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The Process of Analyzing a Case


A.        Read and study the case thoroughly and efficiently.


Read the case once for familiarity, noting issues that come to the forefront. Read it again. Get all the facts, making notes about symptoms of problems, root problems, unresolved issues, and roles of key players. Watch for issues beneath the surface.


B.        Identify the problem(s).


Get a feel for the overall environment by putting yourself in the position of one of the key players. Seek out the pertinent issues and problems.


C.        Analyze and evaluate alternatives.


Once the problems and issues are isolated, work at gaining a fuller understanding of causes. In what area of the unit do the problems exist? Why do the problems exist? What caused them? Examine and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the unit’s processes (communication, financial statements, sales reports, etc.). Check out the effectiveness of managerial competencies. Are the unit’s objectives and strategies compatible with its skills and resources?


D.        Formulate a solid evaluation of the case.


Examine various alternatives. Weigh the pros and cons of each. Are they feasible? Decide which is most valid.

E.         Make recommendations.


Draw up your set of recommendations on what must be done and prepare an agenda of corrective actions. What recommendations would you make to the manager of this unit?


What specific functions and activities does the unit have to perform in order to solve its problems? Are the recommendations workable? Affordable? A good rule of thumb to follow is to avoid recommending anything you would not do yourself if you were in management’s shoes. Give reasons for your recommendations.

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