An implementation consultant evaluates processes at a company to provide information on how to improve. This work can include substantial travel to meet directly with clients and see how they work in their own facilities. Many people in the field have college degrees in business or related subjects, and some have advanced degrees in business administration. They also have experience in the industry they work in, and familiarity with any regulatory concerns that may affect business processes.
Companies can request an implementation consultant in preparation for significant policy changes, or as part of an overall review. The consultant meets with personnel to talk to them about their work, reviews policy documentation, and discusses the work environment with executives. Consultants look specifically for areas where a company could improve, and provide substantive feedback on how to address problems with a work environment. These can include recommendations to increase efficiency and functionality in the workplace.
Firms may offer an implementation consultant to their clients as a service or part of a sales package. This can be seen most commonly with manufacturers of business software. The consultant can show a company how to effectively and efficiently use the software. Auditing could show that employees don’t understand the product, can’t use it appropriately, or don’t follow recommendations that could make it more useful. For example, people could be generating reports by hand instead of using a built-in automatic report generation feature that would do this for them.
Within a company, an implementation consultant may work on product and service development. As a member of the development team, the consultant keeps everyone on task with set goals, including what a product will do, and when it will be completed. Coordinating members of multiple teams can be part of the job, as some products require substantial cooperation between different groups. In the design of a car, for example, the implementation consultant meets with engineers, interior designers, safety specialists, and others to implement a safe and functional design.
Communication skills can be important, as implementation consultants need to be able to extract data and communicate information clearly and effectively. The ability to handle large volumes of information and balance multiple tasks at once can also be helpful. Work opportunities in this field can vary, depending on experience and qualifications. Companies with a need for consultants may list job openings on their websites or directly solicit firms that provide these kinds of services.