For those of us discovering the MECE concept (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive), it can be oh-so-attractive: finally, a way to organize my thoughts! It’s simple and elegant. The acronym is even catchy. Why didn’t I hear of this before? This is it! Douglas Adams was wrong: 42 isn’t the answer, MECE thinking is!
And, to be fair, forcing your thinking to be MECE usually is an extremely useful tool. But not always. In fact, many times, when we say MECE, we really mean ICE (independent and collectively exhaustive).