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Do good things and tell others about it, so they will be inspired to repeat your success. A good case study is true, authentic, believable, and compelling. It has drama and tension, so your prospective client feels the impact of your collaboration.
The questions to create a compelling case study are really those of the classic news reporter: Who? What? Why? When? And How?
I like cases that are mostly written in the first person. The subject of the case study tells their story. I believe such stories are more authentic than a PR-department pretending to be impartial reporters!
The process is simple: Ask the questions in order. Capture the responses, either by taking notes or by using a text-to-speech tool. Edit for conciseness and clarity. Confirm that you have permission to share the story. Voila! You have a case study that is written mostly in the words of your featured client!
- Who: Who is the case study about?
- Situation: Describe yourself briefly at the start of the story. What change in your work or life situation had just happened or was about to happen?
- Challenge: What was the key problem or challenge you were facing?
- Desired Outcome: What was your desired outcome?
- Actual Result: What did you achieve?
- Path to Success: How did you achieve your result?
- Support from us: Who supported you on this journey? What made the difference?
- What else: What else or who else helped you achieve your desired outcome?
- Repeatable: What might help others repeat your success?
As Maria Matarelli and I progressed on our book, we realized that The Personal Agility System was generating amazing cases that needed to be shared. I created the PAS Case Study Canvas to capture these stories quickly and concisely.
How I use the Case Study Canvas
We created our case studies by interviewing our users, for example here, here, and here. Guided by canvas, they told their stories in their words. All we had to do was frame the stories and edit them form conciseness.
At least one of my customers has used it to interview their customers and create their own case studies. You can too!
Download the PAS Case Study Canvas as a PDF (coming: get the whole set of canvases as MS-Word templates). Share your cases and let me know how it works for you!