Added value – The value added to a product in addition to its production costs in terms of either price or worth. 

Big Four – The largest international professional services firms offering beside others also consulting service incl. Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC.

Client-site – Client’s offices. Often consultants are required to work from the client’s premises.

Change Management – Defining and implementing processes, re-directing the use of resources and budgets to reshape a company or organisation by transitioning individuals, teams and ultimately the organisation itself.  

Deliverable – The final item or output that a project creates often include decks, excels documents, research papers and the consultants’ souls :) 

Elevator pitch – A 60 seconds or less, thumbs down evaluation method which involves a hypothetical situation where one is sharing the elevator with a famous person and need to completely impress them by the time you have reached the right floor. In consultancy, it means knowing your idea, solution or business so thoroughly that you can explain it clearly and precisely to your client in less than 60 seconds. 

Gantt chart – Popular project management tool that illustrates a project schedule with start/finish dates and deliverables, which can be updated to show progress as the project moves forward. Responsible for 67% of an organisation’s printing budget. 

Independent Professionals (IPs) – Highly skilled self-employed individuals specialised in a particular field of work that work on engagements for different clients for a limited period of time. 

Leverage – Probably one of the most commonly used words used in the consultancy world. Leverage basically means gaining an advantage over something without a corresponding increase in consumption of resources  (use efficiently) Consultants love it and use it in different business contexts. 

Low-hanging fruit – Applied to business this means taking advantage of the initial opportunities, areas of exploration that are easiest to cover and complete.  

On The Beach / On the Bench – Not staffed on a billable projects from clients. Unfortunately this doesn’t actually mean sipping cocktails on the beach – when not doing billable work, consultants are involved in internal projects or trainings. 

Opportunity Cost – The cost of an alternative product or service a company chooses to forgo in order to pursue another. For example training carries an opportunity cost as the time spent on training cannot be used for client projects. 

Open Talent Economy – A new era in talent management which refers to the growing number of workers who operate outside the traditional full-time employment status. 

Project Management Office  (PMO) – Defines and maintains the standards and processes related to project management. It is basically a centre of excellence for project delivery. 

Milestone - A point in time used to measure progress toward specific deliverables. Comes with a loud ‘Phew’ and a self-congratulatory pat on the back.

NCCs (Network Based Consulting Companies) – Consultancies based on a relatively new business model which relies upon sourcing independent professionals whose skills and experience meet the needs of different client projects. NCCs have been founded largely by former consultants from big, prestigious management consulting firms. 

Scope – The agreed-upon list of deliverables and boundaries that underpin any client engagement. In other words, it is what needs to be achieved for the project to be a success. 

Workstream – A group of tasks which are required to finish a single project. Utilisation Rate – The percentage of time a consultant spends doing billable work out of the total working hours that can be billed. Most top companies target between 70-80% but during busy seasons this can be more.

SME – It means “subject matter expert” and it refers to someone who has extensive, specific knowledge and expertise into a particular area of business. This is usually the go-to person and your personal hero within the company. 

Takeaway – In business context it means a key fact, point or idea to be remembered and noted, typically one emerging from a discussion or a meeting. 

Top-tier – Normally refers to the three biggest and most prestigious management consulting firms incl. McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.