What is Management Consulting?
As Prosoftly, management consulting is one of the areas we value most among our activities. However, we still sometimes have different thoughts about what management consulting is because there is no single definition agreed on in the literature on this subject. This means that the subject of management consulting is quite flexible and the nature of the subject can change according to the circumstances. Our article has these points and additional support requests. To meet these demands, consulting firms like us offer their knowledge. Here, this consulting service is management consulting. Let's start by examining the square that will make it concrete. If we think about it, what is management consulting?
Management consulting, as we said before, although its definition has changed, considering the most commonly used definition, it is to bring systems to companies and institutions. In general, there are problems faced by companies and firms during their growth journey. If they sometimes can't cope with solving these problems, it does not mean that "I can't run my company, come help me run my company." We encounter it in practice, there is a widespread misunderstanding in this direction. But it means exactly: There may be problems in any company. There are problems brought about by growth or there are problems brought about by external factors that you cannot control, such as the general course of the economy. These examples of good practice in the face of problems in the world and the US would need a structure that will adapt to your own company. Consulting firms such as Prosoftly speak the same language as you and try to transfer their experience to your company. It doesn't just transfer, of course. Moreover, it helps to put it into practice. That is, guiding you in the implementation phase, ensures that the improvements are fully implemented and become the main element of your company.
History of Management Consulting?
Now that we are on the ground on what management consulting is, let's examine the development process of this consulting through practical situations. Let's imagine a company in a developing country engaged in production, this company has a factory with 200-300 employees. The company or the factory owner will surely have some problems, so he will try to solve some problems. So, how can be he knows that he can get help from outside at these points? Nowadays, people are trying to solve such problems and they are blocked.
In this way, to whom do I have to ask, do companies think of calling management consulting? As an answer to these questions, we can say that although companies do not name them, they feel such a need. But sometimes they can name it, sometimes they can't. Sometimes the name of this need can appear as institutionalization, for example. Or, sometimes, the name of this need can come up as let me contact a company for management consulting. However, some facts naturally fuel and trigger this need.
One of them is the drop in calls or making money. These can be partly due to internal factors or sometimes external factors. World-wide crises can also cause this, or factors such as internal inefficiencies, inadequate organization of human resources within the company, undefined processes, mutual business conduct not serving the point where the company wants to go can trigger this.
Finally, there are moments when business owners feel like they can't make money. These are the moments when he says he felt this need in my bones now. This is one of the situations that brought the request for management consulting to the water surface. Also, especially prevalent in developing countries than there is another situation. Because the company is a family company, we know most about the shareholding structure in developing countries. In these family businesses, the need for management consulting on the issue of generation to generation may arise.
For example, the new generation can take a radically changing attitude while criticizing the practices of the older generation. Thus, an atmosphere of conflict can arise. To prevent this conflict, both sides may need an arbitrator, a mentor, a guide, both the founding generation and the descendant generation.
Management Consulting for Companies
We have given examples of some situations regarding the factors that companies need for management consulting development. If we expand these situations further, the matter will be more understandable. For example, let's say you have a company with 1000 employees, suppose it has very competent managers. Nevertheless, they may need an outside look and outside expertise at the point of some problems and some difficulties.
Especially management consulting means extra energy to companies. It is an energetic and dynamic service that has an outside perspective for companies and this is what it is. Companies cannot say, let's make a restructuring project according to their minds, establish an organization or corporate performance management system, or move forward with the existing workforce and existing human resources at points such as individual performance. By talking about the problems, getting help from a team that has done this job before, and using it on a project basis, they get much more professional results.
When consulting and management consulting are involved, I have so many managers, a question arises that why should I allocate resources for management consulting? The difference here is the experience and success rate. As a result, when outsourcing services are received, a situation such as asking for an account becomes more powerful. In management consulting on behalf of companies, the following will be the following at the beginning of the project, but at the end of the day, it was not like this, the expectation assessment can be done much more independently. However, asking for an account within the company is less than an external service, or it may depend on different conjunctures.
Ultimately, companies often seek to consult on their journey until a world-class brand becomes a known corporate structure. It should also be noted. For example, let us state that it is a service that covers a certain period, as in health care work. In other words, a company should not be expected to receive management consulting on the same subject throughout its life. With certain projects, as each step progresses, one should be expected to buy a new one if necessary.
From this point of view, companies have difficulty in recruiting people who are especially brands and have graduated from high-quality schools, brewed in their branches with jobs in different fields, and who are ready to incorporate this into the company, until a corporate structure becomes a known structure. This is the case both in developing countries and all around the world. The reason for this is mostly not related to the wages paid to the person. Because those people may not prefer to work in such companies, at the beginning of their travel life.
Thus, as you have described, this dynamism and these glitters of intelligence are needed to reach better positions in management. They want to incorporate the brilliance of intelligence combined with experience and the brilliance of intelligence embellished with a systematic approach into the company on a project basis and at the end of the project, they want to get the outputs they envisioned at the beginning. Since management consulting is the job of two mutual institutions with each other, as we mentioned before, there are possibilities of questioning.
They have the right to check if the output is available and to ask for improvement if it is found insufficient. They have the right to hear, learn, and know what other outcomes this outcome should lead to. Therefore, purchasing a management consulting service from a corporate firm such as Prosoftly contributes as an application that will directly incorporate brilliance into the company.
Also, management consulting provides serious benefits to companies that have reached advanced stages. Let's not forget that our dear friends who work in companies and large buildings are doing business in different fields with 10 different companies if the stone cracks throughout their business life. However, a management consulting team undertakes or is actively involved in 50 to 100 different projects in working life. Thus, the experience gained with 50-100 professional projects, as a very serious plus in the 101st project that has just started, adds value to our companies with a corporate structure, our large-scale companies, and our companies where there are many valuable human resources but there are various difficulties brought by growth.
Functions of Management Consulting
Everything is fine up to this point, but let's do a little bit of devil's advocacy here. We can resolve complex situations better by subjecting to the plans we offer in our consulting processes or the situation analysis we receive from companies through strong inquiries. Until this part of the article, our readers have asked whether we are getting consulting and achieving one hundred percent success.
At first, we encounter certain reservations about concrete outputs. For example, let's say we need tablet computers as a company. When I search, there is a computer with a high processor, graphics cards are different. So you know, there are concrete and quality products. But there is a somewhat abstract situation in consulting, companies can only hope what they will get in a consulting project and what will happen in the end. The references of the firm they receive consulting, and also their belief in their consultants.
But at this point, it is necessary to answer the question of whether every management consulting project can be successful. So what does it take to be successful? I just received consulting, I paid whatever it was, and it is necessary to prevent the perception that I will solve my problems. Because, after starting the consulting project, there is also some work for the company to achieve success. There should be some cooperation between institutions so that success can be achieved.
At this point, the fishing analogy explains the issue very well. Management consulting should be defined as a little as follows: We do not fish companies and put them in front of them. We teach them how to fish. We are trying to ensure that these successes are made into a system that is continuous and independent of the person. We continue on this path as a guide and guide if needed. As can be understood from here, getting consulting is almost the first step of development.
Companies do not necessarily have to get consulting, of course, they can improve themselves otherwise. But at first, they can see consulting as education about really learning, really changing, learning how to fish. In other words, a learning process must be experienced as the most important function of the consulting process. The training of companies is the internalization process that takes them one step further. They need to be trained to embrace change, the new normal, the culture that should dominate in the new company, and constant change.
However, if we continue with the fish example, some companies ask us if you can catch the fish. They don't have a question on how to learn how to fish. It is a very common request to want to fish fast. It is even a request that can theoretically be met by us. But does this work for the company? Not. Because suppose we went fishing today and today he made a profit. He made a satisfactory amount of money. But there is tomorrow, the next month, the next year. There are 10 years later. We cannot always be with that company. So, we need to convey to the other side that only fishing does the daily work, learning how to fish saves the life of the company. Subsequently, the company is already at the same point as us. So the following questions arise: So what do I need for fishing? Where should I keep the fish? What kind of fish should I catch? What are my equipment and tools required for fishing? That's when we start talking about consulting in real terms.
Then we ask the question, where are you in the current situation? We say that to find the answer to this question, we need to analyze your current situation. The next question we asked is where they want to go as a company. So what does it mean to see yourself successful, to solve these problems, when will you be successful? Of course, we don't just leave these questions to their answers. It helps in answering these questions; we help with meetings such as brainstorming, search conferences.
When we determine the place we want to go, we ask the following question: We know our current situation, we also know where we want to go; So how do we connect these two? What should be our strategies and actions on the way we want to go, and what should be the milestones and goals we will put on ourselves to understand whether we have reached these actions? When we determined these measurements, we say that now we have taught fish good or bad. But it won't just be you, there are probably others in your family.
For example, if we expand it, your son will also want to fish, you will not be able to go fishing every day, or one day you will ask your partner from your friend. So you will ask your employees to do this task. Then how will they know how to fish? Will, they always call us; the answer must be no. We have to set up a system for this.
That’s why, in this system, you need to define the means of fishing, whose processes we define, by talking and consulting with the company. We decide on the fishing strategies by considering the company's areas. Because fishing in the lake is different, different in the stream, different in the ocean, and very different in the sea. Therefore, we collect information by listening to you, talking to you, conducting surveys, telling you sample cases, and getting your feedback, and we define these tools, methods, processes, and who should do them not on an individual basis, but the basis of task and competence. After that, the whole system is revealed. That system turns into a system that can rotate itself when you press the on/off button from somewhere. This is always what we ultimately want to achieve in management consulting.
In this article, where we embarked on an adventure of ideas on management consulting, we see that management consulting means acting as a catalyst. This means: To better reveal the potential in a company under normal conditions. As can be understood, management consulting cannot say that you can produce the product better like this and so on. Because the firm itself is an expert in how to produce that product. So, they already know their job very well. We show them various techniques on how to do their job better. At this point, we can use the boxer metaphor, to further open our minds.
For example, let's think of a boxer, he must have a teacher. The coach shows his flaws and mistakes in how to fight better. But the coach can't fight better than the boxer. Because the muscular structure and motivation of the person who will fight that fight are much different. But as an outside eye and as a trained eye, his teacher can show himself his mistakes or explain how he can fight better. It can make him a much better boxer. This is the duty of the teacher and it must be.
For example, the boxer cannot say: If you are my teacher, you fight very well, I will not go out today, let's see a fight. Because teaching is something different, fighting is something different. Different qualifications are required. So sometimes companies say that management consulting knows my job better than me. I can manage anyway, there may be thoughts such as that he should be able to manage it much better than me so that he can show me a way.
When you think about it, the person doing the job, the person performing the job is different, the people who will say how to perform it are different. After all, not only in the company structure but also in politics, consulting is important and vital for the state. In our country, there are also presidential advisors, ministers' advisors have been formed. Indeed, these also have a constant helping function as an outside eye. Because they need to feed the top names with their ideas, suggestions, projects.
After all, being an executive is one thing, consulting is one thing. Then we can say that for the success of the consulting project, the person receiving the consulting must be open to this. Firms should seek to consult to be better. If they have a vision about this, if they say we're happy with some things but we can do better, and at some point they get stuck, companies should seek to consult. This must be one of the most important conditions for success in business life.
Impact of Management Consulting
It is understood from what we have said so far that first of all, our companies should have realized that they need management consulting. Second, he must have believed wholeheartedly that management consulting will help achieve a result. In other words, the firm owner has to stand behind the management consulting project. Because management consulting may not be liked very much, especially among employees who do not know about this project. It may not be liked because of this: Our colleagues naturally feel that this project will lead to a change.
This attitude is a requirement of the law of inertia in nature, which is the same in everyday life and business life. People do not want to change the existing order, they are against change even if the new order will provide them with better opportunities. The will of top management is essential to overcome this inaction. Otherwise, no matter how hard the consulting firm tries, no matter how much effort, if the fire departments do not want to open their secret worlds, the management consulting project will run the risk of hitting the wall and returning. The only and only way to overcome this is for the top management to declare that they stand behind this project and to make this felt to the whole team, all employees, and the whole company in their implementation. Frankly, we think this is the key to success.
So, success must start with faith. The firm that will receive consulting has to believe this. After the consulting project starts, it requires a process and will take time; Those who receive the service should know that the change that started after the end of the consulting project will settle in the company over time. Thus, expectations become very important. Thus, it is necessary to put forward the expectations of the project before starting. We are a fast-paced nation, we do not have much patience, we want it to happen urgently, but changing an organization takes time in real terms. Therefore, it is necessary to put forward expectations and think accordingly.
We can compare it to surgical intervention, management consulting. The doctor first decides the health of any person. Why do people go to the doctor because something is wrong, they have an illness. First of all, they feel this. The first thing the doctor does is examine it. If we apply this to management consulting, a company may want to increase revenue or reduce costs. Then I go to a doctor, they say at the counseling point. Long-term treatment may be required after a doctor has diagnosed it. By the way, it can be wrong, the same goes for counseling, but at the end of the day, a really good doctor offers the patient the necessary prescription. Prescription is the project in consulting.
The counseling team constantly checks the situation over time. However, as we said earlier, the person who will apply this is the patient himself. The doctor alone cannot fix the patient's health. The patient needs to be willing to do so and proceed as required, depending on the manner and degree of prescription. Of course, this process is even longer in companies.
For example, a process like an overweight person trying to have a healthy and sporty body. First of all, attention is paid to nutrition, and it is necessary to take good care of the sleep. Afterward, necessary sports are performed to increase muscle mass. So it is a long and patient process. Let us give this example for a better understanding of management consulting. There is an analogy that fits perfectly with management consulting.
What is a Management Consulting Project? What About Its Operation?
Let's continue moving forward by expanding the doctor analogy. Namely, the term we frequently use in management consulting is check-up. For example, you will feel some symptoms exactly but you don't know where they originate. You want to be in complete control. As a patient, you want your body to be checked from top to bottom, and let us know wherever there are malfunctions. When you go to the doctor and when he does this, he provides you with a very comprehensive report. Many effort tests are applied, blood tests, urinalysis, and the like ...
Here, when management consulting is started, these works constitute the first phase of the projects we offer to companies. We check the current situation and analyze all current situations of the company, independent of the department. There are of course various tools and applications for this; For example, just as there is a blood test, there are also surveys, brainstorming in counseling. There are one-on-one meetings, and there are meetings with managers and managers. At the end of all this, two things emerge.
First, where and what discomfort do we have in the current situation. I mean, we have a boil on our feet, we are overweight on the one hand, on the other hand, our hair is falling out since it seems like there is a stain on the skin from the side. These are the results that we call the road map.
We provide our company with a road map on how the results can be treated and improved. This stage is a very critical step toward implementation. After presenting the road map, either the company itself takes it and tries to apply it in certain areas. We discuss the priorities of the roadmap at a presentation meeting as part of our service. So, is it more important that I am overweight and lose my weight right now, or is it more important to lose my hair, is the boil on my feet more important? we prioritize them.
In order of priority, we put the recommended work and recovery steps into a certain time plan. In this schedule, we agree with our customers, we discuss; After exchanging ideas with our client, we make a final decision and this decision is registered as the first output of our management consulting project. When the current situation analysis and development roadmap is determined, companies want to continue with us in all or some of the dozens of sub-headings we have determined.
Let's go for the weight example. Let's say I'm overweight and want to lose weight. We describe a rough way of doing this on the development roadmap, but its implementation needs details. There is a need for a specialized project in this field to define and implement many sub-titles such as what should I eat every day, what should be its calories, how to establish a protein-carbohydrate-fat balance.
For example, let's say we have noticed that we are lacking especially in the marketing department in a production company, or we realized that we are lacking in the marketing organization. It is a situation we often encounter in developing countries, manufacturers are observing the prevalence of marketing innovations, but they know they are not too judge too little to buy. Then we need to switch to the marketing consulting sub-project with subheadings such as establishing the organization of marketing, establishing the marketing department, and making marketing plans with our team specialized in that field. There may be 10 similar projects.
They can also walk at the same time, they can walk in successive succession in certain priority order. This is usually the second phase of a management consulting project: Establishing systems for the implementation of development roadmap projects.
So, what kind of help can we follow on a company's journey from now on? So, let's say we lost weight, we applied it very well, but you know it is very common in athletes, eating habits generally continue the same after athletes quit sports. So, they gain weight very quickly again. They are very fit while doing sports, but whenever they quit, they can reach twice as much weight as before in a year. Therefore, the concept of sustainability emerges in practice. In general, the third phase of management consulting projects is on sustainability.
Especially when defining the need for a management consultant, companies that are at the beginning of the road in terms of company scale, generally as the number of employees and in terms of turnover generally start from the first phase. On the other hand, organizations such as international companies, banks, holdings, large companies, which are considered to have a very corporate structure, sometimes directly knock on our door for the third phase.
In other words, they expect us to demonstrate our quality-assurance consulting role in the application, at a point they specifically identify and want to provide continuity in practice. They want to find answers to the questions of where we make mistakes in practice, how we can do it better, how we can make that process more efficient and how we can make it a sustainable structure independent of the person. We can name these stages mentioned as the three phases of management consulting.
How can I measure the performance of a Management Consulting Project?
So how do we measure the success of a project? We talked about outputs such as the establishment of a marketing department for situations at the end of the day. This is all part of an activity. In other words, success is not possible only with the success of management consulting. It also depends on the quality and degree of application of the company it applies together. Based on the example of the doctor, how long will the patient apply the prescription, accordingly the disease will pass or a more developed and better body will be reached. So the two should work together. Both the firm and the management consulting company form an inseparable whole.
Let's add something like this. We can say that failure can also occur due to wrong expectations. For example, we wanted to start with a manufacturing company at first. One of the most important inputs for the firm is the production machine. When buying a processing machine, will the machine company go with a request that I will sell it for this money and it will save that much money and you will guarantee it? It goes with the following request: This machine will be this speed, this capacity, this energy consumption.
The same is true for management consulting projects. In management consulting projects, we are committed to defining your output. Usually, this is a report; It can be a presentation, it can be an analysis document. After all, this is a written and drawn document; It is a document that has a bit of visuality, a bit of writing and expression, but what is written in it is very valuable. This is not the only outcome, we usually give a time and we say that we commit to doing the following work in this time; Of course, we also annotate that data flows are provided to us in a correct and timely manner.
So, at the end of the job, one of our customers should inspect us in terms of: Did I get the output I was promised at first? Does its content include the main headings given to me? And was it done on time? These are objective assessments. Of course, there will be a subjective evaluation of our customers. That is, do I have any positive thoughts left in my mind while doing the project? They can make an objective evaluation to see if I have such a good taste left in my mouth, which we believe will reflect the truth.
This is what is meant here: Management consulting involves hard work because it requires moving stones. There will surely be suggestions in it that will be perceived negatively by some people. It could be reducing the workforce, changing strategies. In particular, it may be suggesting another direction that is contrary to the one that company owners believe.
That’s why, we do not mean to report exactly what the owner of the company thinks, the management consulting. On the contrary, he said it would add a vision, but he approached from the right place, and even when I read this, I understand that it is necessary, I see, I believe, if he finds things that make him say, in the document, then we think that the management consulting project has been done properly.
Does management consulting contain sectoral differences?
If we re-develop the example of a doctor based on what we have written above, medicine is a profession that looks at people's health, evaluates their health, and somehow improves them. Companies are organizations formed by people. However, the organization has its limits.
In this sense, just as human beings are made up of cells, companies are living organizations made up of people. Cells work together to ensure human life, and people work in harmony to ensure the company's progress towards the goal. In other words, the element that supports teaches, and guides people working in various units and departments to reach their goals faster is management consulting. Considering as a sector, of course, every company has differences in terms of sectors. But every company has about three or five common departments.
For example, we can think of management departments as the brains of the company. The accounting and finance department acts as another body that records the inputs and outputs of that company, we can think of it like this. We can consider the sales-marketing department as the unit that provides food from outside, so to speak, and feeds the organism. The production department can be said as the place that connects the organism with its environment. We can think of Information and Human Resources systems as neural networks of the organism.
As a result, although the company has characteristics independent of the sector at certain points, can be made management consulting independent from the sector? Or is there a need for a separate management consulting mentality for each sector?
Management consulting can and should be done regardless of the sector; this is a much more valuable phenomenon. Because of this, as we have stated, the structures show similarities so that they are not dependent on the sector when we compare companies in different sectors. Thus, at this point, the issue known as corporate blindness can turn into sector blindness. In other words, for companies operating in a certain sector "A job is done just like this." they can be blind. Here we are referring to the managerial plane, not to mention a specific production operation.
Ultimately, the way to overcome this blindness is to get services from management consulting firms operating in different sectors. As you can see, the sectoral focus of management consulting may be prominent. However, it should not mean: To say that I work only in the chemical sector or only in the machinery sector, actually means keeping that blindness alive as a consulting firm. It is useful to think of the consulting firm as follows: A guiding mentor organization that carries out interdisciplinary projects in many different sectors.
Based on this definition, rather than a sectoral focus, for example, a management consulting firm specializing in the strategic plan, as well as a management consulting firm that specializes in family constitutions. Having one does not mean that the other cannot be mastered. Since management consulting firms usually carry out very comprehensive projects, they exhibit expertise in more than one field at the same time with their teams. Like this, there are projects to deepen their expertise.
However, we should not forget that in today's world, there are no more feudalities. In other words, there are no more fiefdoms in companies where only one department reigns. There are no boundaries where the boundaries of a department are surrounded by fortress walls and do not interact with any other departments.
Everything is intertwined. Today, for many companies, we cannot think of marketing independently from R&D, especially in sectors such as the fast-moving consumer food group, chemical group, and we cannot think of R&D independently from marketing. So, if you need to make a management consulting project in this field, both your R&D teams should be involved, our marketing teams should be involved, your innovation teams should be involved, as well as your teams specialized in sales.
That is, management consulting needs to include your entire pool of know-how. Therefore, method specialization should be given more importance rather than such specialization.