Consulting approach vs project approach, which is better for you and why?

What is Project Approach?

The project approach is the selection of project management practices, means, and methods that the project management team must perform. The performance is based on the specific, high-level project characteristics collated from the project details. These characteristics comprise comparisons of the project objectives and other related information on the quality and accuracy of the information that is essential to prepare a plan and its execution.

The project managers adopt a project approach that is suitable to their requirements with enough flexibility and dynamism. Some of the most commonly recognized project management approaches are:

  • Traditional

The most commonly adopted approach wherein the project managers achieve their desired results and outcomes within the stipulated period and under the pre-planned budget. Suitable for those projects that do not have frequent changes.

  • Agile

The agile approach is less traditional and has no timelines. The projects are more fluid, flexible, and innovative. As and when updates and changes are done, managers receive real-time feedback to ensure changes happen in their next feature rollout plans. This approach is best for the software development industry.

  • Waterfall

This approach separates the product development process into groups with related tasks to be completed before moving to the next phase. Hence, this minimizes hazards and further errors. The team remains aware of what to work on next and on future expectations.

Construction, media production, and manufacturing are the best industries for adopting the waterfall project approach.

  • Systems

Systems is a methodological approach wherein project management framework, project planning, project monitoring, and project adapting steps work in a continuous project control loop until the project gets completed.

  • Program Management

Useful for managers, this approach is helping them handle several projects at the same time. Program management is usually used about projects that need functional improvement. Eg. change management or industrial engineering.

Besides the above, Scrum, Kanban, Extreme programming, Six sigma, Rapid Applications development (RAD), etc. are successful approaches that help organizations in framing the right strategies for growth and development.

What is Consulting Approach?

Consulting approach is the system, process, and entire approach you need to develop the solutions to clients’ problems. These methodologies contain professionally designed frameworks comprising of information and analyses. However, the analyses should be based on proven facts and a structured system of tools and actions that enable giving clients benefits from the solutions.

Some of the known consulting approaches are as explained below:

  • Issue-Based Consulting

This is a powerful approach adopted by top-level consulting firms. It helps manage complex problem-solving and generates alternative solutions for the clients. Consulting firms like McKinsey, Booz, and Company, and BCG, etc have adopted an issue-based consulting approach. It also helps consultants to manage consulting engagement efficiently. With this approach, the consultants are enabled to reach the best possible solution within a limited time frame. The method is also known as 5 stages consulting process framework.

  • Consulting Led Selling

This approach leads to higher sales and customer retention. The knowledge and experience of companies should be made as the basis of the business strategy for further market exploration. Consulting led selling enables your business to achieve concrete competitive advantages as they are based on the vision and mission of the organization.

Consulting-led selling contains four pillars namely, Insight Selling, Issue-Based Consulting, Storytelling, and Management of Change.

  • Storytelling

This part of consulting approach can give amazing results and is highly effective. With this approach businesses can create a strong and compelling message in writing, translate complex stories into simple language, create captivating messages,  and prepare a structure of messages in a manner audience will understand and remember.

  • Change Management

Based on the latest insights available from McKinsey and Gartner, an effective change management approach needs to be developed. This approach strives to support the team with enough knowledge and expertise. Several benefits such as software implementation, business process redesign, security and data protection programs. 

Factors Differentiating Both the Approaches:

  • Skills and Talent Requirements

In the project approach, the experience is built up over years by managing small to large teams with acquired certifications.

In consulting approach, niche skills combined with experience in the specific domain area along with functional consulting is required.

  • Opportunities and Growth

In the project approach, there are a variety of processes and steps involved at various levels of management such as delivery role to account management.

In consulting approach, there are consultants with great proficiency and work experience of around eight to twelve years.

  • Risks

The project approach has standardized work methodologies. Hence, there is a lesser room for adopting hybrid work models or combining two methods for the same project.

With the availability of skillful experts, each of the methodologies is dynamic, flexible, exclusive, and result-oriented.

  • Type of Projects That can be Taken

The project approach contains steps such as implementation, rollout, application support cum maintenance.

Consulting approach contains only implementation and rollout.

Determinants Of Selecting the Right Approach

  • The selection of the right approach for your next project is based on the organizational forces and choices and attitudes of team members. 
  • Apart from established setups, small ventures and startups face a long list of challenges from personnel reductions, tight budgets, rising costs, increasing security risks, to ever-increasing competition for funding. 
  • No matter how varied these challenges are, the success depends on the fundamental aspects of developing, designing, and implementing their projects.
  • The project teams need to brainstorm on which approach shall suit the most for gaining desired results. 
  • The organization must be able to manage and sustain a similar level of efficiency across all the projects.

Conclusion

To wrap up, organizations must know that the same methodology doesn’t fit for all kinds of projects. To find a suitable approach, managers must find out the needs and the scope of the project on initial grounds. To choose the right experts who can help you determine the best approach for your next project, feel free to contact us!

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