– ICMCI Success Story –
ICMCI Provides Blueprint for Establishing Self-help in Emerging Economies
Efficient Use of Development Funds
Balancing Investment in People, Process and Technology
Building Capacity in Developing Economies
John J. Tracy CMC, (ICMCI Representative to UN)
Dr. Baldwin H. Tom CMC, (ICMCI Representative to UN)
Brian Ing CMC, President-Elect, ICMCI
Peter Sorensen CMC, President, ICMCI
The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes
New York Contact:
John J. Tracy CMC
c/o Tracy-Hayden Associates
P. O. Box 1100
South Orange, NJ 07079
PO Box 1058
3860 BB NIJKERK,
– ICMCI Success Story –
ICMCI Provides Blueprint for Establishing Self-help in Emerging Economies
Efficient Use of Development Funds
Executive Summary – ICMCI International Success
The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) successfully crafted and executed a plan that bonds the national Management Consulting Institutes in 44 countries to the same Standards of Competency, Rules of Conduct, and Code of Ethics. This value of this unparalleled action to the international community assures that client beneficiaries of consulting services receive the same quality of performance.
ICMCI has also escalated professionalism by globally establishing the coveted CMC recognition, the Certified Management Consultant. All professional management consultants CMC’s have access to best practices, are trained in the use of the very important Value Chain, and trained to provide independent and objective advice.
ICMCI believes that an active indigenous professional management consultancy sector improves the value of development in a country. When experienced and indigenous management consultant CMC’s work together, development projects are ensured that local factors are taken into account and this significantly enhances the likelihood of an economic and successful implementation of development projects. We contend that the argument to support this proposition is straightforward.
Looking forward, ICMCI wishes to partner with funding bodies to enable improvements in the effectiveness of funded programs in developing countries by establishing indigenous management consulting institutes, as a key component in developing their own infrastructure, leading to teams of Certified Management Consultants.
Background – ICMCI and the CMC
The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) (http://www.icmci.org/) is an association of professional national Management Consulting Institutes founded in 1987 by seven developed country member institutes when it was officially launched at a meeting in Paris, France at the L’Hotel Lafayette. The Institute is committed to establishing and supporting consulting institutes, many in developing countries, and to provide each with the knowledge needed to operate competence based organizations committed to proficiency, quality and a strict code of conduct.
ICMCI admits to membership National Institutes of Management Consultancy who meet these criteria, satisfy a rigorous evaluation evidencing that they are fit to be both the national representative of ICMCI and to award the Certified Management Consultant qualification (CMC). This qualification is a single international standard that provides assurance to the international community of the competence and professionalism of identified consultants.
Since 1987, working primarily with volunteers and with little or no government or outside institutional funding, ICMCI has grown to recognize 44 National Member Institutes (2006) worldwide. ICMCI’s track record of inclusion has recently established National Institutes that meet the rigorous requirements in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bangladesh, Korea and Brazil. Work is currently in progress in Thailand. The People’s Republic of China and Chinese Taipei were both accepted as Provisional Members of ICMCI on 25 June 2004.
ICMCI’s Mission and the Role of CMC’s
ICMCI’s mission (role) is to serve as the focal point for recognizing qualified national management consulting institutes and for certifying individual consultants. ICMCI’s responsibilities include providing the means to collect best practices from National Member Institutes worldwide, to align the certification process, and to oversee adherence to the Professional Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics among all institutes.
ICMCI controls the world wide standard for the only internationally recognised qualification in management consultancy, the CMC (Certified Management Consultant) designation. The CMC qualification is competence based and its award is backed by a rigorous quality assurance process across all National Institutes (see http://www.icmci.org/.) This approach helps give credence to the notion that there can be, and are, assurances of international standards of competency and integrity that promote true reciprocity among Certified Management Consultant (CMC) members across the Member Institutes around the world.
Successfully carrying out this mission helps ICMCI create international recognition of the CMC so all beneficiaries of consulting services can avail themselves of the professionals in Member Institutes.
In support of this mission, ICMCI sends qualified management consultants to developing countries to train local management consultants and mentor fledging institutes.
The Role of Management Consultants
A management consultant is competent in the consulting and change management processes that can lead organizations to real benefits realized from consultation. The management consultant is knowledgeable of the importance of people, processes and technology in defined sectors and disciplines and acts professionally, at all times, in the client’s best interests. In particular a management consultant is objective, independent and possesses the integrity that regards the client’s best interests as paramount.
The Importance of Being a Certified Management Consultant
ICMCI is proud to be the only custodian of internationally recognized management consulting qualifications in the world today: the CMC or Certified Management Consultant designation. Few other professions have such a unified international qualification. This recognition is increasingly accepted worldwide. CMC certification has been adopted as the benchmark by many large international consulting firms and is often used as a criterion for selecting management consultants for particular assignments.
Certified Management Consultants are expected to be competent in consulting processes, proficient in understanding the sector or industry in which they consult, and competent in at least one discipline or skill (such as strategy, management, finance, program management, change management, coaching, logistics, Information Technology, etc.). The CMC qualification ensures that individuals have demonstrated that they have the requisite combination of skills needed to successfully conclude assignments.
In addition to professional competence, all qualified consultants must adhere to a strict Code of Conduct. Among other requirements, the code insists that 1) Client interests come first; 2) A consultant must have integrity, objectivity and independence and 3) Shall not behave in a way to undermine the profession as a whole, or individual parts. This Code of Conduct is reinforced within a Code of Ethics. (See http://www.icmci.org/.)
The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) is eminently positioned to improve the use of development funds by providing Certified Management Consultants (CMCs) and by aiding the development of indigenous management consulting institutes, worldwide.
ICMCI’s Mission as an NGO
The ICMCI Mission as a UN NGO
ICMCI will strive, with appropriate national and international support, to establish professional management consulting institutes in developing economies, and will work with other NGOs to assist them understand how the use of qualified indigenous management consultants could assist them achieve their goals for leadership, change management and development in the economy.
The role of management consultants in developing economies
Developing economies have ambitions and desires for fast and effective development. And where limited funds are available, and where an increase in the effectiveness of aid projects could be assured with the use of qualified management consultants, effective use of these resources are sought by benefactors and beneficiaries alike.
In developing economies, ICMCI has found a marked shortage of competent indigenous management consultants, which often leads to obtaining less-than-optimal results. This finding proves especially difficult for funded projects (or proposals for funding) where funding agencies (often fellow NGOs) seek assurances upon which they can routinely rely on the professionalism and integrity of their advisors. The situation is amplified when limited funds are available and where a critical few percentage points of improvement in the effectiveness of a project’s performance could be assured with the availability of qualified management consultants. Universal access to qualified management consultants who can achieve on-time, on-budget performance is a worthwhile goal for the UN and the consulting profession. To this purpose, the ICMCI NGO mission is targeted.
Although the achievement of goals may be limited, by among other factors, the quantity and quality of available support, one very significant success variable is the effective design and efficient execution of programs and projects. Effective design and execution is a value-creating circle. More effective use of resources creates more wealth and capacity in developing economies, and it demonstrates results to external support benefactors, which in turn justifies further support. Thus more support and more effective development can be achieved.
ICMCI’s key activities to support the NGO mission
For these reasons, the management consultancy profession and, in particular, the singular international organization, ICMCI, is prepared to assist in this significant value creation. ICMCI has established mechanisms to do so and it has resolved to use its experience in developing national management consulting institutes to assist in the development of new Institutes. This assistance could include, but not be limited to: direct project funded by a Member Institute; obtaining funding for such activities from other bodies (e.g. The British Council, The European Commission, The Asia Pacific Development Bank, multinational companies, The World Bank); individual ICMCI member volunteers; mentoring emergent new national Institute through to full ICMCI membership; and globally promoting the value of using independent indigenous management consultants to create the successful realization of projects that grant-giving and project-leading agencies seek.
In partnership with many others, ICMCI has previously used the following mechanisms to encourage or help establish new national institutes:
Supported a national government funded body in a developed economy to empower its own national management consulting institute to support another country’s development of its own institute;
ICMCI supported government and supra government agencies as part of those governments aid programs in funding the development of new national institutes;
CMC members from national Institutes, working in developing countries, used their newly formed contacts to initiate the development of a local institute; and
Governments and agencies in developing economies, recognizing the benefit and the high return from the investment (in an institute), used their own resources to acquire support from other established institutes to develop the profession in their own country.
The Value Chain – It’s Importance to Project Management
The Value Chain: The benefits obtainable
In all economies, especially in developing economies with external support, it is helpful to understand the Value Chain and how its importance extends from planning to the achievement of improvement goals. When each step in the universally accepted Value Chain is followed – from crafting an economic plan to benefit realization (and ongoing operations if the project results in a permanent facility) – higher levels of project success can be expected. The Value Chain is depicted below:
In principle, each step in the Value Chain (from economic development plan to benefit realization) should be taken and completed expertly in order to optimize use of available development funding. Just one poorly undertaken step can put at risk the entire scope of the eventual benefit of a funded investment. The range of stakeholders with a vested interest in program design and execution is shown across the steps of the Value Chain.
The Value Chain for a particular development must be supported, to some extent, by the infrastructure already in the country (financial institutions, political will, facilities already established to enable other developments to proceed or a pool of talented individuals). More specifically, certain professionals (such as engineers, bankers, accountants, project managers) will need to be involved to some degree at different points throughout the program. These professionals may come from supporting funding agencies, trans-national bodies, and international pools of expertise or from indigenous practitioners.
ICMCI contends that involving professional qualified management consultants with experience working and living in the particular country or region can improve the effectiveness of each step in the Value Chain. Thus management consultants can play a key role in increasing the efficiencies within each set of actions and the effectiveness of desired actions to reduce the overall cost of the effort and to usefully stretch the use of funds and resources obtained from development aid and financing.
Beyond the Value Chain: More benefits are obtainable
In presenting the Value Chain above, we did not mention the aspect of any ongoing efforts, i.e., that a project is only one aspect of a larger effort to establishing a new program or organizational entity. In such cases, there are ongoing operations of a facility or organization to be managed. We should also note that the same trained Certified Management Consultants (hopefully now including those from the developing country) are versed in building organizations, and in improving efficiency, effectiveness and economy of operations. Without doubt, a qualified management consultant can add value to each step of the value chain and more.
Current practice for the largest development projects is to use management consultants from developed countries. However, we would strongly encourage the simultaneous development of indigenous Certified Management Consultants to work alongside outside professionals. The former would be aware of local business practices, cultural norms (such as human resource practices) and resource availability (for instance, the supply of competent managers). ICMCI is aware that many funding bodies recognize the benefits and would wish to use indigenous consultants but they are not often present in sufficient numbers. ICMCI can help change the deficiency.
Although we have not quantified the scope of the overall benefit herein, the potential is huge, although specific benefits obtainable will vary from country to country. Assuming funded development programs total tens of billions of dollars a year even a 1% improvement in eventual outcomes through elimination of unworkable projects, cost reduction, earlier completion, improved effectiveness, elimination of duplication and benefits enhancement from projects would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars (and the 1% number is far smaller than the usual percentage impact of professional management consultants on projects.)
ICMCI contends that the potential is so large that instead of completing a detailed estimate, time and effort is best directed at improving the supply of indigenous management consultants in developing economies.
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