7 Common Consulting Firm Project Management Challenges
Every consulting business has its own unique challenges across the services industry. However, successfully managing projects is a common challenge faced by every consulting firm. Finding creative solutions to delivering successful projects is the key to long-term success.
The following project management challenges are experienced by many consulting firms. Understanding their effects can help your business overcome these challenges and find greater success.
1. Developing New Clients
In Consulting it takes time and energy to not only gain, but also develop relationships with new clients. Getting to know their needs, unique struggles, and overall goals to provide the most effective consultation services possible doesn’t happen overnight. Devoting the right amount of time to client development while also moving projects forward is a unique challenge and finding the right balance can bring new levels of success.
2. Keeping the Right Resources
Like all industries, consulting firms experience turnover. However, when a resource leaves a consulting business, this not only changes the available skills, but can impact a firm’s relationship with a client, if the former resource was the client’s main point of contact. Keeping turnover low is especially critical in the consulting industry, as this will help keep client relationships healthy and stable.
3. Gaining Project Efficiency
Consulting services are often labor intensive due to their dependence on in-depth research, analysis, process management, facilitation, and more. Multiple project stages, each with multiple tasks, can have a negative effect on project efficiency.. But with helpful project insights and streamlining techniques, consulting firms can provide valuable services and speed up the time to value.
4. Innovating New Ideas to Stay Competitive
Consulting firms not only compete with each other based on the quality of their services, but on the innovative and exciting ideas they bring to clients. While these new concepts must have a proven value for the client, they should also represent a step forward that will keep a client successful and competitive in a changing industry. Innovating new ideas can mean brand new types of projects built from scratch and new skills pulled from resources, creating higher costs behind innovation.
5. Keeping Up With Shifting Client Demands
It’s natural for clients to change their goals and service requests over time, but this can cause major project setbacks for a consulting project. Because effective consulting requires an in-depth understanding of a business, these shifting demands can call this understanding into question. In the event that a client makes a major shift in requirements in the middle of a project, or overhauls the goals for the business, it can cause a project to restart, delaying timelines and potentially cutting into profit margins.
6. Staying Profitable
It can be easy to lose track of true profitability as consultants work to facilitate client relationships and create projects that have a positive impact on businesses. Becoming profitable is the goal of every consulting firm, but staying profitable requires a detailed profit and loss measurement, budget tracking, and a successful project strategy that keeps resources on track and margins healthy.
7. Increasing Project Complexity
As a consulting firm becomes more familiar with a client and the client begins to trust the firm’s input more, projects will become increasingly complex over time. This increasing complexity makes projects larger, more challenging for resources, and more difficult to manage. This can create even more challenges for a firm without experienced project managers and technology solutions that aid in the management process.
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