Business Management & Strategy Capstone Project
The catalog description of this course reads as follow:
This course is designed for learners to improve business decision-making
skills and to provide strategies for development of an effective and sustainable business management plan for an organization. Topics covered include the concepts of strategic management and decision making in a business organization. This course reviews the impact of globalization, innovation, and other challenges to the sustainability of an effective strategic management plan for an organization. Important concepts are analyzed to effectively manage an organization.
The project is completely individualized; students are encouraged to select work-related projects that are of particular interest to them and that will result in professional growth and benefit the organization. The goal is to produce a viable Strategic Plan & Business Ppolicy—one that has a real chance of being accepted—and to prepare documents and a public presentation that will convince the agency administrators to adopt your idea and plan.
- Written Project or Policy Report
- Your professor will assume the role of Capstone Supervisor of the project or policy you have designed for the organization of your choice and will work with you to ask for additional narrative, documentation, research-derived information, etc. You will assume the role of Strategic Planning Director.
- You will communicate each week with your instructor (via Discussion Boards or other means of communication) to discuss the progress of your project.
- You may desire to establish a phone consultation with your professor to track your ongoing work on the project. Your professor will provide you with his or her schedule to ensure that these consultations comply with both of your schedules.
- Your professor may ask drafts of your written work throughout the eight week term; the professor will set a clearly established deadline for drafts.
- Any e-mail message between you and your professor that requires a response from either party will be followed-up within 48 hours.
- At the end of the term (on a date provided by your professor), you will deliver a 2000-4500 word (10-15 pages) written project report that is consistent with criteria established.
- 1” Margins
- Double spaced
- 12 point font
- Numbered pages
- Cover and reference page
- Must utilize academic sources to support research
Format of paper– Headings
- Background of Project
- Explanation of Project
- Strategic Plan & Business Policy
- Curriculum Components
- Review and Summary
Appendix A Budget
*You may add other appendices for charts, surveys, and other information you would like to include with your project.
Note: Your paper must conform to the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association, and should NOT be written in first person.
- Final Presentation:
You will make a formal presentation to your professor and possibly other panelists in-person or virtually (depending on whether you are in a seated or online class) which will be graded and included in the evaluation of the final course grade. The committee of professors will assume the role of Agency or Constituency Board of Directors who have final say on the implementation of your project or policy.
The presentation will consist of:
- A professional power point presentation of the project (approximately 15 minutes long) designed to present your plan to the committee of: a) the value of the plan and policy; b) the thoroughness of your preparation; and c) your potential for success.
Your capstone project should be based on the following outline:
- Should provide an overview of the project summarizing the key points.
- Briefly introduces the problem and the program/policy.
- Formally begins presentation of the problem, introduces the need for the strategic plan and business poicy, and leads into the background section.
|III. Background (Analysis of the Problem)|
- Document need for strategic change
- How do you define it?
- Set boundaries
- Describe history of problem
- How long has it existed?
- Has it changed over time?
- Examine potential causes of problem
- What factors cause or contribute to your identified problem or need? Individual? Group? Organizational? Community? Social Structure?
- Identify relevant stakeholders
- Stakeholder is any person, group, or agency who has a legitimate interest in the organizational problems and/or proposed intervention.
- Asks whose views should be considered in planning process.
- Identify barriers to change.
- Insert your Force Field Analysis here.
- See pg. 53 – barriers may come in the forms of: Physical, Social, Economic, Educational, Legal, Political, Technological
- Make sure to include an objective, driving forces, and restraining forces
|IV. Explanation of the Project|
- Mission Statement
- The objective of the organization itself, and within it, the goal of the strategic plan itself.
- Identify Goals and Objectives – see Chapter 2 of Welsh and Harris textbook
- Identify Goals:
- Intended change in business policy
- Should be two sentences max. Brief but thorough explanation of the goal of the project.
- Identify Goals:
- Should not have more than two goals.
- Identify Objectives
- 3-5 objectives should follow.
- Define clearly and concisely exactly what outcome is to be achieved.
- Should include
- time frame for measuring impact – when will objectives be completed?
- key result intended – i.e. a specific change in the problem
|V. Strategic Plan|
- Strategic Plan Design –
- Define target population: Who will be affected by the strategic plan? What is the organizational population and culture?
- Define Decision authority: Who has the authority to carry out the plan?
- Provide the provisions of the strategic plan
- Strategic Objectives
- Business Policy Strategy
- Corporate Strategy
- Overall direction of company and management of it’s business
- Business Strategy
- Competitive Strategies
- Cooperative Strategies
- Functional Strategy
- Maximize Resource Productivity
- Policy – what links the strategy to the implementation?
- Strategy Implementation
- Evaluation & Control
- Develop an Action Plan (i.e writing the instructions!)
- Specify dates by which implementation tasks will be accomplished and assign responsibilities throughout the organization for carrying out tasks.
- Develop mechanisms of self-regulation
- Create mechanisms to monitor strategic performance
- Specify plan to build and maintain support:
- Anticipate sources of resistance and develop responses.
|VI. Curriculum Components (only if applicable)|
- Add this section to your program.
- Should include important topics your coursework throughout your degree program.
- Confirming comprehension of key business components related to your graduate degree program
|VII. Review and Summary|
- Provide a brief Review and Summary that “connects the dots” of how the strategic plan will benefit the organization and business community.
|APPENDIX A: Budget|
- Create Line Item Budget.
- Develop a complete budget for your strategic project. Utilize an Excel spreadsheet to present the numbers, and attach an accompanying page that provides the basis for the numbers entered.
- You must demonstrate an excellent grasp of the line item budgeting process as indicated by detailed budget categories with precise supportive rationale. Fully-detailed support for the numbers must also be supplied.
Note: You may have additional appendices for various attachments you want to include with your project.
|I. Abstract||Briefly summarizes the project
|II. Introduction & Background||Meets the criteria established under 5093 Outline.
|III. Explanation of Project||Meets the criteria established under 5093 Outline.||20|
|IV. Program or Policy Design||Meets the criteria established under 5093 Outline.
|V. Curriculum Components||Not graded.||10|
|VI. Review & Summary||Meets the criteria established under 5093 Outline.||10
|VII. Appendix A: Budget||Not graded.||10|
|Capstone Total||Possible 100 Pts|
|PRESENTATION||Student will be evaluated by a panel of professionals on the presentation and program viability pursuant to the presentation rubric.
|Total Presentation||Possible 25|
Capstone Presentation Rubric
Presentation Evaluation (scale: 0=unacceptable 2=superior)
Organization & Clarity 0 1 2
Use of Prior MBA or MSEM course material 0 1 2
Professionalism 0 1 2
PowerPoint slides (clarity, parsimony, 0 1 2
Q & A facility 0 1 2
(adept, well-conceived responses to questions)
Project Evaluation (scale: 0=unworkable 2=fundable and sustainable)
Feasibility/Attractiveness 0 1 2
Logical Implementation 0 1 2
Ease of Operationalization 0 1 2
Viability/Sustainability 0 1 2
Evidence-based 0 1 2
Total Score: _______/25