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Effective Consultancy – Key Issues

by Hank Williams

Effective Consultancy focuses on the processes and key skills of managing entry as the initial phase of the consultancy process.

This key phase is often the foundation on which a successful project or outcome is built, and this guide explores the skills and conditions to establish a sound foundation from which a consultant can operate.

It is appropriate for people who are currently working as internal or external consultants. Although it focuses on HR consultancy, the processes and skills described are generic.

The guide explores

  • The distinction between supplier mode and consultancy mode
  • Understanding the context of the consultancy by mapping the big picture
  • The importance of understanding the business drivers for the project. The business drivers have to be sufficiently compelling to justify the costs involved, in terms of money, time, effort and commitment.
  • Structure and politics. If you don’t already know the organisational structure of the client system, it is necessary to get a clear picture of this early in the entry stage.
  • The change environment in the client organisation and how that might shape your role
  • Resources available to the project and how they might shape the consultancy
  • Assessing the resourcefulness of the client system so that you can operate appropriately within that system
  • Scope – defining the parameters of the project
  • Identifying the contribution you can make, i.e. clarifying the work you will do
  • Demonstrating your authority as a consultant
  • The end of the entry phase

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