the questions you ask at the beginning have the following objectives:
- Completely understanding the context/situation (including, unclear terminology, but also, for example, the business model of the client if unclear!)
- Understanding the question(s) of the client
- Understanding (and quantifying if applicable) the underlying objective(s) of the client
These questions are aiming at understanding the initial setting, hence forming a precondition to outline your structure towards answering the core question (the issue tree)!
The later questions that you ask while navigating through the case are then aiming to verify the actual relevance of each sub-branch in your tree. So if you have defined and disaggregated the criterion to answer the client's core question in a clean way, all these leater questions follow a this precise "roadmap" as layed out by your tree. These questions then oftentimes also comprise enquiries on current performance metrics (revenues, costs, growth rates etc.), which normally should never be asked in the clarifying questions (before making explicit your structure).