– Julian, an engagement manager in Miami, describes his typical day on an engagement in Washington, D.C., where his team is helping to improve the financial performance of a public sector agency:
6:45am: My iPhone alarm sounds; I get ready and head to the closest Starbucks to grab breakfast. I meet my team (two associates and two business analysts) in our hotel lobby and we head to the client site.
8:00am: We arrive at the client site and spend 20 minutes planning as a team. We set goals for where we want to be at the end of the day and outline client meetings and the topics we need to discuss with our leadership. We are nearing the end of our engagement, so each team member will spend time today reviewing insights and implementation plans with each client lead for his or her work streams. I take a few minutes to outline and email problem solving topics to the McKinsey leadership team so they are prepared for our discussion later in the day.
9:00am: I meet with our key client, the leader of business development, to review the document we plan to share with the Board of Directors. We agree on the initial product categories to tackle to reduce procurement costs and the go-to-market strategy to increase growth for an important business unit.
10:00am: I join a couple team members in their meetings with their client leads. The clients really appreciate our team’s effort and the depth of our analyses. They ask to see some additional details, which one of our analysts provides.
12:00pm: Lunchtime. Our McKinsey team, including the partner who just arrived, goes to a nearby restaurant with a great view of the Capitol. We catch up and argue about who will make it into the US college football playoffs.
1:00pm: Time for problem solving. We are joined by the director leading our team on the phone for a two-hour working session covering open items for each work stream. Each associate and analyst spends about 30 minutes sharing their recommendations, asking questions and gathering suggestions from the team. It is a great way for us to collaborate to improve our overall recommendations. We resolve to contact a few McK experts on procurement and growth to ensure we bring the latest thinking to the client. We agree to add additional metrics to the performance management scorecard we are creating and finalize the cost model.
3:00pm: Each team member focuses on making updates to their PowerPoint pages for the Board of Directors’ document based in the feedback they received, while I update the overall story being told in the presentation.
6:00pm: We gather once more to celebrate our achievements for the day and discuss open items and next steps, then it is time for a team event. We head to the Verizon Center to watch a hockey game. We have a few drinks and eat before calling it a night.