Concordia University’s Team Emu was first runner up at the 2017 Case Study Competition, held May 1-2 at the ISPI Performance Improvement Conference in Montreal.
The Case Study Competition involved a needs analysis of the fictional company Magic Sticks, a retailer providing baked goods and beverages to consumers. Team Emu identified eroding profit margins, inconsistent store performance and inconsistent customer experiences as performance problems to address. The team’s performance improvement solution involved nine recommendations targeting areas of consistency, connection, coaching, support and feedback. These included process standardization, revamping the hiring process, training, knowledge-sharing and redesigning the company’s scorecard.
The three Team Emu members are Charlie Piche, Dan Corber and Katie Shea, all graduate students in Concordia’s Educational Technology program. Following are comments from Charlie and Dan about their experiences participating in the competition.
Dan: “When I first agreed to participate in the ISPI Case Study Competition, I was worried about my lack of experience in the field. Although it was a challenging process, I was supported every step of the way by our mentors, our competitors and, most of all, my teammates. Together, the three of us stepped out of our comfort zones to try something new, and we were graciously received by the whole ISPI community. Through it all, I grew, and the three of us grew together.”
Charlie: “The case competition was definitely challenging. Our team (the other team as well) did a remarkable job of getting in the zone. Once we walked through the doors of the Sheraton Conference Centre (where the ISPI conference was held), we tuned in and got into a flow. Overall, it was a rewarding experience. I would definitely recommend the experience to emerging performance improvement enthusiasts as a way to roll up your sleeves and dive into the field.”
The ISPI Case Study Competition gives university students the opportunity to apply the theories and models they have learned during their graduate studies in Educational Technology to solve an authentic performance problem in an organization. The competition takes place over 10 weeks and culminates with presentations at the annual ISPI conference.