Identify Case goal / Key questions.

clarifing questions goal
Recent activity on Mar 22, 2019
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 22, 2019

There are certain very open case questions which could be answered in many different ways.

e.g. Can we sell beer in Germany?

I still have some difficulties to melt them down to a clear case goal with a few questions.

So far I use:

Company vs. Industry problem

Restrictions/Goals: Time, Money

Exploration of options vs. Decision between options

How can I specifically train that skill?

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replied on Mar 22, 2019
Collected McKinsey & BCG offers/ Ex-McKinsey consultant/Harvard/WBS/MSU

Hi A,

I suggest the following approach for solving cases to my mentees.

Beginning. Ask insightful questions.

•Ask for client KPIs and targets
•Ask for limitations and bottlenecks (resources)
•Understand whether it is an industry trend (inside/outside company)
•Ask for other revenue streams

Structure. Decision-making strategy

•Give an overview of all branches of the structure, and then do deep-dives branch by branch (ask whether interviewer wants to prioritize any branch)
•When going from branch to branch, say: ”I want to look at this factor, because of X reasons…”
•Costs may be divided into VC/FC; value chain costs; income statement categories
•When you speak about a problem, tell the potential solution as well


•Recommendation: “Dear CEO, we recommend to do X by several reasons”
•However, we should take into account risks as well
•To complete the picture, it will be great to analyze/estimate/deep dive into X and Y

I hope it is helpful for you.

The file may be accessed with the following link:

All the best,

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Content Creator
replied on Mar 22, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I suggest asking the following 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.


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Egor gave the best answer


Collected McKinsey & BCG offers/ Ex-McKinsey consultant/Harvard/WBS/MSU
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