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Working in a Solution Design role

In the second of our blogs looking at the different roles a CDCer ( consultant development community ) will have on a project, Henry Felton describes his role in a Solution Design role.

The role I am on at the moment is focused around creating improvements to current business processes for our client. The solution design role sits between ideas generation and technical delivery. It is there to take thoughts from the client about areas for improvement, develop them into an overview of what a specific change will be, and calculate what benefits it will bring. For me this often means taking the outputs of Charlotte’s innovation sessions, and building them into a full solution that can be passed to Rich for technical delivery.

The first thing I do when getting a solution idea is work out whether the numbers stack up. That will involve working out a cost/benefits equation, where I use data scans and setup investigations with a client side team. I then go through a process of discussing the proposal further with key people in the business. This doesn’t just include the senior stakeholders, but also the individuals involved in the day to day running of the areas we are considering changes in. This is an invaluable part of the process as it lets you really get to know the area of the business you are changing, and often throws up a few challenges!

If the solution is viable and is accepted by senior members of the client, a more formal solution design is created to baseline what is required from the parts of the client involved, and it is passed over to Rich and his team to run the delivery.

The solutions role is typical of many CDC (consultant development community) positions. There’s a lot of collaboration; I work throughout the process with a member of the client side team, in addition to working with a range of other individuals within the client and the consulting team as well. Equally, there’s a lot of responsibility. Typically you can be running many solutions at one time, all of them worth millions of pounds. But there’s a lot of support from the team, both at a CDC (consultant development community) level (there more than ten of us on the project!) and higher up as well. It’s been a fantastic experience.

As you’d expect, the role also changes. In addition to my usual position, I’m also now helping another consulting team in another part of the client. That’s involved sharing the work and approach my team has been using, and also helping to develop some options for a future strategy in their part of the businesses. This has been great as it has not only allowed me to share how we can implement similar solutions we’ve been developing, but also look at international examples of best practice and how they could be implemented here.

The CDC (consultant development community) is all about challenging and exciting roles, and this one hasn’t disappointed. If you enjoy understanding fast changing and complex situations, and developing creative solutions to problems, then this is certainly a challenge you’d enjoy.


Henry Felton
Henry graduated from the University of Oxford with a four year Masters degree in Biochemistry. After graduating, Henry worked in strategy and public policy, including running national policy for an MP, before joining another consultancy to work on strategy for public and private organisations. Henry joined Capgemini Consulting in April 2014 and works in the Strategy and Operating Model team within our Business Model Transformation practice.

Twitter: @hdcfelton
LinkedIn: @henrydcfelton

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