Steps To Kickstart Your Project and Succeed Quickly
The fact is: management consulting projects can be a time-consuming affair. Consultants put in many hours to solve problems and take companies to their desired position. And, as you already know, time is money. The more time it takes you to deliver results, the more money you lose—even if you don’t consciously realize it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! If you, as a consultant, take the right steps, you can speed things up. You can mix some traditional ways of working with the modern technologically advanced ones to accelerate an otherwise slow-moving project.
In this article, we will discuss the steps you should take to kickstart your project.
Kickstart Project With a Robust Work Plan and Blueprint
Succeeding as a management consultant requires proper planning from the get-go. To achieve that, you will need an actionable work plan and blueprint of the project. These work plans should contain key tasks, deliverables, timeframes, roles of various individuals, and the chain of command. Remember, a work plan is a sacred document that guides all management consulting projects. Hence, you should focus on creating a detailed work plan before getting into the nitty-gritty of your client’s business problems and solutions.
Understand the Problem in Great Detail
The very reason why management consulting projects came into existence is problems. These are the problems that companies cannot solve using their in-house resources and that’s when they call consultants for help. A surefire way of succeeding as a management consultant and having a lucrative career in this industry is understanding clients’ problems better than they do.
To do this, one must define the boundaries of the problem first and break down its elements. To do this, the concept of MECE should be used. MECE stands for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive. This means that when breaking down a problem, all the root causes and issues that are identified must be distinct and not overlapping with each other. Understanding the essential parts of a problem is the key to starting the first step of providing a solution—which is forming a hypothesis. This hypothesis will later help you collect the right data and analyze it.
Read Industry Reports
As a management consultant, your data collection process is incomplete without industry reports. These reports can give you in-depth information about an industry’s offerings, products/services, market size, target audiences, sales, growth forecast, rules and regulations, competition, the political, economical, and social factors that affect it, and much more.
Leverage Your Consulting Firm’s Pre-existing Knowledge Base
Do you know what’s better than free information that’s available on Google? It’s the knowledge base that contains tons of consulting-related articles and documents which provide details on previous successful and failed projects. By reading about both success and failure, you will have an understanding of the approaches that work and the ones that are fruitless.
Instead of going down the trial and error path, you should go through your consulting firm’s knowledge base. You will learn how consultants who worked before you have solved problems. When it comes to succeeding as a management consultant, following the footprints of those who have succeeded before really helps.
Also, just imagine how quickly tasks will get completed in management consulting projects if everyone had access to ample case studies and industry-specific solutions. However, this could be a challenge if you’re a freelance consultant. In this case, you should make full use of your client’s internal knowledge base, which brings us to the next point.
After reading industry reports and going through the knowledge base, there’s one essential task you must complete - interviewing the clients. In fact, one key skill that is necessary for succeeding as a management consultant is your ability to listen to clients. No one can give you insights into the company or the industry like the clients. The purpose of a client interview is to gather all the relevant information that will help you find a solution at the end of the project.
You should ask your clients about their organization, products, services, operations, procedures, employees, core values, vision and mission, short-term goals, unique selling points, competitors, biggest obstacles, revenue, profit/loss, and any other information that can have a significant impact on the project.
In conclusion, it’s worth mentioning that management consulting projects do require a lot of hours and work. However, if you head the wrong way, it will take way longer and result in a lot of stress. That is why proper planning to kickstart project and the right information from credible sources are key to completing projects on time and succeeding as a management consultant.