I worked for a medium-sized consulting company myself for a few years and we mostly worked at the customer’s site. As a consulting team, we supported a large DAX company with absolutely flexible and agile digitization. Every request of the customer was implemented by us in an absolutely flexible and individual way. So we were, as it was on our website: an agile companion in the digital transformation.

Reading tip: Agile IT service providers

“Please coordinate agility with customers”

The disadvantage was that we were tied 1: 1 to the interests and guidelines of the customer with regard to working hours, home office and place of work. But I often see promises on the websites of consulting companies: company events, home office, flextime and modern workspaces. But then I hear from my IT consultants friends:

We have flexitime, modern workspaces and home office but that is not possible because we have to adhere to the customer’s guidelines.

Statement from the consultants

Internal agility and NewWork: often many possibilities

Consulting companies offer great company events and also have really great offices. Flexitime and home office are also permitted internally without restriction in almost all cases. The problem, however, is that you are always bound by the customer’s guidelines and therefore has no leeway to use it. The reason is as good as always: “The customer said no” and going to company events often means that fewer hours can be allocated to the customer. So the question remains: How do I create an agile corporate culture when all employees are not on site and you are bound by the customer’s framework?

Reading tip: Consulting 4.0

Internal digitization: often many possibilities

The internal software tools and hardware are really very good at many companies. You can scan travel expenses and receipts directly or even get a company credit card and expenses. However, in addition to the great Macbook from the consulting company, you also get the customer’s laptop: a mostly 12KG heavy brick with Windows 7. Please use this every day and also work on the customer’s tools. So the question remains: How do I design modern digitization when I am tied to the customer’s software and hardware?

Reading tip: Advice 4.0

Now the central question remains: How can a consulting company be agile and digital internally when everything has to be coordinated with the customer?

Agile-Unternehmen.de

Conclusion: adapt customer contracts

My recommendation is that the individual consultants should be close to the customer and be allowed to make decisions independently with the key account manager. The account manager is the advocate of the customer and the employees. He knows the customer and speaks his language, but also defends the consultants.

The internal teams such as HR, internal IT and travel management support the consultants in their work and provide great services and products such as laptops or Office 365.

The task now is to untie the knot of agility and digitization. The board helps the account managers to negotiate new work options such as remote work and flextime as well as their own hardware at the customer’s premises. It is important to loosen contracts and attract exciting projects and customers. Due to the rather supportive activity, the board has enough time to forge strategic partnerships and to attract new and modern customers.

The board of directors and internal teams help consultants to implement NewWork

Photo credit : Business photo created by yanalya – www.freepik.com

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Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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