LONDON -- I am having alternately excellent and horrible experiences. And I can sympathise with the people that I am working for: It's hard to work with consultants. There is no preparatory course. Consultants make it hard. They speak a strange language. They talk too fast!
But here are a few simple ideas for how to get the most of your consultancy experience:
- Don't forget that you are the client -- you get to make the decisions.
- Be sure to make some.
- Make them in a timely manner and stick to them.
- Tell the consultants which ones you want them to make.
- Talk about money.
- Agree a fee up front.
- Make sure the consultant has told you the real cost. The real fee.
- Don't change the brief without expecting a change in cost.
- Yes, it can go down too.
- Do your arguing before you get us into the room.
- It's hard to charge for watching you fight.
- And we don't like watching, really.
- You need to give us a clear leader who will have the final say. Otherwise we'll all lose.
- Make sure you are asking us to do things that we can do.
- Don't give the wrong kind of work to the wrong kind of consultancy.
- Many of us will take it.
- Demand regular updates -- on budget, on deliverables, on progress.
- Read them.
- Comment on them.
It's not that hard. For some reason we don't tell you this stuff.
P.S. Sign the contract & pay the bills!