An overview of what we do
Solitaire Consulting is a general operational management consultancy developed around the skills and experiences of its founder, Paul Every.
Solitaire Consulting has access to a wide network of other similar minded consultants and non-executive managers and can take on a variety of projects both large and small.
We work closely with our clients in order to gain a detailed understanding of their individual requirements, and only then, will we recommend a specific course of action to meet these needs. This ensures our clients gain significant business benefit from the interventions of Solitaire Consulting.
“Paul’s skills in change management are highly developed, but probably his greatest strengths have been his grasp of our business, and his ability to win the trust and respect of everyone he has worked with, across all levels of our organization, even knowing the names and roles of several hundred people! This has certainly played an important part in what he has accomplished. We would not hesitate to engage Paul again for any future projects.”
Jean McIvor, Spoor & Fisher
A non-executive manager, or NEM, is someone who works with your management team to help manage your business on a part-time or ad-hoc basis. Most companies will employ the services of a non-executive director, or NED, to ensure good corporate governance. The duties of the NED are usually restricted to board meetings and potentially acting as an advisor to the CEO or Managing Director. To maintain their independence, NEDs don’t tend to get involved in the operation of the business itself. This is the main difference between the NED and NEM; the NEM is still independent but is more involved in the business and providing advice to the management team as opposed to the Board.
Solitaire Consulting provides NEM services for a number of its clients. The typical route to engagement normally follows a successful assignment to manage a project or change programme, where the consultant is retained on an on-going basis. However, it is becoming more common to engage a NEM for specific services independently of a project.
Services that can be provided by a Solitaire Consulting NEM include:
- Mentor for managers and senior staff
- Project assurance and governance
- Project portfolio management
- Independent facilitation of workshops and strategy sessions
- Oversight of an operational department, to support a junior or inexperienced manager
- Act as a ‘critical friend’ to management
- Independent panel member for recruitment and selection of senior staff
- Risk management
- Policy and procedure development
- Target operating model advice
A NEM maybe contracted for a number of days per month / year, or be kept on a small retainer to be available to provide ad-hoc advice and guidance as and when needed by the client.
The ability to manage change successfully is an essential part of modern business. These changes can come from many different directions such as changing client requirements, the regulatory environment, technology advances, competition and for economic reasons.
How a business plans and reacts to these changes will ultimately define its success in relation to its competitors.
Solitaire Consulting will work with your business, helping you to identify the drivers for change and ensuring that planned changes are aligned and prioritised in accordance with your business strategy.
Change Management is how we go about moving the individuals and teams that make up a business from the current situation to a future situation.
The Change Management process will endeavour to minimise the impact and time it takes to achieve the change to maximise business benefit.
There needs to be recognition that change will result in some things getting worse before they get better.
Click here to arrange a free exploratory discussion on how we can help you to manage your change initiatives.
Programme Management is a vital part of managing change. It provides a structured framework for implementing business strategies and ensures that different but inter-related activities or projects are co-ordinated.
In simple terms a Programme may be seen as a collection of two or more projects that contribute to a strategic aim of the organisation.
Whilst projects tend to focus on delivering something tangible, such as a new building or a computer system upgrade, the Programme will be more concerned with co-ordinating and realising the benefits of multiple projects. This ensures that deliverables remain in line with corporate strategy and that any changes in scope are properly approved with all inter-dependencies managed.
At Solitaire Consulting we can help you at each stage of your business Programme with specific involvement at key phases in the process or to help set up a Programme Management Office (PMO) and train and support your staff.
If you already have a PMO we can act as Programme Manager for one of your work streams or manage and run the PMO itself.
Solitaire Consulting has access to qualified project management consultants who posses hands on experience in project steering, programme and project management, and change management. Our consultants can be present on site on either a full-time or a part-time basis depending on the client needs. No project is too big, and if specialised knowledge or expertise is required we will source individuals with the appropriate experience and competence to do the job.
Project Management can be defined as “The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project objectives to meet stakeholder needs and expectations”.
Key tools used in Project Management
• Project Initiation Document
• Work Breakdown Structure
• Project Plan
• Reporting Templates
Click here to arrange a free exploratory discussion on how we can help you to manage and implement your projects.
Solitaire Consulting has access to extensive experience in the field of Process Improvement. We can analyse current practices to identify existing processes which would benefit from a review. We will draw up a range of proposals with our client’s input and help in the thought process to ensure the best option is selected. We can then help deliver the solution through our expertise in project and change management. Finally we can help quantify the success of the initiative through improved management information and other key achievements.
Business Process Improvement or BPI is a generic term applied to a variety of methodologies used to improve the effectiveness of an organisation’s internal processes.
Focus of BPI is on “doing things right” rather than “doing the right thing”. BPI attempts to reduce variation and/or wastage in processes, so that the desired outcome can be repeated and achieved with better utilisation of resources.
Reasons to improve processes:
• Over time and without maintenance, processes will degrade
• Left to their own devices, teams will always work sub-optimally
• Customers only really care about process outputs
• Things can always be done in a better way
• Inefficiencies generally only show up in process map detail
• The effort required to correct errors through the process rises exponentially
Click here to arrange a free exploratory discussion on how we can help you to manage and implement your process improvement initiatives.
There are very few businesses that don’t have technology at their core. Technology is now a critical aspect of nearly all business operations, but there are still far too many organisations that fail to get the full benefit from their investments in information technology.
Solitaire Consulting has a wide range of experience working with many business systems. We recommend a number of technology providers who provide leading solutions in their chosen markets. See our Partners page for more information on these vendors.
Our core business is in providing services, not technology, so we will always look to your current systems rather than suggesting new technology. We often find that businesses have very good systems and technology, but only use a small fraction of their capability. We will help you to identify how to extract this value from your current investments in technology without expensive migration projects.
We can also work with your chosen IT service provide or systems vendor to manage systems integration projects, data and systems migration and process improvement projects.