Intro Management Consulting

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Week 1 Prompt

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Problem Solving and Frameworks
Consulting utilizes strategic frameworks to aid in the hypothesis-generation process and analyze industries.
Badges: Using Frameworks,Problem Solving,Hypothesis Generation
In day-to-day work, consultants often use “frameworks”, or mental models, to organize information in a way that helps make sense of a problem. Frameworks can help solve business problems, identify strategic advantages, or analyze competitors.
Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive—or MECE” for short—is a common framework example. In applying the MECE framework to solve a business problem, consultants sort all relevant details of an issue into buckets (or categories) that do not overlap (Mutually Exclusive) but still cover all the relevant concerns (Collectively Exhaustive). The goal of analyzing a problem with a MECE framework is to ensure you are considering all possible angles to solving it. Check out the resources section for examples of problems broken down using the MECE framework.
One common application of the MECE framework is to diagnose profitability issues. The prompts below describe situations—or 'cases'—that you may face on the job or in a job interview. Practice using the MECE framework to break down each company’s profitability into mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive buckets.

Case 1:
Your client is Sylvan Home, a zero-waste home cleaning products retailer that sells primarily through e-commerce. Over the past 6 months their profits have fallen by 5%, and they want your help in diagnosing what the main cause may be.
Case 2:
Your client, FarmPizza, is an up and coming chain of plant-based pizzas that use exclusively vegan ingredients. Founded in 2018 in Oregon, the chain has expanded throughout the west coast and now has 15 locations in Oregon, California, and Washington (at a rate of about 5 new stores per year). The company’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) has also increased by 25% annually. The CEO is excited about current growth, but came to your team to investigate how they can improve their profitability.
Case 3:
Your client is Vizual, a phone application dedicated to editing pictures and videos on the fly. They really launched in the App and Google Play store for $4.99 and have been seeing a trickle of business from younger, social media-oriented creators. However, upkeep of the app is expensive and their CEO is worried that without a significant boost in users, they won’t be able to stay afloat. They would like your help in laying out options for moving forward with profitable growth.
Note: You’ll find an example of what a good deliverable looks like for this individual challenge under Resources. Just remember: there's no right or wrong for these challenges! Just focus on presenting your findings in a way that is clear, concise, professional, easy to understand, and you'll be in good shape!
Check out the resources section for examples of MECE frameworks and a more thorough explanation of the profitability framework.
Next, brainstorm a bulleted list of all of the different things you think could potentially cause a profitability issue for your case. Then, group your ideas into MECE categories using the framework (you may think of even more ideas during this step!)
Repeat this step for the other two cases—or feel free to focus on your favorite!
Document your brainstormed list and MECE framework in a slide presentation using Powerpoint, Google Slides, or an equivalent program.
Save the presentation as a PDF and upload it to submit.


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