Management Consulting: Delivering an Effective Project, Third Edition, by Philip Wickham and Louise Wickham. Published by Prentice Hall Financial Times. 5S1JEESTO5 ^ Management Consulting: Delivering an Effective Project (3rd Edition) \ Doc. Other Books. The new era Chihpen woman required reading books. download Management Consulting 5th edn PDF eBook: Delivering an effective project by Louise Wickham, Jeremy Wilcock from Pearson Education's online.
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MANAGEMENT CONSULTING. DELIVERING AN EFFECTIVE PROJECT. LOUISE WCKHAM. JEREMY WILCOCK. FIFTH EDITION. Publisher: PEARSON. Management Consulting Delivering an effective project Third Edition alone ( source: tvnovellas.info downloads/tvnovellas.info?. tvnovellas.info Download PDF Management Consulting: Delivering an Effective Project, PDF Download.
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This means a consultant must understand a number of things from the outset. Clearly, the consultant must know why what he or she is offering will be of value to the client business. Although important, this is not enough. Consultants must also know why what they are offering represents a good investment opportunity for the business given all the other investment opportunities available. As with any form of selling to organisations, the selling is most effective when the underlying downloading process is appreciated.
The way in which individuals react, interact and influence each other must be taken into account when delivering a consulting exercise.
In short, the consultant must recognise what he or she will enable the business to do in its marketplace, why the business cannot do this for itself and how the individuals who make up the business can unify around the project. Although management consultancy is seen as a specialist management role, the consultant must have the skills of a general manager.
The motivation to call in a consultant a topic discussed fully in Chapter 2 arises because managers have identified a project that they think will benefit the organisation but they recognise that they are not in a position to deliver it themselves.
The reason for their inability to deliver may be articulated in the form of resource or skill gaps. In entering to fill these gaps the consultant is offering to complement and develop the role profile within the organisation. We can use a visual metaphor to picture the ways in which a consultant can interact with and develop the business management role profile. Think of the role profile as a triangle, with each apex representing one of the groups of roles. This is illustrated in Figure 1.
Using this simple diagram we can create a visual depiction of the five primary types of consultant—management role interaction: Supplementing Supplementing involves the consultant adding to the existing skill profile to increase its capability but not alter its overall shape. The consultant is an additional resource who takes on a project that could well have been taken on by an existing manager had time been available. An example might be a business with a local sales base using a consultant with sales experience to test the possibility of expanding into a new area.
Had a sales manager from within the company been available then he or she would have done the job in exactly the same way. In principle, the consultant could be recruited into the organisation and there would be little change in the way in which he or she operates and interacts with the rest of the organisation.
The consultant allows the business to add and subtract human resources in a flexible manner. The consultant is neutral in development terms and does not aim to make any fundamental changes in the organisation. We can picture the supplementing role as a simple addition to the existing role profile see Figure 1.
Complementing Complementing occurs when the organisation notices a gap in its profile of management roles and asks the consultant to fill that role. This may require the consultant to specialise in any one of the basic role types. Figure 1. Consultants can play an important role in supporting existing managers to improve leadership, through, say, the development of a unifying organisational mission.
A wide range of projects can involve the consultant complementing the informational role. Important examples might include marketing research and the setting up of management information systems. These projects will make demands on both the monitoring and disseminating aspects of the informational role.
The consultant may also be active in supporting the spokesperson role. Developing communications aimed at customers and investors is the task of the public relations expert. Lobbyists may be employed to communicate and influence decision-makers in government.
The consultant can contribute to the decisional role in a variety of ways. Speculative business development projects, which explore a range of possibilities for the business in the future, complement the entrepreneurial role. The setting up of budgeting management control systems is an example of the consultant complementing the work of the resource allocator.
Some consultants specialise in negotiating and can contribute to the way in which the business approaches important customers, suppliers or investors. Differentiating The overall profile of management roles will depend on a number of factors. The size of the organisation will be critical. The larger the business, the greater the latitude for allowing managers to specialise their roles.
One aspect of the process of organisational growth will be an increasing tendency towards role specialisation. He or she may also have responsibility for the informational roles.
As the business grows the entrepreneur can allow other managers to take on more responsibility. A sales and marketing function may emerge to take on the spokesperson roles and promote the product to customers. A management information system can be set up to monitor financial data and so supplement the informational role.
The entrepreneur can also delegate certain areas of decision-making to subordinate managers. This process of role differentiation is critical if the organisation is to grow successfully.
It is only through such specialisation that the business can not only grow but also improve its performance as it grows. However, such differentiation is not always easy. Managers not least successful entrepreneurs often resist giving away areas of responsibility. This can result in the manager having too large an area of responsibility, too much information to analyse and not enough time.
Invariably, the quality of decision-making suffers. Consultants can help facilitate the process of role differentiation. At one level this involves designing appropriate organisation structures, defining managerial responsibilities and setting up communication systems.
Managers must feel comfortable with their new responsibilities, be motivated to work within them and interact positively with colleagues. This type of role differentiation can be illustrated as in Figure 1. Integrating Mature organisations are characterised by well-defined organisation structure and role responsibilities.
These become established and are subject to organisational inertia. They may persist even when they are no longer appropriate. If environmental change is particularly fast, the occasional revolution may be called for. Such changes demand that the old role profile be broken down and a new profile allowed to emerge. The new roles may combine or integrate a number of aspects of the old roles. An important recent trend in organisational change has been the shift from vertically ordered functions to horizontally ordered teams.
Traditional departments such as marketing, finance, operations and the like have been supplemented, or even replaced, by small, multidisciplinary teams. The focus shifts to the team undertaking specific tasks rather than the department fulfilling fixed roles. This allows a more flexible response to the shifting needs of the marketplace. This process makes a number of demands on managers.
Of course, team working must be made effective a topic discussed in Chapter 7 , but there are more subtle demands as well. The hierarchical department offers a traditional path for promotion in the organisation. If it goes, managers may see no clear way for advancing and may become demotivated.
If the team structure is combined with traditional functions a structure known as a matrix organisation , managers may become disorientated at having two bosses the team leader and the departmental manager. As with differentiating, the consultant called in to integrate roles into a new, more flexible structure must address both hardware and software issues.
A new structure must be invented and the change management issues needed to motivate managers to work within it must be addressed. Role integrating may be illustrated as in Figure 1. Enhancing Enhancing is the most general type of role development process. There are a variety of ways this might be achieved. Training of individual managers is usually an important part. This Figure 1. Training may be supplemented through structural changes such as improved communication systems and attention to overall strategic understanding.
The process of role enhancement is illustrated in Figure 1. They have responsibilities both to organisations and to the individuals who work in them. At one level, organisations are collections of individuals, so it is individual managers who must take on responsibilities on behalf of the organisations they work for. The consultant is in a special position. He or she must take on the responsibilities of being a manager, not just for the organisation they work for but also for the organisation they work with.
It has been suggested by Archie Carroll in an article in that managerial and organisational responsibilities operate at four levels. These may be referred to as the economic, the legal, the moral and the discretionary. Economic responsibilities The fundamental economic responsibility of the manager is to act in a way which is consistent with the long-term health of their business, and maximise its value for its investors.
Real-world managers do not have the information to behave like this. Short-term profits to investors may be diverted in order to fund reinvestment projects aimed to achieve growth and so deliver more profits in the future. Potential profits may be compromised if.. An area of economics called agency theory suggests that the interests of managers and investors differ and that, under certain circumstances, managers will act in their own best interests.
Legal responsibilities All businesses have a responsibility to operate within the rule of law. Legal systems around the world differ, but generally have two codes: Business activity is subject to both codes. Nowadays, most governments try to minimise the impact of legislation on business.
In that legal restrictions impede business activity, they are seen as an evil, albeit a necessary one. Consideration of the impact of a new law on business is, these days, usually taken into account in the legislative process. This means that the laws that remain are usually there for a good reason. The consultant has a legal responsibility to ensure that the activities of the organisation he or she is working for, and any activities he or she may advocate on its behalf, are legitimate in light of the criminal and civil laws to which the business is subject.
Ensuring that this condition is met, especially when the business is operating in a highly technical area, or in a part of the world with a different legal system, can be quite challenging. Moral responsibilities Moral responsibilities go one step beyond legal ones. The societies in which businesses operate function on the basis of a whole complex of rules, norms and expectations.
Some of these rules are written down in the form of laws or contractual agreements which are often subject to civil law. But many are unwritten. They may not even be spoken. They are expectations about how people should behave towards each other. These rules may not even be noticed — until they are broken! Though it is not always made explicit, every society, and to some extent every distinct grouping within a society, has its own code of morality.
These codes often relate to the way in which stakeholders will be treated, above and beyond simple contractual rights. For example, most managers feel a higher degree of responsibility to employees than their contracts of employment dictate.
This can manifest itself in many ways. Losing people is painful: Entrepreneurs who own their business may allow family members a greater performance latitude than non-family members.
Many cultures have their own distinct rule systems. In displaced ethnic groups, networking may be supported by moral expectations about the responsibilities of members of the community towards each other. Edicts on the way in which debt is structured are common, as are rules about reciprocity of favours.
The consultant must recognise that he or she is as subject to these moral responsibilities as to the legal ones. Ignoring them will limit the effectiveness of the consulting exercise. Outcomes which go against the moral expectations of the client will, at best, not be implemented. Outright rejection can often occur. Discretionary responsibilities Discretionary responsibilities are those the consultant decides to take on as part of a personal moral order.
They are not responsibilities the industry would normally be expected to observe. Discretionary responsibilities usually relate to a refusal to work in certain project areas, or to work towards project outcomes of which the consultant does not approve. This may mean avoiding certain industry sectors or types of project. Although this may mean that the consultant must occasionally turn down valuable projects, it can also be a means of differentiation from the values other perhaps competing consultants advocate.
Discretionary values may make a consultant more attractive to certain individuals and organisations. There is nothing inconsistent in using discretionary responsibilities as a means of gaining an edge in the marketplace. Where discretionary values offer an edge they may eventually set the standard for consulting as a whole.
He suggested that the consultant interacts with a number of individuals within the client organisation and that the concept of the individual client may be problematic. Rather, the consultant interacts with a network of individuals who play subtly different roles. Schein proposed six such client types. Contact clients The contact client is the person, or persons, who first approach the consultant and propose the consultant addresses a problem or issue on behalf of the organisation.
The contact client may or may not be involved in the final project engagement. Sometimes contact clients are themselves from outside the organisation, for example other consultants, business advisers or venture capitalists. They will work with the consultant and provide information. They will sit in on meetings and influence the way the project unfolds.
Intermediate clients may be the actual recipients of the final report. Primary clients The primary client is the person or persons who have identified the problem or issue the consultant has been called in to address and who are most immediately affected by it. It is they who will be willing to pay in order to have the issue resolved. Unwitting clients Unwitting clients are members of the organisation who will be affected by the intervention of the consultant. They do not initiate the project and have no direct or formal control over it.
They are not aware that they will be affected by the project. Indirect clients Indirect clients are members of the organisation who will be affected by the intervention of the consultant and who are aware that they will be affected. However, the consultant is not aware that the project will have an impact on them.
They can be very influential behind the scenes and, unbeknown to the consultant, can facilitate or hinder the progress of the project. This will include members of the organisation and, possibly, members of the organisations which come into contact with the client organisation. The ultimate client group forms the universe of whose interests the consultant must take account when progressing the project.
A critical element here is the perception the manager has about his or her fundamental role in the organisation. Consulting is also characterised by different approaches which reflect fundamental assumptions about the role of the consultant. These are referred to as modes. In his book Process Consultation, Edgar Schein characterised three basic modes based on the relationship between.. The expert mode In the expert mode the client identifies a particular problem with the business, analyses the problem and articulates it to the consultant.
The consultant then uses his or her expertise to identify a solution to the problem. This form of consulting is often found in areas where the consultant has a specialist knowledge which the client organisation recognises that it lacks. The doctor—patient mode The doctor—patient mode is also characterised by the consultant acting as an expert. In this mode, however, the consultant also takes responsibility for diagnosing the problem in the first place. Again, the consultant is expected to contribute specialist knowledge and insights to the business.
The process consulting mode Both the expert mode and the doctor—patient mode demand that the consultant, an outsider, offers a solution — a prescription — to address the problems that the business faces.
Process consulting takes a different stance. It is based on the premise that the only people who can, ultimately, help the business are the people who make it up.
The consultant, as an outsider, cannot impose a solution on the organisation. What the consultant can do, however, is assist those who make up the organisation with the process of recognising problems and then discovering the solutions to them. The consultant is not so much an expert, more a facilitator of change. Schein makes a strong case of the process mode. This is for good reasons. Consultants can recommend better ways of doing things but these will become reality only if the people who make up the organisation feel that they have ownership of the new approach, that they have had a part in creating it and that it will work for them.
A process approach to consulting helps ensure that the client organisation feels it is coming up with its own solutions to its own problems and so solutions which are right for its business. A note of caution is in order though. Consultants do bring along expertise and should not be frightened to recognise that they are doing so. Rather than advocate one mode as right in all circumstances the effective consultant recognises the advantages of flexibility. He or she learns when, and under what circumstances, to adopt each mode.
The decision is a significant one for a number of reasons. There may be an immediate financial cost. Leading management consulting firms have daily rates that are well into four figures. The consultant team may need money from the client to undertake marketing research, for example.
There will also be a cost due to the need to dedicate management time to the consulting exercise. If a consulting project is to be successful, the consultant team must be supported in their activities. They will need briefing sessions and regular review meetings. The management time that must be dedicated to this is valuable, especially in a small business.
Also, the activities of consultants can be upsetting to the business as a whole. If not managed effectively their involvement can raise suspicions and lead to political infighting between managers.
The cost of a consultant to the client must be thought of not just in terms of direct cost amount of money paid but also opportunity cost, what is missed because the money could have been spent elsewhere. The decision to call in consultants is like the decision to download anything else for the business. It happens after a consideration of the costs and benefits involved and a conclusion that the benefits outweigh the costs.
This is not a one-off decision. It is something that the client business constantly assesses. This presents a particular challenge for management consultants. Consultants who work in highly technical areas such as computing and engineering clearly offer the business an expertise the business itself does not have.
That they offer something different and valuable is evident. However, every business, without fail, will have management expertise. And the chances are or at least the business will feel that this expertise is greater than that offered by outsiders who have no knowledge of the business, its customers and its markets.
In any case, even if the business recognises the need for additional management resources, why should consultants be used? Why not just employ more managers? In short, the management consultant must constantly ask three fundamental questions: Answering these three questions involves the application of analytical, project management and relationship-building skills.
This chapter aims to set the scene for discussion of how these skills may be developed and applied by considering.. The actual outputs of a consulting exercise centre on providing one or more of six things: Each of these will now be examined in depth. If those decisions are to be good ones, they must be based on a full and proper understanding of the business and its situation.
Information is needed if decision-making is to be effective.
Some areas of information that are critical to a business include: Information is valuable to a business. As a result it has a cost. Information is a resource that must be managed. Much information has a direct cost — that obtained from market researchers, for example — while if there is no direct cost there may be a hidden cost in the management time and effort in gathering information.
Even if managers are willing to face this cost they can do so only if they know what information is available, where it is stored and how it can be accessed. There is no guarantee they can do this.
The consultant can offer the small business manager a service in providing him or her with information that can help the business. Decisions are not made on the basis of hard data alone — those data must first be processed and interpreted. The consultant can add value by analysing and presenting information in a way that enables the business manager to make effective decisions from it.
To do this requires the analysis skills that will be considered in Part Two of this book. The demands of managing a small business are such that managers cannot afford to specialise in a narrow area of management such as marketing, operations or finance. They must do all these things at once.
This means that at times they will seek the advice of people with specialist knowledge. Projects such as these benefit from the application of technical knowledge and an ability to use specialist analysis techniques. Rather than have to learn these themselves managers will often call upon the support of consultants. The key to successful consulting in this area is not to make decisions on behalf of the manager but to help the manager in making their own.
It is their business, they have a detailed knowledge of what it is about and know what it aims to achieve. This knowledge of the business is much greater than any the consultant can develop in the short time he or she will be working with the business. This then enables the manager to make better decisions. The management of projects involving the provision of specialist expertise will be discussed further in Chapter 2.
They are human beings who must analyse complex environments, use well-developed but necessarily limited cognitive skills and then make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Such cognitive schema are not rational decision-making devices. Cognitive schema become established and resist change. They determine the way managers see their organisations and competitors. They have a bearing on the way joint ventures are managed, for example. Interested students are referred to the articles by Caloris, Johnson and Sarnin , Daniels, Johnson..
Janis examined in great depth decisions by US Presidents and close advisory groups that led to far-reaching policy errors in international affairs such as the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the escalation of the Korean War. He concluded that seven defects in decision-making can arise when a group becomes overcoherent and begins to share expectations and norms: The effective consultant should be aware of these factors and be prepared to challenge group thinking.
In simple terms, managers, and close managerial groups, limit their problemsolving ability because they often get too close to an issue. The consultant can add value by helping the manager to step back from a problem, to see it in a different way and to see new means to its solution. To do this the consultant may simply offer a fresh mind to an issue. Consultants can also offer support in helping individuals and groups become more innovative in their thinking by using the creativity techniques described in Chapter 9.
Disagreements arise over a wide range of issues. Conflicts of opinion take a variety of forms. They range from open, honest exploration of different options to often quite nefarious political.. They can be seen as a refreshing opening of possibilities or they may lead to smouldering resentment.
A manager may be tempted to use a consultant not so much to provide an impartial view but to back up his or her position in a debate.
How should a consultant react to being used in this way? The first thing to note is that the existence of different perspectives and a tolerance of dissent that allows them to be expressed is a healthy thing. Managers should be paid to think and express themselves and must be free to do so.
In a competitive environment in which ideas compete for resources they should also be free to marshal whatever resources they can to make their case. This may include external consultants. A consultant must recognise that he or she is not employed by a company in the abstract but rather by individuals within a company. This idea is covered in detail in Chapter The consultant is responsible for delivering findings and advice to individuals, and must be sensitive to the interests of those individuals and what their objectives are.
This may involve supporting them in internal debates. However, the consultant must be careful. If the consultant is too obviously in the camp of a particular manager, his or her impartiality will be impaired. If the consultant is seen to be twisting facts to fit a particular position, his or her credibility will be damaged. At a minimum the consultant will lose the support and goodwill of other managers.
So being called upon to support a particular position, especially when it is contentious, demands sensitive management on the part of the consultant.
A few useful ground rules are as follows: Some important resources for the business include: The consultant can offer the client business valuable support in gaining these resources. Key tasks involve identifying who can supply the particular resources, how they might be contacted and the issues involved in working with them. The consultant can be particularly valuable by working with the client and developing a communication strategy, which helps the business be successful in its approach to suppliers of critical resources.
Gaining the goodwill of customers is the function of marketing in its broadest sense. The consultant can assist in the developing of marketing plans, communication strategies and promotional campaigns. There are a number of support programmes provided by government and non-governmental organisations to businesses, especially small businesses.
They take a variety of forms and change regularly. They often demand that a specific, well-organised proposal be made. The consultant can be of great value in structuring a proposal and advising on how it might be delivered. People, especially those with special knowledge and skills, are a critical — if not the critical — resource for businesses.
Consultants can add much value by advising a business on its people requirements, developing an understanding of the market for such people and developing advertisements to attract them. The consultant may also advise on the interview and selection procedures. A business may have identified suppliers of the materials and services it needs to undertake its activities. It is increasingly recognised that a business can improve its performance by actively reverse marketing itself to suppliers. This demands communication with both existing and potential suppliers, a process a consultant can assist greatly.
Many businesses will benefit from further cash injection by investors. Different stages of growth create different capital requirements. An important, and exciting, type of consulting activity is the assistance given in helping businesses gain the support of investors such as banks and venture capitalists.
This involves developing a picture of the potential of the firm and why it might offer an exciting investment opportunity, identifying suitable investment organisations, preparing a business plan and perhaps even formally presenting it. The different types of.. A consulting exercise may combine elements from a number of them.
Each project should be considered on its own merit: At other times it may be in response to an external impetus or shock that forces the organisation to modify the way in which it does things. All of the types of project above may, if they are to be implemented successfully, demand some degree of change in the structures and operating practices of the business. They may also demand that managers change their roles and responsibilities. Change usually meets resistance.
Managers, like most human beings, tend to be conservative when it comes to altering the way things are done. This is only to be expected. Although change may offer new possibilities, it also presents uncertainties.
It is only natural that a manager tries to hold on to what he or she knows to be reliable and rewarding. How can he or she be certain that a different future will offer the satisfactions achieved at present? Are the changes in his or her best interest? Even if change seems to offer the possibility of greater satisfaction, what are the risks?
What happens if the manager is dissatisfied with the outcomes? It is concerns such as these which can lead to distrust of consultants operating in a business. The effective management of organisational change demands that these questions be addressed. Sometimes organisations call for change as the primary goal of the consulting exercise.
In response to this, change management has developed as a specialist consulting area. More often, though, change management is required as a subsidiary area in order to effect the implementation of more specific organisational projects, such as business expansion or structural reorganisation.
Whatever the motive and source of the change, the effective consultant must be aware of the human dimensions to the change he or she is advocating and be competent in addressing the issues it creates.
Team discussion points 1 Do the external and the internal consultant add value in different ways? These are placed into three groups: This can happen in one of five ways: Gallessich, J. Further reading Bell, C. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing. Blake, R. Reading, MA: Caloris, R. Carroll, A.
Daniels, K. Dawes, P. Drucker, P. New York: Exton, W. Golembiewski, R. Marcell Decker. Janis, I. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. Kumar, V. Lundberg, C. Mintzberg, H. Patterson, P. Prahalad, C. Schein, E. San Francisco: I revised edn. Van de Ven, A. Distribution is direct to the customer via catalogue ordering. The business was started some eight years ago and after enjoying early success now employs 11 people. It recognises its success and is ambitious for growth. During an introductory meeting with the consulting team, Maggie explains that the business feels it has a worthwhile product with good potential in the marketplace.
There is a general feeling, however, that the present approach of the business — direct marketing in the UK — is largely saturated: If the business is to grow further it must take a different approach. There is a lot of debate within the commercial team as to the best way forward.