GRADED DISCUSSION WEEK 7
Please note that if you edit your initial response (Original Post), you will not get credit for the Original Post. The discussions are set up as “Must post first”.
In your initial response to the topic you have to answer all questions.
1) For your first topic in this discussion I would like for you to briefly review either your personal experiences and/or the financial literature to identify and present a description of one actual capital project/product success and the reasons attributed to the success.
Remember this is a one to two paragraph exercise – do not go overboard – a few hours research and summation is all that’s required. I am interested only in your short, concise description of the project and the major reasons you believe it was successful.
2) In your response please provide financial information regarding the project (what is available): initial outlay, projected cash flows, dollar profits.
3) Synthesize your one-paragraph position on what 3-5 specific factors you believe most likely to contribute to capital project analysis success.
4) Reflection – the students also should include a paragraph in the initial response in their own words reflecting on specifically what they learned from the assignment and how they think they could apply what they learned in the workplace.
You are expected to make your own contribution in a main topic as well as respond with value added comments to at least two of your classmates as well as to your instructor.
Post by Carey Caginalp
Week 7 Discussion – I will be studying the Betsy Ross Interchange project, which concerns rebuilding a stretch of (highway and local) road near Philadelphia, to widen the highway from three lanes to four and help mitigate traffic.
- The Betsy Ross interchange involved completely rebuilding a stretch of a couple miles of highway near the Philadelphia metro area. The intention was to widen the stretch of road from three lanes of highway to four, and this entailed rebuilding many city streets as well. One reason that this project has been regarded as a success is the level of attention to detail in the original proposal. The steps were laid out cleanly with timelines and clear budget estimates for each step of the project. The project was implemented as a private-public partnership, which can incorporate the advantages from government along with the efficiency of the private sector. I was also very much impressed by a list of potential risks and probabilities of the risk occurring. It is important to document potential hangups and this project clearly demonstrated an ability to see which things could go wrong, for example utilities relocations.
- Since this is a government project rather than a closed loop in a private corporation, the numbers take on a slightly different meaning. We can look at money allocated compared to money spent and look at whether the project is over or under budget. According to Table 4.1 on p.30, a total of $113MM has been allocated for the project so far, and only $53MM has been spent. The project is thus coming in ahead of budget. Of course, the true benefit – less traffic congestion and ideally less pollution – is more difficult to attach a dollar figure to.
- Synthesizing my response into specific factors: clear planning of steps, listing out risks, public-private partnership, and high level of detail.
- In this assignment, I learned a significant amount about project management and tracking. I had thought that government projects had a much more spurious budget in general. However, by examining this plan in detail, I can see that there is a careful documentation of many aspects: the money to be spent, the different phases of the project, and the timeline for completion of the project. I will find this extraordinarily helpful in the workplace as I work towards a management position. A good manager will want to plan
- out projects and do a thorough analysis to maximize the chances that their projects will be successful.
Project information from: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/majorprojects/financial_plans/ifp_i95_bsi_bsr_july2014.pdf
Post by Sabrina Mann
I’ve spent the past couple of years working for a cybersecurity and risk company and I have seen a lot of internal growth. When I started out at this company it was only 10 of us in an office, and now we have 100’s of people working globally. This growth was only possible due to various capital projects, which has allowed the company to reinvest into itself and grow. The organization has slightly shifted its focus, moving from cybersecurity DFIR work to focusing more on risk management, ransomware recovery, and business continuity. As operations have become more focused, capital can be reinvested back into those functions to make them more sustainable and scalable. As a result, many capital projects are being oriented to expanding operations and ensuring the availability of services.
Most recently, [my employer] made a $1M investment in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to drive HR and Finance efficiencies and enhance scalability. This investment has also provided business insights to enable effective decision-making and planning. Three key factors to the success were:
- Establishing and stress-testing an objective and realistic business case that provides a positive Return on Investment.
- Ensuring that investment aligned to the business goals.
- Risk Analysis
- Identify risks early on during the project, provide risk visibility to leadership and project stakeholders, continuously monitor risks, and take steps to mitigate.
- Ensuring that the right people were in the right role early on during the project was critical.
- Establishing a diverse team with different points of view led to project delivery on time.
- Resource gaps were identified early and filled with highly skilled contractors.
This discussion project was a great opportunity for me to talk more about my work on an executive level. I am most certainly one of the least qualified people among my peers, as I’m the only one still in college, so anytime that I have a topic I can discuss it is very exciting. Additionally, having the opportunity to understand the business better provides me a great opportunity. This past week I’ve spent time discussing with the CFO, who gladly help me understand more about the company. I had heard about some investments into HR and even met a very talented new HR woman. Even so, I wouldn’t have thought it would be $1 million! I’m excited to see what else comes out of this investment.