Tanner Grant – Harvard Business School Case Study Analysis

Strategic Organizational Communication

Tanner Grant – Strategic Organizational Emphasis

About Me

I spent a lot of time deliberating what senior project would be a good fit for myself. Strategic communication is a little bit different than video production and social media. I have always loved communicating with, taking care of, and leading others. I chose strategic organizational communication as my major to build on those things. I wanted to learn how to take care of others, how to be a leader, and how to communicate. I didn’t feel that creating a video, doing a social media campaign, or hosting an event fit my personality or my goals.

That is why I chose a research project. It combined my love for learning and writing with my love for leading and taking care of others. I couldn’t have asked for better resources to learn leadership and management communication. Harvard is a big name in the education world, and their project management case studies are top of the line. After two years of majoring in English and two more years majoring in software engineering, I felt the need to create a project geared towards my skills and abilities. The Harvard Business School Case Study Analysis project encapsulated my goals, skills, and ideals perfectly.

Project Summary

There were originally five case studies from the Harvard Business School library that caught my eye. Analyzing, researching, and writing a paper for all five in-depth case studies would have taken too long for this project, so I narrowed down my options to three. The “Final Voyage of the Challenger” by Oscar Hauptman, “Chrysler and BMW – Tritec Engine Joint Venture” by K. H. Bowen and the “Administrative Data Project” by L. M. Applegate were my three finalists. With lessons of leadership, communication, and problem-solving waiting inside, I dove right in.

The goal wasn’t necessarily to solve every single management problem found within the case studies. I wanted to identify the communication breakdowns, leadership failures, and potential communication solutions that could benefit my own skills heading into the workforce. Rather than taking a shallow skim of the concepts on the surface, I wanted to take a much deeper dive into the problems.

After analyzing each case study, I wrote an analysis paper with my findings. Both to share with others, and for my own personal growth. These papers targeted the communication breakdowns, and why they were so detrimental to the success of each organization. After all, communication is found within every single organization, without doing it properly it can be difficult to find success.

After writing my analysis papers, I studied the formatting of each case study in the hopes to write my own from a software engineering project management perspective. The case study I wrote took communication break downs from each of the case studies I analyzed, and embodied them within an organization of my creation, Bright Software. I wanted to create a case study that could be utilized in software engineering technical teamwork classes. To showcase communication within software organizations, and the importance of doing it properly.

I put three main communication ideas into my case study. The importance of team independence, top-down communication, and sideways communication. These three ideas were in every case study that I analyzed. Within my case study I show the importance of focusing on these ideas to find success within your organization.

As with everything there isn’t a perfect way to communicate every single time. I wanted to provide guidelines and ideas to others that they might look within their organizations and find communication failures they might have. Communication is complicated, and very rarely is it straightforward. My case study provided multiple questions at the end to help guide the learning of the students, or employees, that choose to read it.

Project Contents

The Administrative Data Project Analysis
Chrysler and BMW: Tritec Engine Joint Venture Analysis
The Final Voyage of the Challenger Shuttle Analysis
Tanner Grant’s Case Study: Bright Software
Takeaway Presentation Board
Hour Log

What’s Next?

As with my project, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what comes next for me. HR, project management, technical writing, and teaching are all things that come to mind when I envision my future. I believe that I have the talents and skills to excel in each of those areas. The one that I believe will fulfill my goals the most, is being a college professor. Sharing my experiences, love, and knowledge with others would be one of the most satisfying things that I can envision. While I look forward to my professional career, I hope to get into a graduate program for my Master’s in Leadership Communication. Learning provides incredible opportunities, so what’s next? I plan to keep learning, wherever that may be.