Consulting Best Practices is a complete How to book on running a consulting organization. The book is based on the authors 18 years of experience in IT management and 13 years in the IT consulting industry. During those 13 years the authorMoreConsulting Best Practices is a complete How to book on running a consulting organization. The book is based on the authors 18 years of experience in IT management and 13 years in the IT consulting industry. During those 13 years the author performed many different roles. These roles included billable consultant, project manager, managing consultant, services sales executive, and owner of a consulting company.
The author worked for both small niche organizations as well as global services leaders. The book is a condensed version of all the knowledge the author gained in working in these environments. And, because he spent so many years as a client for these services, the best practices described in the book are supported by experiences gained as a consulting services customer. The book was inspired by the fact that while many consulting organizations are successful operations, there are always one or two areas of weakness that impede the company from achieving its potential.
Having worked in both small and large consulting companies, the author has compiled all the best practices he felt were relevant to the industry and presents them in five well defined sections. Section I provides a complete list of services characteristics that consulting companies can use to compare against their own marketing approach.
Differentiating services and capabilities is essential in todays competitive market. This section guides the readers through the elements needed to build credibility through marketing while emphasizing the unique qualities that will make a services organization standout.
Section II presents the basis for why Services Salespeople need to understand the services industry, the customer mindset, presales planning, how to position the company and its capabilities, understanding the competition and partnerships, and how to negotiate and close business. The nine chapters in Section II provide a detailed explanation of the role of the services sales executive and critical functions of the sales support team.
Section III provides an in depth discussion on best practices for delivering engagements and insights on improving process and procedures within a consulting organization. An Engagement Methodology is defined by describing the critical components that make up an engagement. The management aspects of delivery are discussed as well as the key elements of risk management, communications, and documentation best practices.
Section IV discusses the human factors in building and managing a consulting organization. Positive behaviors in the workplace and at the client site are critical to the success of the company. Management holds the responsibility to develop a collaborative culture that integrates operations, sales, delivery, and management. These four chapters explain the critical elements of the best practices model for organizational behavior in a consulting environment.
Section V concludes the book with a discussion on operational management best practices of re-using knowledge in an efficient manner. It also has a chapter that reviews approaches to growing a consulting business through development of new services as well as best practices on how to optimize the use of the Internet. There is also a chapter in this section that speaks to the best practices that clients should use to govern consulting engagements.
Finally, the last chapter in the book focuses on why consulting companies will find value in hiring outside consulting services to improve their operations. The book contains an extensive Glossary of Terms to assist readers who are not familiar with IT or the services industry.
Everyone in the consulting industry will find something of value in this professional business book. The writing style is easy to read and the thoughts are concise, yet adequately supported by examples and business logic. As one (CEO) reviewer quoted: The book is the definitive playbook for building a great Service Delivery Busines