Management consulting refers to both the industry of, and the practice of, helping organizations improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing business problems and development of plans for improvement.
Organizations hire the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice, access to the consultants' specialized expertise, or simply as extra temporary help during a one-time project, where the hiring of more permanent employees is not required.
Because of their exposure to and relationships with numerous organizations, consultancies are also said to be aware of industry "best practices", although the transferability of such practices from one organization to another is the subject of debate.
Consultancies may also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants generally bring their own, proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems, and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing business tasks.