What is management consulting?

Management consulting indicates both the industry and practice of helping organizations improve their performance primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and development of plans for improvement.

Consultancies may also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants generally bring their own, standard or proprietary methodologies/frameworks to guide the identification of problems, and to serve as the basis for developing best practice solutions for more effective or efficient ways of performing.In general management consulting is the facilitation of both the analysis of the problems and challenges an organization may face and the development of the approaches to overcome these problems and challenges.

As can be derived from the definitions and descriptions above, management consulting is mainly addressing problems or challenges which are not yet fully understood and where causes and effects are still unclear. Thus the first steps in management consulting assignments are often related to the analysis of the problem or challenge and to identify possible cause/effect relationships.

Management consultants are typically specialized in the type of problem scenarios in question and thus have much more experience with running the process of finding solutions, than the client. Management consultants can also bring industry domain experience and thus draw on “best practice” experience from many companies in the client’s’ industry. However, management consultants are often very cautious recommending anything specific, but will rather help the the client making his own conclusions.

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