In this course students will be able to gain a pragmatic understanding of diverse and innovative consulting approaches and to apply core consulting skills to various real-life problems. The nature, scope of consulting, and the role of consultants are quickly evolving to meet the clients’ changing needs in this digital age (e.g., ‘Traditional strategy projects’ now only accounts for 25~40% of projects, even for some of the major global ‘strategic consulting’ firms). In order to expose students to the most recent key trends, this course will touch on various approaches and topics of consulting with an emphasis on consulting related to digital/analytics/agile transformations and capability building—all being priority issues for clients across sectors these days.
The course will have a mix of case analysis and discussions, team-based project on a chosen topic, and series of guest lectures. It is designed to provide students with a practical understanding of the consulting process, problem-solving, and communication skills that will help to bring clarity and structure to a business predicament and identify appropriate solutions. A number of guest lectures and discussions are aimed to showcase different consulting topics/paths/profiles as well as client’s perspectives on the expectation and value of consulting and of consultants. This course is meant to be a practical, application focused complement to RSM 2052 Management Consulting Foundations Course, where the specific skills of consulting are developed in more depth.
The key backbone of the course is organized around the phases of a typical consulting engagement (problem definition and structuring, data gathering and analysis, and collaborative and integrative team-problem-solving, recommendations development and presentation.). Students will have a chance to go through these steps using a combination of cases, team breakouts, team project as well as interactive discussions with guest lecturers.
The course is intended both for students interested in management consulting as a career, as well as those students interested in corporate problem-solving more generally. The learning objectives of the course include:
- Gain a pragmatic understanding of various consulting approaches and topics, especially in the context of data and digital technology advancement;
- Hone advanced problem-solving skills, including interactive problem solving;
- Build team-work capabilities including providing and receiving feedback; and
- Develop a clear understanding of the value and expectations for impactful consulting projects and consultants.
In person. In 2020–2021, this course is will be offered as a full semester course in the Fall, with eight classes meeting once per week (three hours) over nine-week period. Classes will predominantly be delivered as synchronous online with two (max three) classes that have an optional in-person team project discussion for students in the INPER sections. Each of the eight classes will have synchronous online delivery. Two out of the eight classes will have a portion of the class to work on projects as a team in-person which is optional for the INPER section students and only if teams feels it will be more productive to do so. Teams may also choose to have these team discussions virtually. ONLINE students will have these team discussions virtually.
Evaluation and Grade Distribution
|Team Project Assignments||20%|
|Final Presentation (Group) and Final Project & Learning Reflections (individual)||40%|
|Feedback to and from Peers (Individual)||20%|
|Class Participation (Individual)||20%|