Question Details

(solution) HOW TO APPROACH A CASE Perhaps the most important rule of

Write a three- to five-page paper analyzing the case (operating room patient flow attached. 

  • The six sections as outlined in the case study approach document (attached).
    1. Define the central problem (issue).
    2. List relevant factors.
      • How did management use the statistical analysis to improve quality?
    3. List alternatives.
    4. Analyze the alternatives.
    5. List conclusions.
      • What conclusions did you reach as a result of this case study?
    6. Make recommendations.
      1. What recommendations would you make that would allow the organization to take action?
  • In-text citations for information gathered from any resources (including the case) throughout the paper.
  • A resource page listing all resources cited throughout the paper.
  • Appendices (if appropriate). These may include images, graphs, charts, and tables images related to your topic. Images, graphs, charts, and tables may be no larger than ½-page in size.



Perhaps the most important rule of approaching a case is this: Do not re-tell the case! Your


professor has read it, so it is not necessary to ?recap? the information provided. In this


course, you are encouraged to use the (modified) Harvard Case Study Method (a.k.a. the


Staff Study Method), as outlined below:


1. Define the central problem (issue)


Problem definition is the most critical step in approaching a case. A poorly defined


problem can mean wasted time and effort. Another common pitfall is to think you


know what the problem is, just because you?ve invested a significant amount of time


thinking about the case. If you can?t state the problem in one or two sentences, you


haven?t defined it. Misidentification of the central problem is perhaps the most


common (and lethal) mistake a student can make. Apply this simple test by asking


yourself the following question: If I fixed the problem as I defined it, and nothing else


happened afterward, was I successful?


Note: Define the problem that the authors were trying to resolve in your own words


(do not quote). 2. List relevant factors


Most academic cases (as in real life) include a great deal of information. Some of this


information is important, other information is important but not relevant to the problem


at hand, and some is just ?noise.? It is important for you to decipher what is important


to the central problem. Avoid the "I?ve got it all in my head" trap?write it down!


List, in your own words, the variables (relevant factors) that the authors examined to


come to their conclusion. For example: 3. 1. Variable one. 2. Variable two. 3. Variable three. 4. Continue listing relevant factors?? List alternatives


Create a list of options without evaluating them. The purpose of this process is to


arrive at the best possible solution in a dispassionate manner. Try to keep your own


prejudices out of the process. OSCM 440 Franklin University November 2008 Keep in mind that, most likely, you will be presenting your report to an individual or a


group of individuals. Often, a member of the reviewing group will have a preconceived


solution or, worse, a vested interest in one particular solution. One way to divert these


conversations is to make sure your list is as comprehensive as possible. Include even


those ideas that you expect to discard early. Remember that ?do nothing? is always


an option.


List, in your own words, the various alternatives the authors arrived at in order to


solve the problem. For example: 4. 1. Alternative one. 2. Alternative two. 3. Alternative three. 4. Continue listing alternatives?.. Analyze the alternatives


Measure the alternatives you identified in step 3 against the factors identified in step 2.


Try beginning this step by fashioning a question that will tell you if a particular


alternative is viable, if you have the answer to that question. Analyze dispassionately


and without passing judgment.


In your own words, analyze the alternatives. For example: 5. 1. The first alternative, -----, did not result in any change?.. 2. The second alternative, -----, resulted in ------. 3. Continue analyzing all alternatives, individually or by group. List conclusions


This step should flow naturally from step 4. It is rare to find a single, perfect


alternative. Likewise, it is rare to find a completely bad alternative. In this step, you


weigh the good and the bad. This is also the time to identify "holes" in the information


or process. Respond to all four points listed below.


A. Explain, in your own words, your conclusions about why the authors chose a


certain alternative over the others.


For example: The "-----" alternative might stem the tide of the current problem.


However, it likely would create a greater issue, -----. OSCM 440 Franklin University November 2008 B. Explain in your own words the conclusion of the authors.


C. Explain if you agree or disagree with the conclusion of the authors.




6. Continue listing conclusions. Make recommendations


The purpose of the entire case study process is to make a recommendation and allow


the organization to take action. First, you must determine what you recommend. By


now, you will have built a compelling case for your recommendation. It is not


necessary to review the rationale again; this has been done in previous steps. While


you may choose to clarify and/or reiterate your recommendation at this point,


remember: "less is more." Also, avoid the overly cautious approach (e.g., "a little of


this, a little of that...").


List the recommendations you would add to the case study. Include an explanation for


each recommendation.


For example: There are three factors which outweigh all the others in making our




1. First factor?.. 2. Second factor?.. 3. Third factor?.. Format: Length: 3-5 pages plus a title page and a reference page. Style: See OSCM Academic Paper Writing Guidelines. Font: 12-point serif font Line spacing: 2.0. Margins: Set at 1 inch on all four sides. As with all other written assignments at the college level, correct and appropriate


grammar, structure, and mechanics are presumed to be the minimum baseline. Cite your


sources using APA style. OSCM 440 Franklin University November 2008 Grading:


For this exercise, your professor is not looking for one "right answer." You will be graded


primarily on the quality of your analysis and the case you make for your


recommendation(s). That is, you should be dispassionate in your analysis, and your final


recommendation should flow logically from the rest of your case study. OSCM 440 Franklin University November 2008


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