Management Plan Project
For this class, you and your teammates will create and submit a management plan for a fictitious corporation. When we think of business plans, we normally think of a document that describes the legal structure, product(s) sold, potential markets and competitors, and presents pro forma financial statements, all of which are designed to guide the business in its early phases and possibly result in other people making an investment in the company. A start-up business plan is designed to increase the chances that the business will be successful as a result of thoughtful, advanced planning. Assuming a business succeeds and survives its first few years, where does the business go from there?
All too often, business owners become so focused on getting their business up and running that they fail to create a vision of what they want their company to become and they fail to create a plan for the company’s future. Instead, they make decisions on a day to day basis, without fully understanding how those decisions will shape their company – either limiting or expanding its potential for greater success. Decisions about how to manage and motivate employees, how to organize the company, how to control quality/growth/finances, establishing a mission and setting goals, and choosing between priorities, all shape the company and contribute positively or negatively to its success. Ideally, decisions that will shape the company – decisions related to the four functions of management – should be made with an understanding of how those decisions are likely to impact the company and its stakeholders and lead the company toward or away from the achievement of the owner’s vision of what his/her company can become.
For this assignment, you will take on the role of Pat Coyote, Founder, Owner and CEO of the Acme Widget Company (AWC), based in Oregon City, Oregon. AWC is a private company that has survived a several-year-long start-up phase and is becoming increasingly profitable with each passing year. Currently, Acme makes and sells three different kinds of widgets (small, medium and large), which are manufactured at and sold from the single Oregon City location. For purposes of this assignment, it doesn’t really matter what the widgets actually are – they could be almost anything that could be sold for $20, $50, and $100. Customer feedback has been very positive and regional and national orders have increased tremendously over the last several years, resulting in a tidy profit which the company has retained. AWC makes a 20% profit on every widget sold. One is a “Star”, another is a “dog” and another is a “question mark.” You will need to address this in the assumptions section of your planning document. Last year AWC earned $400,000 profit on $3 million in sales. Over the last several years, you have managed to retain about $5 million in earnings. Making a widget is labor intensive, AWC production is currently maxed out at about 55 widgets, per 8 hour work day, per manufacturing worker. AWC employs 5 full time employees who make the widgets, 1 office manager/bookkeeper, 1 outside sales person and you, the owner, who handles marketing, inside sales, and general management. With only 275 widgets being produced each day, you have reached the limit of how much you can grow in your current configuration. Your plan needs to describe how you will address the manufacturing and staffing considerations associated with this labor intensive product, and how you will ultimately continue growth of your company beyond its current capacity.
You have reached a turning point in the company’s history and that the decisions you make now will shape the future of the company and its potential for continued success and growth. Thanks to a business class you took at Clackamas Community College, you know that you need to clarify your vision of what you want the company to become and how you want it to operate, so the decisions you make from this point on will (hopefully) lead your company toward the fulfillment of your vision. You decide that you want to continue the growth of the company via expansion rather than simply being satisfied with the status quo. In fact you want to find some way to “go international,” selling your product in one or more foreign markets. This will entail a joint venture, partnership, licensing arrangement, franchise agreement, or construction of an overseas location. Therefore, you decide to draft a management plan to guide and shape aspects of your company that are not addressed in a typical business plan. The plan will begin with some assumptions that you can make, which will provide a framework for developing your management plan. The management plan you create must make sense (be realistic) based on the assumptions you will create and the other information about Acme Widget Company that I have provided. In the “real world” an actual business would likely develop a detailed strategic plan, rather than a management plan to lead the company through a significant company change. A revised business plan might also be developed to take the company through its next phase of growth, especially if outside funding is sought. To be clear, this assignment is NOT about creating a traditional business plan or a traditional strategic plan – it is about helping you understand how management concepts might be applied to help a company manage growth, shape culture, and become more successful. I hope you have fun creating and imagining the future of the Acme Widget Company.
As you put your assumptions and management plan together, please label each section and make sure that your responses to each section include the numbering format used in these instructions. That way I will know which item you are answering in each of your responses. Your responses should be provided in the order presented in these instructions. Submissions must be in WORD format (Excel format for charts) – no other file formats will be accepted. Your responses and discussions should show that you can appropriately apply management concepts from the text to a fictional company. Be sure to reference page numbers from your text when referencing text content. There are no right answers per se, but depending on your assumptions, some answers will be better than others. Your answers need to make sense based on the information provided and the assumptions you establish – they need to be reasonable/realistic. Grading will be based on how completely you respond to each question, whether you clearly and appropriately apply text concepts and theories to the plans that you make for Acme Widget Company, how well the various parts of your plan fit together and support each other, and the degree to which the plan in whole and in part is reasonable/realistic. If I ask for specific information, you will likely find details about that topic in the text book. Grammar and spelling count, too. Be sure to explain why you think one particular approach is better than another, and discuss the relative pros and cons or tradeoffs of the approaches you considered. I need to understand the reasoning behind your decisions.
You will learn more and develop a better, more internally consistent, and stronger plan if you collaborate with ALL team members as each section is drafted. You can choose to have each team member write a different section, but the team as a whole will still be responsible for ensuring the content is cohesive, consistent, and that the text concepts and theories are appropriately applied. This means that all team members should read the entire document before it is submitted to identify areas that need improvement or clarification. Make sure to read ahead to the chapters that are relevant to each section before attempting to complete this assignment.
Make sure that the plan is complete (all questions required below are addressed to a suitable degree of depth and detail). The Plan must reflect the original work of ALL team members. Plagiarized content will result in a zero for section in which the plagiarized content appears. Only one copy of the completed plan should be uploaded. Decide which of your team members will be responsible for assembling the sections and uploading the completed document via Moodle. I will be happy to review and provide comments on drafts of each section if they are submitted separately and on or before the deadline.
Prior to the end of the term, each member of your team will submit a peer evaluation sheet to me via the link provided in Moodle. Your grade will be dependent, in part, on these evaluations. If you do not submit a complete set of evaluations for yourself and your teammates, you will not receive any points for this component of the project. The average of your team evaluations will influence your final grade on the project.
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