DMBA 620 9044 Effective Financial and Operational Decision Making (2175)




Gregory Worden




Prerequisite: DMBA 610. A study of sound decision making in business, focusing on financial analysis and operational issues found in every enterprise. Discussion covers economics, financial reporting and analysis, information systems, and project management in an international context. The goal is to understand and apply the principles and techniques of effective management planning, control, and decision making in the global environment.




Welcome  to  DMBA620  –  Effective Financial and Operational Decision Making


This is the second 6­credit course in the Dual MBA program, in which we we explore the organizational processes that support strategic objectives in the modern global environment. Focus is on project management and financial analysis as key processes that allow an organization to function effectively.


Please  note  that  each  class week begins on  a  Monday and  ends on  the  subsequent  Sunday at  11:59  p.m.  US Eastern  Time.


The last date to withdraw from this course may be found online at: ( wals).







At  the  end  of  this seminar,       students should  be  able  to:


1.       Understand  the  economic environment  of  management  decision­making.


2.       Interpret  financial statements to  aid  decision­making  by organization  stakeholders.


3.       Implement  effective  financial reporting  and  evaluate  performance  of  organization  units.


4.       Make  effective  financial decisions based  upon  analysis of  cash  flows.


5.       Implement  effective  financial analysis and  value  financial assets


6.       Facilitate  the  implementation  of  business strategy and  evaluate  the  strategy performance  of  organization  units.


7.       Identify a project in contrast to an ongoing process and apply selected project management techniques to improve operational decision making.


8.       Determine the key factors that establish an organization's operational efficiency and effectiveness and apply them to effective operational decision making.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/16


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9.      Assess the  uses of  information  systems in  support  of  operational decision  making  in  an  organization.


10.  Assess the  uses of   operations management  techniques in  improving  an  organization's performance.




(Check all core  learning  objectives that  apply to  each  course  objective)


Professional Certifications


In addition to fulfilling its seminar objectives, DMBA 620 seeks to enhance the careers of aspiring project managers, operations managers and information systems managers, and in line with the University’s overall focus on the professional and academic advancement of students, exposes students to concepts and skills required for the Project Management Professional, Project+, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Supply Chain Professional, Certified Quality Engineer, and Certified Software                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2/16


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Development Professional and offered by the Project Management Institute, Computing Technology Industry Association, Scrum Alliance, APICS ­ The Association for Operations Management, American Society for Quality and IEEE Computer Society, respectively. For instance, the project management portion of DMBA 620 follows the nine knowledge areas of project management defined by the Project Management Institute and tested in the Project Management Professional certification examination. Often your faculty members will have attained one or more professional certifications, and you can ask what these certifications have meant to them.


DMBA 620 does not correlate with requirements for any accounting, economics or finance professional certifications. However, DMBA 620 imparts a practical grasp of key topics in these disciplines, in order to support development of sound decision­making skills.





Click to access your course materials information ( m=2175)







Review and adhere to UMUC MBA program student expectations:


1. Review and  honor  all UMUC,  TGS and  MBA policies listed  in  the  syllabus.


2. Invest  approximately 20  hours throughout  the  week in  each  6­credit  graduate  seminar.


3. Complete  readings and  research  in  advance  of  each  week.


4. In weeks when discussion contributions are required, post by the specified date or, when there is no date indicated, sufficiently early to allow you and others to develop a substantive scholarly discussion.

5. Consistently demonstrate  professionalism  in  your  interactions with  peers and  faculty.


6. Produce  high  quality,  original work that  properly cites the  words and  ideas of  others.


7. Uphold  the  integrity of  your  UMUC MBA degree  by not  plagiarizing  or  cheating.


8. Accept feedback and suggestions with an open mind, taking time to reflect, and then using what you have learned to further improve your performance in future assignments.

9. Notify your professor immediately if you confront a personal emergency that puts you at risk of submitting a late assignment.

10. Honor  the  principle  that  “everything  written  or  said  within  the  classroom  stays within  the  classroom.”


11. Stay current  on  Class News and  postings by visiting  your  online  classroom  regularly.



Classroom Management:


LEO classroom is main source of information and communication in this course. The class is organized into weekly modules. Assignments and deliverables are explained and specified in each module. Faculty provide prompt and constructive feedback on students' deliverables in approximately one week following their submission.


If you have questions about the subject matter, if you don’t understand an assignment, or you have questions about a grade you received, contact your faculty member. He or she is there to help you understand the material, your grade, and how you may improve your performance in this seminar.



You should prepare and save all your assignments, including all discussion activities, on your computer before you post them to the classroom. You should never type your assignment directly into the classroom. If your computer crashes or if you are disconnected from the Internet before you finish posting your work, you will lose everything you have not saved. In addition, shortly after the seminar is over you will no longer have access to any of the materials you posted in the classroom.


Preferred Contact Method                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3/16


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See the Faculty Information section located under Course Content in the online classroom for information about contacting your faculty member..


Required Readings/Materials Accessible in Class


The required reading and other resources in this seminar are taken from a variety of professional and academic sources. The particular location of each resource is either linked directly or is indicated next to the resource as listed in the Weekly Reading Assignments in the Course Content area of the LEO classroom.


Some of the required articles that are not directly linked are placed in the Reserved Readings section in “Course Resources” module in the content area of your classroom and are marked RR(Reserved Readings) when listed in the Weekly Reading Assignments in each week's module in the Course Content area of the LEO classroom.


Faculty may assign  additional readings or  support  materials during  the  course  of  the  seminar.


Accessing Articles in the Web Databases


Articles available in the ABI/Inform Global (A) and Business Source Complete (B) databases will be helpful for research in this seminar. Such articles can be accessed through the UMUC library web page ( (http://www.u This database is part of the University System of Maryland Library Databases and E­Journals. Instructions have been prepared to help find articles in the databases? to see them, visit­libra ry.html (­library.html).


Supplemental Materials


There are some interesting web sites of relevance to this seminar in the Webliography area of the classroom (accessed under Course Content). You are encouraged to add to this list as you come across websites that you find useful for a particular topic. When you add a web site to the Webliography, please send an email to the professor and the rest of the class letting them know about the website, as well as what you found interesting about it.





Use of Webex or Other Real­Time Session Support Software



UMUC has authorized the use of Webex or other real­time session support software, such as Google, as an option for faculty to use in supporting the learning experience. The guidelines for the use of real time support software are:



Attendance at any actual real­time, i.e., live session, is optional. UMUC respects the fact that your work schedule or other activities may not permit you to attend.

If you do not attend an announced real­time session, then you are expected to view the session archive (recording) at your convenience but before the due date of the related seminar assignment. This is so that you will gain the knowledge imparted at the real­time session in a timely manner and thus be “on a level playing field" with your classmates who attended the session. Please be aware that your section professor may verify that you have accessed session archives as required.



Team Communications


There are several ways in which you may communicate with your team members at minimal cost in addition to LEO system posts or email. You can use the Chat function and Pager as a form of instant­messaging in the LEO system. In addition, there are numerous free commercial applications you can use to arrange any required real time audio enabled meetings. Any of the many audio meeting applications can be used to effectively


communicate with your team members and to support real time audio discussions within your team. Regardless of the application used for team communication, a summary of all communications outside of the LEO classroom MUST BE POSTED in the team's Group locker so that faculty may track group progress and review individual contributions if necessary.


Avoiding and Preventing Plagiarism



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UMUC has a license agreement with Turnitin, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from internet and other sources. If deemed necessary, faculty may submit individual and/or team written assignments to It is important that you stay alert to issues of academic Integrity in your work, including the best practices for supporting your work and avoiding plagiarism. UMUC provides a number of resources and tools to help you understand and uphold academic integrity standards at:­integrity/academic­integrity­resources.cfm (­integrity/academic­i ntegrity­resources.cfm)


Other forms of guidance are available in your LEO classroom under Content>Course Resources>Writing Resources. You may contact Help@UMUC for technical support if you are unable to locate your classroom resources (call 888­360­8682).



















With respect to team assignments, all team members will typically receive the same grade for an assignment based on the final submitted team product. However, a faculty member may adjust a person’s individual grade for a specific team assignment up or down based on the quality of his or her participation. If a team member does not make a significant or timely contribution to a team assignment, it will result in reduction of that student’s grade for the assignment.


All individual contributions to team assignments MUST BE posted in the Group Locker area, so that the faculty member may review these contributions, if necessary.

Discussion Activity


A discussion is a time­delimited activity intended to promote active discussion of the course material among students, as well as productive engagement between students and faculty on the principles and practices being introduced in the course. Each student must post at least one main posting by WEDNESDAY, 11:59 p.m., of each week and respond to all assigned discussion topics by FRIDAY, 11:59 p.m., then make final responses to classmates no later than Sunday close of the week. Late postings undercut the usefulness of the discussion design and are also unfair to those students who do actively participate within the prescribed time limits. Extensions are therefore NOT PERMITTED on discussion due dates.


If a student is unable to participate in a discussion, due to an unexpected business, health, or personal emergency beyond the student's control, the student may request that the faculty member provide an alternative assignment. Such request should be made within one week of the missed discussion activity. The student must support this request with a compelling rationale, indicating why such an action is justified. Faculty may request documentation and have discretion to grant or deny a request for an alternative assignment. Should such a request be granted, the faculty member will determine a submission due date, not to exceed one week. There will be no extensions of that due date. Failure to meet the due date will result in a grade of zero for that week's discussion activity.


All Assignments other than Discussion Activity


A faculty member may, in his or her discretion, elect to grant an extension when a student is unable to meet a due date because of an unexpected business, health, or personal emergency beyond the student's control. For such an extension to be considered, a student must make an extension request before the assignment due date (unless this is physically impossible). The student must support this request with a compelling rationale, indicating why such an extension is justified. If a faculty member grants an extension, he or she will set a new due date for submission of the assignment, not to exceed one week. There will be no extensions of the new due date.


For late assignment submissions that have not been approved by the faculty member, and for assignments submitted after an extension due date, the penalty will be a five­point reduction in grade for each day that the assignment is late. Faculty will not accept assignments that are more than seven days late or that are submitted after grades have been posted for that assignment? such assignments will be assigned a grade of zero.


Note that there will be no extensions for assignments due in the last week of class. Assignments submitted after these deadlines will receive a grade of zero.


Extra Credit and “Redoing” Assignments


This is a very fast­paced seminar, and assignments are due every week. The syllabus is designed to build upon each week, and the assignments are chosen carefully to develop skills and build knowledge. It is important that you do a good job on all of the assignments and that you hand them in on time. There is no "extra credit" granted to individuals in this seminar, and students will not be able to redo assignments.


Submit Original Work


You are encouraged to refer to and build upon the theories, concepts, and ideas explored in previous coursework. However, everything you submit must be original work written by you specifically for this seminar. Re­submission of coursework from previous classes (whether or not taken at UMUC), partially or in its entirety, is unacceptable unless prior approval is obtained from the instructor for the specific assignment. Using coursework from a previous class, partially or in its entirety, without explicit prior approval of your instructor, will result in a grade of zero for the assignment.




An overview of all assignments is contained in the Class and Assignment Schedule in this syllabus. Specific assignment details are posted in each week of the Course Content section of the LEO classroom. If the assignment in a given week is a discussion activity, that week’s Course Content will link directly to the discussion area? for all assignments that are not discussions, the weekly module in Course Content will link directly to the assignment section of the classroom.


Discussion Activities: There is a series of Discussion activities. Topics are posted in the Course Content weekly modules that link to the Discussion area of the classroom. Each of you is expected to discuss this topic critically in the context of the reading that you have done for that week, as well as the reading from preceding weeks. This is your opportunity to discuss the course



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material with one another, just as you would in a face­to­face class. You should direct your comments to one another and not just to the professor. When responding to a Discussion activity, please use the text box. This makes it easier for the rest of the class to read what you have to say. Please do not attach files to your comments unless directed to do so.


Frequent and substantive posts are required to succeed in the Discussions. The postings should be grounded in theory from the assigned resources and industry research. Please utilize both academic and industry sources, available through UMUC library databases and open Internet resources. Class interaction should reflect your understanding of the learning material and its application to real­world organizations and industries. Detailed Discussion Participation Guidelines are posted in the Course Policies section of the Course Content.


Individual Assignments: There are six individual assignments in the seminar that you post in your Assignments folder.


Team Assignments: There are two team assignments, which are to be posted in the team's Group Assignment folder. Teams must complete a team agreement and work plan prior to the first team assignment, and a peer evaluation of team members following each team assignment. The individual contributions of each team member to the team assignment must also be posted in the team's Group Locker area, for review by faculty. Individual contributions should be stored in their original form in folders set up for each of the two weeks that require team assignments. Note that the Group discussion area is used for members to collaborate, discuss, and prepare the team assignment, which is then posted in the Group Assignment folder by one member of the team.


Team Agreement. Each team develops an initial Team Agreement to ensure self­management of team activities. Additional instructions on team agreements and work plans, with templates, are posted in the Course Content area of the classroom, Week Two module.


Peer evaluations of team member contributions will be administered following each team assignment. Individual grades for team projects will not be posted until the peer evaluations are completed. Faculty may assign a 5% per day late penalty on team project grades for individuals who do not submit timely peer evaluations.





Academic Policies and Guidelines




As a member of the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) academic community that honors integrity and respect for others you are expected to maintain a high level of personal integrity in your academic work at all times. Your work should be original and must not be reused in other courses.




Students are expected to work together cooperatively, and treat fellow students and faculty with respect, showing professionalism and courtesy in all interactions. Please review the Code of Civility for more guidance on interacting in UMUC classrooms: https://w ( m).




UMUC is committed to ensuring that all individuals are treated equally according to Policy 040.30 Affirmative Action, Equal Opport unity, and Sexual Harassment (


Students with disabilities who need accommodations in a course are encouraged to contact the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) at (, or call 800­888­UMUC (8682) or 240­684­ 2287.


The  following  academic policies and  procedures apply to  this course  and  your  studies at  UMUC.







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Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism ( – UMUC defines academic dishonesty as the failure to maintain academic integrity. All charges of academic dishonesty will be brought in accordance with this Policy.


Note: Your instructor may use, an educational tool that helps identify and prevent plagiarism from Internet resources, by requiring you to submit assignments electronically. To learn more about the tool and options regarding the storage of your assignment in the Turnitin database go to: ibrary/libresources/turnitin.cfm (


Code  of  Student  Conduct  (


The  following  policies describe  the  requirements for  the  award  of  each  degree:


Degree Completion Requirements for the Graduate School ( s/aa17040.cfm)


Degree Completion Requirements for a Bachelor ’s Degree ( aa17041.cfm)


Degree Completion Requirements for an Associate’s Degree ( es/aa17042.cfm)


Policy on Grade of Incomplete ( ­ The grade of I is exceptional and only considered for students who have completed 60% of their coursework with a grade of B or better for graduate courses or C or better for undergraduate courses and request an I before the end of the term.




Course  Withdrawal Policy (  ­  Students must


follow drop  and  withdrawal procedures and  deadlines available  at  (https://www.umuc.


edu/)  under  Academic Calendar.


Procedures for  Review of  Alleged  Arbitrary and  Capricious Grading  (


cpolicies/aa13080.cfm)  –  appeals may be  made  on  final course  grades as described  herein.


Calculation  Of  Grade­Point  Average  (GPA)  for  Inclusion  on  Transcripts and  Transcript  Requests (https://ww  –  Note:  Undergraduate  and  Graduate  Schools have


different  Grading  Policies (i.e.  The  Graduate  School does not  award  the  grade  of  D).   See  Course  Syllabus


for  Grading  Policies.


* The grade of "B" represents the benchmark for The Graduate School. Students must maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Classes where final grade of C or F places a student on Academic Probation must be repeated.

** The  Graduate  School does not  award  the  grade  of  D.




UMUC values its students' feedback. You will be asked to complete an online evaluation toward the end of the term. The primary purpose of this evaluation process is to assess the effectiveness of classroom instruction in order to provide the best learning experience possible and make continuous improvements to every class. Responses are kept confidential. Please take full advantage of this opportunity to provide your feedback.




Extensive library resources and services are available online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at ndex.cfm ( to support you in your studies. The UMUC Library provides research assistance in creating search strategies, selecting relevant databases, and evaluating and citing resources in a variety of formats via its Ask a Librarian service at (




To successfully navigate the online classroom new students are encouraged to view the Classroom Walkthrough under Help in the upper right menu of the LEO classroom. Those requiring technical assistance can access Help@UMUC Support directly in LEO under the Help menu. Additional technical support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via self­help and live chat at htt ps:// ( or by phone toll­free at 888­360­UMUC (8682).




All items on  this syllabus are  subject  to  change  at  the  discretion  of  the  Instructor  and  the  Office  of  Academic Affairs.






Course Schedule of Assignments Overview


Before beginning a discussion assignment , please make sure that you read and understand the Discussion Participation Guidelines in the Course Policies section of the Course content.


All initial contributiions must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET Wednesday , and all final contributions to discussions and all Assignments must be posted by 11:59 PM ET Sunday, unless otherwise specified.


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