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#148: Creating Case Studies From Your Engagements

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, October 7, 2009
When I lecture at a local university, I often use business case studies purchased from management review journals. Can I use my own project summaries instead of these cases?

Yes, and this strategy has two valuable benefits. First, no one knows the nuances of a case like the person (you) who was intimately involved in its creation. You know the players, the circumstances, the solution implemented and the outcomes. You will be better able to respond to questions about alternative approaches or the implications of variations in circumstances on intervention outcomes. Second, you have the ability to adapt the case to your teaching needs in ways that are internally consistent with the client organization. Some cases have been adapted or constructed in ways that describe an organization that exhibits unrealistic organization or actions. For both reasons, you will be able to present an appropriate case that you know well. One caveat. You must remove all explicit or indirect references to you client's name or any information that could lead to identification of your client or any other person or organization.

Tip: There is another important benefit. Creating a case gives you an opportunity to revisit and examine your client's situation far removed from your initial interaction. You may want to create cases of several of your prior engagements and use them to teach your staff or colleagues about your approach to consulting or client relations. The comments you receive from others about your case are indirectly assessments of your role in the engagement. You may even learn something new about your approach to consulting that you can use with this same client or future clients.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  customer understanding  intellectual property  learning 

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