Traditional specialized business consulting focuses on the objective aspects of working on solutions. Incorporating the consultants’ expertise, market knowledge or resources dominate (e.g software as consulting-tool for demand-determination and working time-organization).
A process-oriented consulting perspective emphasizes the behavior of those involved, their approach and the interactions, role-definitions, models and categories of observation, etc. In most cases the consultants themselves do not strongly influence the content. Instead, the focus is on how those receiving the consulting services go about working on these issues.
Almost every consulting process aims for the systematic negotiation of a status quo that someone sees as having room for improvement. While each consulting process follows its own internal logic, two main variations can be discerned:
Putting it in oversimplified terms, problems are not “problems” for experts, but are instead defined by clients. The experts focus on the solution. Within the process-perspective, problems as such do not exist, but instead are always people turning something into problems. The consultants work on their interactions, categories, models and analytical methods- and on how these in turn influence work.
Depending on the tasks at hand, XIMES applies an appropriate combination of specialist- and process-consulting and combines these perspectives with the aid of the concept of “problem-processing”, which entails both problem-definition and problem-improvement:
In this approach to problem-solving discerning between problem-definition and –solution is a deeply analytical task, in practice they are closely intertwined.
Example: At the specialist-level the issue is asking oneself, how high is my requirement for working hours at different times? How can I know when I need how many people? Is there an optimization-potential?
At the process-level the issue is forming a project-structure that functions and permits decision-making, and with which topics can be worked on together. It requires a reciprocal understanding of the demands of and difficulties for the other involved parties.