Strategic Rain consultants follow a five-phase methodology for engaging with clients. Each phase is meant to build upon the prior, as we work together to enact positive change within the client organization. Our methodology has been uniquely crafted to align with Strategic Rain's core practice areas, but is based upon the engagement methodology of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.
During the discovery phase, we create a blueprint for the consulting engagement, clearly outlining the key objectives and desired outputs. We establish the working parameters for the consulting and client management teams, and if required, will assist the client lead in socializing the initiative internally. We hold initial discovery meetings with key stakeholders to gain as much insight as possible into the organization, and the relevant aspects of the business environment. One of the most important outcomes of the Discovery phase is to identify the types of data inputs and client resources that will be required for the consulting project.
The Analysis phase is when we gather all required data inputs, and apply strategic tools and models to conduct a thorough analysis. During this phase, we identify and plan the best methods (such as primary and/or secondary research, interviews and workshops) for gathering the required information, and work with the client team to gain access to all relevant knowledge sources, reporting, product & marketing information, etc. We then conduct a detailed assessment and provide a summary of key findings.
During the Advice phase, we develop a recommended strategy for the organization in light of our key findings. The recommendations may include potential solutions to problems the organization is facing, or suggestions for new areas to explore for performance improvement or growth. The outcome may be a high-level strategic plan or set of options for the organization to consider.
For many organizations, one of the most challenging aspects of Strategy is not coming up with the best strategic direction, but rather implementing the required changes. We feel we can make a real impact on the success of the organization by continuing to engage with the company during the execution phase. Having built a relationship with many of the key stakeholders during the various phases of engagement, outside consultants can help bring focus and commitment to the implementation and change management programs. One of the most significant benefits Strategic Rain can provide during execution is to help the client ensure a positive customer experience as a result of the changes being implemented.
During the Planning phase, we go to the next level of detail to develop an integrated action plan/business plan for the recommended strategy. We conduct a cross-functional assessment of the potential impact on key stakeholders, and establish potential alternatives. We may dig deeper in specific areas, or apply additional analytical models to establish a more accurate picture of the desired end-state. We also establish cost estimates for any build/buy/partner opportunities, and work with the client to assign the required resources.