Management consultants are involved in providing objective advice, expertise and specialist skills with the aim of creating value, maximising growth or improving the business performance of their clients.
They are primarily concerned with the strategy, structure, management and operations of an organisation. Consultants can assist by identifying options with recommendations, providing additional resources and/or the implementation of solutions.
Consultants operate across a wide variety of services such as business strategy, marketing, financial and management controls, human resources, information technology, e-business and operations, and supply-chain management.
As with the type of work, the range of consultancy firms also varies from the larger firms that offer end-to-end solutions to smaller or niche firms that offer specialist expertise, skills and industry knowledge.
Typical work activities
The day-to-day activities of management consultants are often complex and varied. Consultancy is essentially entrepreneurial in nature and project-based. Projects can vary in length depending on the type of consultancy, firm and the demands of the client. They can involve an individual or a large team. They can be based at one site or across several international borders.
Typical tasks, particularly for new graduate recruits involve:
- carrying out research and data collection;
- conducting analysis;
- interviewing client’s employees, management team and other stakeholders;
- running focus groups and facilitating workshops;
- preparing business proposals/presentations;
- spending the majority of time at the client’s site.
In addition to the above, tasks for more experienced and senior consultants involve:
- identifying issues and forming hypotheses;
- formulating and implementing recommendations/solutions;
- ensuring the client receives the assistance needed to implement the recommendations/solutions;
- managing projects and programmes;
- leading and managing those within the team, including analysts;
- larger leadership role in the management of client relationships.