How to write an analysis of a business case Report-Write my Essay
A note on how to write an analysis of a case
This note gives an outline of the steps involved in writing an analysis of a business case. A business case is a
description of a business or management situation/dilemma faced by managers in a given context. The student’s
job is to analyse the situation systematically and give recommendations.
Case Analysis Expectations
Case analysis should be coherent. The alternatives should be clearly generated from the analysis (SWOT analysis).
The SWOT analysis should be done thoroughly. If the case has any numbers, number crunching should be done.
For example, market size, market growth/potential (if not available already) etc. should be calculated and used in
case analysis. Detailed recommendations (how much money to spend? Where?, how? who makes what decisions
at what time? etc.) is required. If 7 page limit seems limiting, you can put this detail in appendix.
Examples of Alternative Evaluation or Decision Criteria
I am listing some of alternative evaluation criteria or decision criteria that can be used to evaluate different paths. I
do not expect use of more than three criteria in a case analysis.
• Mission implications: How well does the plan fit the company’s mission statements and strategic focus?
• Market potential: What is the market size and growth rate in each of the alternatives?
• Distinctive competencies: Does an alternative gives any unique capabilities that gives the company a
• Targeting strategy: Does the alternative target the correct market segments?
• Positioning strategy: Does perception of the company in an alternative fit the strategy?
• Branding strategy: Does the alternative/decision leverage, protect, or create brand equity?
• Marketing mix: Does this support the positioning strategy and reach the targeted segments?
• Production capabilities: Do these alternatives provide any advantages or limitations?
• Organizational changes: Does the current company structure work with the new strategy?
• Financial implications: What are the associated costs and revenues?
Pre Write up Phase
In the pre write up phase, I recommend that each group member ‘skims’ the case, meaning ‘read it quickly’ and try
to grasp its theme and the main dilemma(s) faced by the management. In the next step, each student should
thoroughly analyse the case (importance should be paid to numbers in the case) using a framework such as SWOT.
A clear decision should be made by each student about the future course of action for the managers involved.
In the next step, group members should hold a meeting and share their analysis, and their decisions. Each group
member should try to defend his/her stance, but should also try to form a consensus. Every decision and thought is
worthy of consideration.
The Write Up
I strongly recommend that the written part should be undertaken by only one team member. Others might want
to pitch in during the writing part, but only one group member should be responsible for writing a cohesive and
holistic narrative of the analysis.
The structure of the report
In the beginning, before presenting you analysis, you may choose to write an ‘introduction’ or an ‘executive
summary’. If you chose to write an introduction, under the heading ‘introduction’, you have to include some
background of the situation, and crystalize the single most important problem/decision being faced by the
management, and then give a ‘flow’ of what is going to follow after the introduction. For example, you may say
that “the following section presents this and the section following section presents that” etc….. In case of
executive summary, you do not have to give this flow but summarize overall recommended action.
You then present the analysis. SWOT framework works well in this section. In addition to SWOT analysis you might
want to draw on other resources available in the text, e.g. Analysis of Micro and Macro Environment etc., or you
might want to include Macro and Micro environment analysis within the SWOT framework. The choice is yours. As
we progress in the course, you might want to include some other concepts for analysis of case as well. Here, I
would like to add that what really makes an analysis rich is the depth of ‘thinking’ involved in it. Take SWOT as a
serious framework, and try to give equal importance to all four elements. This forms the basis of your
recommendations later. In some cases there are some issues which are very obvious to a reader while others need
‘uncovering’. It is an art which is learnt over time, and this the time (as it is an introductory course) to make
mistakes and learn from them.
Another point I want to make here is that putting the SWOT in a box format is helpful in presentation as well as
structuring of your own thoughts. You can include the SWOT in the appendix and draw important points from
there in the main analysis.
After the analysis, you first have to crystalize the main issues/problems or the main decisions to be taken by the
management. After you have articulated the main issues/problems, you give ‘distinct’ viable options to solve
that/those problems (heading could be ‘possible options’ etc.). By ‘viable’ I mean that you have to take various
constraints into account, which are stated in the case. Then you recommend one of the viable options and explain
the rationale behind choosing it. You might want to give it a heading ‘the rationale behind choosing option X’ (See
“Examples of Alternative Evaluation or Decision Criteria” given in this hand out).
Then come the recommendations. The recommendations are basically elaborations of the steps the management
must take in the chosen option. Ideally, these recommendations should be divided into short term and long term
recommendations. Short term recommendations tend to be more detailed, and should entail specific action plan.
It would tell the reader, who is supposed to do what at what time etc. The long term recommendations usually do
not require such detail. The long term recommendations are more strategy oriented and comment on the general
futuristic outlook of the business. E.g ‘company X should engage in long term relationship with company Y’ etc. or
‘the company should phase out product x in 5 years’ etc.
Some cases are decision oriented i.e. the main decisions/dilemmas are already presented. In such a case you may
want to analyse the decisions within the analysis. For example you might want to perform SWOT analysis for each
decision. After that, you highlight the ‘rationale’ behind choosing a decision, and while doing this you must take
into account various constraints stated in the case. You make a decision, and then give recommendations, on the
same lines as articulated in the previous paragraph.