Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, operating primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and the development of plans for improvement. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants’ specialized expertise.
As a result of their exposure to, and relationships with numerous organizations, consulting firms are typically aware of industry “best practices.” However, the specific nature of situations under consideration may limit the ability to transfer such practices from one organization to another.
Consultancies may also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, process analysis, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants often bring their own proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems, and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing work tasks. The premier global qualification for a management consulting practitioner is Certified Management Consultant or CMC. Management consulting is not a regulated profession so many individuals that style themselves as management consultants are not CMC’s. There is no legal requirement for management consultants to have any qualifications. It is up to the buyer of such services to decide who they hire- Caveat emptor (see criticism below).