Government cases

Recent activity on Nov 13, 2018
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 12, 2018

Hi everyone,

How would you structure a Government case ?

It is very different from a normal case in term of objective and structure !

Thanks !

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replied on Nov 13, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


These types of cases are actually pretty traditional, especially for McKinsey. The reason why people think that they are rare is that the casebooks (that are in general not a good source of cases) do not have enough of them.

To provide a bit of structure, there are several types of non-profit cases:

  1. Factors influencing the price (What are the factors influencing the price of oil? Factors influencing the price of real estate?)
  2. Macroeconomic cases (How will you improve life expectancy in a particular city? How will you decrease the unemployment?)
  3. Public sector non-profits (Increasing the revenues of a museum; increasing the revenues from tourism in a city)
  4. Redesigning the processes (How will you develop a new anti-monopoly regulation?)
  5. Non-profit investments (A billionaire is building a new school. What are the factors to look at?)

It is critical to define the objective for these cases to set a proper structure. Two types of questions you should ask:

  1. Could you please clarify the model / business model? E.g. if a billionaire is building a new school, is it a school for talented kids, rich kids or mass segment? Is it going to generate revenues?
  2. What are the main criteria for success? Is it NPV, ROI, share talented kids entering the top Universities?

As you can see there are many types of cases and many frameworks that can be used. I usually give a big homework (10 cases) and then cover them within one session. Feel free to reach me if you need help.


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replied on Nov 13, 2018
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous.

the truth is: there is no difference to any other case! You need to apply the same principles to outline objective(s) of the client, define criteria to answer the precise question, disaggregate the criteria by means of rigorous logic trees, and the n just work through the logic. It is a skill than needs to be internalized properly, and then it is completely irrelevant whether you solve "Government Case" or any other organizational problem the interviewer throws at you.

Unfortunately the commercial case literature (Case in Point, Case Interview Secrets etc.) does not teach in any reasonable way how to approach cases. They just provide elements and frameworks to memorize for specific situations, but this is useless regarding how to approach a case in its entirety - because they all leave out to most important thing: how to dervie the LOGIC according to which you will answer the precise question of the client?.

Cheers, Sidi

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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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