Managing Decisions

Managing Decisions

Assessment Task   A business development project

1.1    List of possible business opportunity for Task

The information provided is an outline of the business opportunity. It is up to you to decide how to operationalize the business opportunity. You must decide exactly how the business opportunity will be set up and run and describe this in some detail.

Write this business :
House Hubby
Supply of DIY services to householders, especially the elderly or single people. The ‘House Hubby’ would undertake tasks such as assembling flat pack furniture, putting up shelves, curtain rails, moving heavy furniture, small repair jobs within the home, etc. The charging would be by the hour for small jobs and by the job for bigger tasks.

3000words

1.1.1    The project of developing the business opportunity
You will choose a business opportunity to explore – to be found further on in this document, on pages 5 – 6.
The allocation will take the form of a description of a proposed new business. It isyour task to investigate this new business proposal and to demonstrate how the decision making tools/techniques studied in the module, could be used to explore the business opportunity and to evaluate the proposal.
The results of the investigations will be presented in a report.
As a minimum you should demonstrate how the following have been used in developing and evaluating your business opportunity:
•    a structured description of the situation e.g. an influence diagram (Topic 2);
•    project management techniques to plan the development of the business opportunity, assuming it is considered worthwhile (Topics 3 and 4);
•    a spreadsheet financial model to evaluate the business opportunity (Topic 5);
•    the spreadsheet financial modelusedto explore critical factors in the likely success of the business opportunity (Topic 6).
•    tools to assess and evaluate the risk in the business opportunity (Topic 7);

1.1.2    Final project report
The final project report should be submitted as set out by the SBS deadlines at SHIP.

The final project report should include:
•    a brief description of the business opportunity and the rationale behind it.
•    an explanation of how the proposal was modelled and evaluated;  market / operational aspects / financial viability / competitor analysis etc.
•    a summary of the results of the analysis and the evaluation.
•    conclusionsdrawn about the likely success or otherwise of the opportunity; what are the next decisions?
•    appendices containing:
o    the project plan for the business opportunity.
o    the spreadsheet financial model in both normal view and formulae view.
Spreadsheets should be printed in normal view and in formula view. The formula view should show the row and column headings and the gridlines. If the formulae in your columns are identical after a certain point, print out only what is necessary.

As a guide the final project report should be around 3,000 words (+/- 10%), excluding appendices. An electronic copy of the final project report will need to be submitted to Turnitin.

The MicrosoftProject printout should ideally be on one page and include the full Gantt Chart on the right hand side of the page.

1.1.3    Assessment of the project
The project assesses aspects of Learning Outcomes 2 – 5 and 7.

1.1.4    Project marking grid
The following marking grid will be used by the teaching team to assess the project work:

Assessment Criteria    Weighting (% of the total Task mark)
1. Introduction to your chosen business opportunity and its objectives.  This should be supported by relevant data collection relating to the business opportunity (i.e. incomes, costs, financing, operational details market conditions and customer base) and considerations about how these factors influence each other.
10%
2. Evaluation of the methodologies and approaches you have used in order to analyse your chosen business opportunity. You should discuss the merits and drawbacks of each of the methods given and highlight how the methods complement/inform other stages in the decision making process.
35%
3. Application of the approaches you have identified in section 2 to your business opportunity.  You should clearly explain how the outcomes from each technique has impacted on the resulting decisions made.
30%
4. Use and application of project management tools and techniques.
15%
5. Conclusion (i.e. the feasibility of the business opportunity and whether or not it is a viable option).
10%

The detailed assessment feedback for this task will be given using the grid found on the following page.
Individual Written Report
Assignment criteria    <40%    Pass
40-49%    2.2
50-59%    2.1
60-69%    First
>70%
Introduction to your chosen business opportunity and its objectives.  This should be supported by relevant data collection relating to the business opportunity (i.e. incomes, costs, financing, operational details market conditions and customer base) and considerations about how these factors influence each other.
(10%)    The level of detail in this section was very limited and evidence of data collection was not evident.  You did not appear to consider the impact market conditions could have on your proposed business venture.  You also did not include an appropriate Influence diagram or Decision/Option graph.
You did show that you had carried out a limited amount of research into the operation of your chosen business venture and included some evidence of data collection, but much more detail was required in order to achieve a higher mark. Your diagram showing the factors which impact on the operation of your chosen business opportunity contained errors as indicated in your written feedback and not all of the main influencing factors were identified.
Information and data collection was evident throughout most of your work and you did consider the impact that the market conditions could have on your business venture, although some of the points raised needed further explanation.  You identified most of the relevant factors that could impact on your business venture and presented these in a suitable diagram – but this did contain some errors, as indicated on your report itself.
Information and data collection was evident throughout your work and you did show that you had considered the impact that the market conditions could have on your business venture.   This section would, however have benefited from more linkage between your findings from the data collection to your proposed business venture. The level of detail on your diagram showing the factors which impact on the decision making process for your chosen business opportunity was good – although it did contain one or two minor errors as indicated in your written feedback.    The level of information and data collection was excellent, as was your analysis of the impact that the market conditions could have on your business venture. Your diagram showing the factors which impact on your chosen business opportunity was also produced to a high level of accuracy. Well done!

Evaluation of the methodologies and approaches you have used in order to analyse your chosen business opportunity. You should discuss the merits and drawbacks of each of the methods given and highlight how the methods complement/inform other stages in the decision making process.
(35%)    You did not analyse the decision making methodologies and approaches utilised over the semester, and also did not evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each or consider how the outcome from each technique complements/has an impact on the other stages in the decision making process.  As this section is heavily weighted, you lost a lot of marks here!
You did mention some of the decision making methodologies and techniques utilised over the semester, but did tend to describe the tools themselves, rather than analysing the advantages and disadvantages of each technique in turn.  You also did not really considered how the outcome from applying each technique complements/has an impact on other stages in the decision making process.  This subsequently lost you marks – as the section is heavily weighted!    You did analyse (albeit briefly) the methodologies and techniques utilised over the semester and gave an insight into some of their associated advantages and disadvantages.  However, your analysis was quite descriptive and did focus mainly on the packages used rather than the techniques themselves. You did explain how the results from each technique complement/have an impact on other stages in the decision making process – but again, this section lacked depth and needed further explanation.
You provided a good analysis of the decision making tools and techniques utilised over the semester and gave an insight into most of their associated advantages and disadvantages.  You also considered how the results from each technique complement/have an impact on other stages in the decision making process, but could have expanded further in some areas (as indicated in your written feedback).
This section provided an excellent evaluation of the decision making tools and techniques utilised in this work and also clearly explained how the results obtained from each technique complement/have an impact on other stages in the decision making process.  The section showed a high level of originality.

Application of the approaches you have identified in section 2 to your business opportunity.  You should clearly explain how the outcomes from each technique has impacted on the resulting decisions made.
(30%)
You did not demonstrate a satisfactory level of competence in the use of Excel for both financial modelling and also for carrying out sensitivity analysis.  You also did not use the results obtained from the models you designed to help you evaluate the viability of your chosen business opportunity.
You demonstrated that you have some ability to use Excel for financial modelling and carrying out sensitivity analysis.  You also made an attempt to analyse the results you obtained from the models you designed when evaluating whether or not your chosen business opportunity is a viable proposition, but could have included more detail here.
You demonstrated that you have a reasonable knowledge of how to use Excel to create financial models and to carry out sensitivity analysis.  You also made a good attempt to analyse the results obtained from the models you designed when evaluating whether or not your chosen business opportunity is a viable proposition or not. However, there were a couple of minor flaws in your models, as indicated in the written comments on your report.    You demonstrated that you have a sound knowledge of how to use  Excel to create financial models and also to carry out sensitivity analysis.  Your analysis of the results you obtained from the models was effective and gave you a good insight into whether or not your proposed business opportunity would be successful or not, but you just lacked the level of detail and complexity in your model and written analysis to be awarded a first in this section.    You demonstrated that you have a comprehensive knowledge of Excel and created effective models to help you determine whether or not your proposed business opportunity would be successful or not.  Well done!

Use and application of project management tools and techniques.
(15%)    This section was very poor.  You did not demonstrate that you have any real understanding of project management theory or techniques. Please see your written report for further feedback.
You have shown that you have a basic understanding of project management techniques and how to utilise project management tools – although your demonstration of the use of MS Project was limited and you did not really demonstrate that you could use some of the basic functions required.  Please see your report for further details.    You have shown an appropriate knowledge of project management techniques and your demonstration of the use of MS Project was satisfactory. However, you could have used more of the inbuilt tools to make the Project plan more informative.  Please see your written feedback on the report for further detail.    You have shown a good understanding of project management techniques and have demonstrated your knowledge of how to use MS Project.  There were one or two minor errors in your project plan as  indicated in your written feedback.
You have shown an excellent understanding of project management techniques and you included a detailed demonstration of your use and application of MS Project.  Well done!

Conclusion (i.e. the feasibility of the business opportunity and whether or not it is a viable option).
(10%)    Your analysis and conclusions were extremely limited.  Any points raised were not supported by the outcomes from the decision making tools and techniques you should have used to assist you in the decision making process.  You also did not justify the rationale behind your final decision.  Overall, this section was very disappointing.    You provided an acceptable analysis of the decision making process and a reasonable conclusion.  You supported your reasoning with the use of several decision making methods. However, the content was quite repetitive and you did not really justify the rationale behind your final decision.
You provided an acceptable analysis of the decision making process and a reasonable conclusion.  You supported your reasoning with the use of several decision making methods. However, the content was quite repetitive and you did not really justify the rationale behind your final decision.
Your analysis and conclusions were well written and were supported by the use of the outcome from the decision making techniques you have used during this assessment.   However, one minor criticism is that the section was quite brief.
You provided an excellent analysis of the decision making process you have adopted throughout this assessment.  Your conclusion was well constructed and was supported by the use of the outcomes from the decision making techniques you have utilised over the semester.  Well done!

1.2    List of possible business opportunities for Task 1

The information provided is an outline of the business opportunity. It is up to you to decide how to operationalize the business opportunity. You must decide exactly how the business opportunity will be set up and run and describe this in some detail.

1. House Hubby
Supply of DIY services to householders, especially the elderly or single people. The ‘House Hubby’ would undertake tasks such as assembling flat pack furniture, putting up shelves, curtain rails, moving heavy furniture, small repair jobs within the home, etc. The charging would be by the hour for small jobs and by the job for bigger tasks.

Task 2

You are required to complete the On-line test that will be made available via MyShu, in the Assessment folder.(10% weighting).

You will be informed via your Assessment scheduler the date the test will bemade  available – and you may take the test in any location where you have access to Blackboard.

Please note: Once you have started the test, you may save your answers and resume the test at a later date – but you cannot backtrack to previous questions.  Once you have submitted your answer, the action is final.