What is ‘best practice' in management consulting? Can it be recognized, measured, and replicated?
The Management Consultancies Association's Awards for Best Management Practice are designed to highlight the very best standards in all areas of management consulting, from business strategy, through operational performance improvement to outsourcing. Consulting firms entering for an award have to present case studies of their work with clients for evaluation by a distinguished panel drawn from industry and academia. The awards are given for real projects that make a genuine difference to clients' businesses.
This book collects case studies from the most recent MCA award winners to show just how these firms and their clients succeeded in ensuring high-quality consulting. Each case study explores a unique business situation and the way it was tackled by the team. The case studies also examine how teams responded to the challenges that arose during their projects and the sometimes unexpected lessons they learned.
The first part of the book introduces the themes that occur repeatedly throughout the book. Using data gathered from clients and consultants as part of the MCA's awards process, Chapter 1 argues that, in a world where project-based work is increasingly the norm, collaboration is the key to success. The key obstacle to genuine collaboration - as opposed to lip-service about working in partnership - is obtaining the buy-in from stakeholders on all sides of the relationship. Effective relationships are characterized by openness, honesty and trust. Trust can only be built up by individuals working together over a period of time; it's not something that can be transmitted by a consulting brand. Chapter 2 introduces three overall winning entries from the MCA Awards: the International Olympic Committee's work with Atos Origin; PA Consulting Group's work with Westminster City Council; and Edengene's work with BT Business.
The remaining case studies are divided into seven sections, reflecting the original award categories:
Management consulting is a broad and mature industry that plays an integral role in the development of successful businesses. The MCA is dedicated to articulating the professionalism, diversity and value-add of management consulting organizations. Its annual awards are a key part of that mission. We hope this book will form a powerful and unique resource for consultants, managers and business students looking for real-world insights into the sharp end of contemporary management consulting.