How to Use Consulting Strategically for Maximum Organizational Value?

by | Apr 13, 2023

Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese military strategist and philosopher, revered for authoring the transformative manual, “The Art of War,” continues to be a beacon of wisdom in strategy and execution. His insight, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat,” resonates profoundly in today’s dynamic business environment, where the emphasis on how to use consulting strategically often overshadows the criticality of adept execution.

Consulting, when leveraged aptly, emerges as a potent lever for companies to elevate their operations, expedite transformations, and actualize innovative strategies. However, the landscape is replete with organizations that, while heavily reliant on using consulting strategically, often miss the mark in harnessing the true power of consulting. The essence isn’t just in utilizing consulting services, but in doing so strategically rather than reactively.

For companies aspiring to extract optimal value from using consulting strategically, the journey begins with a clear vision of the value they intend to create – this forms the bedrock of their strategy. Subsequently, it’s about delineating the right tactics to capture the envisioned value. A harmonious blend of thoughtful strategy and meticulous tactics sets the stage for businesses to not only employ consulting effectively but to also advance their agenda in the competitive corporate arena.

1. Manage Your Consulting Spend

When senior leadership recognizes the advantages of engaging with consultants, it’s paramount to synchronize strategic consulting expenditures with the overarching company objectives. This ensures optimal value derivation. For instance, if a company’s primary goal for the year is digital transformation, diverting a significant portion of the consulting budget to this endeavor is logical.

2. Centralize Your Consulting Budget

Consulting for better or worse is usually taken into account in your budgeting. As a consequence, the department that used consulting one year continues to budget for it while the department next door should get some help but does not get anything. Centralizing your consulting budget is a good practice to ensure balanced allocations of resources year after year.

3. Prioritize Your Projects

Not all projects hold equal significance or promise identical returns. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implementation, for instance, might be a high-priority, high-value project for a manufacturing company. In contrast, a branding exercise might be of lower priority. Evaluating projects based on strategic value, potential returns, and urgency ensures judicious resource allocation.

4. Have a Well-defined Decision-making Process

The decision-making process is an essential part of success in creating value through Consulting. You want to spend your money when it makes more sense to you. Your process has to deliver the right value, with as little hassle as possible.

The trick is to fine-tune the decision-making process in regards to strategic value and the cost of the projects. That means, for example, finding the right threshold under which the projects go through a simplified and faster process (fewer stakeholders, lower validation, little or no mandatory competition)

5. Improve Your Sourcing Process

Your sourcing process for Consulting has to be aligned with your sourcing practices. Keep in mind the specificities of the Consulting category, where close collaboration between procurement and the business lines is crucial.

Adapt the decision thresholds to balance the number of projects (and the amount of work), so the different entities procuring Consulting (local procurement, global procurement, business lines…) can manage their workload efficiently while keeping the spend under control.

6. Manage Your Consulting Projects

You probably have a project management process defined internally. With projects outsourced to external consultants, you are in a specific situation where you will have two project managers, one internal and one external.

You need to define governance, KPIs, build a schedule, and do regular reviews. You can also ask the Consulting team to propose a governance model. And in such a case, you will have both, a project leader and a project sponsor. It might be a good idea to separate the governance bodies for execution and steering.

7. Measure the Performance

Measuring the performance of your consulting providers is essential to manage the quality of your Consulting panel. You have to put in place a system that is simple, easy-to-use, systematic and ideally, linked to your vendor management system. Share the results with the different stakeholders to get them committed to the system and leverage the findings to define improvement plans and manage supplier relationships.

8. Define your Consulting Strategy

The key to optimizing your consulting spend and developing a highly-effective consulting strategy lies with navigating the demanding business landscape today, avoiding underutilizing or overutilizing consulting, using the improper compensation models, or working with the wrong consultants on the wrong projects. But with a congruent and well-defined consulting strategy, you can successfully accelerate the execution of your business strategy and unleash substantial value.

Conclusion: Use Consulting Strategically for Maximum Organizational Value

In the world of business, where strategy holds paramount importance, drawing inspiration from the ancient wisdom of Sun Tzu reminds us of the essence of flawless execution. The relationship between strategy and its execution is akin to the symbiotic association between how to use consulting strategically and deriving value from it.

For businesses to thrive in the tumultuous corporate terrain, merely seeking consulting strategically isn’t sufficient. It’s about leveraging using consulting strategically judiciously, ensuring every dollar spent translates to real, tangible value.

To harness the full potential of how to use consulting strategically, organizations must undertake a holistic approach, ranging from meticulous budget management and astute project prioritization to effective sourcing and rigorous performance assessment. At the crux of it all lies a well-crafted using consulting strategically strategy, tailored to align with overarching business goals and the unique challenges of the modern enterprise.

As with any strategic endeavor, the success of using consulting strategically engagements does not rest solely on intent but on the precision of its deployment. By integrating the guidelines provided, companies can position themselves to not just navigate the complexities of the business world but to master them.

In doing so, they unlock the profound value that using consulting strategically offers, mirroring Sun Tzu’s vision of a strategy that, when married with the right tactics, paves the path to unparalleled victory.

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How to Use Consulting Strategically for Maximum Organizational Value?

How Consource Can Help?

When utilized effectively, consulting becomes a powerful tool for companies to enhance their operations, accelerate transformations, and bring innovative strategies to life. Empower your teams to elevate every project with Consource, providing access to top-notch practices, an extensive template library, and cutting-edge project management tools. Choose Consource for unmatched consulting excellence for all your projects.




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