Minto Pyramid Principle

by Victor Cheng

by 

Question:

Recently I came across a book called ‘the minto pyramid’, you might know this book, by Barbara Minto, ex-McKinsey. Would you recommend me to use MINTO principle??? This way i can show

the interviewer I am 100% hypothesis driven and I don’t ask any irrelevant data.

Would you recommend this and what is your view about this as a past interviewer?

I was wondering what your view is on this method to apply to cases, this might help to form a HYPOTHESIS and ASK ONLY data which you 100% need.

e.g.

example 1

company A faces profitability issues, please come up with strategies

minto method:

hypothesis 1

profitability can be increased

hypothesis 1.1                                    hypothesis 1.2

revenues can be increased                   costs can be decreased

hypothesis 1.1.1                  hypothesis 1,1,2                        hypothesis 1.1.3                  hypothes 1.2.1          hypothesis 1.2.2

revenue  a increase    revenue  b can be increased     we can introduce a new product   fixed costs decrease     variable costs decrease

hypothesis 1.1.1.1

price A can be increased   etc….

e.g.

example 2

carlsberg wants to enter the italian market, shall they do this?

hypothesis 1

Carlsberg should enter the italian market

hypothesis 1.1                               hypothesis 1.2                                                                   hypothesis 1.3

the italian market is attractive         the financial analysis indicates a significant profit per year      carls berg has the capability to enter

hypothesis 1.4

there are no signifiant risks/impact

hypothesis 1.1.1                 hypothesis 1.1.2                                    hypothesis 1.1.3                          hypothesis 1.2.1

the industry is attractive       the threat of competition is ignorable       the consumer likes carlsberg        the revenues are significant

etc etc etc

My Response:

Yes, Yes, Yes!

This is what we did everyday at McKinsey. On day 1 of an engagement, hour 1 of the first day, we’d draw up an outline (we actually used a visual story board version of the outline) of the final presentation–making lots of assumptions (essentially hypotheses).

Of course the outline was not yet factually supported. Next, we’d ask ourselves, “What data do we need to test each part of the outline to either validate the hypothesis as correct or incorrect?” Then we’d go to the travel department, book our airline tickets, and go get the data (at the client site, visiting our client’s client to interview them, etc…).

So yes, in general, the structured approach that’s very hypothesis driven is a good one to take.

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