What Should an Experienced Consultant Watch Out for During a Consulting Engagement?

Here are seven things on my list:

  1. The problem statement for the engagement and the scope of work should always be in focus (including the value of the project); refine the problem statement as necessary.
  2. The engagement structure consists of the activities, deliverables, resources (both consulting team and client), and collective orchestration. Productivity and chemistry of the team at key points need to be watched.
  3. Engagement team should set expectations early on as to the tone of the engagement in terms of whether they will help to lay out options for the client to choose or whether they will make recommendations more strongly up front.
  4. In consulting the process is an essential part of the deliverable. The “train” needs to stay on this track.
  5. It is important to regularly communicate engagement progress relative to goals (say once every 1 to 2 weeks). The engagement manager needs to be completely in control, competent, and communicating effectively.
  6. New consultants should be closely mentored in the field by senior members on the team. Ideally, the engagement manager should establish a close relationship with the client lead so that honest feedback about consulting team members can be collected.
  7. When approaching the end of an engagement, both the client and consulting team should both plan and work toward a smooth transition/completion.

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