IBM Case Study

1. Read the case again and try to answer your questions.

2. Write a clear definition of the problems, based on your analysis of the facts of the case.

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3. List as many solutions as you can for each problem, and consider the consequences of each solution.

4. Consider the appropriate criteria for the decision. These vary from case to case but could include measures like profitability, cost, customer satisfaction, or quality (among many others). It is also important to keep in mind that multiple measures may be important but prioritizing among these measures is necessary.

5. Recommend the best alternative, and justify your choice with specific references to evidence from the case material.

6. Decide how you will assess whether your recommendations would have solved the problem. Consider any important consequences of your recommendations.

7. One way to speculate on possible outcomes is to include if/then statements. Perhaps you have heard a meteorologist use this type of statement: “If the high-pressure cell comes this way, then it will snow.”

8. Complete your written report. It should include the following sections:

Executive Summary (10%)
– This one-page summary of your report focuses on your recommendations and what the organization will achieve by implementing your recommendations.
– The Executive Summary should stand on its own (separate from the remainder of your report).
– It is critical that you know exactly what you are being asked to solve or do, or else you may set yourself on the wrong track from the beginning

Problem Statement (20%)
– Identify the key concern(s), opportunity(ies), challenge(s), decision(s), or problem(s) facing the organization or individual.
– Keep in mind that issues can be categorized based on urgency and importance. Obviously, high urgency, high importance issues are those that should take an organization’s attention first.

Analysis and Alternative Evaluation (30%)
– Identify the sources of the problem; describe the situation that will occur if the problem is not solved.
– Establish concise and clear objectives. Keep in mind that the objectives are like the criteria to judge the option chosen.
– Make sure to draw upon course material in your analysis.
– Use both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate.
– Identify constraints and opportunities that present themselves in the case.
– Identify any assumptions you are making in your analysis and justify these. Assumptions should be reasonable given the case and its context.

Recommendation (20%)
– Identify and explain your recommendation.
– Make sure you emphasize the strengths and weaknesses of this recommendation and identify any potential risks that may come with this recommendation.

Action Plan and Conclusion (10%)
– Lay out a reasonable implementation plan using the information from the case and the knowledge you bring from the course.
– Be sure to include any risk mitigation steps you feel might be necessary.

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