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BCS Consultancy Practice

This unique 5 day course is for IT professionals working in, or moving into, consultancy roles.

The course is equally relevant to "internal" consultants as it is to "external" consultants, outsource specialists and interims.  

As well as providing a thorough understanding of the practical skills required, the course is also designed to prepare for those seeking the following BCS certifications:

BCS Practitioner Certificate in Consultancy

BCS International Diploma in Consultancy

Key areas covered include:
  • The structure of the IS/IT industry and the role of IS consulting
  • Management of the customer relationship
  • Assignment structure, management and control
  • Management of people and relationships
  • Conducting a consulting assignment
  • Managing the quality of consulting assignment
The course takes place over 5 days. Refreshments and lunch are provided free of charge to participants. 

A very comprehensive manual, containing detailed information about consultancy techniques and providing references for further reading, is supplied as part of the course.

How to Become an Effective Consultant

Learning Objectives

Successful delegates will have demonstrated their competence in:
  • Understanding the role of the consultant in the IT/ IS industry
  • Awareness of IT issues in the business context
  • Planning and managing their client relationships over the consultancy life cycle
  • Scoping, proposing and contracting of consultancy assignments
  • Structuring, planning and controlling consultancy assignments
  • Dealing with difficult client issues
  • Appreciating human personality and responding appropriately to behaviour issues
  • Problem solving, communications and interpersonal skills specific to IS consultants
  • The application of quality control and measurement within IS consultancy assignments
During the course participants will apply techniques in the context of a typical assignment. The stages of this assignment include: 
  • Gaining Entry 
  • Contracting and Assignment Initiation 
  • Identifying Problems and Requirements 
  • Diagnosis and Solution Definition 
  • Implementing and Taking Action 
  • Closing and Review.
The case study on which the course is built is based on a genuine consultancy assignment.

Pre-Requisites

Delegates should have a minimum of 4 years' experience in Information System and Information Technology at a professional level.  Consultancy experience is not essential.

Course Content

Structure of the IT/IS industry and the roles of IS consulting
Types of organisations involved, how they have evolved and where they operate
The role of the internal consultant

Introduction, scoping and planning
Gaining entry
Contracting
Stating a consultancy assignment
Strategic analysis tools
Meeting the client and qualifying opportunities

Business environment analysis
Identifying problems and clarifying requirements
Managing the customer's needs
Business activity modelling and process modelling
Stakeholder analysis
The soft systems methodology in consulting
Solution identification

Solution definition
'As is'-'To be' gap analysis
Diagnosis and generation of options
Creative thinking
Critical success factors and key performance indicators

Proposals and contracts
Bid management
Invitations to tender, requests for information and requests for proposals
Proposals
Best and final offers
Proposal evaluation
Contracts and agreements
Work packages
Intellectual property rights

Solution appraisal
Financial planning
Charging
Evaluation and measurement of solutions
Programme and project management
The Project Initiation Document
Programme/project governance and PRINCE2
Quality management
Change control

Understanding teams
Working in consultancy teams
Negotiation and influencing skills
Motivation
Written communication and report writing
Effective presentations

Disengagement and expansion
Termination and withdrawal from an assignment
Benefits confirmation
Evaluation and follow-up

Managing the customer/consultant relationship
The effective use of consultants
Issues for sole practitioners
Dealing with conflict
The effective use of time

The theoretical concepts are underpinned by a large-scale and realistic case study assignment which represents 30-40% of the course content.  Participants work in consultancy teams on the case study and thus gain valuable experience of applying the techniques instead of just learning about them.

Exams & Certification

The course prepares delegates for the BCS written examination which will qualify candidates for the BCS Practitioner Certificate in Consultancy. The format is a two-hour, closed book, written examination, preceded by 15 minutes exam paper reading time. Pass mark is 50%.

Successful candidates who fulfil other criteria for the BCS International Diploma in Consultancy may then attend a separate BCS public examination event for an oral exam which will last up to forty-five minutes. This is conducted by two interviewers appointed by the BCS. Candidates are questioned on any of the topics on the syllabus including those already covered in the written exam. They may also be questioned on their background qualifying experience. Successful candidates attain the BCS International Diploma in Consultancy. The oral exam does not form part of this course.

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