Identifying and prioritizing key pieces of reasoning to research in the Hyp. Tree.

To complete this analysis, you will:

  • Fully perform the five formal steps of the case analysis methodology we discussed in class and read about in our textbook while leveraging the knowledge you have gained from your strategy sessions. This includes:
    • Identifying the Key Question and a defensible SCQ.
    • Identifying which candidate solutions in the Issue Tree have been chosen for the Hyp. Tree.
    • Identifying and prioritizing key pieces of reasoning to research in the Hyp. Tree. (and later, which pieces are supported or not)
    • Creating a research plan that reflects the identified pieces of the Hyp. Tree, relative priorities, and their planned sources to check. You do not need to specify who to assign research to or whether it is primary or secondary (but you are welcome to do so if you choose).
    • Creating a recommendation that reflects a well-stated Big Answer, supporting reasoning, and supporting evidence for that reasoning.
  • Document the final state of the work in each step in a clear manner so that someone may reasonably understand and interpret what you’ve written (i.e. you don’t need to submit early iterations/drafts, only the final state of the work).
  • Submit the completed set of documented steps in one easy to scroll through document.

Remember: A good analysis is updated iteratively so that each part aligns well with the next (and the last).


After a full day of meetings with the MDCM executive team, MDCM’s new CIO Shawn Atkins feels no closer to a solution. Frustrated, he turns to his “SWAT Team” – the nickname he’s given to an advisory group formed from an elite subset of the twenty-three managers he identified as high potential IT leaders – a group he’s asked you to lead.

Shawn has given you a short-list of questions to consider as a starting point:

  • What should MDCM’s strategy be going forward?
  • What broad implications does the business strategy have on our functional IT strategy?
  • What are some of the strategic objectives we should prioritize for IT?
  • What critical success factors can we identify for our IT strategy?


This is a deliberately chosen “classic” case. This means that the story is old, as are the technology references, but the issues and themes are valuable and timeliness. In analyzing the case you should interpret any technology references as their modern day equivalent, and you should plan and propose in terms of our contemporary time and era (i.e. if they say Windows assume we’re talking Windows 7, 8 or 10, if you are thinking they should adopt a new online service you would look at contemporary options).

Submission requirements

Since most steps contain a tree diagram and the others benefit from general visuals, you have some discretion on how you create these, including:

  • PowerPoint
  • Visio
  • Hand-drawn sketches
  • .. or a comparable approach

However, irrespective of whatever method you use to create your work you must then translate into a single contiguous PDF document with 1-2 pages per each of the 5 analysis steps (i.e. your finished document should be 5-10 pages long). For example, if you were to hand draw out these steps (e.g. on a sheet of paper or a whiteboard), you could take a picture of each, paste those pictures into a MS Word document, and then save that document as a PDF. You must, however, ensure that whatever you create is reasonably legible to the reader (e.g. your professor).

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