What are consultants??? Consultants are hired by companies to solve their problems while creating sustainable value
• Consultants have specialised on tasks that would involve high internal coordination costs for clients, such as organisation-wide changes or the implementation of information technology. In addition, because of economies of scale, their focus and experience in gathering information worldwide and across industries renders their information search less costly than for clients
• Management consulting refers to both the industry and the practice of helping organisations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organisational problems and development of plans for improvement. Organisations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants specialised expertise
• The functions of consulting services are commonly broken down into eight task categories. Consultants can function as bridges for information and knowledge, and that external consults can provide these bridging services more economically than client firms themselves
• In general, various approaches to consulting can be thought of as lying somewhere along a continuum, with an expert or prescriptive approach at one end, and a facilitative approach at the other. In the expert approach, the consultant takes the role of expert, and provides expert advice or assistance to the client, with, compared to the facilitative approach, less input from, and fewer collaborations with the client(s).
• Management consulting refers generally to the provision of business services, but there are numerous specialisms, such as information technology consulting, human resource consulting, virtual management consulting and others, many of which overlap, and most of which are offered by the larger diversified consultancies. So-called "boutique" consultancies, however, are smaller organisations focusing upon one, or just a few of, such specialisms
• Advantages• There are several potential benefits of internal consultants to those who employ them:• If properly managed and empowered, internal consulting groups evaluate engagement on projects in light of the corporations strategic and tactical objectives.• Often, the internal consultant requires less ramp up time on a project due to familiarity with the corporation, and is able to guide a project through to implementation — a step that would often be too costly if an external consultant were used.• Internal relationship provides opportunities to keep certain corporate information private.• It is likely that the time and materials cost of internal consultants is significantly less than external consultants operating in the same capacity.• Internal consulting positions can be used to recruit and develop potential senior managers of the organization.
• A consultant (from Latin: consultare "to discuss") is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area such as management, accountancy, the environment, entertainment, technology, law (tax law, in particular), human resources, marketing, emergency management, food production, immigration, medicine, finance, life management, economics, public affairs, communication, engineering, sound system design, graphic design, or waste management.
• Consulting guru, Peter Block, defines a consultant as "someone who has influence over an individual, group, or organization, but who has no direct authority to implement changes." He contrasts this with a surrogate manager who is a person who "acts on behalf of, or in place of, a manager." The key difference is that a consultant never makes decisions for the individual or group, whereas a surrogate manager does make decisions
Type of consultants• Strategy Consultants working on the development of and improvements to organisational strategy alongside Senior Management in many industries. Human Resources or HR Consultants who provide expertise around employment practice and people management. Process Consultants who are specialists in the design or improvement of operational processes and can be specific to the industry or sector. Public Relations or PR Consultants dealing specifically with Public Relations matters external to the client organisation and often engaged on a semi- permanent basis by larger organisations to provide input and guidance. Information Technology Consultants in many disciplines such as Computer Hardware, Software Engineering or Networks. Marketing Consultants who are generally called upon to advise around areas of product development and related marketing matters. Interim Managers as mentioned above may be independent consultants who act as interim executives with decision-making power under corporate policies or statutes. They may sit on specially constituted boards or committees
• Consulting skills and tools• Consulting organizations that use holistic and structured tools rather than rely on simple process are more likely to provide clients with a rounded and appropriate review. The Business Improvement Review is one such tool. It is holistic in that it looks at all of the PRIMO-F factors:• People• Resources• Ideas and Innovation• Marketing• Operations• Financ
• Five basic principles of IT consulting are:• Focus on the Relationship: Understanding the personality and expectations of client, client organization and all other stakeholders• Clearly Defined Role: Defined roles and responsibilities for both clients, other stakeholders and consulting team• Visualize Success: Helping the client see the end at the beginning• You Advise, They Decide: Client is the best person to decide• Be Oriented Towards Results: Ensuring that the solution addresses end user concerns, user training, implementation and maintenance constraints