THE CASE ANALYSIS MODUS OPERANDI
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After stepping into a B-school with a lot of colorful imaginations and expectations students start struggling to match the superfast course express. Out of which prime USP of B school student is a case study.
For detail study about case analysis, one can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_study
Here I would like to discuss some common problems faced by students during their approach to case analysis.
· Case: In simple words, it is a pre-existed or real-life situation faced by a person/company, etc…
· Case let: It’s a mini version of a case
· Case study: It's just about reading a case
· Case Analysis: Its detail analysis of a case by connecting dots to arrive at a clear solution
Usage: Generally case analysis in recent trends is used in competition’s where companies come up in search of solutions to their current problems/challenges
Usually, the cases which show up during competitions will be of idea-generating/out of sky solution cases. Along with these one has to get ready with cases which involves a lot of brainstorming for making an apt decision in tough times (decision-making cases)
Here I would like to discuss a customized case analysis method taught by my professor Dr. Ashish Argade, Asst. professor IRMA
This method has steps of analyzing a case and arrive at the best possible solution at the end as follows.
Step 1: Read the case detail
Step 2: Identify the problem statement
Step 3: Derive the alternatives
Step 4: Identify the criteria for evaluation
Step 5: Evaluate the criteria against alternatives
Step 6: Pick up the solution
Example: Here I am summarizing a fictitious case for better understanding.
“ In Jaipur, there is a river project named bambala river project which is being constructed by NPK group under the supervision of Government. Project Manager(PM) Mr. Shivang is looking after the project. By the end of December 2018 - 70% of work is completed, there is a change in govt. due to general elections. At the same time, there is an internal rivalry between the general manager Mr. Sharath who is facing allegations over bribery in the tendering process and procuring raw material, etc.. and all other managers except Mr. Shivang. Managers have given an ultimatum to project manager that if Mr. Sharath is going to continue to do this way, as a whole 8 managers are ready to leave the project as well as the company. Mr. Sharath is a close relative of Managing Director of NPK group Mr. Shishir who is politically strong and active. PM is in deep thinking whether he has to appoint a new procurement manager under which the 8 managers work? Whether he fights against corrupted GM Mr. Sharath? How to deal with the newly formed government? Etc.. In this situation project manager has to answer Chairman that how and when he is going to complete the project in time i.e by 31st December 2019”.
In the above short case analysis, there are N no. of problems being faced by project manager Mr. Shivang. But the exact problem statement would be
Step 2: “Whether to appoint a new procurement manager or not”
The process of arriving at problem statement:-
During analyzing a case, one has to imbibe him/her self to the prime character. In this case analysis, the prime character is Mr. Shivang.
Mr. Shivang is currently in a dilemma on how to answer the chairman?
Why he has to answer the Chairman? Because he has to complete the project?
Why he is unable to complete the project? – Because managers are not willing to work
Why managers are not willing to work? – Because of GM
This way one has to ask several questions and find out a problem statement
Step 3: “YES or NO” – alternatives against problem statement
Step 4: Criteria 1: Does appoint him will resolve the issue?
Criteria 2: Does the new procurement manager will also be corrupted?
Criteria 3: New procurement manager will be influenced by GM?
Criteria 4: Is there any effect on PM on this appointment?
These are some of the criteria based on which we can evaluate alternatives
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Useful tips during analyzing case:
· Read case 3 times minimum – 1st time read superficially once
2nd time: give an in-depth reading – take notes, underline, highlight words, etc
Prepare a solution using RATIONALIZATION METHOD
(90% the immediate solution that comes into our mind is never a solution)
3rd time – sit along with a group and discuss the case where you will get more solutions and approaches
· Majority of decision-making cases will have a solution within the case
· Don’t draw imaginative thoughts into the case
· In a DM case always solution lies within the case
· Usually, the problem statement lies in the last paragraph of the case
· Even for solution generation cases, we can use this Rationalization method to evaluate the viability of a solution