This was the first book I read when I started my management consulting career as part of the Diploma in Management Consulting. Ever since this has made a permanent place in my book collection. This is an outstanding collection of 38 chapters organized by areas and also organized by competencies required to be a successful management consultant. The book is not only meant for novice but also for professionals. The book is organized in three parts:-
Part-I deals with management consulting perspective, fundamentally defines the consulting and shed a lot of light into consultant-client relationship and provided a vivid overview what it means to be a consultant. The book start with Chapter on nature and purpose of consulting nd provides a great fundamental knowledge for rest of the chapters. Chapter 3 highlights the client-consultant relationship and refines the role concept.
Part-II deals with very systematic and step-by-step description of a typical consulting process. This was extremely helpful section to understand typical workflow.
Part-III is the best one which is generally not available in other management consulting books. This part has individual chapters on strategic management, IT, financial management, marketing, operations, HRM, knowledge management, productivity, TQM, company transformation, entrepreneurship and public sectors. I cannot imagine if author or editor left any industry. Every chapter is organized around issues, kind of consulting work being done in these sectors. The beauty about this organization is that you don't have to read the chapters which do not pertain to your areas of expertise.
Part-IV covers the administrative and logistics aspects of management consulting as a firm. This is highly value added section which provides much needed information on role of marketing, costs, fees in consulting and also touch base with importance of marketing, quality and other necessary structure and systems needed for successful consulting. This section could be of great value if you are planning to join an established management consulting firm or opening up one of yours.
Part-V is mostly focused on career growth and training development opportunities in consulting industry.
Not only that the book boasts of a very comprehensive appendix on resources for consultants and some knowledge base on associations and other important issues like IP in consulting.
Overall book has done more than needed justice with the title of the book and is an elaborative source of the knowledge and information in management consulting. Only downside of the book is that it uses highly formal and text book language and fall little short on vividness of its coverage. Better it would have provided some perspective in form of stories and cases.