Stretching Your Dollar – Suggestions for Managing Consulting Engagements

February 5, 2009 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

sandra-final1

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Stretching Every Dollar
Making the Most of Consulting Engagements

Even with budget and headcount constraints, many of our clients continue to view outsourcing as a smart and strategic way to do more, with fewer available resources. In these tight economic times, we offer some tips to get the most out of your consulting engagements.

  • Set a firm budget before launching the project.
  • Commit to longer than 90 days. Longer commitments generally result in savings.
  • Be clear on the format and delivery method of project materials. Choose a method that reinforces or “socializes” the outcomes through the organization.
  • Identify consultant-critical tasks that leverage the consultant’s specialized skill-set. Assign other general organizational tasks to an internal resource.
  • Be flexible. Can the consultant work off-site, partial day, etc? Flexibility on the client’s part can result in a wider pool of available talent for your project.
  • Play to each consultant’s strengths. Engage senior consultants to define strategies and models. Hire program specialists for tactical implementation. Plan ahead to ensure higher cost consultants aren’t executing administrative tasks.
  • Include mentoring and/or training milestones to leverage the talent of senior consultants and improve the skills/knowledge of your team.
  • Share the project’s findings with cross-functional groups in order to maximize the investment and gain “buy-in” from other groups.
  • Include knowledge-sharing time into the project scope. This ensures that “Intellectual Property” remains a part of your company after the engagement has ended.
  • Consider hiring a consultant on a post-project “retainer” basis. This allows you to maintain a low-cost safety net during transition time.
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