Getting ready to write the case exam
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Getting Ready to Write the Case Exam. *Newville Tigers Case used within this slide deck for illustration purposes. Cover Page Executive summary Management issue, strategic problem, recommendation, major implementation issues Introduction The report’s contents Body of Report Analyses

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Getting Ready to Write the Case Exam

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Getting ready to write the case exam

Getting Ready to Write the Case Exam

*Newville Tigers Case used within this slide deck for illustration purposes.

Report contents

Cover Page

Executive summary

Management issue, strategic problem, recommendation, major implementation issues


The report’s contents

Body of Report



Implementation Plan


Appendices or exhibits

Report Contents

Getting ready to write the case exam










Managing your time hint

Do as much financial analysis as you can beforehand. This provides you with insight about where the organization is making or losing money and will provide you with a good foundation when you start working on the case examination

Managing Your Time Hint

The key for success manage your time

Work the backgrounder beforehand – more on this below

Set milestones for your work

Do not over invest in any one area

You will never have enough time to do everything you would like to do

Go for the major points – worry later about the minor points

The Key for Success – Manage your Time

Working the backgrounder bg

Backgrounder conveys most of the information that you will be required to complete in boxes 1-4

The Additional Information document might include additional information relevant to these boxes.

You should do any financial analysis you can with the Backgrounder information so that you will get a feeling for this organization’s financial situation

Remember that the Backgrounder will contain many, but not all, of the constraints, risks, and stakeholder preferences

Working the Backgrounder (BG)

The steps with time allocations during the exam

Step 1 – Scan Additional Information (5 minutes)

Step 2 – Fill in Storyboard While Reading AI (55 minutes)

Step 3 – Situation Analysis (10 minutes)

Step 4 – Issue Identification & Analysis (60 minutes)

Step 5 – Rank Alternatives (15 minutes)

Step 6 – Recommendation(s) (5 minutes)

Step 7 – Provide Evidence of Viability/Feasibility of Recommendations (10 minutes)

Step 8 – Implementation Plan and Financial Summary (60 minutes)

Step 9 – Prepare Report (20 minutes)

The Steps with Time Allocations During the Exam*

*suggestions only – will differ with each case – some will be weighted differently on strategic vs business issues.

Managing your time on the ce

NEVER NEVER NEVER plan on transcribing. Organize your report layout so you only have to write something once.

Do not evaluate both sides of a strategic alternative. For example “introduce the new product” or “do not introduce the new product”. Rejecting the initiative automatically means accepting the alternative.

Do not evaluate status quo situation in the case as it is a repetition of the situation analysis.

Use incremental analysis when evaluating alternatives

Managing your Time on the CE

More time management hints

“Storyboard” your response—Prepare sheets for all elements of the response so you do not forget anything (cover page, executive summary; introduction; situation analysis; analysis of issues; implementation plan; conclusion; appendices (quantitative analysis for each issue that requires one)

Rather than highlighting something in the exam, record it on your handwritten or typewritten response.

Bullets are okay (and recommended)! But be sure to communicate in full sentences and be clear about your point.

More Time Management Hints

Box 1 identify or infer the mission

The opening mission is usually given – if not, you need to infer what it is by studying the organization’s current strategy

Remember that you should revise the mission statement if you recommend a strategy the moves the organization in a new direction

The mission should reflect which of the three generic strategies (or combination of these) that the organization is using or trying to use

Box 1 – Identify or Infer the Mission

Box 2 internal data

This is where you gather the important facts about the organization’s internal characteristics

You will find these facts in both the Backgrounder and the Additional Information

The facts will include

The organization’s resources (tangible and intangible)

Stakeholder preferences

Organization culture

Internal acts that support the organization’s strategy are strengths – those that impair the strategy are weaknesses

Be on the lookout for constraints and circumstances that could turn into weaknesses (risks)

Evaluate the organization’s financial situation using suitable ratios. If there are benchmark ratios use them – compute ratio trends and interpret

Box 2 – Internal Data

Bac kgrounder internal scan provided

Backgrounder – Internal Scan (Provided)

Bac kgrounder internal scan provided1

Backgrounder – Internal Scan (Provided)

Backgrounder external scan provided

Backgrounder – External Scan (Provided)

Backgrounder external scan provided1

Backgrounder – External Scan (Provided)



Stakeholder Preferences




  • Stakeholder Preferences

    • Miller – Improve area safety

    • Gagnon – Develop an optimistic budget

    • Agani – Develop a conservative budget

    • DeVue – Sell beer at games

    • Nack – Don’t sell beer at games

  • Constraints

    • Salary cap of $1.7 million

    • Area capacity limited to 5,020 seats and 4 boxes

    • Event capacity 3 event rooms, one arena

Key ratios


Current ratio – a liquidity measure – always provides insights

Quick ratio – identifies excessive inventory issues in a manufacturing firm – not a big issue in this case

Efficiency Ratio

Net income/sales – always provides insight

Turnover Ratios

Sales/Assets – a good overall measure

Sales/Average Accounts Receivable – not a big issue in this case since receivables are not large

Cost of goods sold/inventory – not a big issue in this case since this is not a manufacturing or retail operation

Leverage Ratios

Assets/Equity – always provides insights


Net income/equity – always provides insights

Net income/assets – always provides insights

Financial Risk

Earnings before interest and taxes/intererst

Key Ratios



Insight from ratio analysis

The current ratio averages about 1 which is significantly below 2 – the usual rule of thumb value

Times interest earned suggests low financial risk except for 2006

Net income to revenue is small – this is a low margin business that relies on total asset turnover and a reasonable level of leverage to provide an adequate return on equity

Total asset turnover averages slightly less than 3 which may be reasonable in this type of business

Leverage is very low

Insight From Ratio Analysis

Boxes 3 and 4 external data

These are the facts about the environment facing the firm

Useful facts include



Industry Key Success Factors

External facts that the organization can exploit are opportunities – facts that have the potential to impair performance are threats

Remember to look for external constraints and facts (risks) that can turn into threats

Boxes 3 and 4 – External Data

Summary to date

You have identified the organization’s current strategy and its mission statement

You have gathered the data about the organization’s environment both internal and external

You have labelled these facts as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats

You have identified the industry and firm key success factors

You have identified any risks and constraints

You have identified the organization’s financial situation

You have a good understanding of the organization and you are ready to address the issues that arise in the additional information

Summary to Date

Reviewing your work

Study the marker’s comments

Study the general feedback on the case provided on the CPP site.

Reviewing Your Work

Now you are ready for the additional information ai

Add additional SWOT points from the AI

Delete any SWOT points that have changed from the BG

Identify the issues (you cannot do this from the information provided in the BG)

Strategic and operational

Evaluate alternatives for dealing with the issues (you cannot do this from the info provided n the BG)



Identify the criteria you will use to recommend what to do (focus on constraints, financing availability, key SWOT—ROBUST RECOMMENDATIONS deck)

Make specific recommendations

Identify and discuss the implementation issues

3 parts:

Address/try to solve cons to recommended alternatives (some may be weaknesses

Solve remaining relevant weaknesses

Action Plan: WHO is going to do WHAT, WHEN and HOW MUCH (if feasible)

Now you are ready for the Additional Information (AI)

Recommendations decisions matrix criteria one possible approach

Recommendations Decisions Matrix Criteria—one possible approach

Implementation plan

Implementation Plan

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