What Is Project Management Consultancy?
A consultant is a professional individual or business practice that provides expert advice to others. A project management consultant provides expert project management advice to external businesses. A company may hire a project management consultant if it lacks project management expertise or needs project management advice from an external, impartial party.
Project management consultant vs. project management contractor
A project management consultant and a project management contractor are two very different roles. A consultant’s job is to offer advice or support. They are not in charge of the project’s execution or responsible for its success. For example, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a well-known project management consultancy. Some of their typical services include:
- Reviewing current project management processes and capabilities
- Providing an overview of weaknesses in current processes and controls
- Recommendations for better processes and controls
- Support in the implementation of new tools, processes, and procedures
- Change management and transformation support
Notice there are no typical project manager tasks on the list. Consultants won’t create project plans, execute, monitor, control, or close out your projects. Their job is to help give your employees the right tools to do these things on their own. Contractors, meanwhile, are hired to fill an internal role. A project management contractor will typically have the same role and responsibilities as an internal project manager.
Pros and cons of project management consultancy
Some of the benefits of becoming a consultant are:
- You can choose which projects to take on
- You’re in charge of your time and typically have more schedule flexibility
- You get to set your rates and often make more money per hour
- You can work with many different companies and in various industries
Some of the drawbacks of becoming a consultant are:
- Less job security, as you work for yourself and consulting jobs may not be steady
- You will be running your own business, which means more complex accounting and taxes
How to be a project management consultant
To become a project management consultant, you should have the following:
- Strong knowledge of project management processes and best practices
- Experience applying project management principles in a variety of situations
- The ability to manage client relationships and expectations well
As a consultant, you need to prove to others that your skills and knowledge make you valuable enough to hire and provide advice. Reputation and credibility are critical to a successful consultancy.