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Risk & Next Step - How to go through when sharing the case structure?

New answer on Feb 29, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 24, 2020

For "risk & next step", if I put it in the last part of the structure, when presenting the structure should I at least touch on some points? Or can I just say "I will look into the possible risks & next step"?

And if it is always required to touch on some points, how detailed should it be? Taking M&A case for example, can I say I will look into major risks, such as implementation risk and capability of managing the acquired company? Or, I need to take a structured approach to "deep dive" in the discussion of the possible risks?

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


It would be good to have a dedicated bucket to risk&opportunities and just to mention some examples when you present your framework. Then, based on the time left and on the solution that you are gonna to propose, you can decide how much you want to explode that section.
Prepare some standard "risks & opportunities" that you can mention during your interview.


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Anonymous updated the answer on Feb 24, 2020

Hi there,

If you can already think about risk and next steps during the structuring phase, I suggest do mention about it upfront when you present the sturcture, and go to the next level/layer by laying out a few examples that are relevant to the case. E.g. if it is about M&A, you can think about whether there could be risk in culture integration, in anti-competition regulation, in funding etc.

Doing this upfront can assure the interviewer that you actualy have the ability to see beyond the obvious/immediate. If you leave it to later, you might run the risk of being carried away in the conversations and forget about it.

You don't need to deep dive when you first present the structure, but do make a few points that seem relevant to the case. This way the interviewer knows you are not just saying it for the sake of checking the box, but you actually have an idea of the potential implications.




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Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

You are not supposed to brainstorm risk and the next steps at the beginning of the case. I recommend including it in the synthesis in the middle of it, after an exhibit, when you make a decision or in the final recommendation.


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 25, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Please don't include it as its own bucket.

There's two approaches here:

First, as Vlad mentioned, you can incorporate it into an existing bucket. Implementation is a great example (as its riddled with risks).

Second you can simply incorporate it as you speak. I.e. If we're looking at market entry, you may have a bucket for the attractiveness of the Market as a whole, Our company in this market (how it might far), and then how to do it.

For #1 "Market as a whole", obviously you mention any environmental, economic, or political risks. Anything possibly negative about the market is inherently a risk

For #2 "Our company/product", If we've never expanded before that's a risk. If we're low on $ that's a risk. If our product is totally new/untested, that's a risk. And so on and so forth.

For #3 "How", an acquisition is risky because of $ and integration, organic growth is risky because of time and lack of local market knowledge, a partnership is risky because of lack of control.

Make sense? When analysing any problem the risks are inherent in your analysis...they're not a seperate bucket!

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replied on Feb 24, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I would not implement risks as a separate bucket.

However, I would incorporate risks into the other significant bucket. For example, in the M&A PE case, my last bucket will be the Feasibility of exit. And I will look at:

  • Are we achieving fund objectives (returns)
  • Exit time
  • Required investments
  • Availability of buyers
  • Risks


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Luca gave the best answer


Content Creator
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached
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