Consulting Process Model

There's certainly no end to the number of models you can use to approach consulting engagements. At the heart of all of them is a shared core that has been shown to be successful time and time again. As a starting point, I'm going to describe a model put forth in a consulting skills presentation.

Establishing Credibility and Capability

Every client expects you, the consultant, to come to them with the character for a successful relationship along with a foundation of knowledge understand their environment. This includes understanding the market forces that affect your client's industry and company. You'll also be expected to understand the motivations of the stakeholders essential to a successful project implementation.

Discovery

Using problem solving, questioning, and listening skills, you deepen your understanding of the client's objectives. These same skills will also help you understand the issues that could affect the accomplishment of these objectives. It's your discovery of what is required to effectively implement and sell your services.

Solution Design

You methodically review all of the factors so that you can design a solution and determine scope both of which are necessary for a successful implementation.

Risk Management

Foresight is essential to successful project outcomes. As such, you'll need to identify the factors that threaten the success of your efforts and then incorporate preventative or corrective measures.

Scoping and Pricing

You determine the most appropriate and advantageous way to match price and value for your proposed solution.

Concept Presentation

You test your client's willingness to accept and support your proposed solution approach. This is often done as a presentation to key project players including those that hold the purse strings.

Proposals and Contracting

You craft an agreement that lists the requirements for a mutually successful working relationship.

Engagement Kickoff

This is where you initiate the engagement with a description of everyone's expectations and prepare to deliver all you've promised.

Client Relationship Skills

Maintaining a good rapport and strong relationships with client personnel is critical. You this by maintaining insight and sensitivity to differences in style and substance.

Business Consulting Ethics

In some situations you may face ethical dilemmas which will demand a practical and professional response. Do not jump to conclusions and try to make sure you have the "big picture".

Dynamics of Organizational Change

Consultants, by their nature, are change agents. Your assessment of your client's readiness to change will support your implementation efforts.

Report Writing and Presentations

Synthesizing raw information into a persuasive, insightful message comprises the core of consulting advice. Successful results for both client and consultant requires simple, yet compelling models for thinking, writing, and presentations.

Engagement Management

Manage engagement activities using project management procedures. Managem changes in project scope and the delivery of bad news so that they do not erode engagement results and profitability.

Measuring and Evaluating Results

You'll need to establish with your client the what, how, and when of measuring project results.

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