MGT 808 Fundamentals of Consulting

Course Catalog Description


This course introduces students to fundamental soft skills, work techniques, and technologies employed by management consultants. Topics covered in this course include project scoping, creating statements of work, meeting facilitation, project planning, design of presentations and written reports, management briefs, and delivery of status reports. The course will improve your ability to present analyses of issues and organizational problems in a concise, accurate, clear and interesting manner from the perspective of a consultant. It is designed to be taken prior to the experiential graduate courses in the School of Business.

Course Objectives

This course trains graduate students in the basic tools used by management consultants to plan, execute, and communicate their work. Students will learn to scope and plan consulting projects, develop an unambiguous statement of work, design status update presentations, management briefs, and learn how to facilitate meetings with different groups of stakeholders in the course of an industry project.

Campus Fall Spring Summer
On Campus X X
Web Campus X X


Assistant Professor Email Office
Michael zur Muehlen Babbio Center Room: 426

More Information

Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand the roles and objectives of management consultants
  • Understand the tools and techniques employed by consultants to communicate with clients
  • Facilitate meetings and gather input from clients
  • Evaluate the most appropriate mode of communication with stakeholders
  • Effectively use presentation tools
  • Create a statement of work based on a project outline
  • Create status update presentations and management briefs
  • Effectively communicate to a range of stakeholders

Course Resources

Textbook or References

  • Turner, Arthur N: Consulting is More than Giving Advice. Harvard Business Review, Aug. 31, 1982
  • Cespedes, Frank; Mattson, David: Performance Improvement Consulting and Hi-R-Me: Making Sales Calls. HBS Case 819043
  • Davenport, Thomas; Libert, Barry; Beck, Megan: Robo-Advisors Are Coming to Consulting and Corporate Strategy., January 12, 2018.
  • Christensen, Clayton M.; Wang, Dina; van Bever, Derek: Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption. Harvard Business Review, October 2013.
  • McGinn, Daniel: Inside Consulting’s Black Box. Harvard Business Review, September 2013.
  • Kesner, Idalene F.; Fowler, Sally: When Consultants and Clients Clash. Harvard Business Review, November-December 1997.
  • Various Case Studies from Harvard Business School Press.


Grading Policies

1 Homework 30%
2 Class work 40%
3 Projects 30%


Weeks Topics Readings Homework
Week 1 The role of the management consultant
Week 2 Designing a Statement of Work Sample SOW
Week 3 Scoping a Project Sample Project Scope Statement of Work
Week 4 Presentation Bootcamp I Project Scope Document
Week 5 Presentation Bootcamp II Presentation (draft)
Week 6 Meeting Facilitation I Presentation (final)
Week 7 Meeting Facilitation II
Week 8 Writing/Presenting Status Reports
Week 9 Managing Client Engagement Case Status Report
Week 10 Identifying Problems Case
Week 11 Communicating Problems Case
Week 12 Designing Recommendations Case Letter to Management
Week 13 Communicating Recommendations Case
Week 14 Managing Knowledge & Toolkits Management Brief
Week 15 Project Report