Contact Us
Phone:
   604.614.7000
 Email:


 

 

At Corium Consulting Services Ltd., expertise and practical experience converge to form a powerful management resource for companies with management, contractual or organizational challenges related to information technology (IT).

1.

What is a management consultant?

2.

How can I tell if I need a management consultant?

3.

How do I choose a management consultant?

4.

How can I improve the likelihood that my management consultant will bring a broad and balanced perspective to my organization?

5.

How do I know that I’m going to get the experience and knowledge that’s been presented to me in discussions and proposals?

6.

What are the educational qualifications I should be looking for in my management consultant?

7.

Are there other ways besides reference checks that I can be assured that my management consultant is qualified and ethical?

8.

Can our organization afford to bring in a management consultant as an experienced interim CIO or a senior project director/manager for our project?

9.

Why might I need an experienced management consultant to help me negotiate an alternate sourcing contract?

10.

Why should I use a management consultant rather than internal resources to help me do my planning?


1.

What is a management consultant?

A management consultant is an independent, unbiased professional who helps the management of client organizations define and achieve the organization’s goals through a more effective use of resources. Management consultants may be change-agents who not only propose change but help implement it as well.

top

2.

How can I tell if I need a management consultant?

There are, several common situations which suggest that a consultant may be necessary:

  • When the organization does not have the knowledge and skills required to solve problems.
  • When the organization has the necessary knowledge and skills but not the time or staff available to solve problems.
  • When management efforts are unable to produce long-term improvements that are necessary.
  • When management requires an independent third-party opinion, either to confirm a decision or to provide an alternative.
  • When management feels that things could be better and requires assistance to better define the problem.
top
3.

How do I choose a management consultant?

Once the consultant's references have been checked and experience confirmed, the final selection should be based on the following:

  • Independence from any recommended solution.
  • History of objectivity: the consultant’s advice must be balanced, based on fact, and with identified risks.
  • Breadth of experience that encompasses and goes beyond the situation defined, and is still targeted and specific to the issue at hand.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete assignments on schedule and within budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop practical recommendations and to have them implemented successfully.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people diplomatically and effectively, with the least disruption to ongoing operations.
  • Trust and rapport established with management during initial contacts.
top

4.

How can I improve the likelihood that my management consultant will bring a broad and balanced perspective to my organization?

Choose a management consultant who has the experience of seeing issues from several perspectives. This knowledge can be gained from working in several industries or several technology environments.
This experience can also be gained from having viewed, understood and mastered issues from three different perspectives:

  • from that of the organization acquiring or utilizing IT products and services,
  • from that of a supplier or vendor of IT products and services, and
  • from that of an independent and objective observer of and consultant to business and the IT industry.
top

5.

How do I know that I’m going to get the experience and knowledge that’s been presented to me in discussions and proposals?

You’ll want a management consultant with the expertise and experience you need who could advise you as a fellow executive or senior management. Ensure that you do reference checks on your management consultant.

Also, while the management consulting firm may have the necessary expertise and experience within it, the person assigned to do your work may be a less experienced person, learning at your expense. Ensure that the person with the experience you need is dedicated and involved.

top

6.

What are the educational qualifications I should be looking for in my management consultant?

  • Relevant educational qualifications will provide you with some assurance that your management consultant has at least the basic knowledge and analytical abilities.
  • A combination of information technology educations and business education will provide some assurance that your management consultant has a balanced view of the use of information technology in your business environment.
  • Advanced degrees (that is, at least the Masters level) provides additional assurance that the consultant’s knowledge is more that just basic.
  • Next, advanced degrees gained after having several years of business experience can provide assurance that the educational knowledge comes with an understanding of how it can practically be applied in the business environment.
  • Finally, look for consultants who are recognized experts and are sought out for their knowledge by other consultants, by business practitioners and by information technology professionals in the form of presentations, speaking engagements and/or teaching situations.
top

7.

Are there other ways besides reference checks that I can be assured that my management consultant is qualified and ethical?

Several certification bodies exist that cover the management consulting service areas including the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Both organizations are international in scope, have stringent codes of ethics, have working experience requirements for certification, have rigorous examination procedures for certification, and have ongoing professional development requirements for retaining certification.

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes, through its member national institutes (e.g. Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. (IMC USA) in the United States and Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CAMC) in Canada), offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation. CMCs worldwide are examined in several major business areas including accounting, finance, human resources, logistics, manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, research, and technology.

The Project Management Institute offers the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. PMP qualification is achieved only after having several years of proven project management experience and after successful completion of a rigorous standardized examination that covers all aspects of project management. PMI also certifies commercial project management training courses and graduate-level project management programs offered at colleges and universities.

top

8.

Can our organization afford to bring in a management consultant as an experienced interim CIO or a senior project director/manager for our project?

The cost of a well-experienced project director/manager for a large project is typically ½% to 1% of the total project cost. It is a small cost relative to the overall project cost yet, viewed as “insurance”, is likely to significantly decrease the typical 25% to 90% IT project cost overrun or the 74% IT project failure rate. Similarly for an interim CIO: because of the IT linkages within an organization, consider the cost of an interim CIO as insurance against negative operating and financial impacts on your organization.

top

9.

Why might I need an experienced management consultant to help me negotiate an alternate sourcing contract?

Alternate sourcing contracts are very different from the type of contracts typically negotiated by organizations. Its negotiation requires specialized knowledge and skills and previous experience negotiating large alternate sourcing arrangements.

The alternate sourcing contract is establishing a long term relationship between your organization and its supplier, typically 5-10 years in length. The negotiation of all of the terms of that relationship is critical. Secondly, the total value commitment that both your organization and the supplier are making to the contract is substantial usually amounting to several tens or hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions of dollars.

Small errors multiplied over several years can be disastrous. Finally, most organizations may have experience (for example, in their procurement functions) at negotiating small service contracts or commodity-style contracts, which are very different from alternate sourcing contracts.

top

10.

Why should I use a management consultant rather than internal resources to help me do my planning?

Using internal personnel to lead or facilitate planning processes, or even author plans may compromise objectivity or otherwise limit effectiveness. Internal participants bring their biases to the process. To have them lead or facilitate planning is frequently like having the fox facilitate hen house dinner practices. A person’s position in the organization may inhibit certain individuals or processes or may discount or reject others. Biases as to desired outcomes, whether conscious or unconscious, can influence all aspects of the planning process.

Internal resources are an excellent source of inputs to the planning and can provide insightful analyses. Putting them into a management or facilitation role often reduces the opportunities for that knowledge and skill to be utilized in the planning process.

An independent management consultant can significantly reduce internally-generated biases. They bring not only planning and facilitation expertise, but bring experience from a wide range of industries and information technologies. Finally, a management consultant ensures that all inputs are obtained and considered, that the analyses are complete, and that the final plan is objective and unbiased.

top

 

© 2011 Corium Consulting Services Ltd.