In light of some clients who may be uncertain about the consultancy process, here is a general idea of the workflow.
The consultancy process is broken up into 3 main stages and in each stage, there are sub-stages. The 3 main stages are Offering, Execution and Closure.
Stage 1: Offering
This is the first stage of the consulting process and it revolves around the proper scoping and proposal leading up to the conclusion of the contract between the consultant and the organisation.
Stage 1.1: Scope
This initial stage would involve the consultant learning more about the company. At this early stage, the consultant is working on getting the information from the relevant stakeholders. There may be some questions and surveys which the consultant will need to go through with the stakeholders. This is so that the consultant can properly scope the project based on the issues and shortfall that is present in the company.
Stage 1.2: Propose
This is where the consultant will present the proposed scope of work to the client. This is a general guide as to what the consultant will be working on. Please note that the scope is based on the initial interactions and preliminary surveys and fact-finding process by the consultant. The scope may broaden or change slightly when the project undergoes the execution stage. However, the proposed scope of work should not differ too far from the execution stage if the communication was forthcoming.
(Please note that if you are applying for a government grant, the grant application fits in at the end of stage 1.2. Only upon the grant being approved can the process continue to stage 1.3)
Stage 1.3: Contract
The contract of engagement will be signed between the organisation and the consultant once the proposal is accepted by the organisation.
Stage 2: Execution
This is the middle stage and it encompasses the substantive work portion of the project.
Stage 2.1: Diagnose
This is the time when the consultant will properly diagnose the issues by spending more in-depth time with the relevant stakeholders. The diagnosis should be very close to what was proposed but there are times when the gaps identified were only present when the consultant spent more time within the organisation. This is the time when issues like standard operating procedures and systems can be better understood.
Stage 2.2: Recommend
The consultant will recommend the changes that need to be done. It is here that the consultant can say that he or she truly understands the company and the issues that are present. There will be a proper recommendation of changes together with a detailed description of what needs to be covered. This recommendation will be made to the relevant decision makers. Typically the upper management. If they are accepted, we move on to the next stage.
Stage 2.3: Obtain Acceptance
It is important that before we move on to implementing the changes, we need to obtain acceptance from the relevant stakeholders. This is because we want to avoid a situation whereby the relevant stakeholders do not understand the need to implement the changes. This is one of the main reasons why many consulting projects do not obtain the desired result. Often it is because there is no widespread acceptance within the organisation that what is being done is beneficial for everyone.
Stage 2.5: Implement
This can be done by either the consultant or the organisation itself. The consultant may base himself or herself within the company to work on implementing the recommended changes and improvements. This is perhaps the longest portion of the project and is key to the eventual success of the project.
Stage 3: Closure
This last stage of the project is the closure of the project. This is the point where all the implementation has been completed and the consultant and organisation can take stock of the project, complete all final payments and hand over any aspects which are still within the consultant’s purview. This is to serve as a record of the information obtained as well as the problems and challenges encountered during the project for future reference.
Stage 3.1: Review
The final report will be prepared and presented at this stage. The consultant may also send the final billing to the organisation.
(If you are on a government grant, most grants will require you to submit a final report for the claim. This should be done at this phase where the final report is handed over to the organisation by the consultant.)
Stage 3.2: Conclude
The conclusion is when the consultant will leave the organisation to be on its own proper. Typically a target date will be set to follow up with the client on the status of the handover and implementation and the possibility of new potential projects or the next phase of the overall larger big picture.
If your company is looking to grow and innovate or would like to know what possible grants are available, do email me at [email protected].