Resources Platform for Management Consultants

Documentary Research

Consultants extract information from literature, reports, and internet resources at every stage of an assignment, to get up to speed before the initial client meeting, and before/during most types of activities, organization development, market research, and competitive intelligence, because whichever problem is addressed, it has probably already been addressed before. It is important to strike a balance between big picture (not enough) and very detailed information (too much).

  1. Articulate the theme being researched
  2. Define a list of keywords, including synonyms and alternative terms
  3. Establish an appropriate scope for the research: type of publication (peer reviewed articles, activity reports, industry reports, newspapers, books, blogs),  date of publication (<1 month, <1 year, < 10 years), depth of publication (summary, full text, individual sections).
  4. Interrogate relevant databases using keywords and scope defined above
  5. Select a set of documents by exploring table of contents, summary, charts
  6. Exploit the selected documents: an efficient method is to focus on the questions/theme being researched at all time while reading, highlight sections that relate to the questions/theme, and at the end of a document synthetize key ideas/graphics to permit easy access in the future