• Mark Newman

Moving consulting from a cottage industry to an industrial process

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Is every one of your clients' projects done differently? Perhaps this is intentional - the argument being that each client's situation is unique and after all, they are paying a premium price for a bespoke service. However, it means that your consulting practice will rely on craftsmen and women who have learnt their trade through years of experience, and are not easily replaced when they move on. It also creates a scaling problem endemic in consulting where organic growth happens at a snail's pace and acquisition growth is fraught with cultural incompatibilities.

Industrialising the consulting process offers a number of competitive benefits;

  • Scalability - consulting processes which enable rapid onboarding

  • Transparency - clarity of expectations and deliverables

  • Quality - compare and measure projects

  • Leveraging - apply scarce resources across projects

  • Integration - merge multiple disciplines

  • Asset Reuse - standardised artefacts can be recycled into new projects

Is there a way of delivering a customised approach while at the same time securing advantages which come from operational efficiency? Or are these mutually incompatible, the first driving towards uniqueness and the second delivering a 'one size fits all'?

The answer is to adopt a repeatable approach which is configurable to individual clients. This is what car manufacturers do when creating a vehicle customised to a particular specification. Using such an approach in consulting delivery requires a well thought out framework (as opposed to an array of prescriptive methods). A framework for transformation consulting would encompass client strategy, operating models, and program delivery components that allow for flexibility and configuration.

ASSIST® is such a framework. It is designed for consulting firms and comes with a purpose-built online platform for delivering business transformation projects. It integrates strategic analysis, operating model design, and portfolio optimisation. You can read more about ASSIST® here

If you would like to discuss how ASSIST® can be used to industrialise your own consulting delivery practice, then please get in touch