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MBA 705 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

Overview For the capstone assessment, you will create a business implementation plan and audiovisual presentation for the product, service, or idea you have been developing throughout your MBA coursework. You will be assessed through two artifacts. The first will be a business implementation plan, detailing the concept and proposed implementation for potential investors or senior managers. The second artifact will be an audiovisual presentation designed to pitch the concept (including implementation) to the same audience. To effectively respond to the demands of a rapidly evolving business environment, today’s business managers need to possess a solid grounding in the theory, best practices, and approaches that drive internal decision-making as well as the various external factors that can impact business choices. Perhaps no function encompasses as many of these critical skills as ushering a new business idea, product, or service from initial conception to implementation. Throughout your MBA coursework, you have been working to develop a business concept (product, service, or idea), considering the different elements that impact decision making and creating a business plan for moving the concept forward successfully. As the final step in your journey toward your Master of Business Administration degree, your capstone will bring all that work to the doorstep of implementation through the creation of a business implementation plan and an audiovisual presentation designed to present the idea to potential investors or senior managers. You will integrate the knowledge and skills you have developed in previous coursework and over the duration of the term with the goal of having a “ready to launch” project that you can present to an employer or potential financial backer moving forward. The capstone project is composed of two components. The first is a business implementation plan detailing your concept and its proposed implementation for potential investors or senior managers. This plan should show potential supporters that you have done your homework and assure them that you have covered all the details necessary to ensure that their money and/or time will be well invested. The second component, an audiovisual presentation (such as a webcam recording or PowerPoint presentation with audio), will allow you to design and practice your “pitch.” In it, you will briefly present the key features of your concept (including implementation) with an eye toward convincing busy business executives and potential investors to support your idea. Because many MBA programs end with the creation of a business plan, your ability to take the next step in planning for implementation will give you an important advantage both in gaining support for your project and in showcasing your ability to think through all phases of a project. Evaluation of Capstone This capstone will be assessed somewhat differently than other courses you have taken online at SNHU. There are two separate components that operate together to comprise the whole capstone experience and are not assessed separately. You will be evaluated on both as a unit in determining whether you have demonstrated proficiency in each outcome. Your work is expected to meet the highest professional standards. The project is divided into six milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six. The final submission for Capstone Component 1 and Capstone Component 2 is due in Module Nine.

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In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:

 Analyze primary and secondary data using quantitative and qualitative techniques and information technology skills for effective problem solving and decision making

 Lead and operate within cross-functional teams in complex and diverse business environments

 Demonstrate oral and written communication skills to effectively articulate thoughts and intentions in diverse business environments

 Integrate cross-cultural, economic, geopolitical, and systems knowledge to solve complex business problems in a global environment

 Incorporate legal and ethical conduct and corporate social responsibility in making sustainable business decisions

 Create intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial opportunities in a global environment that add value to an organization through the integration, synthesis, and application of business practices

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism Throughout this capstone you will draw from many of your previous courses, including assignments and artifacts. You will continue to build upon these projects and ideas throughout the capstone. This is an essential part of your academic career, so it is important to avoid plagiarism, specifically self-plagiarism. Please review the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism Library Guide as well as the article What Is Considered Plagiarism And How to Avoid It for more information on the proper steps to take for citation. Southern New Hampshire University requires all students to adhere to high standards of integrity in their academic work. Activities such as plagiarism and cheating are not condoned by the university. Review the full Academic Honesty Policy for more information.

Prompt Throughout your MBA coursework, you have been developing a business concept you think would be a valuable contribution in the current market context. You have created an initial business plan with relevant addenda and considered the financial, regulatory, and other elements that affect your concept. For your capstone project, you will take the next step to consider how you will implement your business plan and present your ideas to potential financial supporters or company executives. The capstone consists of two components: a business implementation plan and an audiovisual presentation of your business concept (including implementation). Capstone Component 1: Business Implementation Plan In the first component of your capstone, you will create a business implementation plan detailing your concept and how it will be carried out for potential investors and other concerned stakeholders (management, cross-functional team members, and others). Throughout, you should build on your previous coursework, including your business plan and relevant addenda, making any necessary adjustments and being sure to tie the different elements together in presenting a comprehensive business implementation plan. Keep in mind that although different actors will be looking for different things and will read your plan with varying levels of detail, all stakeholders will want to know that you have thoroughly researched your idea and have carefully considered all relevant aspects for its successful implementation before deciding to support it. Consequently, your plan should be well-grounded in evidence and data.




Your business implementation plan must include the following sections:

I. Executive Summary. Provide a brief overview of your concept and its key features, including cost, time frame, and anticipated benefits.

II. Justification. Lay out the rationale for the concept, including the problem or opportunity it addresses, the market for the product or service, and the key features that set it apart from the competition. You should also discuss how the concept fits with the mission, vision, and priorities of the company implementing it and how or why it is innovative.

III. Implementation Plan. Propose a clear and comprehensive plan for implementing and managing the concept from inception to completion. Although the

details of your plan will necessarily depend upon your concept, at a minimum your plan should consider:

 Physical and technological resources needed for the concept, including where these will come from and how they will be used to reduce cost or improve operations. Be sure to discuss why one resource option is better than another where appropriate.

 A detailed implementation schedule covering what needs to be done, by when, and by whom. The schedule should identify the critical path to success and outline the dependencies between tasks.

 Project review processes and indicators of success to ensure that the project stays on target

 An explanation of how intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship factors in to the implementation of your plan and how you will protect intangible assets, such as intellectual property or brand

IV. Company and Key Personnel. Explain why your organization is well positioned to carry out the project, including how the concept fits with your

organization’s core competencies and the type of corporate culture that will offer the best possibility for successful implementation. In addition, define the key roles, responsibilities, and qualifications of the cross-functional team that will be responsible for implementing the project. Although you may not always be able to provide the names of the specific individuals who will occupy those roles, you should explain the specific skills and experience required for each and the contributions each member will make, including what your own role will be in the process and contingency plans should the team composition you propose need to be modified.

V. Financial Analysis and Funding. Analyze the projected costs, revenue streams, and net present value for the concept from launch until two years after

the breakeven point. Be sure to include a budget, an assessment of assets and liabilities, your anticipated sources of funding, and the associated costs of attaining that capital as part of your analysis. Support your analysis with relevant primary and secondary data in an appendix, specifying any relevant assumptions and limitations. You should include, among other support, sales forecasts, cash flow statements, income projections, and any other relevant calculations or financial reports.

VI. Assumptions and Contingency Planning. Clearly explain the assumptions you have made in creating your business implementation plan, any factors that

may affect those assumptions or the success of the project, and how you have planned for those contingencies. At a minimum, you should discuss any cross-cultural, economic, and geopolitical factors that may impact the business environment and concept; how you will ensure that the project operates in a legally and ethically compliant environment, including relevant laws, regulations, or patents or permits that may need to be obtained; plans for




incorporating stakeholder and customer diversity into planning and implementation of the concept; and the role corporate social responsibility will play in the implementation of your concept.

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