Keep Consulting Engagements Moving

May 4, 2020 Summer Foote

Save up to 63% on consulting with highly skilled independent talent.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic fallout have halted business plans, cut budgets, and left corporate leaders scrambling to revise yearly goals and strategies. What current projects can be saved? What to do about big initiatives in the face of a budget freeze?

2020 was slated to be a big year for business transformation. There was global buzz around AI adoption, operations streamlining, process integration, ecommerce, and digital transformation. In the face of a sudden human and economic crisis, these key projects might hang in the balance, but are even more critical for business continuity and both short-and long-term success. In fact, a recent survey of 137 IT managers suggests that despite a spending slowdown, 73% of IT operations and DevOps leaders expect to either accelerate or maintain their digital transformation initiatives.

Business Talent Group (BTG) is seeing a similar trend, with new and ongoing transformation needs in spite of (and in some cases because of) the pandemic, including: agile transformation for an F100 insurance company, software delivery process redesign, digital service delivery transformation for an F1000 technology company, molecular diagnostic testing platform process improvement for an F500 medical device company, and operating model and governance transformation for a US commercial bank.

Many executives find themselves struggling to salvage ongoing projects (often already past the strategic planning phase) without the budget or timeline required for a big consulting firm or the headcount necessary to conduct the work internally. They face big goals with limited resources, and no diminished expectations with regard to deadline. Independent talent marketplaces like Business Talent Group were built for this.

Consulting Cost Comparison

On-demand talent is a nimble and cost-effective resource to leverage against critical priorities in this moment of uncertainty. BTG conducted a cost comparison study and found that by using high-end independent talent rather than large consulting firms, companies can save up to 63%. And a deeper dive on the numbers shows an average savings of 35-49% on strategy projects and 31-47% on implementation projects.

Streamlined Team Structure

With BTG, clients are able to build highly specialized team configurations to solve specific problems, from strategy to execution. When examining team configurations on a project-specific basis, potential savings on consulting costs are even greater, at an average savings of 48-63%. Meanwhile, when clients were asked what they would consider meaningful consulting cost savings, respondents said that a savings of 15-20% would be significant. 

The study looked at multiple client scenarios and showed, for example, that a BTG 3-person team (a high-powered partner-level talent paired with a subject matter expert and a top-tier analyst) was able to conduct a significant supply chain improvement project for an F200 company that would have required a 4-level, 7-person configuration from a larger consulting supplier. The result? BTG delivered the end-to-end supply chain process overhaul at a savings of 36% over Big 4 firms and 59% over strategy firms. 

Scroll through the whole study for more project types and scenarios. 

Keep Your 2020 Plans Moving

How can executives move forward with ongoing consulting projects or overwhelming but urgent initiatives in this moment of turbulence and unpredictability? 

  • Transition out of large consulting engagements into a lower cost structure. For example, engage one independent transformation expert or assemble a small team to execute on phase 2 or 3 of a previously established consulting project. 
  • Pursue new short-term engagements by dividing up larger initiatives into smaller pieces that work within revised budgets. 
  • Hand off mounting day-to-day tasks to an independent consultant so you can focus on more pressing challenges and managing business disruption 
  • If new workstreams are popping up as a result of COVID, support them with an experienced senior project manager who is comfortable working remotely and can help your overstretched team coordinate and communicate. 
  • Consider replicating skills for the short term by appointing temporary executives who can jump in and help your team deal with challenges as they arise. 

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in the works for nearly every business leader. On-demand talent provides easy access to a customized and cost-effective source of skills and expertise that can help you through these challenging times. Need expert help? Reach out. 


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