Frequently Asked Questions

We hear the following questions almost every day. Your questions might be answered here.

Q. How do we know if we need Process Design Consultants’ services?

A: Our starting point is always to determine what hurts and how much it hurts. We have found that a series of questions can be a great place to start. If you want to ask these questions of your organization, click here to download a PDF of our question template. If you don’t like the answers, give us a call.

Q: Does Process Design Consultants work outside the Greater Toronto Area?

A: Yes and quite often. While we don’t actively solicit business from organizations situated far away from Toronto – we are delighted to provide service to our client’s locations wherever they are, across Canada, or in the U.S.A., occasionally travelling as far as Europe and the Middle East.

Q: Many people insist that consulting and coaching are two quite different things, how come Process Design Consultants has a consulting service called “Individual Coaching”?

A: We acknowledge that there is a genuine difference between traditional consulting which provides advice and recommendations on what the client should do, and coaching which assists the client to reach conclusions that they themselves are comfortable with. However our consulting approach is much closer to coaching than to traditional consulting. Our style is distinctly facilitative and the recommendations are always based on a synthesis of stakeholder inputs blended with specific best practices from our five bodies of knowledge. We do give advice, but only in areas where we have specific expertise.

Q: Do you deliver services in French?

A: Sometimes. Typically we work with the client closely to translate materials and train their resources to deliver in French. When requested, we can provide local resources to deliver our courses in French.

Q: How do you charge for services?

A: Our fees are typically based on the market rate for our time and/or royalties for our materials. Our per diem for consulting is a little higher than for training because it requires more preparation time and typically has shorter timescales and ever-changing schedules, which means we have to hold more free time in our calendars once a project is accepted.

Q. I’m a bit confused with the terminology of project management and how it links with other processes. Can you clarify what they mean?

A: The best way to answer this is to give yo a glossary of commonly used terms.

Critical Thinking Skills – a set of skills for resolving problems and maximizing the opportunities that affect organizations and their customers. The majority of issues that employees encounter within their normal work life can be recognized early and resolved effectively using these simple thinking skills.

Organizational Project Management Maturity Model ( OPM3) – model created by the Project Management Institute ( PMI ) to help organizations assess the state of their organizational project management maturity by assisting them in understanding organizational project management, its maturity levels, and how to assess themselves.

Performance Management – the activity of tracking performance against targets and identifying opportunities for improvement – but not just looking back at past performance. The real focus of performance management is the future – i.e. what do you need to be able to do and how can you do things better. Each team member needs to know expectations, have proper equipment and coaching to do their jobs well. Performance Management provides the framework for setting expectations, evaluating and improving performance.

Process Management –the ensemble of activities of planning and monitoring the performance of a process, especially in the sense of business process, and is often confused with re-engineering. It includes the application of knowledge, skills, tools techniques and systems to define, visualize, measure, control, report and improve processes with the goal to meet customer requirements profitably

Project – a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result, to meet or exceed stakeholder expectations.

Project Management – The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) – An inclusive term that describes the sum of knowledge within the profession of Project Management. As with other professions – such as law, medicine and accounting – the body of knowledge rests with practitioners and academics that apply and advance it. The PMBOK includes proven, traditional practices that are widely applied, as well as innovative and advanced ones that have seen more limited use (PMI)

Project Management Institute (PMI) – was established in 1969 and situated outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded by five volunteers. Today, the Project Management Institute is a forward thinking group focused on the needs of project management professionals worldwide; It has long been acknowledged as a pioneer in the field with membership now representing a truly global community with over 100,000 professionals, representing 125 countries. PMI professionals come from virtually every major industry including, aerospace, automotive, business management, construction, engineering, financial services, information technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and telecommunications

Project Management Professional (PMP) – An individual certified as such by the Project Management Institute (PMI)

Strategic Management – the process of specifying an organization’s objectives, developing policies and plans to achieve these objectives, and allocating resources so as to implement the plans. It is the highest level of managerial activity, usually performed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer CEO) and executive team. It provides overall direction to the whole enterprise. An organization’s strategy must be appropriate for an organizations resources, circumstances, and objectives. The process involves matching the companies’ strategic advantages to the business environment the organization faces. One objective of an overall corporate strategy is to put the organization into a position to carry out its mission effectively and efficiently. A good corporate strategy should integrate an organization’s goals, policies, and action sequences (tactics) into a cohesive whole.

Strategy Mapping – a relatively new tool, first described in Kaplan and Norton’s book “ The Strategy Focused Organization”. It is a flowchart of a completed business strategic plan. As such it can do for executives and managers what the process flowchart can do for front line work teams – i.e. to help them build up a complete picture of what they are trying to do. It is an ideal tool for both helping to build strategy and communicate it. The Strategy Map in essence expresses the company’s “theory of the business”, its growth and profitability model.