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Cases are to be no more than 4 pages long, double-spaced in 12-point font.
- Summarize the facts, organize the information, and classify the information into groups of available data and gaps in data. Illustrative categories might include but not be limited to: expectations about the organization by stakeholders, financial performance indicators, internal organizational strengths or weaknesses, and environmental issues, demands and challenges. Getting the facts may mean performing analyses, such as financial analyses, with the data presented in the case.
- Infer other information from the facts. For example: Who are the major players and what are their perspectives and interrelationships? What are the critical issues as defined by the key players? How does the influence of the player affect or alter the importance of the issue?
- Identify themes, issues, and problems raised by the case. Generally, the cases have many issues that can be addressed. Some are more important than others. Cull out and prioritize the important issues. Questions to contemplate might include: Why do these problems exist? Who needs to be involved in the solution? From where will support or resistance come in resolving the issue? To what extent are the necessary solutions long or short term? To what extent are these system problems or people problems?
- Generate alternatives to solve the problem or address the issues.
- Evaluate the alternatives. Examine the rationale and data to support each alternative. Criteria helpful in evaluating alternatives include judging the alternative’s relative merits and suitability in solving a problem. Questions to guide decision-making might include: Which alternative provides the greatest benefits? What are the relative costs of each alternative? Is there consistency of choices with organizational mission, culture, philosophy, objectives? Is there consistency of skill mix and organizational competency to carry out recommended action? How acceptable are the possibilities to the internal and external stakeholders? What are the expectations of support or resistance?
- Make a recommendation. Do not sit on the fence. Do not bunt. Do not abstain. Do not pass. Commit.