For business, there’s no better way of telling the world the potential or even the actual value of the product and services you sell than presenting case studies that validates your claim through following guidelines for case study as they contain more than just your testimonials by being able to show real-life examples of how you deal with, and achieve customer satisfaction.
Writing a case study, especially when customers are showing signs of wanting to go to the competitor down the street to do business with, could save a company and it’s management. Companies don’t want to be left out or lose when it comes to competition. They want to keep up or win.
They want to keep up with the competition and win so hard sometimes, that they think the next man they see would have access to their trade secrets, so even when they’re just walking, they would think someone’s always out to get them, which, in cases of workers from the largest corporations, is quite a strong accusation. But great case studies help you make that happen and so much more. Soliciting funds or any other support from bigger companies, be it for the community or a straight up business partnership would not be a problem just in case you need backup or want a different entity or organization strong enough to be your ally.
By definition, case studies in the Social Sciences are records of detailed research focusing on the development of a person, organization, or situation over a given time period. In the corporate arena, a case study is usually a summary of some real life scenarios in business. It can also be a fictional account of situations that are likely to happen in any area of business or a dilemma that needs to be addressed. When done carefully, case study templates can help develop business theory and show its application. It helps in the analysis of a case being presented by focusing on its crucial points and using the facts to identify opportunities and problems an organization faces. An analysis of a case study must not be limited to summarizing the case but also be able to determine key issues and problems, form an outline and evaluate action or improvement strategies or plans and provide tangible solutions. You may find a case study template useful by being able to break down case study analysis in the given steps below:
The question is, do you know who your ideal customer is, and where to find him or her? If it’s someone in the education industry, then make your case studies about your university customers. Some marketing case templates may just be able to help you out.
If it’s someone in the tech industry then make your case studies about the latest gadgets, stories of their development, challenges, and their larger-than-life manufacturers.
People love a good story, but while they do, try avoiding sob stories as they have the tendency to be depressing rather than helpful. A great case study will let someone really get to know who the customer is and what type of person he or she is.
Anything looking a little too wordy spells trouble and no one likes to read a whole chunk of text, no matter how interesting and how much potential it has, or how informative it may turn out to be.
Your case study templates should only contain the figures that exist as presenting numbers in the form of text can be vague and therefore loses some validity.
If you have mentioned gaining positive results, make sure to include how you did it.
Some people are comfortable with google, others have better luck at learning using youtube video tutorials and so on.
Otherwise what’s the point of documenting them?
Let’s take a good look at what each of those steps mentioned for analyzing a business case involves.
You don’t get to analyze a case without reading it. You have to read it several times to fully grasp the information it contains and pay close attention to other information in any tables, figures, or graphs included on the presentation or file. A lot of case scenarios that happened in real life provides plenty of detailed information you can use since some of those facts have more relevance than others for identifying problems. A person can consider facts and data to be true in a case but certain judgement, decisions and opinion of individuals still warrants a good deal of questioning. Highlight and make a list of the most crucial facts and figures that would help put focus on the main issue so that it can be addressed accordingly. If the most important parts of the case are unidentifiable, you’re allowed to form assumptions, granted they are justified, considering the situation. The accuracy of your conclusions may depend so much on the assumptions you make.
Make use of the available facts in the case to determine the key issues or problems that the organization you are studying is facing. Most cases end up showing multiple problems or issues and you need to classify them according to the most important and the most trivial ones so that you can be addressed later on, by order of importance or priority. State the company’s biggest challenge and explain the impact of this problem on strategies and performance of the organization. Why did the problem occur? How did this happen? You will need to get such questions answered and establish where the main challenge is coming from. Is it because of the declining market share? Did the company undergo any major change in environment, management, or process? When it comes to problems that are information systems-related, you have to consider to the part that technology plays in all this, as well as the organization’s current behavior and the present situation of its management.
Issues that are based on challenges on information in the business stage typically shows a mix of issues in different areas such as management, organizational challenges, technology, and staffing among others. Individually, they seem manageable enough to resolve and get taken care of, but a combination of all of them would be too much to swallow. When trying to identify the main problem, start by asking what type of problem it is and which area it belongs. Is it the management or just technology? Is it both of them at once? What management, organizational, and technology factors contributed to the problem?
You will have to work in identifying which of the factors presented or particular combination of a set of factors is the key to explaining why the issue occurred.
Develop a list of action plans the company can use for meeting the challenges or face and solve the company’s problems. For challenges that are more about system-related issues, would these alternatives courses need a new system of information or would a change of an existing system do for now? Are new technologies, organizational structure changes, business processes and the current management needed? What certain changes to the processes would each action plan require? What type of policies are needed to be established for the implementation of each alternative presented?
There’s also a lot of difference between what a business “should do” and what they can actually accomplish. Alternatives should at least be realistic because there are solutions that are just too expensive or challenging to put in place. Avoid presenting solutions that are out of the organization’s budget or courses of action that are beyond what their resources could allow. There would be limitations for available solutions and you can only determine that by identifying constraints. Given the constraints being identified, would the organization still be able to execute the alternatives provided?
Despite of different published articles that are on record explaining the methods one can use for calculating sample size, there’s still an existing confusion on how it should be done. For a business case template, remember that methods used in sample size calculation depends on the design of the study and one formula cannot work for all existing designs even when you have Free Case Templates as reference. There are certain prerequisites required for the reliability of your sample size calculation. For example, cross sectional studies or cross sectional survey are done for estimating the parameter of a population such as the prevalence of community diseases or determining the value average of a quantitative variable through a certain a population.
Writing a case study allows you to show your expertise for explaining test case templates. It also proves your experience in a certain industry because being able to defend and justify what you know and convincing an organization that you’re capable of getting results, helps in brand recognition and business reputation. Given the opportunity, who doesn’t want to hire a professional to help you solve problems and make decisions that would bring your business forward? Also, case histories offer detailed examples to prospect clients which in turn helps them get a general idea of what you can do for them.
Write a concise summary. You should be able to hold the reader to the brief summary of the case study in the first few seconds that he looks at it. This means you get your problem and solution stated, and for this, using bullet points are often helpful.
To emphasize the credibility of a study, customer or client testimonials often help a lot. Ask for a client’s quote or testimony in any form, from the organization you’re doing this case study for. The testimonial should validate the results you’re trying to present and also promote your service and expertise.
Once you get the highlight of your case study, the problem also needs to be discussed and analyzed a bit. One great way around this, is making use of a cause and effect analysis, so don’t just explain what the issue is, but try digging deeper to where the problem came from and what the major contributing factors are. The problem on the other hand, is already your effect.
Lastly, cut the whole jargon. This is a business document, not an academic journal or literary analysis. In short, this also serves as a marketing piece and should remain so. You don’t get to have your say, or call to action. You just present your analysis and alternatives to the issues you have identified. You can use case templates or simple case analysis formats if you need to get a better idea of how it should be written. Nothing more, nothing less.