Steps for Approaching Business and Corporate
Note: For the Case Examination and assignmen ts that prepare candidates for the Case Examination (the Development Phas e), steps 6 and 9 do not apply; for the Board Report and assignments that prepare candidates for the Board Report (the Application Phase), all 10 step s apply (see Appendix A). This document provides an overview of the case wr iting approach. Candidates should review the GR Hotels storyboard video (accessible from the Professional Programs website Home Page) and the related materials. Plea also review the General ase
Assessment Guide, Business Report Guidelines, an d Format Specifications available in the Reference Material section of the Professional Programs website. 1. Overview
Quickly read through the case material to develo p an understanding of the following: a)
Organization on which the case is based;
Industry in which it operates;
Major issues and specific opportunities/altern atives that need to be addressed; Information included in the exhibits (e.g. qua ntitative data, organizational charts, etc.);
e) Role that you are required to assume;
f) Actions that you are required to perform; and
g) Audience of your report (e.g. senior manage ment, board of directors).
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Steps for Approaching Business and Corporate Strategy
2. Situational Analysis1
Read through the case in detail and begin developing a situational analysis. As you read, you may categorize and document the information directly in the response. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to highlight or make notes on key information first, then categorize and document the information in the response. For example, you may use a system such as code letters and words in the margins to categorize the information (e.g. S for strength, KSF for key success factor, TX for tax rate, MI for major issue, O for external opportunity, etc.). Within the situational analysis, be sure to do the following:
a) Identify the stated or implied mission and vision.
b) Identify the strategic goals of the organization that need to be achieved and/or targets that need to be met.
c) Determine whether there are any constraints (capacity, people, skills, financial, regulations, etc.) that require consideration in achieving the goals and/or targets. Constraints are limitations that cannot be exceeded, such as a debt-to-equity ratio imposed by a bank, other bank covenants, capacity limits, etc. d) Determine the key stakeholders’ preferences.
e) Identify the organizational and industry-related key success factors (KSFs) that must be maintained or enhanced in any suggested recommendations. f) Include an assessment of the organization’s current financial situation. g) Scan the organization’s internal and external environments, and identify the strengths, weaknesses, general opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Identify any SWOT points related to the current financial situation. Some tools that will help in identifying SWOT points include Porter’s Five Forces and PESTEL, as well as analyses of ratios, trends, profitability, target customers, target markets, variances, etc.
For the Case Examination and assignments that prepare candidates for the Case Examination, if the case material provides a high-level SWOT, it is not necessary to repeat or audit these points in the report. Focus on identifying new SWOT points and the results of the financial assessment. Candidates are expected to use case facts only, and the situational analysis (e.g. SWOT, PESTEL tool) should be limited to the case facts.
For the Board Report and assignments that prepare candidates for...