Engaging Consultants. It can be a real mine-field. You need the expertise, and you’ve got the budget – but with so many firms promising they can deliver, how do you know which one is right? You’re going to be spending a fair amount of money, and you need to be certain that you’re going to come out the other end with all your deliverables well delivered, (and if a few processes get tightened along the way then great). So, you sit through sales pitches, wade through slick decks full of detail that look as exciting as they are colourful, and you make a decision.
But is it the right one?
When engaging with a consulting firm one of the key success factors is trust. The client trusts the consulting firm to deliver a service that remains focussed on their key deliverables and future success. The Consultancy trusts that the client has given them a fair picture of where they are today, and where they need to be. The consultants themselves are trusted as they have a track record of successful delivery in similar projects – with the battle scars to prove it.
At CVM People, we believe in helping others, and as an organisation that looks to build long term relationships, offering far more than just consultancy and project delivery, we have a vested interest in getting our clients through a transformation and into BAU on time and in budget.
If you are thinking of engaging the support of a consultancy, here’s a quick check list to consider as you assess your options.
3 Questions that will deliver a better consulting engagement
1. Do the consultancy firm and the consultants understand my business?
These can often be two very different things! During the selection process, you will of course want to be dealing with organisations that understand your industry, and make a huge effort to understand your business. Look for a firm who don’t just shoehorn in a process they developed at a different client, but tailor their expertise and method of delivery to encompass the particular needs of your business.
A lot of consultancies will use certain people to win a project, but very different people to deliver that project. Whilst this can raise some eyebrows, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern…as long as the ladies and gentlemen on the ground also have that level of knowledge and experience that won you over in the first place.
You want to see people who have been there and done it to a high standard in multiple businesses, that understand your challenges and drivers, and can spot the pitfalls and opportunities before you even have to think about looking for them.
2. Does the consulting firm work with you to build the right team?
The last thing you want is for this to turn into a recruitment exercise, but what you probably would like is a little bit of choice, and a say over who ultimately ends up on the ground. Ask the consultancy who they’re supplying and to describe the kind of skills and personality that they have. Take the time to assess a couple of options for key roles, and build a rapport with the team before day one. A consultancy should be able to tell you in some detail about the people that they think could be a good fit for you, know your business well enough to have a sense of your culture, and work with you to ensure maximum confidence in the people whose hands the project’s success ultimately rests.
3. How does the consulting firm treat their people?
Again, if you’re looking for senior or specialist consultants then these should be people with whom the consulting firm enjoys a strong relationship. Ask them about other projects the consultant has worked on, where else they have been deployed and how long they’ve been engaged with the firm. Ideally, you’re looking for a consultant that is loyal to the consulting firm and vice versa. This loyalty comes from mutual understanding and respect, and desire to do good work.
At CVM People, we’ve helped organisations large and small get the right people to design, lead and deliver on their CVM, analytics, and data management aspirations. We have a fantastic network of experienced consultants who have been responsible for high profile projects across a number of sectors. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, or explore working with us in the future get in touch.