5 Wells of a Good Answer – Well Constructed

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 10.02.54 PM

Last week, you guys learnt:

  • that a good answer consisted of 5 Wells
  • that planning is essential
  • how to plan for key points and theories after reading a question, and…
  • that I’m watching reruns of The Office (U.S.)   😀

Welcome to our second post in the series!

To build on our first post, let’s rehash some of the information we had last week.

We had this philosophy:

A good answer is….

  • Well planned
  • Well constructed
  • Well informed/applied
  • Well supported
  • Well timed

We had this question:

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 9.00.10 PM

And we had these key points (Note: you may have different ones, and that’s okay)

  • Threat = underperforming shops possibly caused by tough competition
  • Threat = closing shops may lead to loss of brand visibility (reduced physical presence)
  • Opportunity = selling online may prove successful if this is what customers want
  • Threat/Opportunity = customers visiting shops less will make us less customer facing and focused, but more convenient perhaps
  • Opportunity = offer of e-commerce and new software will provide technological advancement and boost our competitive advantage

Now it is time to tackle the second Well, which is Well constructed.

Answer construction can sometimes be tricky, but it needn’t be. Case study exams are mostly about writing reports, which is not very different from writing essays. Think back on your younger years when you were learning English or writing essays in school. Think on some of the emails that you write to your boss when you are asked to put together a report.

One of the most basic report structure is as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion

There will be times that the above structure will not work properly (because sometimes you will get a different kind of question, but that’s for another day). For the purpose of today and generally most questions, this basic structure will suffice.

Let’s now put our key points into context.

1 – introduction

I didn’t really have one. I suppose I might want to just say that I’ll touch upon the proposal a little bit and talk about the threats and opportunities each point presents.

2 – body

This is the time to be extravagant. Don’t skimp if you can help it. This is the space to talk about pros and cons, alternatives, options, etc.

In our example, the key points that we raised would go under this section.

3 – conclusion

It’s always good to conclude. It shows focus, determination and highlight of logical thinking. Sometimes this section may also double up as the recommendation section.

In our example, this would probably mean that our conclusion includes a decision of whether the proposal is a good idea or not. When presenting a decision, do not forget to reiterate some of the reasons why we should go for it…or not.

Finally, our well planned, well constructed key points would look something like this:

Introduction:

  • proposal highlights – director push for online selling, look at points whether they pose threats or opportunities for the company

Body:

  • Threat = underperforming shops possibly caused by tough competition
  • Threat = closing shops may lead to loss of brand visibility (reduced physical presence)
  • Opportunity = selling online may prove successful if this is what customers want
  • Threat/Opportunity = customers visiting shops less will make us less customer facing and focused, but more convenient perhaps
  • Opportunity = offer of e-commerce and new software will provide technological advancement and boost our competitive advantage

Conclusion:

  • Perform due diligence on proposal
  • Comment that it’s a good idea – tapping a potentially bigger market
  • Be careful about closing shops before making sure that online selling is viable
  • I think I’m all for it for now (you might not, have you noted down why?)

So our answer is slowly taking shape but still incomplete. We’ll need more of the other Wells to shape it further.

I shall see you again next week. Same time, same place.

Two down, three to go.

For Astranti’s Operational Case Study Course, click here.
For Astranti’s Management Case Study Course, click here.
For Astranti’s Strategic Case Study Course, click here.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 244 other followers

3 thoughts on “5 Wells of a Good Answer – Well Constructed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s