With more than 400 hours of preparation, 150+ pages of deliverables, 30+ pages of feedback, 18 client meetings, 6 live interviews, and 3 universities – ISPI’s third annual University HPT Case Study Competition (CSC), which concluded during THE Performance Improvement Conference in Orlando, Florida, was an immense success.

The team spent the months analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the CSC materials that would serve as the foundation for the competition. In January, the CSC launched three universities (anonymous to the judges):

  • Purdue University: LDT Solutions
  • UNC Charlotte: Savvy Solutions
  • Wayne State University: B.E.S.T. Performance Solution

The University Teams began the competition with conference call. During the next four weeks, the University Teams analyzed business trends, company data, and structure based on a fictitious company the volunteer development team created. This year’s company was called Magic Sticks, a blended specialty retailer and wholesaler of baked goods. The University Teams’ first deliverable consisted of an analysis plan and future actions required for continued development of an HPT solution.

Throughout the following four weeks, the University Teams began development of their Detailed Intervention Proposal. Over this period of time, more than 24 phone interviews were conducted with key personnel from Magic Sticks branches around the globe.
Based on the two deliverables, a panel of judges consisting of:

  • Guy Wallace, CPT, EPPIC Inc.
  • Jane Sink, Darryl L Sink and Associates, Inc
  • Dawn Snyder, CPT, PhD, Franklin University
  • Don Kirkey, EdD, Lowe’s
  • Harold Stolovitch, CPT, PhD, HSA Learning & Performance Solutions LLC

The final component of the competition required the three University teams to present to their peers and the judges during ISPI’s conference. All university teams were invited to the conference with waived registration fees as part of their participation in the competition. Following the presentations were 15-minute Q&A sessions by the judges which provided additional insight into the University Teams’ tactics and proposed interventions. This was a unique opportunity for each team to obtain real work knowledge and feedback from these seasoned professionals.

After many hours of deliberation, a first place finalist was announced during the conference’s closing session. The first place finalist of ISPI’s inaugural University HPT Case Study Competition was Wayne State University.


This team consisted of:

  • Anne Blake
  • Karen Marie Elo
  • Debra Mary Smith
  • Sacip Toker

If you are interested in participating in next year’s University Case Study Competition (as a university or judge) please contact Matt Donovan, University Case Study Competition Coordinator at mdonovan@gpworldwide.com.