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  1. Executive Summary (no word limit)

This is a one page summary. It should be self-contained, i.e., it should provide a busy reader with the most

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important information from the report, even if he/she never reads the body of the report. This is NOT a preface that merely introduces the report. Write this section after completing the rest of your report, even though it is placed at the beginning of the report.

  1. Introduction (300 words)

Strategies and Performance: Identify or infer the organization’s current mission, major business objectives, and strategies (especially corporate-level and competitive strategies). Evaluate the effectiveness or appropriateness of these strategies, including the organization’s portfolio of businesses (for diversiVied Virms) and competitive strategy – don’t just describe them. Evaluate its performance (refer to its ROIC, growth rate, proVit margins, etc.). BrieVly summarize how well the organization has been performing against their objectives and in general.

  1. Analysis of the External Environment (300 words)

Scan and analyze important factors, trends, and probable future conditions to identify key opportunities and threats for the organization.

  • General Environment: What are the TWO most important general and signiVicant trends in the

environment of the Virm? How will they affect the Virm?

  • Business Environment: Industry structure and competitive environment (use Porter’s 5-force model,

the extended version if appropriate, the industry opportunities framework). Include industry growth trends, key success factors. Is the industry attractive? What is the most important threat in the Virm’s

competitive strategy, and (if not already covered in the previous two subsections) other strategies to address the critical issues you identiVied (with a subsection for each of these three). Be sure to include the rationale for your choices and that you have considered the availability of resources to carry out your proposed strategies. Your decisions and rationale can reafVirm, replace, or change the Virm’s current objectives and strategy. Ensure that your recommendations have addressed all the critical issues you identiVied.

  1. Corporate Strategy Recommendations B. Competitive Strategy Recommendations
  2. Appendices

Include copies of key research material you used, including industry Vinancial data (with sources cited); details on Vinancial analysis; and anything else that would clutter the main text (e.g., you can put your Porter 5-force details here). Be sure that you reference any appendices that you used in the main body of your report.

********* IMPORTANT NOTES

Things you should keep in mind as you prepare your report:

  • Assume the reader (your top management client) is at least as familiar as you are with the

organization/case (therefore, don’t waste time describing the case details without adding value).

  • Avoid the common trap of exhausting yourself with too much analysis, and consequently short- changing the conclusions and recommendations. Instead, keep in mind the whole report and balance your effort among the sections.
  • Use the quantitative data in the case to full advantage (if there are Vinancial data, you must include analysis and conclusions from it). Support your analysis with numbers whenever possible. (For example, if you believe that the Virm has a competitive advantage, include in your analysis at least some of the following: What are the Virm’s net margins over the last several years? What are Returns on Equity, Returns on Assets, Return on Invested Capital? Compare with the competitors’ ratios.)
  • Distinguish among facts, opinions, and assumptions.
  • Check your work for completeness (are all issues identiVied and addressed?), justiVication (do you back

up what you say with evidence?), logical Vlow (is it clear how you moved from analysis to critical issues

to alternatives to recommendations?).

  • Organization is important. Think of the reader as you write and edit; make your report easy for the

reader to follow and understand. Use headings and paragraphs. Check spelling and grammar.

Carefully edit and proofread your report.

  • Use lists, tables, and Vigures as appropriate to communicate.
  • Write this as a business report and don’t turn in anything you would not be willing to deliver to the

president of your most important consulting client company.

  • The length of the report should be about 1800 words (excluding Appendices, and Executive Summary).
  • Margins: 1 inch all around; Font: Cambria; Font Size: 11; Single Spaced.

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