Hello preplounge community,
I have been trying to work on different areas of focus (issue trees, structuring, brainstorming etc) to improve upon my case interview skills, and someone just recommended a book “Bulletproof Problem Solving” for issue trees - co-authored by two ex-McKinsey consultants.
It does have a wonderful chapter on logic trees, however, I was also drawn to reading different chapters, the one that I’ve recently read about was on trying to define a problem before solving it.
The chapter basically focused on some level of design thinking before truly defining the problem statement. For example, a case on trying to save salmon population in pacific involved trying to decide key decision makers (government, organisation, fisheries etc), key drivers for decision makers (good reputation, model for philanthropy), constraints (time, measurability and focus on outcomes and not activities) etc, and refining the problem statement 2-3 times more by doing haphazard research in a very unstructured un-MECE manner before presenting what the real problem was, in this case, was about trying to balance diversity in ecosystem through adequate food and habitat conditions.
Now talking about some actual cases that I’ve solved, did never include me defining the problem as such, as it was already known. All what is needed is to analyse factors connected to it, brainstorming in MECE ways trying to find the ”why’s“ and when hypotheses have been tested, trying to find the ”how’s” and advancing the best recommendation.
Design thinking process, especially in the problem definition area seemed very messy, and did not cover all areas. Am I just wasting my time here, by trying to define the real problem that client is facing (in case interview setting, which they don’t test really)? is it worth looking into it?