The Class Reunion’s Friday Gala
Angelo (the protagonist of this case) has agreed to take the lead in finalizing the plans for an event (the Friday Gala) that is being held as part of a college class reunion. There are two central operational decisions that must be made in the presence constraints, significant uncertainties, and a variety of stakeholders with different objectives. Students are asked to develop and deliver recommendations, which requires them to build a cash flow model that calculates a variety of relevant metrics. This model will be an important decision support tool, but their recommendations will ultimately be based on both model results and (potentially conflicting) stakeholder objectives. In addition, the case includes data that must be analyzed to estimate model inputs (and to support the risk analysis that plays an important role in the overall decision-making process).
The level of analysis that students undertake can range from simple sensitivity analysis to more sophisticated Monte Carlo simulation and optimization (depending on the technical depth and orientation of the course in which this case is being used). Although the case requires both data analysis and financial modeling, there is no single “right answer,” because the operational context features several different stakeholders with different goals and priorities.
- Identify different stakeholder perspectives, key decision variables, and sources of uncertainty
- Estimate key parameter values by analyzing relevant historical data
- Construct a cash flow model to provide a platform for examining operational dynamics and quantifying financial outcomes
- Characterize the financial tradeoffs and risks associated with different potential decisions
- Recommend a course of action and clearly communicate the basis for this recommendation