Assessment 1: capstone project summary

Create a 2-3 page project summary that describes your chosen organization, a business problem or opportunity, the kind of data you will need, and how your topic allows you to demonstrate the MBA program outcomes.

Introduction

This course revolves around the creation of a single, significant capstone project. In other words, a project that caps off your learning and your program, allowing you to demonstrate the competencies of leadership and collaboration, ethical and evidence-based decision making, and innovative and strategic thinking. For your capstone, you will choose a real company and analyze it in a way that demonstrates your understanding of the MBA program outcomes. You will turn your analysis of that company into a written report with recommendations and a formal presentation for your intended audience.

Having a solid, doable scope is an important part of creating a successful capstone project, and the exact scope is up to you. To help you establish a realistic scope, you will start with the project summary. Be careful to consider the scalability of your project scope, ensuring that it demonstrates your ability to lead in a business environment and showcases your achievement of all MBA program outcomes.

Examples

A scope that is poorly defined:

  • I want to write a general analysis of the bookseller, Barnes & Noble.
    • This topic is too broad, and it would probably require hundreds of pages to address all of the possible analyses.

A scope that is better defined:

  • I want to focus on how Barnes & Noble has managed to survive the Internet age while Borders has crumbled.
    • What makes this a better scope? The scope is grounded in a problem (such as how to survive Internet competition) or opportunity (such as the area lacking a business that you plan to open), which allows you to focus the analysis.
    • It must also allow for you to analyze and suggest evidence-based recommendations, takeaways, or actionable next steps as the crux of your project.

Preparation

Assessment Description

For this assessment, introduce the organization you have chosen to research, why you chose it, and how it will allow you to demonstrate all of the MBA program outcomes.

Write a 2–3 page paper, in an academic writing style, that details the topic and scope of your capstone project. Your project summary should be clear and concise yet thorough enough for faculty to provide feedback and guidance. Your project summary should be well organized and include the following sections:

  • Describe the background of your chosen organization.
    • Provide a brief background of your selected organization. For instance, discuss its product lines, number of years in business, organization structure, location, et cetera.
    • If you choose an organization for which you work, your introduction must include a statement that you received permission to use the company from a supervisor.
  • Describe a business topic, problem, or opportunity that you intend to research.
    • Describe the problem or opportunity you see that makes this company a good choice.
    • Explain the scope of your project by clearly identifying the topics or areas you intend to research.
  • Explain the level of accessibility to data necessary to examine the chosen business topic, problem, or opportunity.
    • Address how you will go about obtaining the data.
    • Identify any special requirements that you might need to meet to access the data you will need.
    • Explain risks you think will be encountered and the mitigation plan to manage those risks.
  • Explain how your topic will allow you to showcase your leadership ability by demonstrating each MBA program outcome.
    • List out each program outcome clearly, and then explain in 3–4 sentences how your topic will allow you to demonstrate each. The MBA program outcomes are listed in the MBA Capstone Project Description.
    • Identify specific items of your project summary that you believe demonstrates the outcome.
  • Wrap up your paper with a clear, concise conclusion that summarizes your plan. Just a couple sentences is fine.

Your project summary should have these sections:

  • Introduction.
  • Statement of scope.
  • Demonstration of outcomes.
  • Conclusion.

Submission Requirements

  • Style: Your paper should follow the corresponding MBA Academic and Professional Document guidelines (available in the MBA Program Resources) for academic style. It should be double spaced, use subheadings, and be well organized and well written.
  • Communication: Ensure written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message and quality.
  • APA guidelines: Format your paper according to current APA style and formatting.
  • Resources: At least one resource should be a scholarly article or other content found in the Capella library, and one should be from the Wall Street Journal. If using Internet sources, evaluate them appropriately to make sure they are credible resources.
  • Length: Your paper should be between 2–3 pages.
  • Font and font size: Use 12 point, Times New Roman.

EPORTFOLIO

You should consider adding this to your personal ePortfolio. This assessment demonstrates your ability to draft a project summary, which is necessary in a professional setting when you are trying to pitch an idea or potential project, or make recommendations.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 2: Integrate information across disciplines and from differing perspectives.
    • Describe the background of the chosen organization.
  • Competency 3: Think critically and analytically to provide evidence-based solutions to business challenges and opportunities.
    • Describe an intended business topic, problem, or opportunity to research.
    • Explain the level of accessibility to data necessary to examine the chosen business topic, problem, or opportunity.
    • Explain how the topic will allow showcasing of leadership ability by demonstrating some MBA program outcomes.
  • Competency 7: Communicate clearly and effectively in a business environment.
    • Write coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional.
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