More common sense and less digital headache
Topic article, 123Consulting | Author: Thomas Apollonio
There is only one answer to the important question of what actually makes a good consulting company: a satisfied customer who, together with the partner company, has implemented what had been ordered and defined at the beginning. However, in many cases the journey towards the goal can be a lengthy process. Especially in consulting projects in everyday digital life, practice shows that customers and consultants do not always speak the same language. Many topics address detailed issues and raise extensive questions right from the start. These must be clarified urgently between the parties, otherwise the digital headache is inevitable.
Anyone who forgets this and leaves room for ambiguities risks numerous difficulties in the implementation. Unclear project focus, lack of in-house know-how, suddenly emerging bottleneck policies and in spite of an agile way of working, there is no comfort factor for those involved in the implementation. The more you add to your wish list in an uncontrolled manner as the project progresses, the more complex the dependencies become, at the expense of lead time. This cannot always be mitigated by the project management.
The simple recommendation of the digital consulting professionals from Vienna and Berlin: whoever wants to carry out the digital transformation in one month but has done nothing for 10 years before that, can only end up failing. “That is why we advocate more conception and common sense when aligning digitalisation projects in order to keep the digital headaches under control. This includes, above all, the timely development of a digital map for the customer, which makes both the routes and destinations understandable in clear packages” says Thomas Apollonio, business partner of 123Consulting. The agency also addresses the difficult topics directly, structures them in detail with the customer, and then goes into implementation with a lot of effort by following the digital roadmap.
On a journey on behalf of the customer since 2006
The name says it all and 123Consulting recognised early on how important a dedicated consulting approach is. A simple approach: technical implementation competences require sufficient digital depth in order to be able to harmonise. Anyone who is active in the consulting business today and focuses on advising customers is on the move in a rapidly growing market segment with numerous competitors. The spectrum is very broad: international consulting companies, small and owner-managed consulting businesses, marketing agencies or in-house consulting departments set up by customers themselves meet the strong demand on the market. 123Consulting has made the decision to be available for suitable customers with diverse digitalisation needs in the German-speaking market. The aim is to support every customer on the journey to digitalisation in all areas and alleviate the digital headaches.
Only those who know what they want can be appropriately advised
It is not always easy to have a good overview of the service packages offered. This is mainly due to the variety of diverse needs together with the amount of consulting disciplines which may overwhelm the customer. The need for digital transformation processes makes no exception. It quickly becomes clear that those who do not know what they want, also will not be able to get what they need. The customer is well advised to define the “wish for something” as precisely as possible in advance. This is because, aim adjustments in ongoing projects due to a lack of conception are expensive, time-consuming and stressful for everyone involved. Good advice not only requires sufficient experience, the right expertise and the necessary instinct, it also needs the ability to define clear objectives with the customer. Without this, there can be no meaningful guidance and no satisfactory results. What many underestimate is that the consultant must be selected by considering his/her DNA, which should match that of the company, with no ifs or buts.
Asking questions helps align the DNA
Before entering into a consulting relationship, it is necessary to clarify whether the respective parties, i.e. the consultant and his team with the company or the department, are in harmony in relation to the planned project. Sympathy and specialist knowledge are a good starting point and basis for a mutually successful project DNA. Just as important: before commissioning the work to the consultant, the customer must have a clear definition of what is specifically expected from the consultation. What is meant here is a classic “wish list” in the form of a specification document, which should contain technical aspects as well as the practice-oriented approach and the specific objectives. The more precisely this profile is defined, the better it is for both sides. Good consulting also requires the ability to move between many different realities. This skill is critical for good customer support.
The C-level from the top, the specific area from the bottom, the project management in the middle
In the past few years, the major market players have understood how to acquire new core competencies and how to expand their mutual field of activity through clever acquisitions. This is enriching for the portfolio, but does not change the fact that many consulting assignments are often purchased through the management and C-level. Regardless of whether there is already a need for a project or whether this is borne by skilful advice and sales on the management floor. Either way, the problem remains the same in the end: the specialist departments are presented with an accomplished fact and the project team has to make the best of the situation.
Especially in transformation projects, this type of consulting can unfortunately backfire and, as a result, rarely generate the desired improvement potential. The bigger the project, the more difficult the tendering process and finding the right project DNA with the partners. There is definitely no such thing as “too big to fail” in the consulting business. For the client, commissioning transparent and comprehensible work with clear specifications is just as important as the involvement of the most important specialist areas and project critics before the final assignment of the job. Bottom line: always recommendable.
(@copyright: 123C Marketing 2021)
Do you have more questions? Please contact the author. Thank you very much!