All elements involved in the creation of this proposal, from problem definition through action plan, must be covered. Further, the proposal, as constructed, must meet the tests of any sound business plan, namely that it has specific and measurable goals and objectives, clearly defined activities, stipulated time frames during which those activities will take place, and clearly defined measurable outcomes. The subject matter of your paper should be business-oriented in nature and should avoid decisions that depend largely on intuition to solve. Guidelines Although the length of the paper is not pre-determined, a 10-15 page analysis, including data and appendices, is probably correct. You will also share a summary PowerPoint presentation with fellow students during the Week 6 Discussion. The Final Course Project Proposal with PowerPoint presentation is due by the end of Week 7 (graded). Required Outline The following outline is required for your Course Project: Executive Summary (less than one page) This summary is a short, carefully worded description of the problem situation that identifies the recommended solution. A brief justification and explanation of selection method is to be included, highlighting factors that contributed to selecting the recommended alternative. Decision Problem Overview Describe the nature and scope of the decision problem selected, its history together with causes, and the outcomes of any previous attempts to deal with it. In order to define the problem correctly, the following questions should be addressed: What is the general nature of the problem? What event triggered the situation? Are we imposing any constraints on the situation? What are the underlying elements of the problem? Are there dependencies on other decisions? Briefly introduce the key decision elements – objectives, alternatives, consequences, and uncertainties; details are to be discussed in the following sections. Objectives Statement Explain each objective in detail. Separate objectives into fundamental and means objectives. A minimum of three objectives is required. Alternatives Describe each alternative, and explain how the alternatives differ from one another. A minimum of three alternatives is required. Selection Describe the alternative recommended and why. Explain the tradeoffs you utilized or present a weighted scoring model. Explain why you feel that this report contains sufficient information to make a decision on the problem. Describe any additional information that would be useful to have. Consequences Explain how you determined the values for each alternative and their corresponding objectives. Show your consequence table, either in this section or as an appendix. Include the bases for forecasts and any techniques or tools used to estimate consequences. Discuss the reliability of your predictions. Indicate what events were considered to be uncertain, explain the probabilities of their occurrence, and what information you used to establish your confidence level in these probabilities. A minimum of two uncertainties is required for the paper. Implementation, Monitoring, and Control This section contains a detailed implementation plan. There will be an explanation of how the recommended alternative will be implemented, resources dedicated to accomplishing it, and key individuals who will be responsible for the plan’s success. Details should be included on how the plan will be monitored, subsequent evaluation criteria, and how the plan can be amended. Works Cited (at least two external sources should be used) Presentation Once you have outlined your paper, you should be ready to begin a PowerPoint presentation. As you develop the contents of the sections in your paper, you should extract bullet-point ideas that best express your intended message. If you prefer, use the slides to brainstorm and organize your thoughts before writing the paper. Then refer to your presentation to guide and remind you of the flow of your storyline. The presentation will be used to showcase your decision problem in one of the Week 6 discussion topics where you will receive feedback from your fellow students. This exercise will assist you in finalizing your course project prior to submission at the end of Week 7. Grading Rubrics Category Points % Description Documentation and Formatting 60 25 A quality paper will include an executive summary, decision problem statement, objectives statement, alternatives, selection of alternatives, consequences, implementation, monitoring, control, and references. Organization and Cohesiveness 60 25 A quality paper will include an introduction based upon a well-formed thesis statement. The logical order of the content will be derived from the thesis statement. The content will be properly subdivided into sections derived from the outline. In a quality paper, the conclusion will summarize the previously presented content, and will complement the thesis statement from the introduction. Editing 24 10 A quality paper will be free of any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Sentences and paragraphs will be clear, concise, and factually correct. Content 96 40 A quality paper will have significant scope and depth of research to support any statements. Relevant illustration or examples are encouraged. A quality paper will employ sound use of reasoning and logic to reinforce conclusions. Total 240 100 A quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements. Best Practices Additional hints on preparing the best possible project. Apply a three step process of writing: plan, write, and complete. Prepare an outline of your research paper before you go forward. Complete a first draft and then go back to edit, evaluate, and make any changes required. Use visual communication to further clarify and support the written part of your report. Example graphs, diagrams, photographs, flowcharts, maps, drawings, animation, video clips, pictograms, tables, and Gantt charts.
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