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Anton

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4

I got a tough McK style case: How would you improve ecological implications from forest fires in California

4 answers

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Hi,

First of all you need to ask clarifying questions that would help you clarify the problem.

Aims: What are the success criteria for improving the ecological impact? Any particular benchmark? Do we have any deadline?
Constraints: do we have any budgetary/ any other constraints that we need to take into account?
External factors: do we know any external factors that we need to take into account?

Now let’s choose a framework type for this case:

  • conceptual/ business situation frameworks do not fit
  • numerical frameworks could potentially fit, but I am not sure we could have the required depth here
  • value chain/ process framework - perfectly fits

Here is how I would structure the problem:

1) Fire prevention (aim is prevent as many fires as possible)

  • human related cases (regulations; education)
  • nature ralated causes (drought - use predictive analytics tools, lightning strikes - build lightning rods)

2) Fire extinguishing (aim is to supply quick response and reduce the sq miles of fire as much as possible)

  • fire detection (e.g. use satellites; aviation; ground patrol)
  • fire localization (e.g. use mounds and other fire barriers)
  • fire elimination (e.g. use of aviations and ground forces)

3) Elimination of the consequences of a fire (aim is to get rid of consequences from fires as much as possible)

  • land related
  • forest related
  • animals related

The trick is to create a structure that would be MECE and deep. And then you can leverage brainstorming techniques to create solutions for all areas in this structure. I fulfilled a few examples.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Anton

Hi,

First of all you need to ask clarifying questions that would help you clarify the problem.

Aims: What are the success criteria for improving the ecological impact? Any particular benchmark? Do we have any deadline?
Constraints: do we have any budgetary/ any other constraints that we need to take into account?
External factors: do we know any external factors that we need to take into account?

Now let’s choose a framework type for this case:

  • conceptual/ business situation frameworks do not fit
  • numerical frameworks could potentially fit, but I am not sure we could have the required depth here
  • value chain/ process framework - perfectly fits

Here is how I would structure the problem:

1) Fire prevention (aim is prevent as many fires as possible)

  • human related cases (regulations; education)
  • nature ralated causes (drought - use predictive analytics tools, lightning strikes - build lightning rods)

2) Fire extinguishing (aim is to supply quick response and reduce the sq miles of fire as much as possible)

  • fire detection (e.g. use satellites; aviation; ground patrol)
  • fire localization (e.g. use mounds and other fire barriers)
  • fire elimination (e.g. use of aviations and ground forces)

3) Elimination of the consequences of a fire (aim is to get rid of consequences from fires as much as possible)

  • land related
  • forest related
  • animals related

The trick is to create a structure that would be MECE and deep. And then you can leverage brainstorming techniques to create solutions for all areas in this structure. I fulfilled a few examples.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Anton

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Great case!

I'd approach it as follows:

  1. Objectives: You need to ask questions to understand what you're optimizing for, or rephrased: What does ecological implications mean? Are we talking loss of biodiversity, loss of carbon sinks, air pollution, etc?
  2. Approach: You'll need a framework for how to tackle the problem. There are many different ways to look at this, but I would probably use avoidance, reduction & restoration as a first MECE structure:
    • Avoidance: Reduce the frequency of fires, e.g. tacke climate change, increase education on behavior in the forest, force utilities to reduce sparks from power lines, etc
    • Reduction: Reduce damage of fires that do break out (e.g. improve early warning systems, optimize fire fighter operations, make sure they have right equipment, establish processes for cross-state support)
    • Restoration: Optimize steps to restore destroyed land (e.g. reforestation with plant species that are less prone to dry out if that exists, plant fast-growing plants, measures to restore habitat, etc.)

Based on these, you can then dive into details and assess viability of each, prioritize measures, etc.

Great case!

I'd approach it as follows:

  1. Objectives: You need to ask questions to understand what you're optimizing for, or rephrased: What does ecological implications mean? Are we talking loss of biodiversity, loss of carbon sinks, air pollution, etc?
  2. Approach: You'll need a framework for how to tackle the problem. There are many different ways to look at this, but I would probably use avoidance, reduction & restoration as a first MECE structure:
    • Avoidance: Reduce the frequency of fires, e.g. tacke climate change, increase education on behavior in the forest, force utilities to reduce sparks from power lines, etc
    • Reduction: Reduce damage of fires that do break out (e.g. improve early warning systems, optimize fire fighter operations, make sure they have right equipment, establish processes for cross-state support)
    • Restoration: Optimize steps to restore destroyed land (e.g. reforestation with plant species that are less prone to dry out if that exists, plant fast-growing plants, measures to restore habitat, etc.)

Based on these, you can then dive into details and assess viability of each, prioritize measures, etc.

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Hello!

Important to clarify that this seems very weird to be a McK case, to be honest. You can get some of these conceptual questions in a partner round, but not this vague.

In any case, before thinking of an approach, it would be key to problem-solve with the interviewer to understand the specific target asap, since as per now it´s too wide.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Important to clarify that this seems very weird to be a McK case, to be honest. You can get some of these conceptual questions in a partner round, but not this vague.

In any case, before thinking of an approach, it would be key to problem-solve with the interviewer to understand the specific target asap, since as per now it´s too wide.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

I love it - questions that actually require your to think!

I love it - questions that actually require your to think!

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