Should SCQA and MECE be on your wall?

Management consultants aren’t the cuddliest bunch, but they do deserve our respect. They have methods that make sense of difficult problems.

MECE stands for Mutually Exclusive, Completely Exhaustive.

It’s a technique that tests how efficiently and how comprehensively you have broken down a set of items into subcategories.

And we use it too.

Acronym

MECE, you see?

A lot of our work involves segment and category analysis.

Recently we were positioning a fashion brand and we needed to analyse the language used by a particular sector of the fashion industry. So we placed competitors on 2 axes, and used the MECE test to make sure that the axes we chose described the language completely, but without overlap.

This enabled us and our client to see the market clearly.

It also helped them to see the space their brand could own.

SCQA, not SEXY

In order to get to that map, we had employed another consultancy staple: SCQA.

It stands for Situation, Complication, Question, Answer.

I’ve used it to write this blog:

Situation – Management consultants are clever people with good ideas that add value to companies.

Complication – But we’re not management consultants.

Question – Can we use their ideas in different contexts?

Answer – Yes. Because some of their techniques can be applied to the general areas of problem solving and communication.

It might not be sexy, but it does make sense.

If you want to hear how we can make sense of your problem, email Chris.