In the completive world of technology and management consulting there are substantial pressures on your consulting firms to embrace digital. The threats include:
- Larger competitors increasingly offering digital platforms as part of their mix
- Clients, themselves, increasingly expecting their consulting firms to be embracing digital as part of their offer
- Clients being increasingly interested in re-usable assets. In other words, you leave IP behind that can be re-used
- Pressures on your costs and productivity, that can be helped by increasingly using digital tools but require investment and often, substantial internal culture change
We recently released a 4-minute video titled "Why consultancies need to take a new approach to Change Management and digital transformation with clients”. We talked about how your Organizational Change Management practices could become far more agile and responsive by digitalizing both expertise and execution. Examples we gave:
Using pre-populated change plans that can be edited. This allows best practice to be transferred from one project to another and increases consultant’s productivity and responsiveness
Increasing collaboration and engagement with clients and end-user teams. This means consultants can make clients feel like they are part of the process and increase user buy-in.
Working seamlessly with executive teams and steering groups. Digital platforms provide dashboards that are easy to create and manage. They mean you can produce data in real-time, quickly and effectively
Improving the use of data in steering projects to success.
Let’s focus on why data is so critical to you and how you can use it.
A little while ago I was talking to a senior executive in an organization, who use a lot of consulting time. She said to me “Why is that in the analysis, design and planning phases of a program my consultants give me data and then as soon as we get to implementation this goes out of the window and it all becomes so subjective. It drives me crazy!”. Three reasons underpin this comment:
- A big part of how executives make sense of the world is via data. It’s not the only way but it’s hard for you to convince them without data. Also, executives tend to be time poor and good execs have learned to concentrate on the topic at hand. The downside of this focused mindset is that once they leave your meeting they move onto the next topic. Data enables you to help them focus and compelling data well-presented is far more likely to stay lodged in their minds.
- If we want to be agile you need to adjust your plans as you go along. Data collected on a regular basis tends to be a far more reliable way of pinpointing risks and adjusting plans. This could be through pulse surveys or more methodical data collection.
- Lastly, data is an essential part of building your consulting credibility. s. Remember, as the renowned quality expert, the late WE Deming said, “Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.” I’ve always thought that a critical skill is to present executives with ‘just enough data’. Enough for them to make a decision but not so much it overwhelms them or, frankly, encourages to get down in the weeds and start ploughing through data sheet
Below is an example from our own Roadmap Pro platform. Using our Initiative Risk Assessment consultants can track two sets of data. See the dashboard below. This is our dashboard and consultants can use it to update executives, program teams and colleagues on.
- Commitment levels of the people who need to change. These will include directly affected users but will probably also include other teams, professionals and front-line managers
- What the key risks are that are contributing to these levels of commitment.
As you can see, Change Management data is very powerful for you as a consultant. You can plan and track change initiatives much more accurately. And in real-time, you can help your clients make much better decisions. And, your credibility will increase as executives realize your aligned with their mindsets and business drivers. Back to Deming “In God we Trust. All others bring data”.
Successfully transform your customers' – and your own business - with Roadmap Pro