Speed of work issue

business analyst consulting work
New answer on Mar 22, 2021
7 Answers
621 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 21, 2021

Hi everyone! I have been working for a consulting firm for a couple of months now as an Analyst (undergrad hire) and I am facing issues with my speed. I am quite slow with the assignments they give me and it is starting to bum me out. It takes me about four hours to research or create a slide, if not more. I just want to make sure that the quality of my work is good. Is this normal or should I work on increasing my speed? What is your advice to do that?

The reason why I am asking here is that there are no other analysts to compare myself to due to the pandemic halting hiring. Everyone is more experienced than I am at this point. I have asked my manager and he said it is fine, but I'm not sure it is...

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Denis
Expert
updated an answer on Mar 21, 2021
Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews

I was in the very same position in the beginning of my consulting career. Took a lot of pain and hard work to become better. Good new: do not reinvent the wheel. How most ppl do it: Emulate the best ppl you say, however do not only look at the HIGH LEVEL things they do, ask them / observe their PROCESS of how to approach, structure, and finish their work.

Unfortunately - there is no clear recipe or shortcut. However, a list of skills you need to improve on are likely the cause: expectation management, hardcore 80/20, think results-oriented, deprioritize non-priority tasks in alignment with your supervisors, have MANY more check-ins with your supervisor as needed (they understand you only started recently and naturally NEED more guidance). Ask for help much more.

You for sure need a mentor who you can talk to with, even bring real scenarios you struggled with (e.g. showing him specific slides and ask him how he would have approached it). That way you will learn quickly - at least I did. If you work in MBB, ask for a transfer into the PE ringfence, perfect place to become a slide machine and improve core consulting skills that are not as fast-paced on regular corporate projects.

Best,
Denis

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 22, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

It’s good you are thinking about how to improve. I would consider the following points as possible improvements:

  1. Double-check all the key deliverables with the manager. Sometimes there may be additional parts or parts not needed compared to your first understanding
  2. Divide the task into subtasks
  3. Allocate time for each task based on your current knowledge. If you are in doubt, either further segment the task or ask support to colleagues that have done something similar before
  4. Add extra time for unexpected events – usually at least 20%
  5. Keep track of your progress. Identify the reasons why you are not following the timeline. Learn what others are doing to be faster
  6. Align with your manager on your progress so that there are no surprises on your final delivery

Best,
Francesco

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 22, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Totally hear your pain and share it. I think we all felt slow and clumsy at the begginig -and your own works seems soooo much worse than the one of the people you work this-.

The good news is that the curve is so steep, that every week you will see the differnece.

However, "hours of research" for one slide is for sure too much - don´t you guys have some templates?-

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

In general, I would say you should be always looking to improve in consulting. So, is it acceptable to be your current speed in 6 months? No. Do you need to improve? Yes. But this is literally always the case in the top-tier consulting world. You are likely meeting expectations just fine right now - but don't let yourself get complacent!

Have a read of my consulting survival guide here. Hopefully it can help you navigate this new, challenging experience :)

https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

I think you are okay, otherwise your manager would have pointed this out. They are unforgiving (and rightly so) when it comes to timely delivery of work :).

On the flip side, are you struggling to prioritse activities and perhaps overthinking/overanalysing things? Reach out to peers, managers for help on content knowledge i.e dont wait too long to get all the information/research before showing some progress. As you learn & spend more time on the job, some of these things will get easier. Also learn storyboarding as this helps speeding up creation of slides/decks.

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Torben
Expert
replied on Mar 21, 2021
Volkswagen Consulting| Your Automotive and Mobility Expert | Inhouse Consulting | China

Hey there,

great and honest question. First of all, don't worry as your manager would have already told you if your performance is on the edge (on the job or during one of the regular reviews you shouldve had by now).

Now, make sure to remind yourself of this: In fast paced consulting (inner-team) environments, speed is always a bit more important than a 100% solution. Your managers or peers would much rather discuss a 80% with you than having to wait for you 2 extra days. It's a "think and review" (ASK, DISCUSS) approach. Just don't forget to set the stage on how far you've developed the idea already (are we talking 40%, 60% or 90%?).

Hit me up if you want to discuss more details.

Best

Torben

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 21, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hey there!

It's good that you are concerned about your speed at work - in consulting it has crucial importance. Sometimes the qualitative work means fast work.

Of course, if your manager assures you that everything is fine - you don't have any reasons to worry. However, for the future, I recommend you to develop your skill of fast work by focusing only on the most important issues and systematizing your tasks.

If you have some other doubts - feel free to write me!

GB

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Denis gave the best answer

Denis

Ex-Bain 5 yrs | Goldman Sachs Investment Banker NYC | MBA Chicago Booth | Passed > 13 MBB > 20 IB interviews
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