How do I structure a qualitative case such that the structure is MECE? And how can I structure it in time constraint (below 5 mins)
This is a very broad question. In fact, you have a minute to make a MECE structure.
It definitely comes with practice. Here is an algorithm how to develop this skill:
- Make sure you understand all the different types of cases that you may face
- Identify the most appropriate structure for each type
- Solve 30-50 cases and try to understand where do they fit in your categorizations
- Based on your experience think of the potential variations in structures within each of the case types
Here is some inspiration for you. Below you can find a list of the most common case types and some high-level recommendations on structuring:
- Market sizing - structuring from the supply or demand side. Structuring using a formula or using an issue tree
- Profitability - basic profitability framework. Remember about different revenue streams and product mix
- Market context cases (Market Entry, New product, Acquisition, etc). Always start with the big picture "market". Finish with something specific to the case (e.g. How to enter?"). Structure it as if you are defining the work streams for the real project.
- Operational math problem (e.g. Should we increase the speed of an elevator or just buy a second one? How should we reduce the queues? Etc.) - Structuring as a process / value chain, with inflows, operations, and outflows
- Cost cutting - I provided the recommendations on structuring it here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/operations-cases-mck-1105#a2134
- Valuation - Purely financial structure with cash flows, growth rate, WACC / hurdle rate, etc.
- Synergies - revenue synergies (price, qty, mix) and cost synergies (value chain).
- Social / economics cases (e.g. How to improve the quality of life in the city? How to increase the revenues of the museum?) - huge variability. Practice 3-5 social cases before the interview
This is just for inspiration. You should ideally make your own system.
Best of luck!
Related BootCamp article(s)
The Issue Tree Framework can be used to break down the problems of a case to its components and significantly increase your speed during case interviews.
The MECE principle is a way of segmenting information into sub-elements that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. Learn more in our bootcamp.
Approaching a Case
In order to get into consulting, the case study is the most important element of the interview. Here, you can learn the specific skills and concepts to solve them.
The Value Chain
The Value Chain - as e.g. by Porter - is a classic framework to structure the activities of a business and add value to products by transforming resources.