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Management Consultants
Who are they and What do they do?

Management consultants work with organizations in both the public and private sectors to assist management in improving the performance of the organization.

In its simplest form of the process of management consulting involves undertaking an analysis of the current state of an organization; definition of a desired future state and the formulation of strategies and plans to enable the organization to change to achieve the desired future state.

External consultants are engaged by clients for a range of reasons including:
  • To benefit from specialist knowledge and experience that may not be available within the organization
  • To gain an objective and independent opinion on a situation or challenge; it is sometimes the case that the management team within an organization is too close to the problem and a fresh pair of eyes can be of benefit
  • Extra resource: external management consultant resource can provide a flexible, high calibre solution to enable a project to be planned and executed whilst avoiding the need to recruit permanent staff

Management consultants commonly work across a number of different sectors and client organizations. Consequently, external consultants are able to bring a perspective on what has worked well elsewhere including providing insights on industry best practice.

A team of consultants will typically be deployed to a client comprised of individuals with complimentary skills to enable a challenge or project to be tackled effectively and rapidly. Core skill sets within a consulting team will often include:
  • Robust and comprehensive business analysis skills
  • Portfolio, programme and project planning and management skills
  • Advanced stakeholder management and communication approaches
  • Risk management expertise enabling change to be effected in a controlled and safe manner
  • Proven consulting methodologies that have been used successfully with other client organizations

Prior to joining a consulting practice, consultants usually will have gained significant experience in their careers either in a particular industry or profession.

There is an active demand from clients to capitalize on this depth of experience; often the client is willing to pay a significant fee over a short period to benefit from the wisdom, insights, experience and sometimes contacts that an experienced management consultant will bring to the table.

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