WHO IS A MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT?
All those who are providing professional advice to their clients as above call themselves management consultants.
WHAT IS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING?
The management consultancy has been defined as “ the rendering of independent advice and assistance about the process of management in any area to clients with management responsibilities. The consulting process includes a set of recognizable and disciplined steps in providing professional service to clients fulfilling their objectives”.
Some of the specializations covered by the Management Consultants in India are,
· Information Technology
· Finance and Administration
· Corporate Strategy and Organization
· Manufacturing and Technology
· Marketing Sales and Distribution
· Personnel Management and Training
· Executive Selection
· Economic and Environmental Studies
PERCENTAGE OF SPECIALISATION OF CONSULTANTS IN FUNCTIONAL AREAS
· Marketing Management 19%
· Project Management 18%
· Operations/Manufacturing Management 15%
· Corporate & General Management 14%
· Personnel/Human Resource Management 14%
· Financial Management 13%
· Administrative. & Office Management 05%
· Others 02%
2.Management Consultancy Processes
Five phase model
There is nothing like a universal model. However, most of the consultants’ world over use these six phases while planning and executing a consulting assignment. They include entry, diagnosis, action planning, report writing, implementation and termination. The entire model needs flexibility and imagination meeting the expectations of the client.
The marketing of consultancy services is the starting point.
The consultant approaches the client and talks about the help he can provide in solving their problems and/or helping them exploit the market opportunities (OR) the organization has a specific problem and they would like an outside expert who could be of assistance.
The initial discussion helps to pinpoint the problems, which need to be identified and solved. The client briefs the consultant on their needs, scope, coverage desired, time span available and budgetary limits if any. Armed with this information, the consultant prepares a proposal for consideration of the client. The proposal must spell out the details under the following heads:
§ Primary and secondary objectives of study.
§ Research methodology that will be used. This will mainly be under the headings of primary and secondary research respectively.
§ Coverage that will be defined in terms of geography, types of contacts to be made for data collection
Once the agreement is reached between both the parties, it becomes a contract which becomes mandatory to both the parties.
Like in medical profession, this is a crucial phase. If not done
properly, the consultant can go in a wrong direction. This aims at
identifying the area where the problem lies. This can be in several
areas like marketing, technical, financial, legal and many others.
Accordingly, what information is needed under the respective heads,
sources of information and other details can be planned. It also must be
ensured that this has to be done within the limitations of time, budget
and resources available like manpower.
It begins with identifying the person or group of persons who will be assigned to this task. The specific role they will be playing which may include data collection, data entry, data analysis, data interpretation, drawing conclusions and offering recommendations. A time schedule chart needs to be prepared assigning tasks and time. The provision for budgets will have to be made.
Invariably, a consultant has to offer his conclusions and
recommendations in the form of a report. There is no universal
format available for a consultant’s report. It will certainly depend on
the nature of consultancy assignment.
It is quite likely that at this stage, the consultant may provide a draft report initially. The client after going through it may raise several queries. He may ask clarifications or additional information on several issues. The consultant may have to undertake additional research to gather the data.
If the client desires, the consultant can be engaged in
implementing his recommendations. It has been a common
complaint on the part of consultants that in majority of cases,
once they submit the final report to the client, the assignment is
over for them.
This could be because of the indecisiveness on the
part of the client or deferring the decisions.
A good consultant should not shy away from implementation services as well.