MBA 640 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric

MBA 640 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric. MBA 640 Final Project Guidelines and RubricOverviewThe final project for this course is the creation of an external capital funding proposal.Most businesses face a landscape of uncertainty and a never-ending stream of risks and opportunities. Managers must continually project the likely financial impact of decisions, make recommendations, act on those decisions, determine how to pay for them, and evaluate the costs and effectiveness of what has been done. Many decisions are short-term, routine, and operational. Others are longer-term investment decisions that require substantial new resources, such as developing new services, expanding into new geographic markets, or undertaking business combinations or spin-offs. Each requires managers to forecast, plan, and make decisions based on a thorough understanding of both internal and external factors that can affect a company?s financial success.For the summative assessment in this course, you will bring your finance and economics knowledge to bear by preparing an external capital funding proposal for a major international investment at a publicly traded corporation. In order to secure the support of potential financial backers, your proposal will need to lay out what the proposed investment opportunity is, how it fits within the company?s broader mission and goals, its financial impact, and the amount being requested and why (including alternative funding mechanisms considered). In addition, it will also need to include information on the organization?s context, risk factors, and microeconomic assumptions that could affect the success of the investment.The project is divided into three milestones prior to the final submission, 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 Four, Six, and Seven. The final submission will occur in Module Nine.In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:úÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Assess the global microeconomic environment for determining the driving factors that affect business financial decisionsúÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Develop financial models that project the impact of different business scenarios on financial performance and business planningúÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Assess decision alternatives by using time value of money (TVM) and other appropriate financial metricsúÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Evaluate the potential impact of internal and external qualitative factors on business activities for supporting strategic financial decisionsúÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Weigh internal and external funding alternatives for carrying out investment decisionsúÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Construct persuasive, evidence-based arguments that incorporate legal and ethical behavior and sound financial analysis for soliciting external business fundingPromptImagine you are a manager working at a publicly traded company. (You will select a company from the list below.) You have been tasked with preparing an investment proposal for a large bank loan to finance a major expansion into another country. Your funding request will include both narrative text and financial models designed to clearly explain and justify the investment proposal, how it will be financed, and its likely impact on the company. As support, you will show the proposal?s most likely financial implications and the consolidated financial projection with and without the project. You should also consider risks?includingglobal microeconomic factors outside the company that may affect the investment?s success in the targeted country?and describe alternative financial scenarios should sales exceed or underperform your assumptions.Your funding request should be well organized, clear, concise, and free of distracting errors. Because business executives seldom have perfect or complete information, you should base your proposal on data from authoritative sources when possible and make reasonable assumptions where information is not available. As in real life, however, you must clearly specify your assumptions.To begin, choose one of the following publicly traded companies. Once you have chosen your company, you will determine the investment opportunity for which you are seeking funding as well as the country into which your company will be expanding:1.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Keurig Green Mountain2.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ L.S. Starrett Company3.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Nordstrom, Inc.Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:I.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Executive Summary: Briefly summarize the key points of your proposal, giving the loan committee the most essential information while convincing themto read further. Remember this is the first, and sometimes the only, section a selection committee will read in an initial screening.II.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Investment Project: Use this section to describe the investment for which you are seeking funding, its costs, and time frame. Specifically, you should:A.ÿÿÿÿÿ Describe the investment project. Be sure to provide sufficient detail to give the loan committee a firm sense of the parameters of the activity,the need for it, and what financial metrics are relevant for determining success. In other words, what do you propose to do, where, what marketplace need will it fill, and how will you measure success?B.ÿÿÿÿÿ Specify the resources the project will require and where these resources will come from. In addition to noting the amount of the loan you are requesting, you should also consider human resources, facilities, government approvals, intellectual property, access to natural resources, and other resources that might be required to carry out the project.C.ÿÿÿÿÿ Time frame. When will the project start, what is the anticipated economic life of the proposed expansion, and how will you decide if, when, orhow to exit? Justify your choices with appropriate financial metrics.III.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Justification: In this section, you should analyze the impact of the investment proposal on your business. In particular, you should cover:A.ÿÿÿÿÿ Why is now a good time for this investment given the global context? Justify your response, citing specific external factors such as traderegulations, foreign currency considerations, or trends in foreign direct investment that might affect business financial decisions.B.ÿÿÿÿÿ Strategic fit. Use this section to discuss why the investment proposal makes sense for your company strategically. Specifically:1.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ How does the investment align with the company?s organizational and financial priorities? Support your argument with evidence from company reports and financial statement analysis designed to persuade the lender that the investment is a good strategic fit for your company.2.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ How does the project fit within the global microeconomic environment? Support your response with evidence. For example, would the expansion tap unmet demand for the company?s key products or services or fill a new niche? How do you know?3.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ How does the project build on the organization?s core competencies and comparative advantage? For example, does the company have a strategic advantage in regards to intellectual property, regional expertise, suppliers, or organizational structure?C.ÿÿÿÿÿ Financial impact. This section should discuss the project?s most likely financial implications and the consolidated financial projection withandwithout the project. Be sure to:1.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Project the incremental, annual, and cumulative cash benefits and outflows associated with the proposed expansion for the next seven to 10 years, using a spreadsheet or other relevant presentation vehicle to support your narrative. Be sure to justify your assumptions and methodology based on sound microeconomic and financial principles. For example, what assumptions have you made about demand, price, volume, capital purchase costs, incremental hiring, and so on?2.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Develop a consolidated financial projection of revenue, pretax income, and cash flow for the overall business, over that same number of years, both with and without the proposed investment. Use a spreadsheet or other relevant presentation vehicle to support your narrative, being sure to describe any relevant assumptions.IV.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Risks: Use this section to discuss any risks that might affect the success of the project and how you have planned for those contingencies. In particular:A.ÿÿÿÿÿ Internal. What are the company?s most significant internal risks and opportunities related to the project? How might they affect yourfinancialestimates and how will you address them? Support your response with specific examples.B.ÿÿÿÿÿ External. How will you address significant qualitative risks outside the company that might affect project success? Give specific examples. Forexample, how might culture or politics in the target country affect the proposed investment?s financial success? Natural disasters? How have you planned for these risks?C.ÿÿÿÿÿ Microeconomic. Assess the microeconomic factors that might affect decisions about the proposed investment. Support your response withspecific examples. For example, how competitive is the market you will be entering? How elastic is the price for your product or service?D.ÿÿÿÿÿ Alternate financial scenarios. Use this section to discuss the sensitivity of your financial projections to different scenarios. Be sure to address:1.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ How would your projected financial performance change if sales fall 20% short of or are 20% higher than your base assumption? What does your analysis of these two scenarios imply for the proposed investment? Justify your response.2.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ What do the net present value, internal rate of return, and payback values from your base scenario and the sales variation scenarios above imply for the proposed investment? Be sure to explain how the time value of money affects your calculations and analysis.V.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Financing: In this section, compare the proposed loan to alternative financing methods. Specifically:A.ÿÿÿÿÿ Weigh the pros and cons of raising money using internal financing mechanisms versus seeking funding through global capital markets via loans, commercial paper, bonds, or equity financing. Which might be viable alternatives should the loan not be approved? Support your answer with appropriate research and evidence.B.ÿÿÿÿÿ Assess the viability of a business combination as a mechanism for expanding into the new market. Is this a reasonable option for the company? Why or why not? Support your answer with appropriate research and evidence.VI.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Track Record: Use this section to persuade the lender that you are credit-worthy. You must:A.ÿÿÿÿÿ Convincingly argue that your organization is on solid financial footing, and thus at a low risk for default, supporting your argument recent with appropriate financial statements, ratios, and other indicators of financial performance and health.B.ÿÿÿÿÿ Convincingly argue for your organization?s trustworthiness, providing credible evidence of legal and ethical financial behavior. For example, this might include recent audit results; credit history; absence of significant lawsuits, recalls, or regulatory judgments; or other evidence designed to show that the company holds itself to the highest legal and ethical standards.VII.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ Questions and Answers: End your proposal by constructing a persuasive, evidence-based question-and-answer section that addresses additionalfinancial questions you think the loan committee might ask, including legal and ethical concerns and why the loan would be attractive to the bank.MilestonesMilestone One: Investment Project and Justification (Parts A and B)In Module Four, you will submit a draft of Section II (Investment Project) and Section III (Justification), Parts A and B only, of the final project. Submit 8-10 pages of narrative, building on the narrative you began in the Module Three executive memo short paper. Include references to past financial results, growth rates, and other financial ratios as exhibited in the spreadsheet you created in Module Two, and end with appropriate reference citations. This milestone is graded with theMilestone One Rubric.Milestone Two: RisksIn Module Six, you will submit a draft of Section IV (Risks) of the final project. Analyze internal and external risks and discuss how they might affect your financial estimates and how you might plan for such risks. You will assess the microeconomic factors that affect decisions about the proposed investment, and you will analyze alternative financial scenarios. This milestone is graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.Milestone Three: Justification (Part C), Financing, and Track RecordIn Module Seven you will submit a draft of Section III Part C (Justification), Section V (Financing), and Section VI (Track Record) of the final project. You will discuss the project?s most likely financial implications and the consolidated financial projection with and without the project; compare the proposed loan to alternative financing methods by weighing the pros and cons of raising money internally versus seeking funding through global capital markets; and assess the viability of a business combination as a mechanism for expanding into the new market. You will also use this section to persuade the lender that your company is credit-worthy by presenting appropriate financial information and by providing evidence of your company?s legal and ethical behavior. This milestone is graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.Final Submission: External Capital Funding ProposalIn Module Nine, you will write Section I (Executive Summary) and Section VII (Questions and Answers) of your final project and submit your final external capital funding proposal. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final project. It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. This submission will be graded using the Final Project Rubric (below).DeliverablesMilestoneDeliverableModule DueGradingOneInvestment Project and Justification (Parts A and B)FourGraded separately; Milestone One RubricTwoRisksSixGraded separately; Milestone Two RubricThreeJustification (Part C), Financing, and Track RecordSevenGraded separately; Milestone Three RubricFinal Submission: External Capital Funding ProposalNineGraded separately; Final Project Rubric (below)Final Project RubricGuidelines for Submission: Your Investment Funding Proposal should be approximately 15-20 pages in length (excluding title page, table of contents,spreadsheets and other exhibits, and list of references). It should be double spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins. Use APA format for references and citations.Instructor Feedback: This activity uses an integrated rubric in Blackboard. Students can view instructor feedback in the Grade Center. For more information,review these instructions.Critical ElementsExemplary (100%)Proficient (90%)Needs Improvement (70%)Not Evident (0%)ValueExecutive SummaryMeets ?Proficient? criteria andBriefly summarizes the key pointsSummarizes key points ofDoes not summarize key points of2response is especially convincing,of proposal, giving audience theproposal, but summary is lengthy,proposalengaging, and/or well suited formost essential information whileomits essential information,target audienceconvincing them to read furthercontains inaccuracies, or does notinduce the audience to readfurtherInvestment Project:Meets ?Proficient? criteria andDescribes investment project,Describes investment project, butDoes not describe investment5.33Describeprovides target audience with anproviding sufficient detail to give adescription lacks detail, containsproject, providing sufficient detailespecially clear and completefirm sense of the parameters ofinaccuracies, or omits keyto give a firm sense of theunderstanding of project andactivity, market need, and relevantinformation on parameters,parameters of activity, marketalternatives for evaluating successfinancial metrics for determiningmarket need, and relevantneed, and relevant financialsuccessfinancial metrics for determiningmetrics for determining successsuccessInvestment Project:Meets ?Proficient? criteria andSpecifies resources required,Specifies resources required,Does not specify resources5.33Resourcesresponse is particularlyincluding amount of loan andincluding amount of loanrequiredcomprehensive and well alignedother physical and financialrequested, other physical andwith needs of expansion projectresources, along with wherefinancial resources, and whereresources will come fromresources will come from, butresponse contains inaccuracies oromits key detailsInvestment Project:Meets ?Proficient? criteria andDetermines when project willDetermines when project willDoes not determine when project5.33Time Framesuggested time frame and metricsstart, anticipated economic life,start, anticipated economic life,will start, anticipated economicare especially appropriate givenand exit process, justifying choicesand exit process, justifying choiceslife, and exit process, justifyingdiverse alternatives and needs ofwith appropriate financial metricswith financial metrics, butchoices with financial metricsspecific projectresponse contains inaccuracies,omits key details, or financialmetrics are not appropriateJustification: Why NowMeets ?Proficient? criteria andEvaluates why now is a good timeEvaluates why now is a good timeDoes not evaluate why now is a5.33demonstrates especially keenfor this investment in the globalfor this investment in the globalgood time for this investment ininsight into the range of externalcontext, citing specific externalcontext, citing specific externalthe global context, citing specificfactors that might impact globalfactors that might affect businessfactors, but response containsexternal factors that might affectbusiness activities and how theyfinancial decisions in justifyinginaccuracies, omits key details, orbusiness financial decisions inwould do soresponselinks to business financialjustifying responsedecisions are tenuousJustification: StrategicMeets ?Proficient? criteria andPersuasively argues how theArgues how the investment alignsDoes not argue how the4Fit: Prioritiesresponse is particularly insightfulinvestment aligns with thewith the company?s organizationalinvestment aligns with theand well suited for convincingcompany?s organizational andand financial priorities, supportedcompany?s organizational andtarget audience to grant fundingfinancial priorities, supported byby evidence, but argument isfinancial priorities, supported byrequestevidence from company reportscursory, illogical, containsevidence from company reportsand financial statement analysisinaccuracies, or is poorlyand financial statement analysissupported by evidence and soundfinancial analysisJustification: StrategicMeets ?Proficient? criteria andAssesses how the project fitsAssesses how the project fitsDoes not assess how the project5.34Fit: Microeconomicdemonstrates especially strongwithin the global microeconomicwithin the global microeconomicfits within the globalinsight into which microeconomicenvironment, supported byenvironment, supported bymicroeconomic environmentfactors are most relevant inevidenceevidence, but response is cursory,determining strategic fitpoorly supported, containsinaccuracies, or links betweenmicroeconomic factors andproject are tenuousJustification: StrategicMeets ?Proficient? criteria andEvaluates how project builds onEvaluates how project builds onDoes not evaluate how project5.33Fit: Comparativeresponse is especially nuancedorganization?s core competenciesorganization?s core competenciesbuilds on organization?s coreAdvantageand well-aligned with strategicand comparative advantage inand comparative advantage incompetencies and comparativeneeds of projectexplaining why the project makesexplaining why the project makesadvantagesense strategicallysense, but response is cursory,contains inaccuracies or is onlytangentially related to strategic fitJustification: FinancialMeets ?Proficient? criteria andProjects expansion?s incremental,Projects cash benefits andDoes not project expansion?s5.33Impact: Expansionresponse demonstrates a nuancedannual, and cumulative cashoutflows over specified timeincremental, annual, andunderstanding of thebenefits and outflows overperiod, using relevantcumulative cash benefits andmicroeconomic and financialspecified time period, usingpresentation vehicle and justifyingoutflows over specified timeprinciples that underlie businessrelevant presentation vehicle toassumptions and methodology,periodprojectionssupport narrative and justifyingbut response containsassumptions and methodologyinaccuracies, omits key details, orbased on sound microeconomicis poorly grounded inand financial principlesmicroeconomic and financialprinciplesJustification: FinancialMeets ?Proficient? criteria andDevelops consolidated financialDevelops consolidated financialDoes not develop consolidated5.34Impact: Consolidatedprojections demonstrateprojection for overall businessprojection for overall businessfinancial projection for overallespecially keen insight into thewith and without the proposedwith and without the proposedbusiness with and without theshort and longer-term financialinvestment over specified timeinvestment over specified timeproposed investment overimpact of the expansion on theperiod, using relevantperiod, using relevantspecified time periodcompany?s overall performancepresentation vehicle to supportpresentation vehicle andnarrative and describing relevantdescribing assumptions, butassumptionsresponse contains inaccuracies oromits key detailsRisks: InternalMeets ?Proficient? criteria andProjects how company?s mostProjects how company?s mostDoes not project how company?s5.33demonstrates especially keensignificant internal risks andsignificant internal risks andmost significant internal risks andinsight into the links betweenopportunities might affectopportunities might affectopportunities might affectinternal risks and opportunities,financial estimates and how theyfinancial estimates and how theyfinancial estimates and how theyfinancial projections, and planningwill be addressed, supported bywill be addressed, supported bywill be addressedfor business expansionspecific examplesspecific examples, but responsecontains inaccuracies, omits keydetails, or links betweenprojections and planning aretenuousRisks: ExternalMeets ?Proficient? criteria andEvaluates how significant external,Evaluates how significant external,Does not evaluate how significant5.34demonstrates particularly keennon-financial risks that mightnon-financial risks that mightexternal, non-financial risks thatinsight into how external risksaffect project success will beaffect project success will bemight affect project success willaffect project success andaddressed, giving specificaddressed, giving specificbe addressedfinancial decisionsexamplesexamples, but response containsinaccuracies, omits key details, orexamples are not relevantRisks: MicroeconomicMeets ?Proficient? criteria andAssesses the microeconomicAssesses the microeconomicDoes not assess the5.33assessment is especially isfactors that might affect decisionsfactors that might affect decisionsmicroeconomic factors that mightespecially nuanced and wellabout the proposed investment,about the proposed investment,affect decisions about thealigned with strategic needs ofsupported by specific examplessupported by specific examples,proposed investmentprojectbut response containsinaccuracies, omits key details, orexamples are not relevantRisks: AlternateMeets ?Proficient? criteria andProjects how financialProjects how financialDoes not project how financial5.33Financial: Sales Falldiscussion of implications forperformance would change ifperformance would change ifperformance would change ifplanning and financialsales fall 20% short of or are 20%sales fall 20% short of or are 20%sales fall 20% short of or are 20%performance is particularlyhigher than base assumption,higher than base assumption,higher than base assumptionnuanced and well supportedincluding what analysis of twoincluding what analysis implies forscenarios implies for the proposedthe proposed investment, butinvestment, justifying responseresponse contains inaccuracies,omits key details, or is poorlyjustifiedRisks: AlternateMeets ?Proficient? criteria andAssesses what net present value,Assesses what net present value,Does not assess what net present5.34Financial: Time Value ofdemonstrates keen insight intointernal rate of return, andinternal rate of return, andvalue, internal rate of return, andMoneyhow diverse scenarios andpayback values from base andpayback values from base andpayback values from base andfinancial metrics affect projectsales variation scenarios imply forsales variation scenarios imply forsales variation scenarios imply forprojections and subsequentthe proposed investment,the proposed investment,the proposed investmentbusiness decisionsincluding how time value ofincluding how time value ofmoney affects calculations andmoney affects calculations andanalysisanalysis, but response containsinaccuracies or omits key detailsFinancing: GlobalMeets ?Proficient? criteria andWeighs pros and cons of raisingWeighs pros and cons of internalDoes not weigh pros and cons of5.34Capital Marketsassessment is particularlymoney using internal financingfinancing versus global capitalraising money using internalnuanced and relevant to theversus global capital marketmarket mechanisms, identifyingfinancing versus global capitalspecific needs of the expansionmechanisms, identifying viableviable alternatives based onmarket mechanismsalternatives based on appropriateresearch and evidence, butresearch and evidenceresponse contains inaccuracies,omits key details, or research andevidence are not relevant orcursoryFinancing: BusinessMeets ?Proficient? criteria andAssesses the viability of a businessAssesses the viability of a businessDoes not assess viability of a5.33Combinationassessment is particularlycombination as a mechanism forcombination as a mechanism forbusiness combination as anuanced and relevant to theexpanding into the new market,expanding, supported by researchmechanism for expanding into thespecific needs of the expansionsupported by appropriateand evidence, but response isnew market, supported byresearch and evidencecursory, contains inaccuracies, orresearch and evidenceresearch and evidence are notappropriateTrack Record: FinancialMeets ?Proficient? criteria andConvincingly argues thatArgues that organization is onDoes not argue that organization4Performanceresponse is particularly insightfulorganization is on solid financialsolid financial footing, supportedis on solid financial footingand well suited for convincingfooting, supported by appropriateby financial statements, ratios,target audience to grant fundingfinancial statements, ratios, andand other indicators of financialrequestother indicators of financialperformance and health, butperformance and healthargument is cursory, containsinaccuracies, or supportingevidence is not credible,appropriate, or convincing forlendersTrack Record: Legal andMeets ?Proficient? criteria andConvincingly argues forArgues for organization?sDoes not argue for organization?s4Ethicalresponse is particularly insightfulorganization?s trustworthiness,trustworthiness, providingtrustworthinessand well suited for convincingproviding credible evidence ofevidence of legal and ethicaltarget audience to grant fundinglegal and ethical financial behaviorfinancial behavior, but argument isrequestcursory, contains inaccuracies, orevidence is not credible orconvincing to lendersQuestions and AnswersMeets ?Proficient? criteria andConstructs persuasive, evidence-Constructs question and answerDoes not construct question and4response is particularly insightfulbased question and answersection that addresses potentialanswer section that addressesand well-suited for convincingsection that addresses additionalloan committee questions,additional financial questions loantarget audience to grant fundingfinancial questions loanincluding legal and ethicalcommittee might askrequestcommittee might ask, includingconcerns and why loan would belegal and ethical concerns andattractive to bank, but responsewhy the loan would be attractivecontains inaccuracies, is notto the bankpersuasive, or is not well-grounded in evidenceArticulation ofSubmission is free of errorsSubmission has no major errorsSubmission has major errorsSubmission has critical errors2Responserelated to citations, grammar,related to citations, grammar,related to citations, grammar,related to citations, grammar,spelling, syntax, and organizationspelling, syntax, or organizationspelling, syntax, or organizationspelling, syntax, or organizationand is presented in a professionalthat negatively impact readabilitythat prevent understanding ofand easy-to-read formatand articulation of main ideasideasTotal100%

MBA 640 Final Project Guidelines and Rubric


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