During week 6 we develop the theory and application of capital budget analysis. The theory was robust, the calculations mathematically and logically defined, and many of the real-world problems, likely to be encountered, were addressed. As capital budgeting essentially re-invents the company through major long-term expenditures it is arguably one of the most critical functions that financial management performs. However, based on my personal experiences, extensive empirical data, and antidotal data – many firms routinely experience significant failures in their selection of capital projects.
The assignment for this topic consists if two parts:
1) For your first topic in this conference 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 failure and the reasons attributed to the failure. For those of you who do not have personal experiences the following are some illustrated examples of failed projects/products over the last 50 years you may want to look up and consider: -New Coke,- The Iridium Satellite Communication,- the Edsel automobile, Beta (vs. VHS), the Concord SST, and various Dot Coms. Feel free to research others.
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 failed.
2) Synthesize your one-paragraph position on what 3-5 specific factors you believe most likely to contribute to capital project analysis failure.