Is there a need for Management Consultants? Yes there is, but I would say that wouldn’t I, I am a Management Consultant!
I haven’t always been a Management Consultant, I learnt my management skills through a mixture of experience from the shop floor and education. When I was a production manager in the steel industry, I thought that the first three letters of CONsultant summed up consultants, confidence tricksters to be avoided at all costs.
I had had previous dealings with consultants giving mixed results. Sorry I should clarify this; the consultants that I had contact with were Management Trainers in reality and not implementers. They taught the theory of strategic management and then abandoned you to struggle with putting theory into practice and get any sort of benefit from it.
My conversion from CON to PRO came from the realisation that as a company we never actually finished a project that we started. Research showed me that there was a need for someone to design, manage and complete a project, outside of the normal company positions, where the production targets and delivery performance take priority of the project. Thus there is the need for Management Consultants.
That stated, choose your Management Consultants carefully. Understand what you are looking for out of a project, look at their previous work, do not just go by reputation and view the case study results of the individual consultants who will be working with you. Appreciate the project management, project fees and what the results of the project will do for your business. Then sign a professionally written contract, including time frames, contracted days and expected minimum results.
This is my advice to you gained from over twenty two years of industrial experience. There are good and bad consultants as there are good and bad practitioners in every business. If you want to improve and aspect of your business or indeed a complete business transformation you will need Management Consultants to help you achieve the maximum results from the project.