Tag Archives: Consulting Tools

Management consulting stocks, quick comparison

Most management consulting firms are privately held. They start off as partnerships and remain that way: McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG, PWC, AT Kearney, PA Consulting, and LEK etc.  PRTM, Monitor and others were bought out. It takes a lot of patience, trust, and brand-building to build a management consulting firm – and that is probably why… Read More »

What do consultants do?

It’s one person’s opinion, but here are 130 blog posts which I wrote over the last 3 years to describe my world-view of consulting. Hope you find it useful. Consultants are a strange breed. We span all industries, but ultimately we are in the business of helping executives make difficult decisions and implement change. It is a combination… Read More »

What is RACI?

This is a tool consultants use on any project which requires clear definition of roles and more communication on a new process.  When you have more than a handful of people involved, it’s very easy to get confused and make incorrect assumptions on who is doing what.  Confusion = frustration = lack of adoption = failure. RACI… Read More »

Meeting minutes: 8 good reasons to write up those notes

Meeting minutes are not boring. Most people see this as a bureaucratic habit straight out of Mad Men, where Joan is typing notes at an old typewriter. I disagree 1. Notes show effort.  At the very minimum, it shows good follow-through and commitment.  While others are barely paying attention in the meeting, and promptly forgetting what was… Read More »

No more excel graphs, Tableau is the future

Tableau. Yes, this is french for Table.  It is also the most user-friendly, powerful, and amazing desktop visualization tool for consultants. Tableau is a company based out of Seattle Washington, founded in 2003 to commercialize work out of Stanford. Fast-forward 10 years, and it is a publicly traded company of 1,500+ employees, $232 million in revenue… Read More »

Consulting formula: think + write + communicate + revise

On a large project with so many moving parts, people, stakeholders, and organizational history that I sometimes get lost in the activities, status reports and project management mess. Stop. I need to come back to the basics of consulting. This post is written to myself, for myself. Gotta get back to basics: Think.  Clients pay us to think… Read More »

Six Sigma: Use the tools, don’t aim for perfection

Six Sigma.  You will hear about this a lot in operations consulting. It is the idea that a process is very consistent and repeatable.  Six sigma means there are only 3.4 defects per 1 million units.  Essentially, it is almost perfect.  Motorola coined the term in the 1980s and GE made it famous. Jack Welch,… Read More »

Lean means no waste. No TIMWOOD

This is the most important thing you need to know as an operations consultant. Bold statement I know, but Lean is such a pivotal and fundamental point that it cannot be overstated. It is a philosophy of management, corporate culture, set of tools, and a useful way to think of process improvement. While six sigma… Read More »

Case interviews: Time to start practicing

Case interview. If you are an undergraduate or MBA student who wants to get a consulting offer, you better do well on the case interview. If you ran a regression on consulting offers and good case interviews, the correlation would be 0.7 or higher. In non-geek terms, case interviews make the difference. You need to crush… Read More »

Bain & Co: Management tool and trends 2011 survey

Bain & Co conducts a survey every few years on how executives use management tools. Unsurprisingly, these are the exact tools that management consultants often use when coaching, prodding, and helping executive think about their business. If you want to learn more about any of the following 25 management tools, please download the Bain &… Read More »

5 super useful websites: free PC-to-Fax, free PDF editor, free icon finder, Kleki.com, and Wordle.net

Recently came across a list called 101 Most Useful Websites curated by Amit Argarwal, a columnist with the Wall Street Journal India. Useful, free and refreshing websites. 1) FaxZero.com: This a free PC-to-Fax machine service  No registration and it takes only 60 seconds to upload a document, type in the recipient’s fax number and send.… Read More »

Consultant’s Tool: What is a maturity model?

Management consultants are always looking for ugly problems and broken things to fix. After all, we only get paid when we uncover difficult problems and fix them. Clients do not always know what is wrong What really surprises me is that many clients have trouble explaining what is exactly wrong and what they want done.… Read More »

DMAIC: A great consulting tool

DMAIC. Ask any consultant, and I mean ANY consultant (strategy, process, IT) and they will know what DMAIC stands for. It is an abbreviation  for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. It is a tool often used in process improvement projects. I am not a fan of jargon, but this one is worth learning, and using.  It’s… Read More »

Pauses: A consultant’s public speaking tip

Good speakers pause. After they finish one thought, they don’t rush to the next sentence. They don’t rattle off useless verbal fillers (uh, ah, um, well, so, right, hmm).  Instead, they embrace that millisecond of silence, harness the awkwardness, and force the listener to pay attention. Many people call it the pregnant pause. In 2008,… Read More »