Problem Solving, the McKinsey Way
- 2 minutes to read
The McKinsey Mind explains how McKinsey & Co. use a fact-based method of problem solving based on the following steps. The following is my interpretation of these steps:
- What’s the problem? Identifying and isolating the core problem, which is usually based on a competitive, organizational, financial, or operational need.
- Use a mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive (MECE) approach to identify non-overlapping boundaries of the problem.
- Break the problem down using logic trees (Visio would be great here) to show relations between components of the problem.
- What’s probably the solution? Suggest a hypothesis for a solution to the problem, which will help guide your data gathering and analysis.
- Analyze the data behind the problem. Determine what analysis is needed to prove the hypothesis, and just as important, determine what you do not need to do.
- Gather the data required for the analysis.
- Analyze the data to prove or disprove the hypothesis. If the facts disprove your hypothesis, change your hypothesis. In other words, let the data analysis drive the solution.
- Present the solution. If the proposed solution is bought off by whomever you are presenting it to, then the work of implementing the solution starts.