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Types of cases

New answer on Jun 17, 2019
3 Answers
1.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jun 16, 2019

I was wondering which are all the kind of cases that I may find during an interview, thought about these ones but not sure if I forget any

- Market Entry, M&A, New Product (With similar approach) - Profitability - Market Sizing - Pricing - Cost reduction - Synergies calculation - Valuation - Social Cases (Either non-profit or governmental) - Math Problem (How to reduce payment days or risk reduction...)

Thanks for all

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replied on Jun 17, 2019
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


I am not sure what the purpose of this list is. If you want to come up with a specific approach or "framework" for all these types (or even more), then I believe you have a big problem, since this would show that you have not yet understood how to think about business issues. I know that this is how,. e.g., Cosentino is approaching cases in his book "Case in Point", but frankly, this book is a prime example of how a strategy consultant would and should NEVER work!

Essentially, instead of trying to map frameworks to case types, you have to understand the internal principles that underlies strategic issues (there are very few of them!), and then apply them to the situation at hand.

For example, it doesn't make any sense to have different "frameworks" for M&A cases, Market Entry Cases, Product Launch Cases, Capacity Expansion cases, etc.. All these situations share the same core issue and the LOGIC according to which they need to be solved is 100% identical! Without understanding this, a candidate will never ever be able to rigorously approach cases and always remain a "framework monkey" who has to rely on luck and gets confused as soon as some unforeseen notions appear in the case which don't fit the framework.

This is the big tragedy with the available case literature (which I have seen) - it teaches a fundamentally flawed way of thinking (or lack thereof).

Cheers, Sidi

P.S.: Unfortunately there are many other examples of how the pertinent books/courses teach things that are straightout nonsense. A very prominent one is the widespread habit to start analyses with qualitative questions - often around "understanding the market". That, again, is a prime example of how to NOT work as a strategy consultant. It is the definition of boiling the ocean! Rigorous analyis has to start with NUMERICALLY narrowing down the area of scrutiny by menas of a LOGIC TREE, before asking any qualitative questions. The list goes on and on...

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Anonymous B on Jun 03, 2021

Hi Sidi, this is an old thread, yet I found your response insightful. It confirms the sesne that i have as a non-MBA experienced hire person going through the process. Would you be willing to expand on what you mentioned in your answer, providing more insight into "the internal principles that underlies strategic issues (there are very few of them!),'?

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replied on Jun 17, 2019
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate


Ultimately, you may find anything and need to think logically on your feet. This is a good list, but you can always slice it a few different ways.

Check here for a good list: Also, most MBA program case books have a good list to draw from as well.

Some "rare" types include: Market Exit, Competitor attack/competitive response, Market shift, increasing sales, starting a new business, industry analysis, etc. etc.

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replied on Jun 16, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


These are the main types. Also Revenue growth cases, PE cases, operational math problems, digital cases (That are more and more popular nowadays)


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