IPMA International Project Management Association
18 August 2017 / 10:05

Project Management Consultancy continues to grow in Germany

A recently published survey of the BDU, the German Association for Consultants [https://www.bdu.de/] revealed a significant and continuing growth of PM Consultancy. Altogether, the Consultancy Firms in Germany performed well in 2016 with a turnover of approximately 29 Billion Euro, a growth of 7.4 % in comparison with 2015, which is by the way in line with the average annual growth rate of the market since 2010. Consultancy in the area of Project Management reached a share of 12.8% of the overall Consultancy Market, which amounts to approximately 3.7 Billion Euro, a growth rate of 6.4% in 2016.

Reflecting the industrial importance, Automotive Industry was in 2016 the largest client for Consultancy Firms (13.4%), followed by Finance (12.3%) and Insurance (11.9%) sectors. However, the highest growth rates in 2016 were reached by Pharmaceutical/Chemical Industry (10%), Consumer Goods (9.2%) and Commerce (8.6%). The Consultancy topics with the largest growth rate in 2016 were Process Optimization & Performance Management (9%), IT Governance & Compliance (8.5%) and Marketing- & Sales Strategy (8.4%).

The Consultancy Market in Germany is a very heterogenous market. There are more than 16.000 Consultancy Firms active in Germany with approximately 115.000 Consultants. Nearly 50% of the 29 Billion Euro turnover and the above mentioned number of Consultants are created by about 400 large Consultancy Firms. The other half is created by a huge number of small and medium-sized Consultancy Firms or Freelancers. Most of the Consultancy Firms have increased the number of Consultants and Back Office Employees.

The survey projects an additional growth of 8.4% for the overall Consultancy Market in Germany with Consumer Goods (10.3%), Commerce (10%) and Pharmaceutical/Chemical Industry (9.6%) as the most important drivers of growth. The topics of Change Management (9.9%), Business Development & Innovation (9.8%) and CRM/Sales (9.7%) are the topics with potentials for growth in 2017, reflecting the need for a response to the challenges of many organisations in regards to Business Transformation, Digitalisation and Innovation. Project Management is projected to grow in 2017 by 8.3 % demonstrating the importance of projects for internal change and external project business opportunities.

What are key trends for Consultancy Firms? The Consultant is increasingly asked to be the “Navigator” and “Bridge Builder” for clients, which also means very specific know-how in the domain of the client and a good combination of know-how, project and change management competence as well as implementation expertise. Agile forms of collaboration between clients and consultants, based on Scrum or Design Thinking Methodologies are increasingly popular. Clients demand for know-how in digital transformation and thus a full-service package of Consultancy Firms as well as special know-how of the consultants deployed. Which means that Consultancy Firms need to invest in education and training for their employees and / or create an attractive environment for Freelance Specialists as well as small and medium-sized partners.


Any similar insights of the Consultancy Markets in other countries? Please share your views…

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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.