In this blog post, I will share how the course on case study analysis has helped me develop my critical thinking and problem solving skills.
This course is one of the most important courses I have ever taken in my career so far. It exposes me to operational and strategic problems that companies in different industries face. This exposure gives me an opportunity to learn about industries that I have never worked in or been familiar with. It also challenges me to analyze the problems using a systematic and structured decision making process. This process helps me to gather and manage information, balance analytical and intuitive thinking, and avoid cognitive biases that often affect our decisions.
The decision making process that I learned from this course was explained to us by Dr. Yetunde Anibaba, ABP course facilitator at LBS. She provided us with a framework to apply in evaluating a case study. The framework is quite robust and it helps me to construct a logical and coherent argument for my conclusion or recommendation. The framework consists of the following steps:
Understand the situation: This involves identifying the key and relevant details from the case, such as who, what, why, when, how, and where of the problem.
Identify and define the problem: This involves stating the main issue or challenge that needs to be solved. This is very significant because if I can identify the right problem, I am halfway to solving it. I realized that I often confuse symptoms for problems, so I have been working on improving my problem framing skills.
Define the objective(s): This involves asking what success looks like and what the desired outcome is. This can be subjective, but it is important to have a clear goal in mind. Otherwise, I would not know which direction to take or how to measure my progress.
Generate alternatives: This involves listing the possible options or solutions for the problem.
Identify criteria/considerations: This involves determining the factors or conditions that the alternatives must meet or satisfy. These are the standards by which I evaluate the viability of the options.
Analyze the alternatives: This involves comparing and contrasting the alternatives based on the criteria. I usually have to make trade-offs or compromises, as no alternative is perfect. The analysis helps me to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each option.
Make a decision: This involves choosing the best alternative based on the analysis. This is the most crucial step, as it determines the course of action that I will take to solve the problem.
Develop an action plan: This involves outlining the steps and resources that I will need to implement the decision. It also involves identifying the risks and uncertainties that may arise and how to mitigate or manage them.
By following this framework, I have been able to enhance my critical thinking and problem solving skills. I have learned how to approach complex and ambiguous situations with confidence and clarity. I have also learned how to communicate my ideas and recommendations effectively and persuasively. This framework has broadened my horizon on problem solving and case study analysis, and I believe it will be useful for me in my future career.