What Do Management Consultants Do? – Duties and Responsibilities
A Management Consultant is a problem solver- that’s the simplest way in which you can describe what this job involves. As a Management Consultant, you are responsible for addressing the problems that are preventing a business from achieving its full potential. If you think that this sound like a very generic statement, well, you are not wrong because, in your capacity as a Management Consultant, you will essentially be working on problems in various aspects, departments of the business with a view to resolving them and gearing the business towards overall efficiency and growth.
Look at it from the business’s perspective to get a clearer picture of what you are expected to do when a client hires your firm for a Management Consulting project. Apart from the basic requirement that you are expected to identify roadblocks in the firm’s progress and resolve them, they have the following expectations from you:
- You are an objective professional looking in: The firm has its own top management who are very familiar with its operations, financials, limitations, staff, etc. Why do they need to hire your Management Consultant firm or you then? Well, often, the people inside the business have too much of a personal stake in it to be able to see things clearly, especially problems that have been festering for long. An outsider like you, with the qualifications, the skills to identify and resolve problems, can view the business set up with complete objectivity. This objective viewpoint often ensures that you can pinpoint issues that the firm’s top management will never be able to spot.
- You bring in specific expertise: The client company’s management may be skilled in aspects relevant to their own niche industry but if they are planning big moves, such as takeover or merger, they may lack the expertise to assess how it could impact the firm, whether it is a viable move or not. In fact, they may also need guidance on how to go about the process. This is a situation where a Management Consultant proves to be invaluable in lending some functional expertise that can ensure a seamless transition into the next phase for the firm.
Duties and Responsibilities of Management Consultant
The duties and responsibilities of a Management Consultant depend upon what kind of consultant you are.
Project Management Consultant
You will be called in when a client believes that their workflow or processes can be improved upon or when there are inefficiencies in these aspects. You will identify the inefficiency and propose solutions that can improve the workflow.
Business Management Consultant
A more general Management Consultant role, here you review the business, assess the deficiencies and offer solutions that will enable the betterment of the business process, as a whole.
Risk Management Consultant
Every business faces risk on all fronts- financial, technological, and general business environment risks. As a consultant, you assess the different kinds of risk the firm faces, evaluate the magnitude, and help mitigate them.
Change Management Consultant
You figure out where changes need to be made within the firm, and in what manner, clearly detail the requirements that need to be implemented and then guide the firm through the implementation, keeping in mind how they will impact the overall functioning of the firm.
Enterprise Content Management Consultant
You are tasked with carrying out discovery sessions with the client, identifying ECM/ BPM solutions and help the firm implement them. You are responsible for assessing business requirements and coming up with solution designs to address those.
Property Management Consultant
You have to interact with various parties involved in the property-related operations, laying out specific plans to achieve desired outcomes and working with various professionals to achieve those.
Human Resources Management Consultant
You advise the management on ideal HR policies and procedures, develop a framework for the same and then also help the firm implement these or assess the existing framework and advice on how it can be improved for better productivity.
International Management Consultants
You help the client establish a foothold in global markets, achieve goals there by means of assessing if they are geared for such expansion and by proposing viable solutions if they are not.
Product Management Consultants
You are responsible for assessing the product management aspects of the client’s firm and optimizing them. Market research and product research and roadmap is also part of your portfolio here.
Quality Management Consultants
You take responsibility for assessing the various quality control standards in use within the firm with respect to a wide range of risks such as health, environmental, safety, etc.
No matter which field of consultancy you choose to specialize in, it is imperative that you have a good academic grounding to give your credentials the weight that will place you head and shoulders above your competitors. If you intend to set up your own consultancy, you should take special care to build a good understanding of financials apart from focusing on honing your Management Consultant skills. This will help you accurately assess the profitability of your business from the get-go.
Addressing the risks that your business faces are another critical task to do when you set up your consultancy firm. It is important for you to consider investing in professional liability insurance for management consultants that can protect you against negligence, omissions or error in judgment on your part. The bigger your clients, the larger the dollar value of the projects, the more imperative it is for you to have the right kind of Management Consultants insurance to protect your business from legal claims.
What Does a Management Consultant Do Day to Day?
The first thing you should know is that every single day in your life as a management consultant may be dramatically different from the previous ones. That is one of the biggest appeals of this career choice and the reason why so many people wish to enter the field. It is exciting, unpredictable, and promises something new on a continuous basis. That said, it may be possible to give a basic, very general idea of what you may be doing daily.
- The day usually starts with the management consultant checking emails or messages to know what has been happening at work and what needs to be followed upon.
- The next thing to do is line up client meetings where you will be discussing new projects or existing ones that you have been working on.
- Interactions with team members to get an update of what is happening on various fronts is what follows the day’s plan is made.
- Now is the time to prepare for your client meeting beforehand, making sure you do not get caught unawares during the interaction. Prep time maybe during your commute to the client’s place or you may allocate some time to it if the commute is not long.
- Once you are prepped, you meet your clients, give them an update about the project or discuss what it is that you can do for them.
- You come back to your team, probably already having in mind how to delegate the new project or the new tasks in the existing one. While you are doing so, you also get to know what the team has been up to until now.
- Once this part is done, it is time for you to get down to your own deliverables for the rest of the day.
Typically, this is how you would want your day to pan out. However, a client call likely makes you drop your plans and come up with a quick solution to an issue that has cropped up or a new client calls in with a request to meet immediately, or perhaps a team member needs your help with a specific task. Your life can be unpredictable, but there is no doubting that as a management consultant, you will lead the most exciting, productive life!