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How to Achieve Quick Success in a New Long-Term Consulting Project

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Published:
January 28, 2022
Reading Time:
7 minutes
Gizela
Gizela has almost two decades of experience within the Digital sphere and eagerly awaits the day she can be cloned so she can finally get everything on her daily to-do list done

Few things are as daunting as starting in a new position or on a new project. It can be even more daunting for a consultant charged with overseeing certain departments and projects. Having success in consulting boils down to a good start where a consultant fully grasps and understands the company culture, structure and the brief of the management consulting projects. In this article, we dive into exactly how to do that.

Understanding a New Company Structure

Understanding a new company structure is critical as a consultant. Especially with certain types of consulting projects involved in revamping or making the structure more efficient.

Essentially a company will have one of 8 organizational structures:

Hierarchical

This is the old-school structure where there is a clearly defined hierarchy within the organization with each employee holding a specific rank/level within the organization.

Functional

The functional structure is the most common one that organizations adopt. There are different groups depending on what the team members do within the organization. Those working on the computers are in the IT department, those working with finance are in the accounting department and so forth.

Matrix

This structure has nothing to do with red or blue pills. It has team members reporting to levels horizontally and vertically. Team members also form part of many teams and departments depending on their responsibilities within the organization and certain projects.

Flat

The flat form is very apparent with start-ups. It’s a structure that doesn’t have so many management levels over staff members. More often than not, there is absolutely no middle management.

Product

This one is very similar to the Functional structure with the only difference being that team members are divided into groups based on a specific product and not their specific function within the organization.

Customer

The customer structure is not very common. Here organizations prefer to divide team members into groups based on certain target audiences.

Geographic

This is fairly common when it comes to bigger organizations operating across multiple locations. It just makes sense to divide team members into specific geographic regions.

Network

This one has been on the rise the last few years and just sky-rocketed during the global pandemic. Here an organization can have on-site as well as remote team members from all across the world. The focus is more on collaboration to complete certain management consulting projects than corporate and administrative red tape.

“Work hard in silence, let success be your noise.”

Understanding a New Company’s Culture

As the saying goes; “find your tribe” Company culture is one of the biggest factors when it comes to job satisfaction as well as employee turnover. Company culture will also play a major part in having success in consulting roles, irrespective of the types of consulting projects. Establishing the culture of your new company is not as difficult as you might think:

Vision & Values

What are the organization's vision and values? Has it been clearly defined or does that form part of your management consulting projects?

Feeling Valued

This is completely different from company values. Do employees feel valued? Do they feel heard when it comes to ideas and decisions within the organization? Are there opportunities for employees to learn new skills?

Defining Success in consulting

Success means different things to different people, so what’s the company’s definition of success? Is it only monetary? Positive customer feedback? Team spirit?

Feeling Appreciated

Are team members feeling appreciated? Does the organization have incentive structures in place to reward good work and loyalty? Are promotions given to hard-working employees?

Health & Wellness

It’s only been in recent years that businesses started placing more focus on their employee’s general well-being. A healthy body and mind work much more efficiently and need much less leave. How does the company take care of their team’s health and wellness? Or is this also part of one of your management consulting projects?

Project Management Success in Consulting

Running a successful project (no matter what types of consulting projects), is like baking a cake - if you just follow the recipe, you can’t go wrong:

Start with the finish line

This might sound confusing and contradicting, but you can’t run successful management consulting projects without having clearly defined goals and objectives. How do you get anywhere if you have no idea where you’re going in the first place?

success in consulting, How to Achieve Quick Success in a New Long-Term Consulting Project

Don’t reinvent the wheel

What has worked for the organization in the past or for other types of consulting projects? Which past experiences of yours have been similar to this organization? Just because it’s a new company doesn’t mean that things that have worked for others in similar situations in the past, should simply be ignored and discarded.

Go through the entire project life cycle

Ensure that you don’t take any shortcuts and that each phase gets the attention it deserves. Success in consulting comes from diligently keeping to all the required steps:

Initiation

Initiation usually makes up the first step in any of the management consulting projects. It is about getting a concept approved.

Planning

This is not only doing the research to start and complete the project, but how to start and complete the project. During this phase you’ll need to create a detailed roadmap for the entire project.

Execution

This phase involves taking action. For obvious reasons, this phase is usually the one that takes the longest and costs the most.

Controlling & Monitoring

This phase goes hand-in-hand with the previous phase. The project constantly needs to be monitored so that it keeps to the planned time schedule and so that any adjustments needed can be implemented.

Closing

At this stage the project officially ends. This phase is probably more important in terms of future projects. What did you learn from this project? What can be improved next time around or also for other types of consulting projects? And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate your successes!

For more helpful tips, advice and other resources on how to reach success in consulting, check out our academy here.

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