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Please work through the lessons on the right by clicking the indicated links. Each Unit is supported by a webinar in which core concepts are explained, case studies are discussed and tacit consulting skills are shared.

Professional Certifications

06. Core Analytical Techniques For Consultants

Consultants need to have a good practical grasp of a number of core analytical techniques. Supported by suitable client research, analysis enables us to start identifying opportunities to create client value. Great analysis can result in major insights that deliver client value. The objective of this module is to give you a good practical understanding of:

  • How to define a Strategic Business Unit
  • Industry context analysis:- PEST => PESTLE => STEEPLE
  • Industry competitor analysis:- Porter’s 5 force model
  • Value chain analysis
  • Competitive position analysis:- SWOT analysis
  • Quantitative benchmarking (internal and external)
  • Software tools for analysis

Please attend the webinar and complete the following activities…

6.1 How To Define A Strategic Business Unit

Strategic Business Units or SBUs are an efficient way to structure complex organisational activities into manageable chunks that can operate successfully in their business environment. Client organisations are often structured into SBUs and the consultant’s task is to help clients improve any aspect of SBU performance. Consultants even get involved in defining SBUs as well as helping clients choose and develop their portfolio of SBUs.

Lesson – How to Define a Strategic Business Unit

6.2 Industry Context Analysis:- PEST => PESTLE => STEEPLE

Consultants frequently work in sectors they have not encountered before. Industry context analysis allows them to rapidly understand the key issues clients might face. The above acronyms stand for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental and Ethical dimensions.

Lesson – PEST => PESTLE => STEEPLE Analysis

6.3 Industry Competitor Analysis:- Porter’s 5 Force Model

Now that we understand the client’s industry context, Porter’s 5 Force Model is a powerful framework to assess competitive context. Please view the Michael Porter’s video via the link below and then running through the lesson which identifies key factors.

Lesson – Porter’s 5 Force Model

6.4 Value Chain Analysis

With a clear picture of a client’s SBUs and the economic environment they are operating in, Value Chain Analysis (VCA) allows consultants to build an in-depth understanding of how each SBU operates within its industry, where costs are incurred and profits made. VCA also provides a framework for understanding how this compares with competitors and benchmarks.

Lesson – Value Chain Analysis
Resource – Value Chain / Functional Analysis Excel File

6.5 Competitive Position Analysis:- SWOT / TOWS Analysis

With a strong understanding of the industry context and competition, we can now identify our client’s competitive position. There are dozens of analytical tools to do this. However, SWOT / TOWS Analysis provides rapid qualitative insights which can be further refined if required.

Lesson – SWOT / TOWS Analysis

6.6 Ratio Analysis – Internal Benchmarking

Ratio analysis is one of the key techniques used to assess an organisation’s performance. The figures used generally are not made public, and thus only are available within the business. This section of the course describes ratios encountered in commercial businesses, but these are applicable to public and not-for-profit sectors too.

Lesson – Ratio Analysis for Internal Benchmarking

6.7 Best Practice External Benchmarking

Value chain analysis and SWOT / TOWS allow us to focus on the critical areas of a client organisation and develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to benchmark against best practice. These techniques help us to identify and evidence areas where a client is weak and needs to improve.

Lesson – External Benchmarking

6.8 Software Tools

In this module, we will introduce you to some analysis tools, explain why we think that they are useful for consultants and give general examples of their use. These are all software tools.

  • We believe that such tools must have certain attributes:
  • They need to facilitate communication between team members, regardless of location.
  • They need to store and codify communications such that others joining in the dialogue at a later date can understand the thread.
  • They need to be able to help distil the essence of the knowledge from complex background information.
  • They should be able to assist with discovering non-obvious connections.
  • Of course, they also need to be simple to use and inexpensive for a single user.

Lesson – Software Tools