What is the MECE Framework – McKinsey toolbox
In this post, we cover the MECE principle and how you can apply it to sharpen your thinking and simplify complex ideas into something that can easily be understood.
Dec 6, 2023
Consulting proposals from top-tier consultancies like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG are typically closely guarded secrets. However, now and then, an RfP response finds its way into the public domain. Most are for government projects, disclosed under transparency requirements.
For your convenience, we've rounded them up here, along with short summaries of each document.
Please note: Many of the proposals here are responses to government RfPs, and as a result often long text-heavy documents structured according to the specifications of the RfP. These proposals are quite different from typical consulting proposals that tend to be shorter, more visual, and often delivered as a slide deck.
At the State of New Jersey's request, McKinsey submitted this 16-page proposal in April 2020 on how it could assist the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management in navigating the pandemic.
Great inspiration for: How to divide a project into work streams with clear objectives, activities, and key deliverables. This proposal shows how McKinsey breaks up their fee according to work streams, team size, and project duration.
A short written proposal prepared for a consortium of New Zealand energy companies. The aim of the project was a report that "creates a whole-of-electricity-sector view to enable the bringing together of an independent view of the best pathway to a low carbon energy system".
The document only includes the core of the proposal (context & problem, proposed solution, timeline, objectives, and scope). Proposal specifics like the proposed project delivery approach, fees, and next steps are not included.
Great inspiration for: How to structure and write a clear and short proposal.
Download the proposal here
A 121-slide BCG proposal (in German) from 2012. The proposal, created for The Association of German Private Banks (BdB), was aimed at developing a new payment system for the German market
Great inspiration for: How to structure and design a large slide-based proposal. It's interesting to note that more than half of the proposal is slides on the situation and challenges.
Operational Excellence, The University of California, Berkeley - Bain proposal (2009)
An older but very effective Operational Excellence proposal developed by Bain. The project aims to identify options to reduce the University's addressable operating cost structure by as much as $100 million through more efficient operations.
A very detailed 185-page proposal submitted as a response to an RfP created by the Board of Regents at the State of Iowa. The Board seeks management consulting support to perform a comprehensive, system-wide review of Iowa’s public universities. This proposed review includes identifying opportunities to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase revenue for Iowa’s State System of Higher Education.
Great inspiration for: What it takes, in terms of details and pre-work, to win a large government consulting project.
Six consulting firms (Accenture, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, McKinsey, and Public Consulting Group) got invited to submit detailed proposals for helping the Georgia Department of Community Health develop two waiver applications to send to the federal government, seeking to expand Georgia's Medicaid program and offer a private health insurance marketplace through an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
All but McKinsey submitted proposals. Based on the detailed proposals received, Deloitte, EY, and Accenture were shortlisted and invited to make a short pitch. The three pitches can be found here:
The state ultimately picked the proposal from Deloitte Consulting. While the three decks' overall quality and design could be much better, Deloitte's deck is at least clear and concise.