Consulting Approach to Problem Solving
4.3 (5,637 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
16,436 students enrolled

Consulting Approach to Problem Solving

Solving business problems and business cases using hypothesis-based problem solving - method of the top consulting firms
4.3 (5,602 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
16,436 students enrolled
Created by Piotr Gawlicki
Last updated 3/2017
English [Auto], French [Auto], 4 more
  • German [Auto]
  • Italian [Auto]
  • Portuguese [Auto]
  • Spanish [Auto]
Current price: $69.99 Original price: $99.99 Discount: 30% off
23 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 articles
  • 8 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will understand and appreciate the problem solving technique used by the top consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, Bain and Strategy&
  • At the same time you will get acquainted with how business and consulting projects ought to be structured
  • You will master the basic knowledge on hypothesis-based problem solving that will let you proceed to more advanced courses on solving business problems
  • In effect, you will be able to impress either your boss or your interlocutors at business case interviews
  • This course is designed to be an introduction to the topic and no prior knowledge nor experience is required. Nevertheless, an understanding of the basic principles that govern business organizations will let you grasp the concepts I present here quicker.

Do you feel that you already know all possible frameworks of business problem solving (Porter's five forces, the BCG-matrix etc.), yet you are still not confident in using them? Or maybe you already took a course on management consulting problem solving approach, but the jargon used didn't make much practical sense to you (The 80/20 rule, MECE etc.)? Whether you're a student studying for case interviews or a businessperson, what you might be lacking is a comprehensive aproach to problem solving that generates consistent results. 

If so, this course is for you! I can guarantee you will not find another such comprehensive introductory course on hypothesis-based problem solving - the top consulting firms' technique of choice on all kinds of business consulting engagements. 

With the content in this course I would like to introduce you to the topic of business problem solving. Provided you find this introduction helpful, I would be delighted to welcome you to my more advanced courses that I intend to publish soon. They will build on the knowledge from this course in order to develop further the topics covered here. 

But for now let's jump into this course. Hit Enroll and let me show you a way to become a rising star of problem solving in business!

Who this course is for:
  • Applicants to consulting firms studying for case interviews
  • Junior analysts and consultants starting their consulting career
  • Entrepreneurs starting their adventure with business
  • Managers, project managers and project team members who solve business problems in their workplace
  • Students (especially those attending business schools)
  • Everyone interested in learning a problem solving technique used by the top consulting firms
Course content
Expand all 18 lectures 01:30:35
+ How is this course structured
1 lecture 01:31

A brief introduction to the way in which the course is structured and other administrative matters. 

Preview 01:31
+ Introduction to structured problem solving
4 lectures 20:24

Learn what problem structuring is, why top consulting firms do it, and why structuring some kinds of problems (especially business related) will help you solve them in a consistent and effective way.

Why structure problem solving at all?

Understand the difference between expert knowledge in a particular topic, and expert knowledge in business problem solving. The latter is what characterizes top consultants from firms like McKinsey, BCG and Bain (MBB). 

Who is an expert?

The pros of using hypothesis based problem solving. Learn what its advantages are over deductive and solution oriented problem solving techniques. 

Why use hypothesis based problem solving (HBPS)?

Understand what steps an HBPS cycle consists of: 

1. Problem formulation

2. Problem structuring

3. Workplan design

4. Solution communication

Steps of HBPS

The following questions will test your understanding of this section of the course. Don't hesitate to replay the indicated lessons if you get something wrong (beginnings can be tough so don't worry)!

HBPS basics
3 questions
+ Step I - Problem formulation
2 lectures 10:02

Study the most important aspects of the business context of a problem including the stakeholders, business environment (market, trends), success criteria and information sources. 

Problem context

Learn the SMART approach to formulation of ideas (here particularly problem statements) used extensively in the consulting business. SMART is and acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant and Time-bound. 

Preview 04:49
Problem formulation
3 questions
+ Step II - Problem structuring
4 lectures 30:10

Learn the basics of problem breakdown and structuring which is the basis for all business frameworks (Porter's 5 forces, BCG Matrix, 4Ps etc.). See the big picture of cracking business cases.  

Divide and conquer

Learn a very useful method of exploring issues related to a given concept which you can use both alone and in the form of a group exercise. 

Preview 03:40

Understand what many regard as the core of HBPS: issue trees (that provide a graphical representation of the whole HBPS process) and the MECE approach (being Mutually Exclusive and Cumulatively Exhaustive). See how hypotheses, the most probable solutions to problems, emerge from proper problem structuring.

Issue trees and being MECE

See how to use mindmaps and issue trees in practice! In this lecture I walk you through the process of creating both. 

Building a mindmap and issue tree
Problem structuring
3 questions
+ Step III - Work prioritization and planning
3 lectures 15:03

Get acquainted with what is required to test hypotheses: data and analyses. 

Validating hypotheses - analysis and data requirements

Understand the reasons for prioritizing, which is a driver behind the success of consulting firms. It allows them to quickly generate value for their clients in a relatively short time. 

Why prioritize?

Learn to use practical tools of top managers and consultants that they use to prioritize their work. Such tools allow them to invest their time only in the most promising ideas. 

How to prioritize? (without having to boil the ocean)
Prioritizing work
3 questions
+ Step IV - Communicating the solution
2 lectures 09:01

Learn to generate meaningful conclusions that are not mere summaries but synthesize information to generate true insights for clients regarding their businesses. 

Synthesize, don't summarize

Get acquainted with a very powerful consulting technique borrowed from filmmaking. It is used to generate slide decks with impeccable flow of logically connected ideas: from the main synthesized message/solution to supporting arguments and results of analyses. 

Communicating the solution
3 questions
+ Wrap-up
2 lectures 04:23

Consulting jargon explained - the 20 most used terms (MECE, so what, boiling the ocean, ...)

Consulting jargon dictionary

Food for thought that puts HBPS in perspective of the inductive reasoning that is the foundation of all science (also called the the scientific method). 

Preview 02:13