State of the Consulting Industry – Customer Demand, Salary Survey & Trends 2011

In response to some developments over the past few years, the Consulting Industry has been undergoing some interesting changes.

As an example, the author of the article “Two threats facing the consulting industry” is of the opinion that:

As the consulting industry gradually emerges from the dark days of the Great Recession, the numbers are creeping back up to pre-recessionary levels: utilization and billing rates are up, pipelines are bulging and recruiters are busy. But even now, with all signs pointing skyward, new trends are emerging that might threaten the industry’s return to lucrative prominence.

It goes on to mention some of the opinions held by Industry Analyst – such as Fiona Czerniawska:

In a concise, well-argued piece, Fiona Czerniawska, founder of sourceforconsulting.com, discusses two emergent trends that could shake the consulting industry’s tree: internal consulting units and consultant-managers.

As further research and for those who have not come across it, Top-Consultant.com is a specialist careers website offering jobs in management consulting and internet consulting, consulting news from the big firms, industry analysis, get head-hunted facility, career information, salary survey and salary calculator, and online marketing.

This free report presents basic salary, benefits and bonus levels reported by type of consulting and seniority level. Separate data is presented for the geographical markets of UK, US, Europe and Australia – with expert commentary both from the Top-Consultant team and from our sponsors Huntswood.

Click here to download your PDF copy of the 2011/12 Salary Benchmarking Report.

You may also be interested in the following:

I welcome your thoughts and experiences.

Software Development Methods – Selecting a Pragmatic Approach

Having personally done extensive work with many Organisations over the years to help them create, adapt and implement various types of SDLCs for specific transformational needs, I found the recent article by Mark Kennaley very insightful as a categorised summary of the types of Methods that exist.

Mark describes how the various Software Development Methods (used during an SDLC) often reflect the culture, structure and processes of the Organisation and promotes either positive or negative characteristics when it comes to Delivery of  Solutions that meet Business needs.

He states that the typical negative impact on an organisation manifests itself in various costly ways:

…Each time an organization embraces a new methodology, it triggers a large change management exercise. Within IT, this change typically involves a three-to-five year process that results in the following direct costs for a 1,000-person IT organization:

  • Consulting, training, and mentoring costs to go from novice to competent, and even expert, using Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus’ skill acquisition model. For 1,000 people, this can cost $1 million to $2 million.
  • Knowledge management, to avoid the risk of relying on tacit knowledge in the heads of coaches and consultants. If performed, the capture of standard work, or “our way of working,” results in more than $1 million in costs related to process-related software.
  • Changes in approach can also trigger the need for new process management tools. Cost can range from free to $1 million or more.
  • Costs related to putting a new software delivery infrastructure in place. Hitting the reset button can cost upward of $5 million.

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Gartner Predicts Lack of BPM will topple many Global 2000 Companies

In a recent article from Gartner, they predict that:

Between now and year-end 2014 an intensifying focus on process-related skills, competencies and competitive differentiators will increasingly separate process excellence leaders from the laggards among the Global 2000, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner has identified some of its key predictions for business process management (BPM) in 2011 and beyond.

“A key theme in our BPM predictions for 2011 is the rising focus on making business process improvement (BPI) a core competency of the organization — and on the capabilities and tools required to gain that competency,” said John Dixon, research director at Gartner. “Increasing process skills in the Global 2000 will further separate the companies with enlightened process experts from those that are simply competent in the basics — and will intensify the negative repercussions and devastating consequences from public exposure of process weakness.”

It goes on to state that:

  • Between now and year-end 2014, overlooked but easily detectable business process defects will topple 10 Global 2000 companies.
  • By 2015, context-aware computing will be used to rejuvenate at least 25 percent of “commodity” enterprise processes that are currently perceived as “low value.”
  • By 2014, process templates from “nontraditional application vendors” will be included in the shortlisted options for 70 percent of application purchases.
  • General BPM certification will grow in value but will not be materially relevant to BPM hiring decisions before 2015.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how well prepared your organisation is.

Further reading:

Yet another BPM acquisition – Metastorm bought by OpenText

OpenText announced earlier this month that they have entered into an agreement to buy Metastorm.

According to the press release OpenText said:

“Metastorm will add complementary technology and expertise that enhances our ECM solutions portfolio,” said John Shackleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of OpenText. “We look forward to welcoming its employees and customers to OpenText.”

Metastorm commented that:

“We are excited by the opportunity to join the OpenText team,” said Robert Farrell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Metastorm. “Combined with OpenText, Metastorm will be able to provide a broader and deeper range of offerings to our customers, while leveraging the strength and stability that comes with being part of a larger global organization.”

Follow the various opinions and comments here:

Interested in hearing your thoughts.

Focussed Business Strategy is making a Resurgence

In recent months there has been a noticeable resurgence in the need for Business Architecture at both tactical and strategic levels. In my experience, there are many Enterprise Architects (EA’s) thinking about Business Architecture, but very few who are really doing Business Architecture.

The Standish Group, an IT research organisation, documents this annually and has historically found that 31.1% projects are cancelled before completion, 52.7% of projects will cost 189% of their original estimated cost and only 16% of projects are completed on-time and on-budget.

Apart from the typical Project Management and Software Delivery Governance and Optimisation improvements that can be adopted to improve this situation, a further and probably more advantageous approach would be to adopt ‘Problem Architects’.

Solution Architects (the opposite of Problem Architects) are more commonly technical specialists focused on defining a technical solution that is usually heavily dependent on ‘clear’ business requirements often formulated by users and project Business Analysts. In most cases, this tends to be an inexact science as it is often too complex, too ambiguous, and has lots of errata due to tight project specific deadlines.

Forrester 2010 research has found that:

“…40% of organizations now have an established business architecture program. And most of the rest are working toward creating one. For a large majority of EA teams the question has shifted from ‘When should I start my business architecture effort?’ to ‘How do I get business architecture moving?’…“

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Human Collaboration & Progress Through Ideas having Sex!

British author Matt Ridley argues that, through history, the engine of human progress and prosperity has been, and is, “ideas having sex with each other.”

Grab a drink and enjoy a thought provoking talk!

Ovum Publish BPM Vendor Decision Matrix

According to a press release from Metastorm, Ovum have released a new report about the BPM Vendor market.

The report evaluates BPM vendors based on a quantitative assessment of their market impact, end-user sentiment, and technology offering, and places them in one of three categories — explore, consider, or shortlist.

The analysis has considered various Vendors including: – Cordys, Oracle, Lombardi, Intalio, Pegasystems, SAP, Tibco, Metastorm and IBM. The press release states that Ovum have concluded the following:

Metastorm is placed in the elite “shortlist” category, which not only distinguishes its integrated software suite as “best of breed,” but also designates Metastorm as a vendor that should always be on the shortlist for any enterprise evaluating BPM solutions. According to the report, Metastorm is at “the very summit of the BPM competitive landscape.”

By contrast, Oracle and Savvion were the other vendors who made it into the ‘Shortlist’ category, while Lombardi, Appian, Active Endpoints, Ultimus, IBM and Pegasystems were in the ‘Consider’ category followed by AuraPortal, Cordys, Intalio, SAP and Tibco in the ‘Explore’ category.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences on Metastorm and if they should be on every evalutaion shortlist. The report can be found here for anybody who is interested.