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ISO proposal for a New field of technical activity Standardization in the field of management consultancy


Standardization in the field of management consultancy. Excluded are technical aspects already covered by ISO /TC 225 - market, opinion and social research, and ISO/TC 260 – Human resource management. 

Purpose and justification of the proposal

The purpose of management consulting is to improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. If used properly, it can significantly reduce costs and increase profitability. According to the data released by management consulting platform Consulting Quest, the global management consulting market will exceed US$300 billion by the end of 2022, with North America accounting for 43%, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa combined at 34%, Asia-Pacific 20%, and Latin America accounting for 4%. The regions still grow at a rate of 4% to 10%.

Changes in the external and internal context of the management consulting service industry:

In the five years since the publication of ISO 20700:2017, the standard has been widely used, providing effective guidance for the development of the management consulting market. However, since then, the external and internal contexts of the industry have undergone dramatic changes.

External changes include the COVID-19 pandemic, and the coming of the VUCA era (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity). Organizations need to deal with a variety of problems. Internal changes include the entry of Gen Z into the workplace, the adoption of disruptive technologies, and the provision of new products and services.

New trends in management consulting services:

- Digitization is trending. The process, content, and deliverables of management consulting are being digitalized, and customers will evaluate the service quality of management consulting services providers through digital platforms.

- The need for agility. Agile management is a valuable tool in the VUCA era. It is the sum of management mechanisms that enable organizations to quickly adapt to environmental changes, apply agility to perceive, respond, and coordinate the whole organization, and enable organizations to obtain high performance, competitiveness, and sustainability.

- Specialization in management consulting. Management consulting services include the six categories in the UN CPC, and management consulting services providers increasingly need to focus on a specific field. Consultants also need to change from a generalist to a specialist. 

- Diversification of clients. The clients of management consulting have expanded to commercial institutions and public institutions. From the perspective of the client scale, it includes large organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises. 

The proposed TC will benefit the development of the management consulting industry:

- provides a classification of management consulting.

- matches services providers and clients more effectively.

- helps clients define their own needs, and evaluate service quality and results;

- provides support from “advising” to “implementation”;

- shortens problem-solving period;

- increases productivity and ROI;

- provides innovation, global thinking, and professional competitiveness.

Potential stakeholders are: Industry and commerce, Government, Consumers, Labour, Academic and research bodies, Standards application businesses, non-governmental organizations.

In case of national interest, BDS can approve the establishment of new field of technical activity in Standardization in the field of management consultancy. If the new field of technical activity  is accepted by the national standards bodies – members of ISO, Bulgaria can participate actively in the development of the new Guidelines standard.

The national stakeholders can provide their position on the proposal for this new work item of ISO by 10.12.2022 to Petar Lozev, e-mail: petar.lozev@bds-bg.org, tel: +359 2 81 74 539.

For more information