Many people are interested in consulting work, and this profession is considered capable of providing suitable working experience, skills, and career paths. A management consultant is needed in various types of industries, and this is one factor that makes people choose to work in this field.
In running a business, business people will face problems or challenges from time to time, so they need to make a decision. Sometimes when we face several choices, we need advice from a professional or consult with those who are competent in their fields.
Therefore, the work of management consultants is needed by many industries to assist them in finding solutions to the challenges they face to minimize errors by choosing the right option from a management consultant.
What is a Management Consultant?
Some of you have often heard of the management consulting profession, but do you know what the job does? In short, a management consultant has the task of solving a strategic, large, and complex problem faced by their client, in this case, a company.
A management consultant is a professional who provides solutions and strategies to develop an organization’s financial and operational health (company). The recommended solution is formulated through a series of activities, such as research and data processing.
A management consultant’s presence will benefit a company, business, or institution. This is because they are the third party (outside the client company) that is more objective when analyzing a case.
Companies are often so preoccupied and biased toward their perspective, especially the ones that have been around longer than the new ones. The presence of a management consultant will provide an objective, new view, and comprehensive research for better decision-making.
The job of a management consultant requires attention to detail and comprehensive thinking because you will be busy collecting data, researching, discussing with clients and internal teams, and periodically checking work results that result in revisions until they are finally presented to the client team. It takes accuracy and good numerical analysis skills to work in this field, and the wrong interpretation of the data will have fatal consequences in decision-making.
A management consultant, even for a new graduate level, is expected to understand the intricacies of various cross-industry businesses to solve complex problems and provides appropriate and strategic solutions.
In carrying out their responsibilities, there are many tasks that management consultants do. You need to understand every detail of this profession well to reach the best solution.
A management consultant usually works in groups under a management consulting firm. To provide a more comprehensive picture, here are the tasks of a management consultant that you must understand.
Management Consultant Daily Tasks
There are at least five tasks that a management consultant generally carries out in chronological order. Here is the full explanation!
1. Helping Clients Map the Objectives of the Project
Understanding the client’s wishes is the first step in project completion. At the beginning of a project, the consultant team will discuss with the client the objectives they want to achieve. The consultant team will map the project objectives in more detail and follow the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based) principles.
The following is an elaboration of the SMART method that is applied in determining project objectives:
Project objectives must be specific and clear to achieve these goals effectively. Use the 5 W elements to help you determine the destination specifications:
- What: What do you want to achieve?
- Why: Why is this goal important to achieve?
- Who: Who will be involved in achieving this goal?
- Where: If a location is required, where can the goal be achieved?
- When: When was the goal achieved?
Measurable goals help management consultants monitor and track all project developments. Consultants within a team will discuss whether a designed plan can be measured or not and what indicators can show the progress in achieving the goal.
A: Achievable (Achievable)
The next element in the SMART method is achievable, which means you must ensure the formulated goals are realistic to achieve the project objectives.
To determine whether a goal is realistic, pay close attention to the opportunities and resources needed to complete the objective.
R: Relevant (Relevant)
You also have to ensure the goals align with the company’s mission. These objectives generally reflect one or more of the company’s values. Find this out by analyzing whether the plan will bring benefits and align with the company’s other needs to suit the current state of the environment.
T: Time-Bound Goals (Clear deadlines)
You can increase the chance of achieving your goals by setting clear and proportional deadlines to determine where and when to start work.
After setting the deadlines, your consultant team will determine the initial strategy that can be applied and identify the appropriate data and analysis to test the hypothesis.
1. Conducting Research and Data Collection
The management consultant collects qualitative and quantitative data to prove whether the initial hypothesis regarding the strategic recommendations is correct. Data collection can be done by understanding the financial condition of the client company by analyzing financial statements, holding focus group discussions with clients or third parties, studying research reports on related issues, conducting interviews with related parties, and so on.
Commonly, consultants process raw data in Microsoft Excel into well-structured and valuable data.
2. Identify the Problem and Formulate the Solution
Once a management consultant retrieves information from the data collected, they can start identifying the problems and formulating solutions for clients. At this stage, consultants generally use several tools to help their performance, such as Microsoft Excel to process and visualize essential data in graphic form and PowerPoint to present the processed data and analysis results into pointers that are easy and quick to understand.
The identified problems and solutions will also be generated through internal discussions to interpret the data and formulate the right strategy based on the data that has been processed.
3. Discuss with Clients
Throughout the project, the consultant team will go through various discussions with the client to align the directions toward the project’s desired outcome. Meetings will be held with multiple positions in the client company, starting from the technical team, Vice President, Director, and even Commissioner.
During the discussion, the consultant will provide information about the project’s development status in a certain period to get client feedback regarding project results.
4. Creating Deliverables
PowerPoint and Excel are essential tools for management consultation work. A management consultant needs to process data well to get comprehensive analysis and make presentations that are easy to understand yet contain powerful insights and messages.
The management consultant team prepares the work results, which will be checked by the Project Manager, Project Director, and representatives from the client team. Several iterations are needed until the deliverables are ready to be presented.
Learning a management consultant’s responsibilities and scope of work will undoubtedly help those who want a career in this field to have a comprehensive picture. To perform as a management consultant, you must learn essential skills to support your work.
The basic skills include analytical thinking and problem-solving. You can hone these skills through your college years. Even when you are already a part of a team of management consultants, you will continue to hone your skills through the many experiences you will meet from various cases per client.
A supportive work environment also supports your and your team’s success. One of the management consulting companies that prioritize a healthy work environment and enrich the team’s skills and experience is Skha.
With 22 years of experience as a business management consultant who has handled various cross-industry business projects, Skha has produced many stand-out employees. Enrich your skills and expertise with Skha through our careers page.