This assignment challenges students to formulate a professional response to in-depth issues contained in a real-life Video Business Case available in a non-searchable YouTube video. Students will act as an independent professional business consultant reporting to senior managers of the company concerned. Students are expected to provide informed and robust advice to this business client. A sophisticated understanding of the critical aspects of this Video Business Case needs to be demonstrated. A succinct and high impact report is expected.
The report is expected to be <2,000 words, including an Executive Summary (<300 words) but excluding References and Appendices. A table of contents is unnecessary.
The Video Business Case will feature individual interviews describing an important issue faced by companies as well as a separate video clip describing its importance to the organisation. Students are tasked with making a response that addresses, or has the potential to assist with, the business challenges presented. An analysis of the short and long term matters involved may be useful.
There are number of things that could be written about in a Video Business Case Report. A good place to begin is by brainstorming everything known about the case within the organisation being analysed. Begin by stating what Issues appear to be of concern. Consider why a decision must be made? When must a decision be made? Who will be affected? Examine details about the company, watch the background videos and read important reports (especially the Annual Report), check the profitability figures, market share, gauge the organisations capacity to invest in Solutions to these Issues, describe the scope of their operations and state the industries the organisation operates in. Source and quote relevant statistical trends from geographical markets under consideration. Identify competitors with the same Issues and find out how they have resolved these Issues; then decide how this might be achieved for the organisation being investigated.
As should be evident from the Issues?Causes?Alternatives?Solutions?Implications? Implementation framework, the analysis of the Video Business Case will become progressively more challenging. As such, fewer marks will be awarded for identifying the Issue and Causes and more will be allocated for analysis of the scope and fit of Alternatives and Implications to this particular business environment. Alternatives generated require Decision Criteria to be developed and choices made between competing solutions. This requires rationales to be considered for choosing or rejecting amongst the Alternatives identified. Credible information needs to be identified to support choices made amongst the available and viable choices.
Suggested headings for the Video Business Case Report
Suggested headings A?F for the Video Business Case Report follow a logical progression. The problems inherent in this case often result from the failure of students to document what has been found. Therefore, when working through a case it is important to adopt the role of a consultant working for a company. A consultant is responsible for reviewing the problems identified in parts A and B of the case. This will lead to surfacing of the most important Alternatives for the company concerned.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (<300 words required)
Summarise all sections of the report using only the key information. Compose the Executive
Summary after the assignment is complete.
Provide a brief introduction that summarises the main Issue(s) of the case. Issues are the specific problems the business is facing and needs to address. Consider what visible symptoms of the problems identified need to be resolved?
Identify the importance of the Cause(s) to the organisation concerned. What Caused these Issues to arise? The reasons underlying the Issues will be explicit in the Causes identified.
Develop a set of realistic Alternatives to address the Issues and Causes identified. A variety of options or different actions that a company could take to address the Issues and Causes need to be identified. Prevention (dealing with underlying Causes) is usually better than cure (fixing Issues that have arisen). Measuring each Alternative against the Decision Criteria will assist in clearly identifying and selecting the better options as well as less desirable options.
D) Decision Criteria
Decision Criteria are the indicators that need to be considered when evaluating and making a decision. Develop a set of Decision Criteria to choose from the Alternative courses of action. These criteria will be used to measure each Alternative available, and decide those to recommend as Solutions, and those to recommend against implementing. Generating expected benefits that would be achieved by resolving the Issues at hand is one way to create Selection Criteria. Conversely, the adverse effects of certain Selection Criteria need to be considered. The expected benefits and drawbacks should be grouped based on underlying themes inherent in the case. This is essentially a logical approach to weighting and ranking relevant data in order to make decisions.
E) Recommended Solution(s)
Decide the Solution(s) to the Issues derived from the Alternatives based upon the Decision Criteria. For each competing Alternative, justify why different Solutions were chosen or rejected. Recommended Solutions should be the best of the Alternatives identified, as measured by the Decision Criteria. It should be clear to anyone reading the report why specific Alternatives are recommended as Solutions, and why others were rejected. A well written report will allow the company to compare different Alternatives as Solutions, should they disagree with the weightings of the various Decision Criteria.
F) Implementation and Implications
Provide realistic suggestions on how these Solutions could be implemented in the organisation concerned within the industry context being scrutinised. Provide the necessary details on the Implementation for the proposed Solutions. Include the managerial and financial implications for adopting the preferred Solutions. If the organisation implements the recommended Solutions, what might happen to the company? What are the Implications for adopting each of the Alternatives? What might be the Implications of not following the recommendations?
Ethical issues should be referred to throughout the report. Also, ethical issues should be incorporated into the Decision Criteria. Ethical behaviour is an important concern for most aspects of business. When critiquing the case, students are challenged to be aware and sensitive to ethical issues that impact on all company stakeholders.
Locating evidence to support a position
The case is decision based and portrays an issue from the point of view of an individual working for a specific company in a particular industry. Students will need to resolve problems or issues. Learners need to explain the fundamental nature of the situations encountered within this context to deal with or reduce the effect on business of these problems. Resolutions to the challenges faced by these businesses are not simply contained in the video clips or transcriptions. Responses will need to be created using logical reasoning processes supported by a wide variety of information sources including Curtin Library Databases, Internet, discussion boards, social media, print media and so forth.
Sound business judgment needs to be based on evidence and consider all the relevant available information. Part of this process involves acknowledging and reconciling the views and rights of the relevant company stakeholders. This may invoke social and ethical legitimacy issues. Anticipating and responding to environmental changes is an indication of innovative problem solving. Anticipation of the intended and unintended consequences of decisions is important when judgments are made about difficult decisions.
Be sure to identify all assumptions before making any judgments. Decisions need to be supported by sound logic and with evidence to support the conclusions reached. Finally, it is important to thoroughly consider the robustness of the overall analysis. Credible Solutions need to be considered in the context of organisational challenges. The consequences of implementing recommended actions need to be carefully considered.
Develop a set of realistic Alternatives to address the Issues and Causes identified.
D) Decision Criteria
As decision makers students will be expected to develop and use Decision Criteria to justify the choices among the alternative courses of action.
E) Recommended Solution(s)
Decide on Solution(s) to the Issues derived from the Alternatives. For each competing Alternative, justify why different Solution(s) were chosen or rejected. A preferred Solution(s) needs to be indicated.
F) Implementation and Implications
Provide realistic suggestions on how these Solution(s) could be implemented in the organisation concerned within the industry context being scrutinised. Include the managerial and financial implications for adopting the preferred Solution(s).
Suggested Headings C?F for the Video Business Case Report follow a logical order ? D should not be done before C, E cannot be done before D, etc. Often, students will work through Decision Criteria in other assessments, decisions and choices they make within their life. However, the problem often lies in that they never write it down and often it is done subconsciously (tacit knowledge).
Therefore when working through a case it is important to emphasise that they are a consultant working for the company, so it is their job to review the problems from parts A and B and how these are important and will lead them to highlight the most important Alternatives for the company.