CIH level 5: The challenges of the current operating environment for a housing service area or housing service project: Strategic And Business Planning For Housing Organisations, Assignment, UK

Subject CIH level 5: Strategic And Business Planning For Housing Organisations


A report, briefing paper and outline business plan, that addresses the challenges of the current operating environment for a housing service area or housing service project.

Task 1

Review of the Role of the Housing Provider.

Your board/cabinet is currently assessing the role of your housing organisation. It has asked for a report which critically evaluates:

  1. The different roles and purposes of a housing provider; and

The tensions that may exist between the social role of a housing organisation, and their role as a commercial business, and how those tensions can be reconciled.  (AC 1.1, 1.2)


  • Remember to ‘critically evaluate’ rather than describe for both a) and b) above. This means you should assess, question, challenge and think beyond what you have been told or what you have read.
  • You should draw on a range of appropriate external sources to support your key arguments.
  • Provide examples from your own organisation, or from other housing organisations to illustrate your key points.
  • You should produce a balanced discussion, which presents evidence for both sides of the arguments, before arriving at logical conclusions.

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Task 2

Briefing Paper on Strategic Planning Theory

The board/cabinet is due to begin a review of the strategic plan and organisational vision, and have asked for a briefing paper which includes the following:

  1. An Identification and evaluation of two theories of strategic development
  2. The application of a theory of strategic thinking to develop a vision for a housing service (this should be the service for which you will produce a business plan in Task 3)

(AC 2.1, 2.2)


  • A briefing paper is a document that is used to inform decision makers (a board, a politician, etc.) on current issues.  It is a clear and concise document that summarises information on a particular topic.  Briefing papers can also offer recommendations on how to address the issues.
  • For Task a), you should identify two separate theories which have been put forward by relevant academic writers on these topics.

Please remember that tools and techniques such as SWOT and PESTLE, are not theories and therefore should not be applied in this Task.

  • You should evaluate these theories, for example by assessing their relative strengths and limitations.
  • For Task b), you should explain how strategic thinking – as opposed to strategic planning – can be used to develop a vision for a housing service. For this task, you should:
    • Identify a particular theory or a model of strategic thinking;

Apply this theory or model in order to produce a vision for your service. You will therefore need to explain the relationship between strategic thinking and visioning. There is information on these within the Moodle learning materials for this unit.

Task 3

Produce an Outline Business Plan

In this task, you should use strategic planning tools to develop an outline business plan for a specific housing service. (AC 3.1)


  • Your outline business plan should include the following:

Identify a specific service area rather than the whole organisation*. For example, this could be a service to increase the sustainability of tenancies for instance, or a service to prevent the occurrence of homelessness.    *If your organisation is very small, it may be more appropriate to consider the whole organisation

  • Identify an aspect of this service which you aim to develop, improve or change in some way, and why these changes need to be made. Is there a particular element of the service that could be changed or improved? Is there a need to respond to new legislation, regulation or policy? What are the aims and the vision for this service? You do not have to be too specific, but it may help to have a particular service area in mind.
  • Identify and explain relevant strategic planning tools, such as SWOT, or PESTLE. Remember that these tools are different from theories. They are practical methods of identifying internal and external issues that you need to address when selecting options for your plan. What are the benefits and limitations of using such tools?
  • Apply these strategic planning tools in order to identify the key issues that need to be addressed in your plan. You should consider internal issues, such as your organisational strengths and weaknesses, and any relevant external issues, such as political or social questions that need to be addressed.
  • Your plan should also identify any relevant financial issues that need to be considered. Would there be additional costs? How would this be financed? Could the changes bring about future cost savings? Are there any risks that need to be identified and managed?
  • Your plan should set out your priorities and tasks in an outline action plan (this will be extended in Task 4)
  • A brief conclusion should be included, which summarises the key issues you have covered in your outline plan.
  • Please remember that this is an outline plan – not a full and detailed business plan. You therefore do not need to go into great detail on any of the above points. Just a sentence or two under the headings should suffice, keeping your points clear and concise. Imagine that this is an outline that could be used as a basis for developing a more detailed plan in the future.
  • When producing your business plan, keep in mind the challenges that you may need to address in order to implement your plan, and following this, to monitor the performance of your plan. These issues should be covered in the following task.

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Task 4

Produce an Implementation and Monitoring Plan

In this task, you should explain how your business plan will be implemented and monitored. Produce a plan for the implementation of your business plan. showing the issues that you will need to address in order to achieve an effective execution of the plan.  (AC 4.1, 4.2)


  • You should explain the issues that will need to be addressed in order to implement your proposal within your business plan. This could include details of responsibilities; timescales; and required resources.
  • You should also set out the different stages of monitoring, who will be involved at each stage and how the progress of the plan will be monitored, for example the use of KPIs and a Gantt chart.

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