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Governance of delivery of business value by consultants

Management and IT consultants are typically used to further the strategic and operational objectives of a bank.  In fact, financial institutions account for, by far, the most spending on consultants than any other industry sector across almost all countries (about 25% of total spend in the U.S. and a whopping 46% in Australia).  Underperformance by consultants, relative to their potential (which happens all too often for a variety of reasons), results in underperformance in realizing a bank’s business objectives.

 

Does the board of your bank ensure that there is the necessary central accountability as well as internal structures in place so that: 

a) Consultants are only used where and when necessary to focus on the right problem;

b) Internal and external conflict of interests in selecting and managing consultants are avoided;

c) Lessons learned are captured and internal capabilities are developed to better manage consultants to deliver greater value for the business; and

d) Independent reviews are undertaken at the completion of projects involving consultants to assess value actually delivered meets or exceeds that stated in the original business case or consultant proposal?

Too often, such central accountability and components for effectively managing consultants are lacking.  We discuss this issue more extensively in a recent article in Company Directors magazine (see http://www.extractvaluefromconsultants.com/blog/index.php/in-the-news/article-in-company-director-magazine/ ). 

What is your experience and what do you believe needs to be done?

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