Management Consulting is a business that requires a complete transparency and understanding between the service provider and the client, and if this can be achieved with crystalline clarity, then there could be unprecedented gains for everyone involved. These consulting firms have been in operation for a long time and they have been at the centre of deciding the future of companies and helping to frame out agenda for government and several financial institutions. But there still remains a gap of communication because of a lot of factors, one of which is an overload of information, which is one of the things that the imminent ISO Standard will take into account so that management consulting can take on a new form and succeed like it has never before.
According to recent studies by the Plunkett Research Institute, the Consultancy Industry is now currently worth about 450 billion dollars today, a staggering amount considering its humble beginning from which it came from. This is an indicator of all the successful IT Firms branching off into other service markets; one of it includes the new consultancy market. Over the years, even government has begun to spend like crazy on consultancy firms, making it an alluring career prospect for college and university graduates.
So what is management consulting?
Management consulting is the business where companies or government firms employ professionals who have excellent and often total knowledge about their business processes and system structure, which they use to give invaluable advice to those who have solicited their service so that their performance can improve. An example of this can be how consultancy firms use their skills to change a particular management scheme or how they aid in the implementation of a new technology or in the total overhaul of a business. McKinsey and Company along with Boston Consulting are the largest consultancy firm in the world employing thousands and hauling in billions in revenue.
This is an industry that is most versatile in its services. The embodiment of specialization, consulting can take up many forms. They can focus on several fields such as HR Management, Risk and Security Management, Training, Technology and Innovation to Mergers and Acquisitions. Furthermore, they help in research, strategy, logistics, performance objectives, and the creation of a congenial ecosystem. With such a vast field of expertise and knowledge base, they have been able to conceive new concepts such as core competencies and growth share market, and business process re-engineering.
What is their current state?
Their current state is one where there have been lots of demands from several small companies for consulting, instead of their usual client base consisting of large organisation and governments, which calls for more diversification and specializations. This could be explained by there being far more complex and stringent regulations being imposed on industries across the western world, coupled with an organisation’s desire to reduce the overall cost and to improve the profit. Furthermore, the contemporary world, the population explosion and the challenges that globalisation brings in compels companies to move ahead of their competitors and for this purpose consultants have become an imperative for their growth
The Inhibitions to Growth
All the consulting companies today are living in the post-dot com crash era where a lot of blame and scathing attacks were launched at the consulting, who were attributed a good chunk of the blame for what had happened at the beginning of the century, and this had tarnished their reputation to an extent. Further in the century, there was a big recession that had shattered the western economies even further and this had changed the model of how consultancy would function.
Afterwards, the surge of Internet and several Do-It-yourself videos and tutorials had given several businesses their alternate way getting valuable information that they could implement without having to hire consultants. Although this could be seen as a factor for inhibiting further growth, a more pertinent factor that has caused growth to be inhibited is the emergence extremely business – savvy managers who have accumulated considerable knowledge and are expecting the consultants that they hire to have exclusive knowledge that they can use. The key for the right consultants to be hired for the right clients is transparency.
The ISO project committee (ISO/PC 280) was formed so that there could be a standard which will help with the issue of transparency in the consulting world, making it possible for the consultancy firm and their client to work in tandem so that there is would be a better result from the consultancy work. The ISO 20700 will be the standard that will focus on the management consultancy.
One of the features of the standard is being able to clarify the terms of service for the contract to be made so that there would be no unforeseen disappointments that would cost the company a lot. What it brings it to the table is an incorporation of the best practices in the world and clear criteria which will enable both the consultants and the clients to improve how they work together. It will add in essence credibility and confidence along with international recognition – Setting benchmarks that will be sought after by both the parties so that quality, as well as performance, will increase.
Once this ISO is out on the streets, then it can be expected that there is going to be a significant change in the way things are going to function.