This Consulting Simulation aims to help students
- work with workplace genres, particularly memos, client proposals, research proposals, progress reports, recommendation reports, and evaluation memos.
- master the interpersonal competencies prized by employers, such as goal setting, planning, task coordination, conflict resolution, and performance monitoring competencies.
- learn to work productively with co-authors, teams, peer editors, teachers, and bosses.
- negotiate and manage workplace conflicts, such as those that occur when co-authoring or working on a team.
- develop strategies for fostering successful co-authorships.
- accept critique professionally rather than personally.
This Consulting Simulation simulates the kind of work employees would do in the consulting industry.
The Consulting Simulation has nine deliverables:
- Problem-Definition Heuristic
- Client Proposal
- Team Charter
- Project Management Portfolio + Bibliography Template
- Group Research Proposal
- Research Notes + Executive Summary
- Visual Progress Report
- Recommendation Report
- Evaluation Memo
Consulting is the business of providing expert advice to a group of people. And consulting is a big business in the US and internationally. In the US alone, consulting was a $68.5 billion dollar industry in 2018. Consultants draw on their own expertise and analytical skills to help identify and define problems, do research, and recommend strategies or solutions. They must have excellent research skills; strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills; be able to tailor information to persuade specific audiences; and have crackerjack presentation skills. They do most of their work in teams.
There are three broad categories of consulting:
- management consulting
- corporate consulting
- independent consulting
Within those categories, however, consultants provide advice on everything from business strategy and IT to communications and the environment. If you’re interested in the range of consulting careers, you may enjoy this article and video; just ignore their sales pitch for advanced training at the end.
Throughout this module, you’ll act as a member of a research consulting team to:
- Identify a client and define a business need or problem*
- Research potential solutions for the problem
- Analyze your research findings
- Synthesize the findings into conclusions
- Identify and evaluate solutions to the problem based on the conclusions drawn from your findings
- Present your solutions in a recommendation report directed to the client
*Note: We’re defining “business” very loosely here. Business could be anything from your little sister’s after-school lawnmowing service to your local PTA, a church, school, neighborhood or civic group, or a group of folks you know with a similar set of interests or hobbies.
Rationale for Teamwork Projects
Collaboration is characterized by educators, cognitive psychologists, and learning scientists as one of two co-cluster of competencies that constitute the interpersonal domain: Teamwork/Collaboration & Leadership.
As discussed in 21st Century Literacies: Cognitive, Intrapersonal, and Interpersonal Competencies, “the interpersonal domain involves expressing ideas, and interpreting and responding to messages from others.”
Team projects and collaboration play a vital role in a majority of careers, ranging from engineering to business to medicine. Collaboration occurs in projects that are large and small, high-stakes and low-stakes (a bridge project, sharing new research), but it is still common in nearly every field. This consulting simulation helps you build your collaboration skills while working in a distributed team.
To successfully complete this project, you’ll complete a number of individual and group milestones.