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How to structure a case and be more MECE

Dear all, I'd like to seek advice on the case structuring and MECE concept.

1. How strict should I stick to MECE concept? Should the topics in case structure be in same category and all in noun (or verb)?

2. In Victor Cheng's book, business framework is MECE (client, company, product, competition). But can the topics of the framework be "steps" instead? (for example: 1. Company 2. Competition 3. Financial Assessment of the M&A result) 4. Risk & Next Step)

3. If considering "should the US manufacturer outsource production to Vietnam" question, is this structure MECE? (1. Cost Savings 2. Customer 3.Effect on Current Production Capabilities)

Thank you so much!

Dear all, I'd like to seek advice on the case structuring and MECE concept.

1. How strict should I stick to MECE concept? Should the topics in case structure be in same category and all in noun (or verb)?

2. In Victor Cheng's book, business framework is MECE (client, company, product, competition). But can the topics of the framework be "steps" instead? (for example: 1. Company 2. Competition 3. Financial Assessment of the M&A result) 4. Risk & Next Step)

3. If considering "should the US manufacturer outsource production to Vietnam" question, is this structure MECE? (1. Cost Savings 2. Customer 3.Effect on Current Production Capabilities)

Thank you so much!

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Coaching mit Vlad vereinbaren

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Hi,

Only pure mathematical structures (e.g. profitability) can be 100% MECE. But MECE is not a requirement and it can not always be applied.

You should build a structure using your previous experience, based on:

  • Objective (Should have a metric and time-frame)
  • Context
  • Type of the case

E.g market entry cases can have completely different objectives:

  • Should we enter the market?
  • Which top 3 markets out of 10 we should enter?
  • Can we get xx% market share on the new market?
  • Can we get xx ROI if we enter this market?
  • etc

Depending on the Objective and the Context you should come up with a proper structure to address the problem. Of course, you may use the patterns that you've learned while solving the other cases.

There is a number of ways how you can approach the structure:

  1. Mathematical issue tree (e.g. Total time spent on cleaning operation = # of people x Frequency x Hours per cleaning per person) or formula (e.g. output rate = total number of people being served / time to serve one person) or common industry drivers (e.g. revenues = # of customers x av. check) (e.g Passengers on the plane = capacity x Load Factor) or the industry revenue streams (Fuel revenues / non-fuel revenues for the gas station)
  2. Drivers (e.g. drivers influencing the birth rate in a country)
  3. Buckets structures (e.g. for the problems in sales : Sales strategy / sales people and allocation / motivation / sales process). Very often it's a real framework used by the consultants (e.g. the famous Bain Cap framework for PE due dills: Market / Competitors / Company / Feasibility of exit)
  4. Frameworks (e.g. People / Process / Technology) (e.g. The famous McKinsey framework - People don't want to do smth / they can't do smth / smth prevents them from doing that). Even academical frameworks in the rare cases (e.g. Product / Distribution / Price / Marketing (Also known as 4P))
  5. Value chains / Customer Journey / Process steps
  6. Consecutive Steps of the project (Analyzing cost structure / Benchmarking to calculate the cost savings potential / Analyzing the processes to reach the potential / Calculating costs and benefits)
  7. Etc

There is no magic pill to learn building the MECE issue trees. It comes with a lot of Practice and reflection and building proper industry and functional knowledge.

Best!

Hi,

Only pure mathematical structures (e.g. profitability) can be 100% MECE. But MECE is not a requirement and it can not always be applied.

You should build a structure using your previous experience, based on:

  • Objective (Should have a metric and time-frame)
  • Context
  • Type of the case

E.g market entry cases can have completely different objectives:

  • Should we enter the market?
  • Which top 3 markets out of 10 we should enter?
  • Can we get xx% market share on the new market?
  • Can we get xx ROI if we enter this market?
  • etc

Depending on the Objective and the Context you should come up with a proper structure to address the problem. Of course, you may use the patterns that you've learned while solving the other cases.

There is a number of ways how you can approach the structure:

  1. Mathematical issue tree (e.g. Total time spent on cleaning operation = # of people x Frequency x Hours per cleaning per person) or formula (e.g. output rate = total number of people being served / time to serve one person) or common industry drivers (e.g. revenues = # of customers x av. check) (e.g Passengers on the plane = capacity x Load Factor) or the industry revenue streams (Fuel revenues / non-fuel revenues for the gas station)
  2. Drivers (e.g. drivers influencing the birth rate in a country)
  3. Buckets structures (e.g. for the problems in sales : Sales strategy / sales people and allocation / motivation / sales process). Very often it's a real framework used by the consultants (e.g. the famous Bain Cap framework for PE due dills: Market / Competitors / Company / Feasibility of exit)
  4. Frameworks (e.g. People / Process / Technology) (e.g. The famous McKinsey framework - People don't want to do smth / they can't do smth / smth prevents them from doing that). Even academical frameworks in the rare cases (e.g. Product / Distribution / Price / Marketing (Also known as 4P))
  5. Value chains / Customer Journey / Process steps
  6. Consecutive Steps of the project (Analyzing cost structure / Benchmarking to calculate the cost savings potential / Analyzing the processes to reach the potential / Calculating costs and benefits)
  7. Etc

There is no magic pill to learn building the MECE issue trees. It comes with a lot of Practice and reflection and building proper industry and functional knowledge.

Best!

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Hi,
1. Only for market sizing and numerical questions
2. I consider neither that framework MECE (e.g. both product and customers impact the company aspects, therefore they are not mutually exclusive; it is not considering macro-economic aspects, therefore it's not collectively exhaustive)
3. It's a case where a MECE structure is not strictly requested. I would use as 3rd bullet the risks and include in this aspect the related effects on capabilities etc.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Hi,
1. Only for market sizing and numerical questions
2. I consider neither that framework MECE (e.g. both product and customers impact the company aspects, therefore they are not mutually exclusive; it is not considering macro-economic aspects, therefore it's not collectively exhaustive)
3. It's a case where a MECE structure is not strictly requested. I would use as 3rd bullet the risks and include in this aspect the related effects on capabilities etc.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

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Hello!

1. It´s not strict, given that you can only achieve pure MECE in a very theorical or matematical context

2. That framework is not MECE at all!

3. What actually distinguishes a good candidate from a great one with this prompt is not the MECE comcept, but the ability to be holistic (e.g., not only looking at the obvious economic factors, but also social and political risks)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

1. It´s not strict, given that you can only achieve pure MECE in a very theorical or matematical context

2. That framework is not MECE at all!

3. What actually distinguishes a good candidate from a great one with this prompt is not the MECE comcept, but the ability to be holistic (e.g., not only looking at the obvious economic factors, but also social and political risks)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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