The consulting space is more competitive than ever. Prospective hires are being offered higher salaries with more perks in a bid to attract and retain top consulting talent.
While these undoubtedly help in attracting the best of the best, what about the day-to-day employee experience of your new hires?
The truth is that the typical consulting workflow – especially for junior consultants – is made up of manual, tedious, and repetitive tasks. This coupled with the quick turnaround times demanded on a consulting project usually means long hours, a lot of admin, and a fair amount of stress. In fact, most consultants spend the first two weeks of the project just dealing with expert networks to book calls with industry specialists for the project.
Certainly, not the experience elite talent would hope for after landing a position in top-tier consulting work.
So how did we get here?
Companies know that happier employees tend to be more productive and stay in the role for longer. They also know that one of the easiest ways to improve overall employee experience is to identify tasks that can be automated or greatly simplified, freeing up consultants’ time to focus on more fulfilling, value-adding tasks.
However, up until recently, there was not a viable project management platform for consultants out there. This means that the current, largely manual consulting project workflow has established itself as the status quo.
But imagine an alternative. A workflow where tedious tasks could be automated, calls booked in a couple of clicks, and endless email threads transformed into one single messaging center.
We explore the proSapient platform and how its approach to consulting project workflows can save your consultants hours in admin every single week and create a better employee experience.
What are the main causes of stress on consulting projects?
But let’s start by briefly looking at why a typical consulting project such as due diligence involves manual and repetitive tasks.
The first part of a typical consulting project usually involves finding and booking calls with industry experts. To ensure enough high-quality experts are found, consultants fire off a request to multiple expert networks. As the networks reply with their chosen experts, consultants manually collate this in an Excel sheet, adding bios and any other relevant information.
This is time-consuming because consultants have to speak with multiple networks at the same time and on each occasion copy and paste data, as well as removing any duplicate entries.
Next, consultants request the availability of the selected experts and manually schedule each call. This step involves asking multiple networks for the availability, confirming call times and adding this to their calendars. Without a central dashboard, it’s easy to lose sight of the overall project status, and this can quickly lead to email overload.
On completing a call, transcripts are often run through transcription software that is not accurate enough and has to be manually corrected. Finally, compliance officers run manual checks such as MNPI before approving each transcript.
The main source of stress for consultants is the combination of repetitive, non-fulfilling tasks coupled with the time pressure of having to get them done quickly.
- Junior consultants – get stuck doing manual admin tasks, constantly switching between Outlook, Excel, Slack, and other tools.
- Project leads – don’t have overall project visibility and also get stuck on admin tasks, rather than adding value elsewhere.
- Compliance officers – have to run tedious manual compliance checks such as MNPI, which is time-consuming and prone to human error. Often this workflow is not integrated into automated transcription software.
- Expert networks – don’t receive standard project templates from clients and waste time requesting missing information from consultants.
Let’s try a small thought experiment.
Could you imagine booking a vacation using this workflow?
First, you send an email out to the airlines with your prospective dates, desired routes, and layovers, and await their response. Once each airline replies, collate all this data manually in an Excel sheet and reply with your chosen routes. Same again for the hotel.
It would be tedious, to say the least.
Fortunately, there is a better way.
The principles of a better consulting workflow
Knowing these core inefficiencies in the consulting workflow, we can map out the key areas to improve:
- Automation – where possible, tasks should be automated or simplified. Finding, collating, and booking calls with experts are prime candidates.
- Contextual communication – a single dashboard for consultants would allow them to comment in the context of the project task they are referring to. This is more efficient than sending emails or Slack messages to colleagues.
- Centralized communication – when an expert network requests missing information or a consultant wishes to clarify something, one centralized messaging center would keep everyone on the same page, allowing prompt, efficient replies.
- End-to-end project management – a project management platform should allow consultants to manage their projects end to end. No more switching between different applications.
This is exactly the approach the proSapient takes with its project management platform.
The proSapient approach – work smarter not harder
The proSapient platform was built on one governing principle: create the best possible user experience by optimizing the consulting workflow.
Here’s how it creates a better experience for consultants:
1. Empowers consultants to find and connect with experts in one place
Consultants simply login into proSapient, create a new project, and the request is sent to all chosen expert networks simultaneously
2. One list of experts from all networks
As expert networks suggest experts, they automatically appear in the proSapient dashboard with all relevant information, including bio and the network they came from. Duplicates are automatically removed. No more copying and pasting.
3. Book calls in a couple of clicks
From within the proSapient dashboard, consultants can provide or request availability in just a couple of clicks. They can also integrate their calendar and use the auto-booking feature. All responses are tracked meaning they are always up to date. Calls can now be booked in minutes not hours.
4. Helps project leads to add value
The proSapient dashboard offers unprecedented visibility for project leads. At a glance, they can see how many calls have been booked, carried out, and how many transcripts have made it through compliance checks. This frees up time for them to add value elsewhere.
5. AI-assisted compliance checks
Call recordings are often run through automatic transcription software. However, this software does not include an integrated compliance workflow and is often not accurate enough to retain transcripts for further use. For compliance officers, this makes keeping an overview of transcripts next to impossible. proSapient has built compliance into its project management platform including features that can automatically scan transcripts for company mentions.
Empower your consultants with an enhanced project management workflow
proSapient is packed with features that will save your consultants hours in admin every week.
Gain the edge in attracting and retaining top consulting talent with industry-leading software, offering a much-improved employee experience for your consultants.