How to Analyze a Business Case
• The purpose of this assignment is:
▪ To put yourself into the shoes of the decision-maker in the case
and provide actionable recommendations that are backed up by
▪ To apply concepts, tools, and theories covered in classes to this
real-life business case
• Due: At the beginning of class 7
• Penalties for late submissions
▪ Late assignments will be penalized 10% for each day late
(Assignments not submitted at the start time of the class on the
due date will be considered late)
• This assignment must be completed INDIVIDUALLY!
Mid-term exam is a case analysis of ““The digital
transformation of Kroger: Remaking the grocery
business” which determines 30% of your grade
• Submit your case analysis through Moodle
• Use a separate title page that has your name and student ID
• A maximum of 1,500 words (6 typed pages), excluding
exhibits. Indicate the number of words at the end of your
• No more than 3 exhibit pages (tables, graphs, diagrams, etc.)
• Do not just copy and paste some slides from lecture notes
• Utilize sections and bullets to improve readability
• Use 12 point Times New Roman or Arial font
• Use double-spaced text paragraphs and single-spaced bullet
• No typos, errors, and awkward sentences please!
Specific Format Requirements
Before you begin writing a case analysis
• You must have a good understanding of the case!
▪ Read the case multiple times to get all of the details and fully
understand the issues the case company is facing
▪ Take some notes, highlight relevant facts, and identify key
▪ Give yourself enough time to write your case analysis. You
don’t want to rush through it.
Four major steps in a case analysis
▪ Clearly define a main issue to solve & explain why that issue
o No more than one paragraph; get to the point quickly
o Must be central issues, not peripheral ones
o Must be strategic issues, not functional/operational ones
▪ This is not a summary of the case, but a diagnosis of the
main problem/issue in the case.
o Assume that the instructor already read the case
o Don’t be too descriptive; provide your own insights or
interpretations of the situation.
▪ Remember that the problem identified in this stage directs
the rest of your work.
1) Main Issue Identification
▪ Analyze BOTH external AND internal environments of a firm.
▪ Conduct in-depth analysis of the situation; Analysis is not
summarizing what is written in the case. It is the process of
tracing (root) causes and finding areas to improve.
▪ Try to apply concepts, tools, models that we learn as
thoroughly as and as specifically as possible.
▪ Remember, however, that these are analytical tools, which
help in forming judgments concerning central problems and
associated recommendations: these tools are not ends in
2) Analysis (External and Internal)
▪ Do not mix your analysis and solutions together. In the
analysis phase, stay focused on “As-Is” condition and
avoid making hypothetical situations.
▪ After analyzing each of the environments, synthesize your
findings and draw strategic implications → Go deeper than
a general textbook statement; Keep asking to yourself, “SO
▪ Your analysis remains focused on addressing your issue
▪ Do the external first, and then internal
2) Analysis (External and Internal) – cont’d
▪ Derive TWO alternatives based on your analyses and answer
why these particular alternatives are worthwhile to consider
▪ Provide a title of each alternative and explain what it is
o “Vertical forward integration through the acquisition of Company A”
o “Stop producing for tier 2 market and shift to the tier 1 market”
o “Market-related diversification” vs. “Technology-related
o “international expansion into country A”
▪ Ask, “is this solution realistic?”
▪ Discuss what the pros and cons of each alternative are,
reflecting on the analysis results. Provide your own
▪ NO strategy is risk-free or problem-free. Every strategy has
its advantages and disadvantages.
▪ This stage is a logical bridge between your analyses and final
recommendations. Do not jump into the recommendation, but
compare and contrast your two best alternatives.
3) Alternatives – cont’d
▪ Propose your final recommendation between the two
alternatives and develop your own arguments of why the
one you choose is better than the other
▪ Your recommendation should follow logically from analysis
of the two alternatives
o Provide strong supporting evidence
▪ Make sure if your recommendation solves the issue you
▪ A common mistake is “NO recommendation” or “Do both at
the same time.”
Taken together, a good solution is a strong
argument. Remember a good strategy is “coherent.”
Other VERY important rules and suggestions
• Do not go beyond the facts presented in the case
▪ We don’t do outside research (except for group projects).
Instead, we focus on what really happened in the case.
• Do not fall into the trap of expecting a single “right” answer
▪ There are always more than one appropriate answer in a
world of strategy.
• Avoid general textbook statements & repetitions of case facts
▪ E.g., general discussion of Porter’s 5 forces model
▪ Your statements have to be case-specific.
• Should I use ‘I’? → yes, it’s your analysis. Use “I argue”, “I
think”, “I propose” etc.
• Correct application of course concepts and class
• Analysis and arguments provide analytic insights and a
coherent logical flow from diagnosis, analyses, and
alternatives to recommendation
• Format of writing is coherent, professional and free of
Evaluation criteria of your case analysis
Evaluation weight of your case analysis
Evaluation Areas Importance
1. Main Issue Identification 10 %
2. Analysis (External and Internal) 40 %
3. Two Alternatives & Evaluation of the Alternatives 20 %
4. Recommendation 10 %
5. Overall Logic among Issue, Analysis, Alternatives, and
Recommendation 20 %
Total 100 %