The duration of a project depends on the type and scope of the project, as well as on the schedules of the client and consultant. Time commitments can range from one-day facilitations to multi-month projects. The McKinsey Implementation Group (MIG) is an independent practice of McKinsey & Company. MIG projects take the objectives of implementation plans (the result of strategy projects) and help clients achieve them.
A typical implementation project lasts 6 months to a year. Both implementation and strategy practices recruit outsiders through a similar application process. The strategic management process is about getting from point A to point B more effectively and efficiently, and enjoying the journey and learning from it. Part of that journey is strategy and part of it is execution.
Having a good strategy dictates “how you should travel the path you have chosen” and effective execution ensures that you stand along the way. On average, this process can take between three and four months. However, no organization is the same and can decide to speed up its process or slow it down. Move at the pace that best suits you and your team and use this as a resource.
To dive deeper into each part of the planning phase, you'll see a link to the detailed practical guide at the top of each phase. The projects that consultants work on take between a few months and a few years, although the average project duration is usually 3 to 9 months. I've heard a very common misconception about implementing McKinsey: it's a type of project that implements strategic project recommendations and not a practice (such as strategy or operations practices) that can recruit and staff projects. In terms of project duration, on average, implementation projects take longer to complete (at least 6 months to 1 year) than strategic projects.
In strategy projects, consultants and their clients work together to examine the client's business problem and develop a long-term strategy to address it. Consultants work on projects that span all types of functions and industries, providing them with the transferable skills suitable for many industries and functions. Developing your strategy includes determining your core business model and organizational purpose, identifying your corporate values, creating an image of what success would be like in 3 to 5 years, solidifying your competitive advantages, formulating strategies for the entire organization that explain your base, and agreeing on strategic issues to address in the planning process. But before taking that action, determine if you are going to develop a set of plans that derive directly from the strategic plan or, instead, if you have existing operational, business, or account plans that should be synchronized with the organization's objectives.
A good strategic plan defines where your organization is going, how you will win, who must do what, and how you will review and adapt your strategy. The implementation of McKinsey is a fairly new term, which has gained more attention in recent years, along with the general trend of the management consulting industry towards implementing strategies for its clients, rather than simply giving recommendations. Implementation is the process that converts strategies and plans into actions to achieve strategic objectives and goals. Fundamentally, at this point, we have moved from strategy planning to operations planning; from strategic planning to annual planning.
Over the life of your strategic plan, you may discover that some of the underlying assumptions of your strategy are flawed or incomplete. Therefore, you may see many implementation consultants working on other types of projects with some implementation elements. As for implementation projects, consultants take the objectives listed in the final implementation plan drawn up by the strategy teams and work together with the client to achieve them in the most effective way. This allows other consultants to consult this work to help with future consulting projects in the same industry or on a similar topic.