How to get the most value when working with consultants.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 30, 2012: Finding the right consultant is a tough task in itself, but once you have, what next. Even if you have found the most appropriate consultant, the challenge is getting the most out of them. Nader Sabry managing partner at McGill Consulting Group stated that “have always believed that clients are the driver behind how much value is really added” he added “we advise our clients the following three steps to get the most out of consulting services.”
- Crystal clear scope and engagement perimeters.
How you start is how you end. Too often, the scope of engagement is unclear, missing key components and not well structured. Give this step the appropriate time and don’t be afraid to seek external advice.
Keep your single most important goal at the center of everything you do when scoping. Work in priority order outwards when creating the details. Finally, always ask, is it accurate, necessary and is it adequate.
Without a clear scope of work, consultants and clients will be lost in translation and both parties will suffer. Investing more time in the beginning always pays off.
- Capacity building at all levels.
What is left behind is what you really get. Too often, the engagement is focused on deliverables but lack foresight into how people internally will continue to develop or implement.
Identify critical know-how for future developments. Document, and find effective ways to deliver this know-how across the organization. As well ensure that the know-how can be reused in several different ways.
Know-how is why you hire consultants to begin with. Therefore not retaining that know-how will only result in poor performance.
- Networking and market access.
Reach out beyond your consultant. Too often, clients don’t capitalize on their consultants network. They can help bridge important relationships within your own industry, with competitors, and even collaborators.
Finding new clients, building partnerships or getting better intelligence are a few ways of utilizing your consultants network. Remember, every time your consultant networks you, they add more value to themselves.
Don’t underestimate your consultant’s network or ability to network. They can open doors that might conventionally be very challenging.
Getting the assignment right, ensuring it works, and going beyond are just a few ways of getting the most out of consultants. Good consultants, always welcome their client’s ability to extract as much value out of them as possible. Finally, the objective is to extract value from consultants beyond the deliverables themselves.