Rules & Procedures

The Carol A. Ammon Case Competition enhances students’ analytical and presentation skills, expands students’ business vocabulary and exposes them to a vital audience of regional corporate leaders.

The teams present their recommendations in two judged rounds. The preliminary round is judged by alumni and friends of the UD Lerner MBA program. Judges for the final round include leaders of several regional firms and/or executives from the focal organization.

2020 Schedule

  • February 21, 2020: Case Reveal
  • February 27, 2020: Industry Roundtable/Site Visit
  • March 5, 2020: Late Nite @ Lerner
  • March 6, 2020: Carol A. Ammon Preliminary & Final Rounds
Rules & Procedures
  1. All analysis is to be done by members of your team only.
  2. Teams will consist of three or four students. All team members must be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Delaware. Half or more of the team (2 people on a 3-person team or 3 people on a 4-person team) must be matriculated in a graduate business degree program of the Lerner College of Business & Economics. Up to half of the team (1 person on a 3-person team, 2 people on a 4-person team) may be graduate students in another college at the University of Delaware.
  3. Team members may use any reference sources/materials in the public domain (i.e., the university library, the internet). If library sources are used, please make copies of the information you need rather than checking items out, so that all participants will have access to the information. Except for Competition Committee-planned events with the organization, do not contact the focal organization, or any employees of the organization. If you happen to know or encounter any employees of the focal organization, you may not ask them questions about the organization. Failure to follow this rule will result in being disqualified from the competition and/or forfeiture of any and all awards and prize monies won.
  4. No team, nor any of its members, should attempt to gain information on the content of the presentations made by other competing teams.
  5. Once an individual participant or team is provided with the focal organization and materials related to the competition, the only coaching by faculty members, alumni volunteers, staff, or contact with outside experts allowed is that which is organized by the Competition Committee. All other assistance is considered unauthorized and is prohibited.Failure to follow this rule will result in being disqualified from the competition and/or forfeiture of any and all awards and prize monies won.
  6. Teams will make their preliminary round presentations at the time and location indicated in the case competition timeline. Specific presentation times for each team will be determined by a random drawing held at the Kickoff Event or assigned afterwards. The teams chosen to compete in the final round will make their presentations at the time and place listed in the schedule. Presentation order for the final round will be determined by a random drawing held immediately upon announcement of the finalist teams.
  7. Printouts of PowerPoint slides used in the presentation should be submitted to each judge prior to the presentation. You will need 3 copies of slides for the preliminary round, and 5 copies for the final round. The Graduate & MBA Programs Office may not be used for making copies. Please plan ahead. FedEx Office (formerly known as Kinko’s) on Elkton Rd. opens at 7:00 am on Fridays, according to the organization website and other copying/printing locations exist here on campus as well.We would like to present the focal organization with copies of each presentation. Each team will be given a flash drive on which to load their final presentation. Flash drives will be handed in for judging when you check in on Competition Day.
  8. Standardized PC laptops will be available for all teams at both the preliminary and final rounds. If you insist on bringing/using your own laptop, the time taken to change over technology counts toward your available time. You are responsible for all connectors required. Laptops will be loaded with the PowerPoint program and a clicker will be available for the final round. Bring your own clicker if you wish for the first round.
  9. Preliminary round presentations will be strictly limited to 25 minutes, followed by a 12-minute question and answer session. Final round presentations will be strictly limited to 25 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. Once these time limits are reached, only the current sentence being spoken by a presenter may be finished.
  10. All members of the team must participate in the oral presentation.
  11. Only team-invited guests, competition staff, and judges are allowed to attend the preliminary round presentations. Anyone may attend the final round presentations, except for members of the teams chosen as finalists. Students competing in the final round may attend other finalists’ presentations only after their team has presented.
  12. Competition material regarding the focal organization will be distributed either at or immediately after the Competition Kickoff Event. Each team should plan to send at least one member to draw for order of go and go over competition rules, and pick up copies of any additional materials. Please note: any attempt to obtain a copy of the case in advance of the scheduled distribution may result in your team’s disqualification.
  13. Dress for both rounds of presentations will be formal business attire.
  14. Any additional important rules clarifications will be announced by email and posted as addenda to this document. If you are uncertain about a rule or its interpretation, please email the faculty advisor, Dr. Katalin Takacs-Haynes.
Judges

The competition involves strategic management issues across a variety of functional business domains (e.g., marketing, operations, finance, MIS, management, etc.), and deals with current issues facing a focal organization. The presentations should address the actions that the focal organization should take as of the day of the competition.

In the preliminary round, each team will have 25 minutes to present its analysis of the issues facing the focal organization, plus up to 12 minutes for Q&A. In the final round, teams will have 25 minutes to present and up to 15 minutes for Q & A.

During presentations, teams should plan to address:

  1. address key aspects of the business situation (etc.)
  2. analyze relevant aspects of the business and its environment
  3. make recommendations, supported by a convincing rationale, present   anticipated risks, their mitigation, and contingency plan(s)
  4. present an implementation plan, including a timeline with milestones, necessary resources, cost/benefit analysis and metrics used to determine success/failure or recommended actions (e.g. ROI, P&L. etc.)

Teams are free to spend as much or as little time discussing each of these components as they wish; however, all teams are strongly encouraged to consult the scoring criteria listed below to get a sense of how important each criterion is to achieving success in the competition.

Scoring Criteria

The panel of judges will submit one overall score for each team that reflects the consensus of the panel.  The overall score will be largely determined by the number of points earned for each scoring category listed below; however, judges are free to simply assign an overall score for each team that takes into account the team’s overall performance on these dimensions.

Judges will assign 10 points in each of six categories, which will be weighted as follows:

Category Weight
Business issue 10 x 1
Analysis 10 x 1.5
Recommendations 10 x 2
Implementation 10 x 2.5
Presentation 10 x 1.5
Q&A 10 x 1.5

Judges will be encouraged to provide written comments about all aspects of each presentation, so that constructive comments can be provided to participants at the end of each round of the case competition.

Last updated 2/2019