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Navigating the Case Analysis

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Overview of Document This deck is designed to guide students through the process of analyzing a case study ... case study - Singapore International Airlines ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Navigating the Case Analysis


1
  • Navigating the Case Analysis
  • Process for Strategic
  • Management
  • Dr. Paul N. Friga
  • 2005

2
Overview of Document
  • This slide deck is designed to guide students
    through the process of analyzing a case study for
    a general management or strategic management
    course
  • It is a step-by-step process that is illustrated
    with an actual case study - Singapore
    International Airlines Strategy with a Smile
    (Thunderbird, 2001)
  • The material is organised into 5 phases and
    each is supported by a suggested approach, tips
    and sample output from the case (but remember to
    try and solve the case before reading the sample
    output from the case!)

3
Objectives of Case Analysis
  • Application of theoretical concepts
  • Development of managerial skills
  • Use of disciplined problem-solving process
  • Group discussions afford multiple context and
    perspective opportunities
  • Deal with ambiguity

The goal is not to arrive at one right answer but
to learn how to journey toward an answer
effectively and efficiently
Source HBS Note An Introduction to Cases
(Shapiro, 1984)
4
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
5
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
6
Phase 1 Framing Key Question What are the
objectives?
STEPS TIPS
Identify the key question (what is the assignment, discussion questions, and purpose of this case study) Pay attention to what the Professor says as the case is introduced Understand the context of the case in terms of material from the textbook
Flip through the case (in less than 5 minutes, look at the big picture of the case and the overall components) This is literally intended to give you a look at the overall contents of the case Conclude as to the general nature of the case quantitative/qualitative, technical/general, long/short, etc.
Skim read the case (in less than 15 minutes read the intro and end of each paragraph and skim all exhibits) Dont bother marking up the case at this point Focus on getting the gist of the paragraphs without reading every word (find the 1-2 primary sentences and understand how other sentences support them)
Carefully read the beginning and end (every case has an important intro section and ending section) Some of the most important information about the framing of the case comes in the beginning and end Realize that every story has a situation, complication and resolution (try to find the key issues to solve)
7
Case Template - Framing
Key Question
Flipping and Skimming
Beginning of Case
Ending of Case
Note Answer key is at the end of this deck
please attempt to fill in the template before
looking at possible answers
8
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
9
Phase 2 Labeling Key Question What are the
facts?
STEPS TIPS
Label the facts in the margins of the case (using the nomenclature below, label the facts in the case ) Use abbreviations as indicated Underline the key sentence in the paragraph
General GEN (general issues include the macro environment beyond the industry as well as customers and overall trends) Review a checklist of the types of issues beforehand Remember that this is not company or industry specific examples are social, economic, ecological, technical, and political issues (STEEP)
Industry - IND (this pertains to any issues that affect the specific industry under study not companies or general environmental issues) Examples include industry consolidation, profitability, general strategies, differentiation, market growth, etc. This does not include individual competitor data
Competition COM (specific identification and data related to competitors in the stated industry) Examples include names of competitors, market share, profitability, and specific strategies thereof Start thinking of the key dimensions by which you can compare your company with competitors
Strength STR (any facts that appear to be positive for the company under study) Even if you are unsure if this will ultimately be positive, include it as a strength if the case mentions it
Weakness - WEA (any facts that appear to be negative for the company under study) Be very careful to identify as many weaknesses as possible as they drive strategies This is of the organization only not industry level
10
Case Template - Labeling
General Environment
Industry
Competition
Label in the case and capture here
Strengths
Weaknesses
Note Answer key is at the end of this deck
please attempt to fill in the template before
looking at possible answers
11
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
12
Phase 3 summarising Key Question What is
important?
STEPS TIPS
Summarise the facts (the overall goal here is to pull out the key facts that have been marked in the case) This process can take some time, but do not attempt to include everything that has been marked Set up some blank templates to be filled in by using the material covered in the respective textbook (common frameworks are STEEP, Porters 5 Forces, 3 Cs company, customers and competition, 4 Ps product, price, place and promotion, financial ratios)
Eliminate unimportant facts (think of this as creating two piles - important vs. unimportant facts) This is one of the hardest elements to effective case analysis, but perhaps the most important As you sort through the facts, ask so what about the fact and try to calculate if you think it may change the final answer
Eliminate redundant facts (as you go, you will begin to see redundancy in the facts, so eliminate and combine related facts) As you pull out a fact for the summaries, mark out related facts throughout the case to avoid redundancy Dont stress about not including something you can always come back to the case at a later point
Mark most important facts (highlight the most important facts) In the end, the conclusion will be based on a few critical data points the key is to start looking for these facts as you go Use a highlighter or coding system to mark key facts
13
Case Template - Summarising
  • General Environment
  • Limit to 3-4 most important
  • Industry
  • Limit to 3-4 most important

External
  • Competition
  • Limit to 3-4 most important

What is really important?
  • Strengths (of company under study)
  • Limit to 3-4 most important

Internal
  • Weaknesses (of company under study)
  • Limit to 3-4 most important

Note Answer key is at the end of this deck
please attempt to fill in the template before
looking at possible answers
14
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
15
Phase 4 synthesising Key Question What are the
options?
STEPS TIPS
State the 1-3 key questions (decide what the few key questions to the case are, note that it may be that there is only one key question) Go back to the key questions identified in the first step Do not include more than 3 key questions (otherwise they likely are not key)
Identify options - MECE (for each question, list out the options or alternatives, using the MECE format as described in tips) MECE stands for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive Examples of MECE are timing-day/night profit-revenue/expenses expand oversees yes/no etc.
State decision criteria (an important step is to identify the few dimensions that will be used to decide between options/alternatives) This is a step that many people skip and as a result, it is difficult to reach a decision Explicitly state the decision criteria before deciding (examples include profit, market share, growth, impact on shareholders, implementation effort, timing, fit with overall vision, etc.)
Summarise pros/cons (list out the support for and against each option/alternative) Review the summarised facts to find support for and against alternatives Prioritize the pros and cons based upon decision criteria
16
Case Template synthesising
Question Option / Hypothesis Decision Criteria Pros Cons



Note Answer key is at the end of this deck
please attempt to fill in the template before
looking at possible answers
17
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
18
Phase 5 Concluding Key Question What is the
answer?
STEPS TIPS
Take a position (this is the exciting end to analysis the first step is to decide what the best supported answer is to the key question) Dont be afraid to take a stand even if you feel that you do not have enough data any position is better than no position Avoid the typical compromise solution (pursue both of the alternatives)
Identify the few key supporting facts (pull out the most important support from the summaries and pros/cons analysis) The best arguments are clear statements that are supported by 2-3 key data-based observations Be very familiar with the underlying assumptions, facts, and numbers when you present in class
Discuss implementation (one way to differentiate a good case analysis is the consideration of what it would take to implement the recommendation) Think in terms of the few key action steps that must be taken A checklist for consideration includes changes in staff, style, systems, structure, shared values, and skills
Mention risks (the final step is to identify risk and contingencies that may be encountered if the recommended course of action is pursued) This is the chance to show that you have completed a thorough analysis and considered what may go wrong Do not underestimate the power of the caveat!
19
Case Template - Concluding
Implementation
Overall Recommendation
Risks
Key Supporting Facts
Note Answer key is at the end of this deck
please attempt to fill in the template before
looking at possible answers
20
Final Tips
  • The key to success in case analysis is to take a
    structured approach to organising and using facts
  • It is easy to get carried away with too much data
    and lose sight of the need for a clear story with
    a few supporting ideas
  • Prepare for multiple outcomes and see the pros
    and cons
  • Use hypotheses to focus analysis but do not get
    personally attached to one possible solution
  • In strategic management, there is no one right
    answer, but there are better and worse ways to
    present ideas
  • Be structured, objective and thorough and you
    will succeed

21
Answer Key Singapore International Airlines
  • A sample set of possible answers is presented in
    this section to the Singapore International
    Airlines Strategy with a Smile (Thunderbird,
    2001) case
  • Remember to try the case on your own first, using
    the suggested approach, tips and templates from
    the preceding slides
  • You very well may come up with different and/or
    additional concepts than those shown here, but
    remember, it is not the actual answer, but the
    process that leads to learning

22
Model for Effective Case Analysis
Case Analysis Process
3. Summarising
4. Synthesising
5. Concluding
2. Labeling
1. Framing
  • What are the objectives?
  • Identify the key question
  • Flip through the case
  • Skim read the case
  • Carefully read the beginning and end
  • What are the facts?
  • Label the facts in the margins of the case
  • General (GEN)
  • Industry (IND)
  • Competition (COM)
  • Strength (STR)
  • Weakness (WEA)
  • What is important?
  • Summarise the facts
  • Eliminate unimportant
  • Eliminate redundant
  • Mark most important
  • What are the options?
  • State the 1-3 key questions
  • Identify options (MECE)
  • State decision criteria
  • Summarise pros/cons
  • What is the answer?
  • Take a position
  • Identify the few key supporting facts
  • Discuss implementation
  • Mention risks

The key to good case analysis is to break down
the case facts into a clear, understandable and
useful form
23
Case Example Framing Singapore International
Airlines
  • Key Question
  • How can SIA best position itself for the future?
  • Should SIA invest in Virgin Atlantic?
  • Should SIA pursue a low-cost strategy?
  • Should SIA stay in the Star Alliance?
  • Flipping and Skimming
  • What is most notable during the flip skim?
  • 16 page case with 10 exhibits and a glossary
  • Lots of data provided not all will be relevant
  • The organization of the case is (i)
    introduction
  • (ii) industry (iii) markets NA, Europe, Asia
  • (iv) alliances (v) Singapore country and
    company
  • (vi) issues moving forward
  • Beginning of Case
  • What is going on and what is the problem?
  • The timetable is the beginning of the 21st
    Century (1999)
  • A major strategic issue is the possible
    investment in VA
  • Other strategic issues include (i) increasing
  • competition (ii) labour costs are rising (iii)
    customers
  • are moving toward lower fares (iv) alliances
  • Ending of Case
  • What other insights may impact our decision?
  • An important fact is that even though the airline
    industry
  • is increasingly global, there are very few true
    global
  • players
  • The alliance decision is critically important
  • SIA leaders seem to be in support of the VA
    investment

24
Case Example Labeling Singapore International
Airlines
Here are two examples of labeling
Note the most important issues are summarised
in the next slide
25
Case Example summarising Singapore
International Airlines
  • General Environment
  • Globalization is increasing demand for
    international air travel (esp. to Asia)
  • Political changes include the increase of free
    trade markets (like Singapore)
  • Economic conditions are important as recessions
    cause price sensitivity
  • Industry
  • Consolidation in the airline industry is
    increasing to enhance scale and scope
  • Alliances are the hottest strategy tool as
    companies seek global connections
  • Customers are increasingly price sensitive but
    business segments are loyal
  • There are little to no substitutes for
    international air travel

External
  • Competition
  • Key domestic competitors are Japan Airlines, Thai
    Airways, and Cathay
  • Key international competitors are United, KLM,
    and British Airways
  • SIA has the best cost structure for premium level
    service but losing ground

What is really important?
  • Strengths
  • Reputation and brand image of the Singapore
    Girl
  • Young fleet and excellent training facilities and
    programs
  • Extensive regional and international route network

Internal
  • Weaknesses
  • Increasing difficulty supplying high quality
    labour at low costs (esp. Singapore)
  • Buttoned Down image may not be attractive to
    younger demographic
  • High cost structure needed for high quality
    service is difficult to change

26
Case Example synthesising Singapore
International Airlines
Question Option / Hypothesis Decision Criteria Pros Cons
Invest in VA? Yes Return on Investment Enables a lower cost product offering Access to younger demographic Complimentary routes Competes with Star Alliance Limited resources/ opportunity cost May affect reputation
Overall Strategy? Low Cost (rather than Differentiation) Long Term Profitability Head to head with new competitors Seems to be the trend in the U.S. Fuel costs are rising Lose reputation as high quality provider Goes against infrastructure Differentiation may be the only way to win
Stay in Star Alliance? Yes Market Share Growth Cross-selling opportunities to new customers Access to additional routes quickly Lose control of scheduling May compromise the consistent quality of service
27
Case Template Concluding Singapore
International Airlines
SIA should set a strategic Vision to be the
leading global premier service airline
Implementation
Risks
  • Invest in VA (but go high end)
  • Stay in Alliance
  • Expand high quality labour pool
  • Alliances dont deliver
  • Costs get too high
  • Other airlines act first
  • This is a critical time as technology and global
    reach
  • require a high-end international access airline
  • SIAs best strengths are high end service and
    global routes
  • Going low-cost will damage long-term profit
    potential
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