Case Study led problem solving.

All of our courses in the Strategy Journey Learning Pathway, are supported by case studies to help you learn from real world applications.
Our case-based courses dive deeper by involving participants in a challenge to solve a real business problem, with a full dataset for hands-on analysis and design using the extended Strategy Journey canvases.
Stratability Academy’s training courses are definitely not basic or theory based. You will learn through application using our thoroughly researched, properly scoped and pre-defined case study briefs.
Service Design in Higher Education

This is a Service Design case study in the higher education sector for the fictional University ‘EDUCATECO’. The case study uses research carried out across the top quartile of the global university education sector and mimics the real world circumstance and challenge faced by established Universities.

Problem Statement

A successful University in the Top50 globally with a number of courses in the Top10 and Top25 for Engineering topics, EDUCATECO is coming under pressure from customers, consumers, funding constraints and digital disruption.

  • Current service offerings and delivery methods are falling behind customer & partner expectations
  • The needs of the business consumers of educated and trained new students are not being met
  • Challenge coming from new digitally based on-line competition. Reduction in public funding and rising costs

EDUCATECO has to revise its service portfolio in the context of new customer/consumer focused service offerings delivered using advanced technology. It must design specific new services to realise the opportunities identified in its strategy

Design Requirement

EDUCATECO has developed a 7 year strategic plan which includes revision of its service offerings and delivery mechanisms. it must revise its operating model to enable new services through developing new capabilities, optimising/leveraging existing internal assets and divesting those services and capabilities that should be outsourced or shutdown

The student acts as ‘Service Designer’ to design a strategic service within the scope of the 2025 Future Plan. Various service design opportunities are available to the student including services to the Alumni community, a Digital Academy, a Design Center of Excellence , Entrepreneur Institute and Real estate and other assets management.

Materials and Datasets

A large amount of background data is provided to set the context for the student. This includes;

  • Summary state of the higher education system
  • Digital technology opportunities in education
  • Current issues & pain points
  • Business structure snap shot
  • Three year P&L summary
  • The 2025 strategic priorities for EducateCo
  • Interviews from students, partners and staff
Problem area, pains points and stakeholder interviews screen shots
Designing a USP service

The student will experience the full cycle of service design within the case study. This includes assessing the value factors for different stakeholders through analysing the information that is provided and additional material that is released for each module in the progression of the course.

The customer journey is mapped and further advanced value modelling techniques are then applied to determine the fit of the proposed solution. Service innovation opportunities are used to develop Service USPs in relation to the customer Value Model and within the education value ecosystem as a whole. The MURAL design thinking platform is used to aid the Strategy journey design process. Strategy Journey framework canvas templates are implemented in MURAL for the student to complete and retain.

Alumni outcomes

Students have designed services that address different opportunities within EDUCATECO‘s strategy. One example recently completed by a Stratability Academy alumni was to develop a high grade online digital design education course coupled with the Entrepreneur Institute.

The full Digital Design Education Course Service was captured in the full set of Strategy Journey Framework Canvases as depicted here. The canvases completely characterise the service design. The student keep these for their portfolio. This student successfully upgraded their career to a senior data architect role in a global investment bank on the evidence of their enhanced capabilities learned via the case study.

Online service Operating Model Design

This is an Operating Model Transformation Design case study based in the online servicing sector for a fictitious online business ‘DIGICO’. The DIGICO business scenario is built from the extensive research carried out in online retail services whilst generating the Amazon case study that is used in the course and The Strategy Journey book.

Problem Statement

The DIGICO business is an existing commercial success with online servicing in various sectors. Its challenge is now to capitalise on its rich customer data set in order to sustain its value & share price growth and appease investors.

  • Integrate the strong businesses which has acquired aligned to the strategy – property & finance.
  • Design a new operating model to accommodate the acquisitions and other USP services
  • An Operating Model Transformation Design has to be built to to realise the new service reality.

DIGICO must expand its platform business integrating the recent business acquisitions with a view to extending its platform strategy to an omni-channel servicing model.

Design Requirement

The Operating Model Transformation is to be designed for a new strategic service encompassing the processes, systems, people (organization design), location and data changes required operate it. The service is a Digital Wallet capability available across all DIGICO services. It is seen as a key Unique Selling Points (USP) differentiator for the DIGICO business in terms of overall customer experience and as an enabler to omni-channel servicing.

In the case study the student assumes the role of a ‘Transformation Designer’. They apply the learning from the Operating Model Transformation Design course to develop the DIGICO Operating Model Transformation Design to support the new Digital Wallet strategic service.

Materials and Datasets

Significant data has been drawn together to provide a realistic ‘back story’ for DIGICO in terms of its strategy and the opportunities for service enhancement and transformation of its operating model. This includes;

  • Digital economy consumer observations & trends
  • Platform and omni-channel ecosystem report
  • Business & organizational structure
  • Business product and servicing service map
  • Business problem areas and challenges
  • Three year business P&L summary
  • The 2025 strategic plan priorities
  • Interviews from customers, partners and staff
  • Transformation programmes in progress
Transformation Design Generation

The student engages all relevant stakeholders using the background information and starts by producing a summary of the business case for transformation. This is used for validation at the start of the design process to ensure a common vision of success and that all stakeholder requirements are aligned.

Using a Value Stream approach the target service operating model for the Digital Wallet service is developed. Capability analysis is used to determine the target capabilities required to support the Target Operating Model (TOM) in the context of the service performance criteria.

The student applies capability gap analysis from the Current Operating Model (COM) to the TOM. Operating model components are designed for the target state to deliver the required service. A roadmap to the Transformation Design target state is generated. Cost analysis is undertaken to ensure the approach is within the financial parameters of the business case.

Alumni outcomes

Students of the OMTD course have successfully completed a Digital Wallet transformation design that details the Target System Architecture, Organizational Structure and Location footprint to of the target operating model.

Feedback from the OMTD Alumni shows that the practical problem solving learnt in the Case Study works has enabled them to immediately add value to their current career role and increase their personal value in the jobs market.

Finance Operating Model Design

This is an Operating Model Transformation Design case study based in the global banking environment for the fictional bank ‘BANKCO’ The BANKCO business scenario is built on decades of experience of the course designers in the global banking industry and typifies the challenge faced by large established global banks today.

Problem Statement

Since the 2008 Financial Crisis, the world banking environment has changed dramatically. Many global banks today have declining profitability as revenues fall while costs continue to rise from increased regulatory responsibilities and in some cases fines. Many of these institutions are realising that having multiple operations spread across the whole world is no longer the best operating model.

BANKCO has been selling assets and exiting from smaller branches or offices, looking to consolidate their business around key markets in specific locations as well as creating Centres of Excellence (CoE) in products and services where they still have a competitive advantage or can build one. BankCo also faces disruption from the FinTech sector as new digital offerings built with the latest technologies are starting to gain market share

There is a realisation in the C-Suite at BankCo that it is the BankCo Operating Model that requires transformation to position the bank to be able to restore profitability in its target business sectors and embrace the changes happening in the banking environment

Design Requirement

The target operating model for one of the business units within the BankCo business must be developed. The student choses one of the business units to analyse in the context of the business and operational challenges:

  • Digital Retail Bank (with Private Bank)
  • Commercial Bank
  • Investment Bank

The student assumes the role of the ‘Transformation Designer’. The target operating model has to accommodate the rationalisation of operations across locations to fulfil the cost targets and business strategy goals. An operations hub and/or location context must be developed in the target operating model and a roadmap form the current operating model to achieve the target.

Materials and Datasets

This case study has a wealth of contextual material on the circumstances of the BankCo business and the market situation. These represent a realistic picture of an operational financial services business being challenged in the digital age. Distinct data sets and commentary are provided in the following for use in the design process;

  • Market Situation
  • Company Snapshot
  • Product & Operating Model Snapshot
  • Reaction to Market Trends
  • Mission Model with Balanced Scorecard Measures
  • Business Transformation Effort Summary & Projects
  • Pain Points Summary
  • Customer Interviews
Building the Transformation Design

The value model components for BankCo and developed and then using a banking capability model the current state value chain and capability model established. A current state operating model review is undertaken and heat-maps generated to measure the maturity gap of the current operating model. The case study artefacts and additional overlays are used including:

  • Pain points
  • Strategic objectives
  • Existing projects and what problems they are meant to solve or the outcomes they are meant to achieve

Using the heatmaps the key capabilities/functions that need transformation are identified and recommendation actions developed. The Target Operating Model Design covering one location or hub is then produced consisting of the following Target Operating Model artefacts:

  • Target State Capability Model
  • Strategic Priority overlay to highlight capabilities that need major focus
  • Target Maturity overlay

The maturity gaps are identified and the effort gap determined. A prioritised delivery roadmap highlighting major work-streams and sequencing of activities with dependencies is developed. The student will then go on to develop a communications plan and various announcements including high level messages for the duration of the proposed TOM Roadmap plan.

Alumni outcomes

Students working on this case study have successfully developed hub or location target operating model contexts for BankCo along with a communication plan. This experience in developing, presenting and justifying the roadmap and has proved invaluable to various Financial Services students allowing them to have an immediate impact in their working roles.