Understanding the roles and responsibilities of consultants working for McKinsey, PWC, Monitor and other top tier consulting firms will let you know if this career is proper for you. Read this post and get an overview of what this position entails.
As a management consultant, your main role is to provide direction to your clients. If the company has plans of downsizing, your recommendation will determine whose contracts should be terminated or kept. If the top executives are planning to launch a new product, your market research will either confirm or negate their decision. If they’re threatened by their competitor’s gimmick, your analysis will hint them if they should counter it or not.
To be able to perform this critical role, you must fulfill the following responsibilities:
Definition of the Problem
The project usually starts with a definition meeting with your client. They will explain the business scenario you will work on and what they expect from you at the end of the project. This is very crucial since it serves as the foundation of your strategies to get things done. It objectively defines your next steps, the amount of time you need, the essential documents to go through, the people you will work with and other prerequisites.
Research and Data Collection
To have valid bases for your recommendation, you must conduct extensive research to gather the information you need. If you need to study the current financial status of the company, you might spend a few days reviewing accounting documents and facilitating focused group discussions with finance staff. If the concern is market-related, you can delve on researched industry trends and best practices.
To organize the data, you would spend many hours making consulting presentations. Presenting the research properly and communicating the findings is a key consulting skill.
Analysis of Information
Once you have the needed information at hand, you can deduce your qualitative analysis from it. Consultants often use management consulting frameworks to draw inferences from the collected data. These tools suggest the elements to be examined, and areas to be evaluated. The good news is, analysis is something you don’t have to do on your own. You can discuss and brainstorm ideas with other consultants to arrive at recommendations.
Presentation of Recommendations
You are also responsible for presenting your recommendations in a clear and concise manner. Consultants usually use Microsoft PowerPoint to make the presentations. As a consultant, you are only obliged to pose several options and recommendations, but the final say must come from your client. Most would concur to your recommendations since they have high regard for your competencies. However, if you find yourself in a different situation, always respect your client’s decision.
What makes a management consulting job challenging is the amount of time being consumed by each responsibility. At an average rate, consultants easily work 60 hours in a week. Working more hours than the typical working schedule can be very stressful, especially if you’re not equipped with time-management skills. Though you will be financially compensated, you may encounter taxing issues with management consulting lifestyle.