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ALL ASSIGNMENTS HAVE TO BE COMPLETEDPart 1 All assignments that are in the attachment has to be completed. THERE IS A TOTAL OF 5 ASSIGNMENTS IN THE ATTACHMENT. Part 2 A Find an article or video from a business leader discussing the leader’s view on the keys to success in business. Post a link to the article or video to the discussion thread and provide a summary of the following: 1. What is the role of the individual in the article or video? 2. What keys to success did the leader describe? 3. What are your thoughts on the leader’s response? How you could implement their thinking in your own career? Part 3 Think of something you purchased that you no longer use because it became outdated or obsolete. Upload a picture of the item in the discussion thread along with answers to the following questions: 1. What is the product in the picture? 2. Why did you initially purchase the product? 3. Why do you no longer use it? 4. Did you replace the product with anything? If so, what? Part 4 Find a recent article or video describing a new product in development. Post a link to the article or video in the discussion thread and describe the following: 1. What need is the new product trying to fill? Do you think it will meet that need? 2. What type of innovation does the new product represent? 3. What kind of process do you think will be used to make the product? Would it be possible to produce a lot of the product in a short amount of time? Part 5 Find an income statement or balance sheet for a business. Review the accounting concepts and the income statement or balance sheet to answer the following questions: 1. How is the business performing based upon your review? Is the business growing or declining, why? 2. Where is the business focusing the majority of its resources? 3. What advice would you offer to the owner or leadership of the business?
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BUS508 Contemporary Business
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 1 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics
ASSIGNMENT 1 – Weeks 2 & 3
Product Development & Operations: Category Manager Analysis
Due Date: Week 3
Note: While representative of possible situations faced by Alikay Naturals, all scenarios in this assignment
are fictional.
Real Business
Let’s roll up our sleeves and use what we’ve learned this week in a real-life business situation. Each
week, you’ll encounter a scenario where you will assume the role of a businessperson at or who works at
a national discount retail store, like a Walmart or Target. These companies provide important, everyday
staples for millions of people across the country and have become very successful businesses in the
process.
Discount retail stores have locations in communities across the country. They often have strong and
recognizable brands that are household names. We will explore how business works throughout this
course by taking on a few of the many different roles at successful companies like these.
Your Role
This week, you’ll assume the role of a Category Manager for the Beauty Products category at a national
discount retail store.
What Is a Category Manager?
Category Managers are responsible for related groups of products (for example, baseball equipment or
laundry detergents) for a retail business. They use research, information and insights about the
category to change shopper behavior and increase sales of the products in the category. They also
work with the suppliers of the products in their category to ensure that good products and services are
available to customers.
As a Category Manager, part of your role is to analyze data and information about how well a product is
selling to help the maker of that product improve the product and consider introducing new products.
Rochelle and her team at Alikay Naturals have asked you, the Beauty Products Category Manager, to
review one of their products and determine where it lies in the product life cycle. Additionally, they have
asked you to recommend ways to improve the product in order to increase sales.
Instructions
Step 1: Product Life Cycle
Read the Product Report for Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo. The Product Report
contains important information that will help you to identify where the product stands in the Product Life
Cycle and give you clues about what changes customers might like to see. Respond to Rochelle and her
team at Alikay Naturals based on the information in the Product Report.


Identify where Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo is currently positioned in the product
life cycle and describe the rationale for your position.
Compose 3 questions that Rochelle should pose to her team to better understand the product’s
positioning and potential at this particular stage in its life cycle. (E.g., if you have determined the
product is in the Introduction Phase, you might suggest the question: How have competitors
priced similar products?)
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 2 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics
Step 2: Product Changes
Based on what you’ve learned:
• What recommendation(s) do you have for Alikay Naturals to improve or
replace Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo?
Step 3: New Product Development
Read the New Product Proposal, which contains three examples of possible products that could be
developed to replace Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo. Based on the information in this proposal and
the customer feedback in the Product Report:
• If you had to recommend one product, which product would you recommend they
create? Explain your decision.
• Determine which type of innovation this represents from among the four main types discussed
this week. Briefly explain why you chose that type of innovation.
Note: You should complete Step 4 after reading the material in Week 3.
Step 4: Production Methods
Based on your understanding of Alikay’s position in the product life cycle and expected sales volume:
• Which production method do you think Alikay is using for the Black Soap Shampoo? Explain your
rationale.
• If Alikay chose to keep the Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo and launch your recommended
product as a “limited time only” trial, what production method should Alikay use for the test market
product? Why?
Step 5: Real-World Application
• Choose a product at your company or one that you are familiar with that is in the mature stage of
the product life cycle. Briefly describe the product, why you believe it is in this phase, and what
improvements could be made to change its current path.
Points: 110
Criteria
1. Identify and
explain where
the Alikay product is
in its life cycle and
compose 3
questions that
Rochelle
should pose to her
team, relative to the
life cycle stage.
Weight: 15%
Assignment: Product Development and Operations – Category Manager
Analysis
Unacceptable
Below 70% F
Fair
70-79% C
Proficient
80-89% B
Exemplary
90-100% A
Does not accurately
identify the product life
cycle stage and/or
does not explain
rational logically; does
not cite supporting
information. Does not
include questions or
includes questions that
do not reflect course
materials.
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding of
stages of product life
cycle.
Accurately identifies the
product life cycle stage.
Explains rationale
logically but not
completely; does not cite
sufficient supporting
information.
OR
Does not accurately
identify the product life
cycle stage.
Explains rationale
logically; cites adequate
supporting information.
Includes 3 questions that
showed adequate
understanding of relevant
life cycle phase.
Demonstrates adequate u
nderstanding of
the stages of product life
cycle.
Accurately
identifies the product
life cycle stage.
Explains rationale logic
ally; cites some
adequate supporting
information from the
course.
Includes 3
questions that showed
good understanding of
relevant life cycle
phase.
Demonstrates good
understanding of
stages of product life
cycle.
Accurately identifies
the current product life
cycle stage.
Explains rationale
thoughtfully and
thoroughly; cites
complete supporting
information from the
course and may
supplement with
outside research.
Demonstrates
excellent
understanding of
stages of product life
cycle.
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 3 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics
2. Describe how
Alikay can improve
their product or why
they should consider
replacing it. Support
your answer.
Weight: 15%
Does not or
minimally describes im
provements; does
not support
recommendation.
Demonstrates
inadequate understandi
ng of product
report and its uses.
Partially
describes improvements
or reasons to replace
product; partially supports
answer with information
from product report and/or
course material.
Demonstrates adequate u
nderstanding of product
report and its uses.
Satisfactorily
describes improvement
s or reasons to replace
product; fully supports
answer with
information from
product report and/or
course material.
Demonstrates good un
derstanding of product
report and its uses.
Thoroughly
describes improveme
nts or reasons to
replace product;
clearly and fully
supports answer with
information from
product report and
course material and
may supplement with
outside research or
ideas.
Demonstrates excelle
nt understanding of
product report and its
uses.
3. Recommend one
of the three
replacement options.
Explain your answer
and identify which
type of innovation it
is.
Weight: 15%
4. Explain what
types of production
methods would be
appropriate for both
the Moisturizing Blac
k Soap Shampoo
and the “limited time
trial” product.
Support your
answers.
Does not
make recommendation
or does not support
answer with
information from the
course; does not
accurately
identify innovation
type.
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding of
innovation.
Makes recommendation;
minimally supports
answer with information
from course and product
report; accurately
identifies innovation type.
Demonstrates adequate
understanding of
innovation.
Makes recommendatio
n; adequately supports
answer with
information from
course and product
report; accurately
identifies innovation
type.
Demonstrates good
understanding of
innovation.
Makes recommendati
on; fully supports
answer with
information from
course and product
report and may
supplement with
outside research or
ideas; accurately
identifies innovation
type.
Demonstrates
excellent
understanding of
innovation.
Does not
identify production met
hods and/or
does not support
answer.
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding
of production methods.
Identifies production
method; minimally
supports answer with
information from the
product report and course
material.
Demonstrates adequate
understanding of
production methods.
Identifies production
method; adequately
supports answer with
information from the
product report and
course material.
Demonstrates good
understanding of
production methods.
Identifies production
method; fully supports
answer with
information from the
product report and
course materials and
may supplement with
outside research or
ideas.
Demonstrates
excellent
understanding of
production methods.
Does not accurately ide
ntify product and/or
does not explain
rationale or strategy for
change.
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding of life
cycle phases.
Accurately identifies prod
uct; provides acceptable
rationale and some
support from course
material.
Demonstrates adequate
understanding of life cycle
phases.
Accurately identifies pr
oduct; provides logical
rationale and cited
support from course
material.
Demonstrates good
understanding of life
cycle phases.
Accurately identifies p
roduct; provides
thorough, logical
rationale and
complete support from
course material and
perhaps also outside
research or ideas.
Demonstrates
excellent
understanding of life
cycle phases.
Writing does not meet
minimal standards.
Tone is
not professional.
Writing is satisfactory.
Professional tone is
developing.
Writing is mostly good.
Tone is professional.
Writing is excellent.
Tone is professional
and sophisticated.
Shows logic, clarity,
Weight: 15%
5. Describe a
product that you
believe is in a
mature life cycle
phase and what
could be done to
move it to a growth
phase.
Weight: 30%
6. Write in a
professional manner
using correct
grammar and
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 4 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics
spelling and
appropriate citations.
Weight: 10%
Lacking in logic, clarity,
and/or consistent
formatting. Contains m
any spelling and/or
grammatical errors.
Does not include
citations or they do not
allow the reader to
locate the source.
Shows moderate logic,
clarity, and/or consistent
formatting.
May contain more than 24 spelling
and/or grammatical errors
. Includes citations but
they may be
inconsistently formatted
or they do not easily allow
the reader to locate the
source.
Shows logic, clarity,
and consistent
formatting.
May contain few or no
spelling and/or
grammatical errors.
Includes citations that
allow the reader to
locate the source.
and consistent
formatting.
Contains no spelling
or grammatical errors
and work is cited
consistently so that
the reader can locate
the work cited.
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 5 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics
ASSIGNMENT 2 – Weeks 4 & 5
Finance & Accounting: Senior Accountant Analysis
Due Date: Week 5
Note: While representative of possible situations faced by SunsTruck Sunglasses, all scenarios in this
assignment are fictional.
Real Business
Large discount retailers like Target and Walmart employ large teams of Finance and Accounting
professionals to help measure and understand the financial health of the business. Financial and
accounting information helps these businesses make educated financial decisions, such as whether or
not to continue partnering with a retail supplier. While often smaller businesses, it is equally important for
these retail suppliers to use financial and accounting data to make educated decisions, such as the best
approach to gaining additional funding.
Your Role
This week, you’ll assume the role of Senior Accountant with SunsTruck Sunglasses.
What is a Senior Accountant?
Senior Accountants take ownership of reporting costs, profitability, margins and expenditures for a
given business. They use the principles of accounting to analyze sales information, create financial
reports, make recommendations about the financial health of the company, and more. They are also
responsible for training junior accounting staff.
For the last six months, SunsTruck has partnered with the discount retail store to run pop-up sunglasses
stands in their stores for a big summer promotion. Due to the high customer purchase rate, the store has
requested stock for five additional stores. SunsTruck needs to increase its production to meet the
additional demand. In order to increase production, SunsTruck needs additional money.
In this assignment, you will need to help determine which type of financing option is best for your
company and train your junior accountants on the accounting cycle and financial statements.
Instructions
Step 1: Financing
The junior accounting team has assembled a Financing Report that (a) offers three options for securing
the additional funds required to meet the new order; and (b) details the criteria Shaun, the owner
of SunsTruck, would like you to consider when choosing one of the options. Based on this report:
• Identify which financing option you think is the best option for SunsTruck to pursue given Shaun’s
constraints. Explain the rationale for your decision.
Note: You should complete Steps 2 & 3 after reading the material in Week 5.
Step 2: Accounting Cycle
A junior accountant is working to get everything in order for the new financing and has come to you with a
question about what do next in the accounting cycle.
• Read the email the junior accountant sent you and identify the best next step to take in the
accounting cycle. Explain your reasoning.
Step 3: Financial Statements
A potential investor has been identified, but before it is willing to commit, it has requested information
about SunsTruck’s current debt from the junior accountants.
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 6 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics

Identify the correct financial statement for your junior accountants that will provide the investor
with the information it has requested. Explain to your junior accountants why you are giving them
this financial statement and where the debt information is located.
Step 4: Financial Analysis
If you were the type of financier selected in Step 1, would you invest in SunsTruck? Explain the rationale
for your decision.
Points: 110
Criteria
1. Identify the best
financing option and
explain your
reasoning.
Weight: 30%
2. Identify the next
step in the
accounting cycle for
the junior accountant
to complete and
explain your
reasoning.
Weight: 20%
3. Identify the best
financial statement
to provide to the
potential investor
and explain your
reasoning.
Assignment: Finance & Accounting – Senior Accountant Analysis
Unacceptable
Below 70% F
Fair
70-79% C
Proficient
80-89% B
Exemplary
90-100% A
Does not accurately id
entify financing
option; explanation
lacks logic and suppor
ting information.
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding of
finance.
Accurately identifies
financing option;
minimally supports
answer with logical
explanation
and information from
the Financing
Report and/or course
material;
OR
Does not accurately
identify financing option;
adequately supports
answers
with information from
the Financing
Report and/or course
material.
Demonstrates adequate
understanding of
finance.
Accurately identifies
financing option;
adequately supports
answer with logical
explanation and
information from the
Financing Report
and/or course material.
Demonstrates good
understanding of
finance.
Accurately identifies
financing option;
thoroughly supports
answer with logical
explanation and specific
information from the
Financing Report and
course material.
Demonstrates excellent
understanding of
finance.
Does not accurately id
entify accounting
cycle step;
explanation is missing
or lacks logic and
supporting
information.
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding of
accounting.
Accurately identifies
accounting cycle
step; minimally supports
answer with logical
explanation
and information from
course material;
OR
Does not accurately
identify financing option;
adequately supports
answers
with information from
course material.
Demonstrates adequate
understanding of
accounting.
Accurately identifies
accounting cycle step;
adequately supports
answer with logical
explanation and
information from course
material.
Demonstrates good
understanding of
accounting.
Accurately identifies
accounting cycle step;
thoroughly supports
answer with logical
explanation and specific
information from course
material.
Demonstrates excellent
understanding of
accounting.
Does not accurately id
entify financial
statement and/or
explanation is missing
or lacks logic and
supporting
information.
Accurately identifies
financial
statement; minimally
supports answer with
logical explanation
and information
from financial
Accurately identifies the
financial statement;
adequately supports
answer with logical
explanation and
information from
Accurately identifies
financial statement;
thoroughly supports
answer with logical
explanation and specific
information from
© 2017 Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University Confidential and Proprietary information
and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of
Strayer University.
BUS 508 Student Course Guide (6-1-18)
Page 7 of 21
BUS 508 – Assignments and Rubrics
Weight: 20%
4. Recommend
whether or not, you
as the financier,
should invest
in SunsTruck and
explain reasoning.
Weight: 20%
5. Write in a
professional manner
using correct
grammar and
spelling and
appropriate citations.
Weight: 10%
Demonstrates
inadequate
understanding of
financial statements.
statements
and/or course material;
OR
Does not accurately
id …
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