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Technologists, Coordinators and Bridges


imageTechnologists, Coordinators and Bridges From the projects described in this chapter, it appears that consultants have three distinct roles to play when it comes to implementing electronic trading initiatives. The first, not surprisingly, relates to the technology itself. Part of the role ... [full story]


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Getting the Technology Right


imageGetting the Technology Right Electronic trading is necessarily about moving information across systems, allowing (at a corporate level) organizations to exchange information quickly and accurately, and (at an individual level) people to access common sources of information easily, irrespective of where ... [full story]


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Pull Not Push


imagePull Not Push The first generation of knowledge management and workflow systems opted for the stick, rather than the carrot, approach. Compliance was everything: once systems had been developed, people had to be made to use them. This is not a ... [full story]


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Electronic Trading


imageElectronic Trading Overview Information is the life blood of a joined-up world. Yet, successive initiatives - knowledge management, e-business - have failed to deliver a free flow of information to those who need it in many, if not most, organizations. Old challenges ... [full story]


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Delivery


imageDelivery Accenture's work with Sainsbury's begins with a consulting premise - how best to improve business performance - and translates this into practical changes to systems and processes. While advising its client on how to achieve those improvements, it is also ... [full story]


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Independent advice


imageIndependent advice PA Consulting Group's role was to advise the MHRA throughout the outsourcing process. It worked with the Agency to convert a high-level strategy into a practical set of requirements and to draw up a proposition that balanced the MHRA's ... [full story]


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From Advice to Delivery


imageFrom Advice to Delivery Outsourcing is big business for the consulting industry. 2001-03 has seen a significant shift away from more traditional consulting services towards outsourcing and outsourcing-related work. Philip Geiger is a Board Director at the IT consulting firm, Xayce: You ... [full story]


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Second-Generation Outsourcing


imageSecond-Generation Outsourcing Although the need to minimize costs still plays an important role in the decision to outsource, all three of the organizations featured in this chapter were seeking additional benefits. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) wanted to ... [full story]


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Outsourcing


imageOutsourcing Outsourcing has come a long way from the days in which organizations saw it as a way of washing their hands of a problem and cutting costs into the bargain. Once primarily a defensive strategy - shedding non-core work - ... [full story]


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It Consulting: Leaner and Fitter?


imageIt Consulting: Leaner and Fitter? For IT consultants, each of the five factors above represents a significant change in their way of working: indeed, to a large extent, IT consulting has had to reinvent itself since the late 1990s. Internet technology ... [full story]


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Multi-sourcing


imageMulti-sourcing The IT department of 10 years ago might well have expected large-scale projects to be undertaken by a single supplier, but it is rare these days for clients to ‘single source'. The complexity of the work and technology involved means ... [full story]


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Speed


imageSpeed But flexibility can be a double-edged sword: ensuring that the final system will meet a complex set of requirements increases the risk of delay. Too many changes can make a project seem never-ending. Yet all of these projects were completed ... [full story]


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Versatility and flexibility


imageVersatility and flexibility Of course, taking a wide range of different requirements into account necessitates not only intense user involvement, but also an ability to respond to changes. None of these projects would have succeeded if those in charge had adopted ... [full story]


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Heterogeneity, not uniformity


imageHeterogeneity, not uniformity Whereas the monolithic systems of the 1990s were predicated on the idea of bringing the disparate functions of an organization together by standardizing processes and centralizing control, the initiatives described in these case studies are indicative of a ... [full story]


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Making good use of tried and tested ‘new' technology


imageMaking good use of tried and tested ‘new' technology Each of the organizations featured in the case studies in this chapter faced significant challenges. London's was the world's largest congestion charging scheme to be developed. The JTrack system for the Criminal ... [full story]


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Technology Exploitation


imageTechnology Exploitation Overview The four case studies in this chapter illustrate the extent to which IT and IT consulting have evolved over the last 10 years. In the mid-1990s, it was the private sector that set the pace. A large-scale IT project might ... [full story]


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Strategy Consulting: Smaller, Leaner, Fitter


imageStrategy Consulting: Smaller, Leaner, Fitter Strategy consulting was the main casualty of the downturn in the consulting market after 2001. Yet, as most consultants will tell you, strategy consulting has by no means disappeared. Certainly, with few organizations brave enough to ... [full story]


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Business Strategy


imageBusiness Strategy Overview Strategy has not had an easy time since the millennium. Squeezed by a combination of economic downturn and endemic scepticism about the visionary ideas of the e-business boom, most strategic planning departments - if they still exist - have ... [full story]


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Providing incentives to change


imageProviding incentives to change Resolving operational problems often depends on getting diverse groups of people to work together. The fifth and final facet of the best operational consulting is to ensure, once a change has been made, that it sticks. At ... [full story]


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Passing the baton from consultant to client


imagePassing the baton from consultant to client Skills transfer is something that clients consistently put high on their agenda when it comes to hiring consultants - it is not enough to use consultants to solve a problem, they have to show ... [full story]


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Know-how - and knowing how to implement it


imageKnow-how - and knowing how to implement it Although apocryphal, it is still a pertinent story. A critical machine in a large factory breaks down, holding up production worth tens of thousands of dollars a day. When the in-house experts cannot ... [full story]


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Still seeing the trees


imageStill seeing the trees Of course, problems viewed in isolation can be highly misleading. Cut out as much of the white noise as possible that typically surrounds a business problem, and you can be left with something that can look deceptively ... [full story]


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Seeing the wood for the trees


imageSeeing the wood for the trees One of the key ways in which consultants can help improve performance is by pinpointing the underlying cause of a problem. Every one of us finds it hard to step back from our daily lives: ... [full story]


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The Five Pillars of Operational Consulting


imageThe Five Pillars of Operational Consulting The case studies in this chapter highlight five fundamental ways in which consulting firms help organizations to improve their performance. [full story]


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Operational Performance


imageOperational Performance Overview At any point in the economic cycle - bull years and bear years - the vast majority of businesses are performing neither very well nor very badly. Their markets are not growing; their cost bases are relatively stable; there ... [full story]


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Advising Versus Doing


imageAdvising Versus Doing It is also clear from these three cases that consultants are playing an increasingly important role in the day-to-day running of the HR function. Consulting here is not a nice-to-have, an optional extra: instead, consultants are performing fundamental ... [full story]


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Avoiding fuzzy thinking


imageAvoiding fuzzy thinking HR is often regarded as one of the woollier areas of management, yet all these cases indicate that information - hard facts - plays an increasingly important role. Misconceptions and assumptions were clouding Evotec's understanding of why employee ... [full story]


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Helping people to help themselves


imageHelping people to help themselves Empowerment is a much misused word, reminiscent of Dilbert cartoons in which some petty bureaucrat ‘orders' a humble worker to take charge of his life. Moreover, cynics might attribute the idea of selfservice HR to tighter ... [full story]


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Going to the people, not expecting them to come to you


imageGoing to the people, not expecting them to come to you The stereotypical HR manager is stuck behind the desk of an organizational backwater: nothing could be further from the case here. The only way Evotec could understand the roots of ... [full story]


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Thinking on your feet


imageThinking on your feet Momentum has to be balanced with flexibility, and none of the projects in this chapter were designed to a pre-determined formula. Clearly, there are always constraints, but the ability to accommodate change at short notice was a ... [full story]


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Change Management


imageChange Management Overview What stops organizations doing what they want? Everyone is aware of the often yawning chasm between strategy on paper and implementation in practice. There is no easy or single solution to the complex issues involved in gaining employee commitment to ... [full story]


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Human Resources


imageHuman Resources Overview The HR function of popular mythology is staffed by short-sighted bureaucrats bogged down in inventing ever more labyrinthine rules: more Stasi than strategy. As in any myth, there is an element of truth in this. While publicly upholding the ... [full story]



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