Thursday, 2 February 2012

Effective Approach To Operational Issues

Operational Issues are not a deal breaker in the exam but you can earn some easy and quick marks here as there is likely minimal if any calculations required and a paragraph to solve 3-4 operational issues can earn you some quick marks.

There may be 10 operational issues in the May 2012 CMA Case Exam and you will not have the time to solve all of them, which is fine. As long as you address the main 3-4 operational issues you should be fine. However, you should still identify all of the operational issues in the case. 

Properly Addressing Operational Issues in the 2012 CMA Case Exam:
Have a section in your report entitled 'Operational issues'. Under this heading you should state that several operational issues have been identified and state which appendix these can all be found in (in that appendix you should put down in point form all the operational issues that you were able to identify).
You should then state that the three (or four - depending on how many you have time to address) top priority operational issues are discussed below.

Address these top priority issues by:

  1. Briefly identifying the issues
  2. Discussing what may happen if not resolved/what will happen if an improvement is implemented, and
  3. Resolving them (make sure to mention who in the organization should be responsible for the resolution/implementation).
Operational issues are often weaknesses/risks that were not resolved through the strategic alternatives, or opportunities for organizational improvement.

Examples of operational issues:

  • Outdated/inefficient IT systems
  • High AR/Inventory
  • Poor internal controls
  • High employee turnover
  • Poor employee morale
Image: jannoon028 /


  1. would adding a new product be considered an operational issue?

    1. i believe that is a strategic issue

  2. deosnt it depend on the product??

  3. Generally adding a new product is considered to be a strategic issue not an operational one.

  4. I always struggle with the recommended action for the ops issue. For example, if the case says poor inventory management or high rate of theft, I sometimes do not know what to recommend. I think that I look for the perfect solution where something more simple would do.

    Do you have any suggestions on this? how important is the recommendation?



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