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McKinsey calls itself the best in the business when it comes to consulting in terms of strategy and management in the world. No doubt they are one of the heavyweights in this field which is crowded with heavyweights to very lightweights as more and more firms are diving into consulting these days. There are quite a few factors which we need to take into consideration when comparing the two elite organizations of McKinsey and Accenture.
Work pressure in McKinsey just becomes slightly more than Accenture primarily because there’s an intense work load that comes with working in such a high profile organization that many people dream of. So on one hand there is the job satisfaction that you get with working in one of the top organizations in the world. On the other hand, there is your work-life balance which you might just find slightly going through a bumpy ride.
This does not mean that work pressure at Accenture is low. In fact amongst it’s peers, Accenture has a good reputation of having stressful work hours across projects (check out Deloitte vs Accenture and TCS vs Accenture). But McKinsey is a class above Accenture simply because it’s one of the finest leaders in this consulting sector and leading the path by example.
Advising on Technical Issues
McKinsey primarily being a consulting firm, there is a dearth of technical knowledge, like most other players in the consulting field. There is nothing new with this, because their expertise lies in consulting, and not technology. McKinsey often ties up on periodic basis with technology firms to perform strategic analysis to implement their strategies based on the requirements of the business.
Whereas in Accenture, there is lots of technical expertise around you to help you analyze your strategies and deliver them based on the requirements of the client. This sometimes comes pretty handy because you know the people who you are working with and the team does not change very often. Having a connection with the people who understand and know you helps in the strategy implementation process overall.
Impact of your educational institution
McKinsey has specific policies into place when it comes to allocating consultants to serve their clients. In one word, I must admit it’s superb, since it’s the most effective way in the practical world. A management graduate coming from a grade A college from a Asian country might not be getting the grade A client in US/UK, but he might be getting a grade A client here in Asia or grade B onwards clients in US/UK (which isn’t bad at all, but not the best). So you can see you have preference on your home location when serving your grade A home companies. You definitely have an edge over a grade A management graduate coming from US/UK in your home location. But definitely, if the graduate you are competing with has graduated from Harvard then you are in for a tough competition.
Accenture does not have such huge impact on your educational backgrounds. But then of course, a heavyweight CV is likely to shine forth much more than the rest thereby bagging him or her the best clients. But on an overall basis, the thing that’s taken into consideration is your work experience, previous successful implementations, flexibility across different domains, etc.
Synchronization of information across all levels
McKinsey needs to have a smooth flow of information across all it’s levels across all domains to provide seamless integration of experience, expertise, issues faced and success strategies to provide better strategic solutions. It is not surprising to a firm of this level when their partners are scattered all over the world. Say for example they had a tie up with firm X for a technical solution and then after the implementation was successful, the tie up ended. Later if you need a feedback or idea regarding the previous implementation, it’s way too a daunting task to get to them. Even if the tie is still existing, getting their attention might be difficult task.
Accenture’s Knowledge Exchange provides decent information of the client’s it is working with now and what kind of work is going on. But still, there ought to be far more better integration of services to facilitate communication across all levels to provide lightning fast communication.