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The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient and Effective Team Problem Solving Hardcover – December 15, 2008

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The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient and Effective Team Problem Solving + The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm + The McKinsey Way
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul N. Friga, Ph.D., worked with McKinsey & Co. at its Pittsburgh office as an associate consultant. He holds an MBA and a Ph.D. in strategy from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina and has conducted numerous consulting projects throughout his career and continues to work with Fortune 500 companies throughout the world. He has also worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant and continues to research the consulting industry. Dr. Friga is an associate professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he teaches courses in management consulting and strategy. He also serves as the director of the consulting concentrations.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071497412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071497411
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo H. Ramos on December 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author begins his book by stating that the TEAM FOCUS (a silly acronym, as it is) approach, the foundation for the whole book, is not used at McKinsey. Well, I guess that begs the ethical question: why call the book The McKinsey Engagement?

The content of the book itself is fine, but apparently what McKinsey had to offer was covered in the first two books - this one is about many things but not Mckinsey. Which I find hard to believe, in light of the quality of the firm's work, research and papers over the years.

The book could get 4 stars (well, maybe 3...), but the somewhat facetious title makes it lose one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fred Cheyunski on June 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
While this reviewer is initially commenting on "The McKinsey Engagement," he also looked at both "The McKinsey Mind" and "The McKinsey Way" as the books really do inform one another as a trilogy. As Rasiel comments in the first book, "3" is a "magic" number at McKinsey as most pronouncements there seem to come in threes (see page 3).

"The McKinsey Engagement" basically fills in and conveys the McKinsey problem solving method as it can be applied by a team. Its tenor is much more tactical than the other two books, an appropriate field guide for a business school or other group seeking to proceed and learn along this path. Apparently, for this reason, the author complements the core McKinsey material with other information to provide more detailed information on running a TEAM with a FOCUS on this method (acronyms for the main ideas in its two main emphases). So taken in this light the author succeeds in what he is trying to do. Although, one should also consult the other volumes depending on one's interest.

For instance, Friga's book deals with the various aspects of "The McKinsey Engagement" such as forming hypotheses, being MECE (i.e. mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive), constructing issue/decision trees, and collecting data as they are applied by a team. However, his work with Rasiel in "The McKinsey Mind" provides more of a rationale for the use of these elements and their background (e.g. the benefit of structure, the combination of intuition and data, gut instincts and experience, as part of fact-based decision making).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By T. Penke on December 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Great book for anyone interested in high level problem solving. There isn't too much presented in this book that is revolutionary, but having a clear laundry list of what to do in the face of a novel problem will definitely help to solve problems more efficiently and effectively. Ideas are presented in a clear, concise way with a couple of lists of rules and tactics to keep handy to make using the ideas from this book simple long after reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James Barbour on January 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Essential for those going into consulting but also very helpful for team projects whether at university or in the firm. The first half addresses the soft skills required for team work, which were fairly straight forward, and the second half addresses the practical skills needed and the process of deductive project engagement, which was very helpful.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Louis on September 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've used this book as a text for my MBA management consulting course and as a supplement for my senior strategy class to guide students through the process of a consulting engagement. It is one of the best texts I have come across for such purposes, and is a "must have" for students trying to work through a consulting project, a real life case analysis, and/or preparing for case competitions / case interviews. As a McKinsey alum myself, I will concur that the method and approach are not exactly what we learned/practiced at the firm, but in my experience, for a professor trying to teach this subject (or a student trying to learn it), the author's approach is perhaps more effective. Further, the success and effectiveness of the TEAM/FOCUS framework for communicating this topic in the classroom is time-tested and well documented at several top universities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best business books I've read this year. Friga really gets into the details and gives us a better view into the day to day of a McKinsey consulting engagement. If you're looking for approach and methodology, you will like this book. Finally, some actionable information from this series. Highly recommend to anyone new to management consulting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By investingbythebooks on August 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the latest, best but to be frank - hopefully the last of a trilogy of books on the methods used by the management consulting firm McKinsey (The McKinsey Way and The McKinsey Mind being the prior two). It offers a methodology, a toolkit to run a high performing project team and to deliver solutions on business problems. I say I hope it to be the last, not because the books are especially sub-par, but because the series have reached the end of the road with regards to what could be squeezed out of the material they present.

If the first book leaned towards describing the culture and process of The Firm and the second picked up on lessons from McKinsey alumni, then The McKinsey Engagement focuses on practical examples instead of theory. The book is the result of six years of conducting interviews, developing concepts and synthesizing ideas. Business Professor and McKinsey alumni Paul Friga pitch his book as "[...]a field guide for busy professionals [...] who are facing a team problem-solving situation but don't have much time to get to the main point or recommendation."

Also, the author has taken the liberty to deviate from pure McKinsey material and the main model presented is not from within The Firm but is instead the authors own modified version of the same type of process. This is actually a good thing. When employees leave The Firm they make a vow of silence regarding their previous employer's business secrets. This had hindered the previous two books. By constructing his own so called TEAM FOCUS-model Friga escapes this trap and still presents essentially the same thing. This makes the third book the most interesting of the trio.
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The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient and Effective Team Problem Solving
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