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22 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Management consultancy: An outlook

Perhaps the most important step in management consulting is presenting recommendations in a manner that is easy to understand
Taslim Ahammad
Management consultancy: An outlook

Management consulting, often referred to as business consulting, is defined as advisory and / or executive services to the (top) management of organizations to improve the effectiveness of their business strategy, organizational performance and operational processes. Specific management consulting is due to the wide variety of disciplines and differences in abilities required for consultants.

Management consulting is a practice helping organizations improve their performance, working primarily by analysing existing organizational problems and developing plans for improvement. Administrative advisors are appointed by decision-makers to advice, among others, strategic and organizational matters. They may be required to develop a new strategic plan, for example, to achieve further growth, or to mandate innovation advice or cost-cutting strategies.Implementation of the proposed solutions and its functions. In practice, implementation of the consultancy is the largest market for management consulting experts. Study tasks can vary from improving the efficiency of business processes, implementing new IT systems, outsourcing non-core tasks or improving the supply chain. Management consultants tend to remain implicated until transitions are completed, and the new business processes become part of the business as usual process.

Since management consulting represents over half of the consulting industry, most players in the market are either specialised management consultancy firms or organisations with a business unit that offers management consulting services. In terms of numbers, a large part of the market consists of freelancers freelance management consultants active as independent advisors.Strategy consulting – corporate strategy, business model transformation, economic policy, mergers & acquisitions, organizational strategy, functional strategy, strategy & operations and digital strategy. Operations consulting – Organisational operations, sales & marketing, supply chain, sourcing & procurement, finance, business process management, research & development and outsourcing. HR consulting – Human capital strategy, compensation & benefits, organizational change, HR function, HR analytics, talent management, HR technology and learning & development.   

There is no set career path into this industry, although many of the large consultancy firms actively recruit graduates straight from university. An aptitude for client handling, listening, strategic planning, business analysis and team-building are attractive to consulting employers, as creativity, flexibility and strong interpersonal skills.For some firms, an individual with an MA, MBA or an MSc will be of great interest, however, they are by no means universally required. Similarly, degrees in business may be a benefit, even so, generally consultancy is not a degree-specific industry.

Plenty of scope for personal development, expanding skillset and enhancing knowledge. Most consultancies offer excellent training opportunities, along with the chance to build other skills. As client work becomes more international, firms are beginning to operate on a global basis, so there’s plenty of scope for travel.On the flipside of this, long hours are common. Consultancy is not average 9-5 job: one may spend a considerable amount of time away from home. For a lot of consulting jobs one must be mobile, so it’s important the flexibility. Most of the larger employers have their head offices in big cities with a few regional offices, nonetheless, because work for clients is primarily on-site, location is rapidly becoming less important.The demands of consultancy often mean meeting tough targets on time. The majority of work is client facing and will be under pressure to deliver if the person shy and retiring type, this is probably not a good career for this kind of person.

A big part of management consultingapproachinvolves taking a strategic approach to problemsolving. By exploring all angles to a particular challenge, consultants are able to provide more useful and practicable solutions to their clients. Most consultants follow few steps when approaching a business problem. Defining the problem - Anyone experienced in management consulting will express how important it is to clearly define a problem. The issues being faced needs to be identified specifically so that one may decide on the best approach to take.

As a client explains the challenges they facing, they may present mixed information or a biased perception. Example of a business that seeking to relocate - client may present the issue in a biased manner. They may mix separate issues or expect that their previous strategies will work in a new market. Here the role as a management consultant will be to filter information from the client to identify the specific challenges being faced. Deciding on the approach to take - Most consultants have specific approaches they take towards solving client problems. This is typically the second step in the problem solving process. During this step, consultant may try to find out more about the problem being faced by my client. This may involve traveling to the client’s site to collect data, interview employees, and examine daily operations. With a deeper understanding of the client’s business and the problems they face, consultant will be in a better position to propose effective solutions. Collecting and analysing data - Management Consulting is known for its ability to implement datadriven solutions. Rather than providing general answers to problems being faced, consultants collect data, analyse it, and base their proposed solutions off this data. A data-driven approach is the best way of approaching a problem in an objective and effective manner. It is also the best way to propose solutions that are easy for the client to understand. Presenting recommendations - As a consultant, spend a lot of time working on deliverables. These deliverables are used to propose solutions to the client’s problem. Perhaps the most important step in management consulting is presenting recommendations in a manner that is easy to understand. If the consultant propose solutions donot make sense to client, then they are essentially useless. So, take the time to break down recommendations into easily digestible portions. Make sure that these solutions are tailored to the needs of the clients. Follow up - After proposing recommendations to the client, consultant need to determine whether solutions are working. Consultant should always develop specific criteria to measure the success of recommendations. It could be evaluated by tracking sales, calculating savings on operational costs, or counting new customer acquisitions. Regardless of the criteria consultant choose, consultant should be able to quantify the success of proposed solutions. Business organisations are very competitive with each other because everyone wants bigger project, prospect and better people. In addition to a lot of consulting companies are really great for the community and social affairs, helping people to achieve things in their professional and personal lives, communities and other worthwhile reasons.

The writer is Assistant Professor Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, Bangladesh.

Email; taslim.ahammad@gmail.com



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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