Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Consulting 101



Well I have been doing this for long enough that you would think I would know better, but of course I don't.....recently I have had a kick in the pants due to ignoring the basics of consulting, so here is some motherhood and apple pie advice from a chastened Alan..

  • Be clear from the get go (in writing!) who the client contact is, and if there is at anytime somebody (on the client side) suggesting that they instead 'own' the project, stop in your tracks and get written clarification...
  • If the client changes the scope midway - document in writing that this has changed (whether this involves extra costs or not)..
  • If the deliverable that you agreed in the Statement of Work is no longer desired or required, ensure you have in writing a change notice, if not the original deliverable stands...
  • Be very careful when you give 'free consulting' - it is seldom appreciated in good spirit, and quickly becomes expected..
  • Always remember that your job is to call the baby ugly if that's what it is, but even if you have been brought in to do just that......don't expect a pat on the back when you do the deed..
  • Discovery sessions and workshops are always confidential - whether stated or not. Otherwise there is little incentive for anyone to give you the hard facts.
  • Never ever share your notes from discovery sessions with your client...
Need I go on? Consulting isn't for everyone, but there are methodologies and there are commonly followed practices that help. I personally love the discovery, analysis (and at times the confrontation and education) that consulting involves.....but when you don't follow your own advice, its painful - and the goodwill you have invested in personally and professionaly can go in an instant!

1 comment:

George Parapadakis said...

How true! :-)
Thanks for the reminder - hope you recovered ok...

George