I feel I tend to include "company" bucket in all my issue trees.

structuring
New answer on May 08, 2020
7 Answers
706 Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 27, 2020

Is there a rule of thumb when it is better to ask questions about the company before setting the structure? This can be anything like clarification of the product, the share, etc.

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 08, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

There are some pieces of information about a company that are better to be asked before laying out your structure: e.g. company objective, any constraints to be aware of when you trying to solve the problem, how do they measure success, what is the company's business model.

Other details of the company e.g. detailed revenue/cost components, capabilities etc. are better to be asked after your initial structure.

Best

Emily

Was this answer helpful?
Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 27, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Even if you include the company in your structure, you should ask the following clarifying questions:

1) Clarify the business model / how the business actually makes money. Even if you think you understand it, try to repeat it to make sure that you understand it correctly. e.g. if the case is about oil&gas company which revenues are declining, ask if it is Up / mid / down-stream problem. In this case, defining a revenue stream is critical to setting up the right structure.

2) Clarify the objective. Here make sure that your goal is:

  • Measurable
  • Has a time-framed
  • Has / has no limitations

e.g. Should I invest 100k in this business for 1 year if I want to get 15% return?

3) Ask the questions that will help you build a relevant structure and remove ambiguity.

Best!

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 01, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

good questions at the beginning are related to:

  • Goal clarification and constraints of the client to achieve the goal
  • Understand how the revenue model of the client works
  • Clarify the elements that are not clear in the prompt

I would leave anything else to the company bucket, if necessary.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 27, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

I would suggest to ask for information about company before the framework just if the answer could modify your structure. Otherwise, you should consider the company as one of the bucket of the structure.

Best,
Luca

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I recommend asking about company, product, and competition before your structure in order to state a more accurate hypothesis when you develop your issue tree.

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 28, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

As a general rule, your clarifying questions should actually lead to a smaller issue tree. You're trying to ask those questions that let you already quickly hone into the problem! So, if there is a question or 2 that you can ask about the company that let's you remove this bucket, then do it!

Happy to take you through the nuances of multiple examples so you can wrap your head around where/when/how to ask these questions!

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 27, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Agree with Luca, do ask when you think it´s going to be relevant to shape the issue tree.

Normally there is not an absolute yes or not to these kind of questions, since it totally depends on the prompt. For instance, I would assume you always need to ask some clarifying questions at the beggining in value chain or opps cases.

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Emily gave the best answer

Emily

Content Creator
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University
114
Meetings
2,156
Q&A Upvotes
14
Awards
37 Reviews