MECE - Mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive

MECE - Mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive

MECE: How to Think, Write & Persuade Like a McKinsey Consultant - Animalz


The MECE framework—invented by legendary McKinsey consultant Barbara Minto—allows candidates to tackle these open-ended challenges in a logical and thorough way. It guarantees a baseline of clarity when faced with even the most unexpected challenges. It ensures no obvious gaps in their logic and no glaring oversights.

According to MECE, within any set of data, information should be

mutually exclusive (ME), or grouped into sets that don’t overlap with one another; and collectively exhaustive (CE), or organized so that there are no obvious omissions or “gaps” in the information.

Pretty simple: If you write a recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that leaves out the jelly, your recipe isn’t collectively exhaustive. Similarly, if you write an article promising “4 Strategies for Better Mobile App Retention” that offers only three strategies, your article isn’t collectively exhaustive.

Also simple: If step 2 of your recipe is “slather peanut butter and jelly on both pieces of bread,” and step 3 is “now add the jelly,” your recipe isn’t mutually exclusive. If two of the strategies in your article are both about using tooltips for better onboarding, your article isn’t mutually exclusive.

The first step is to break down the topic into its component parts, and ask, “What information is necessary to answer the article’s core question?”

Many articles fail to be MECE because they end up too long and bloated, or too short to do the topic justice.

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