment for a specific period, thus channeling the available scarce resources to the service sector as opposed to increased wages. This way, they will be able to grab the opportunity of serving more people efficiently.
Threats are external factors that have a negative implication on the running of an organization (Roth & Washburn, 1999). There are various challenges that affect the day-to-day running of Homeland Security. Among them include the increased terrorism rates that majorly target American citizens. Such attacks such as the September 11 have played major emphasis on the degrees and repercussions of disasters that Homeland has had to deal with in the recent past. Another major challenge that is proving to be a quagmire to Homeland security is Cybercrime which has altered the internet arena with major attacks targeting the US government and other state organs files and networks (Kilroy, 2007).
From this analysis, I have learned that all organizations have their share of positive attributes in the form of strengths and opportunity and negative attributes in the form of weaknesses and threats, and as such, all these factors are what form the basis of any given strategic plan. Therefore, while coming up with a strategic plan for my final project, it is vital that I conduct a rigorous SWOT analysis in order to identify the factors for and against the organization before settling on a specific strategic plan.
Department of Homeland Security. (2011). Department of Homeland Security Missions and Responsibilities. Web.
Homeland Security Institute. (2008). Insight integration impact: annual report to congress. Web.
Kilroy, R. J. (2007). Threats to homeland security: an all-hazards perspective. New York: Wiley.
Lee, S. F., Lo, K. K., Leung, R. F., & Ko, A. S. O. (2000). Strategy formulation framework for vocational education: Integrating SWOT analysis, balanced scorecard, QFD methodology and MBNQA education criteria. Managerial Auditing Journal, 15(8), 407–423.
Roth, B. N., & Washburn, S. A. (1999). Developing strategy. Journal of Management Consulting, 10(3), 50–54.