Professional Services are on the rise. As the economy improves so does the demand for Business Consulting. The skills, abilities, resources, and knowledge to compete in the modern economy are beyond the grasp of even some of the largest corporations. Healthier economies breed competition as barriers to entrants are decreased. Competitive advantages that exist in an economic downturn are no longer as influential when the economy improves.
The process of Business Consulting not only involves representatives from the client organization, it requires it. The project’s success is greatly increased as internal leaders take up the challenge to champion and own the new project. The following steps represent the traditional consulting process framework:
- Assessment: Understanding the situation
- Design: Understanding the system and how to influence it
- Execution: Identifying the strategy and building momentum
- Delivery: Influencing the system
- Review: Evaluating performance and learning from mistakes
The organization’s internal project champion AND owner’s responsibility is particularly emphasized in the beginning. The onset of the consulting process emphasizes the role of the internal project champion to ensure communication is clear, urgency for change is established, and momentum is secured. Depending on the nature and scope of the project the business consultant or project manager’s responsibility will increase as the project is underway.
Having a thorough assessment of the problem to be solved is crucial to effective project planning. Diagnosing the problem requires the knowledge of those on the ground but often requires the help of a fresh perspective to consider novel solutions. The type of business consulting offered will depend on the business, industry, and problem to be solved but the following service trends are present across these different areas:
The tools used are identified and tailored depending on the presenting problem and the organization’s needs. What is the problem to be solved and what are the intended goals? Starting with these questions the business consultant and internal stakeholders begin the journey of assessing the situation. Business Consulting helps to bridge the corporate gap between the present and the desired future. The next step is to find what has been tried so far and design new solutions.
Effective execution of the project, and realization of the desired goals, will not occur unless the assessment is correct and the solutions are appropriately identified. Execution of the project then involves identifying who is responsible for each step, how success is going to be evaluated, and insuring this information is freely available to everyone involved.
After the project is complete the team will check it for progress, impact, and compare it against the criterion for success. The consulting process comes to an end where it began by assessing the business situation to confirm the problem was solved.
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