March 19, 2013 by manishameena
By Manisha Meena, MSc in Management Consulting 3 student
Every consultant has to employ a couple of tools to succeed on his Job. These tools help him in solving various business problems and planning for the future. Bain & Company has listed various tools like: Balanced Scorecard, Knowledge Management, Decision Rights Tool, Customer Relationship Management, Business Process Reengineering, Total Quality Management, Price Optimization Model and Benchmarking that help organizations to plan for their growth and improve their processes (http://www.bain.com/Images/Bain_Management_Tools_2011.pdf). In this blog, I will focus on five such tools that are most relevant in the current business environment.
Change Management Programs: It is a tool that helps organizations to realize their business goals by putting new processes into practice. It assists in implementing new strategies and supports organizations during major turnarounds. After analysing the current situation and setting the goals, a consultant does a gap analysis to understand the various constraints and the resources that the organization would require to achieve the goals. Once the gaps are identified, it is important to carry out various planned activities to attain the desired state.
Enterprise Risk Management: It is a risk management tool that takes into account the various risks that an organization might encounter in the process of achieving its business objectives. It helps in mitigating the risk by reducing the uncertainty involved in the process. A consultant is required to assist the organization in recognizing all the risks associated with various functions. He also helps them to devise a plan to achieve their goals in a controlled risk environment and make better strategic decisions.
Scenario and Contingency Planning: In addition to change management, Scenario and contingency planning helps an organization to be prepared for the unexpected events. Scenario planning refers to considering various scenarios, analysing their pros and cons and then choosing the most relevant one. Contingency planning makes an organization resilient by preparing them for the unexpected.
Social Media Programs: Social media has taken the business world by storm. It is everywhere and has become an essential part of current business environment. Social media helps an organization build its online presence and provides it with a platform to interact with various stakeholders. It helps an organization to create brand awareness, improve communication and seek feedback through company websites and online communities.
Strategic Planning: It is a ‘look forward approach’ which helps an organization to devise its future plans and strategies. A consultant helps an organization to devise its strategic plan by aligning it to the business goals and objectives. The questions that we need to answer for achieving our strategic goals are: Where are we now? Where do we want to reach? How can we reach there? What do we need to reach there (resources)? Strategic planning helps an organization to be prepared for future and maintain a competitive advantage.
It is important to understand that these tools are not the answers to all the problems. Success lies in understanding their applicability in different situations and integrating them in a creative way to solve problems. Readers are welcome to share their opinions and add their favourite tools to the list.