How to Engage Independent Consultants effectively
1. Clear Operational Plan
- Companies or project managers need to define their short-term project plan while making their business plan. The involvement of Independent consultants will depend on the operational plan derived from Business Plan. The exact need of their expertise based on specific tasks or objectives.
2. Clear Project Plan
- Many a time, project managers are themselves not clear what is expected from these Independent Consultants. The projects need to be defined well with clear deliverables, “success criteria” or milestones and the timelines. Without this, it will be difficult to get best out of them.
3. Cost Vs Expertise
- Cheap is not always good while selecting the these independent consultants, the focus should be on specific Expertise required not just the cost. With Global platforms available, the expertise can be sourced from any part of the world. If one can use a real business sense, then effectiveness and goal achievement should be given higher importance, which eventually may turn out to be a cost-effective solution.
- It is important that adequate measures are required for effective engagement of these consultants with the organization. Organisational issues are not in isolation, there is an involvement of organisational culture, ethos, values in the areas where consultants are operating. A special induction for them to understand the broader picture is required. While the company may not like to invest money in their orientation, but helping them relate to a big picture of their project will bring effectiveness to their output.
- Once the project is over, a proper Knowledge transfer of the project/set of tasks is equally important. These professionals may or may not be available later for KT. Proper documentation will help the company and also the next consultant, if the project is to be taken up to the next level. Even if it is the same person who did the previous project, lack of documentation can create confusion later.
- While most of the time, we think of Independent consultants for some specific low-mid level projects but it is now becoming important to engage them for serious strategic projects. Not even corporates, even Entrepreneurs or Start Ups need senior talent also at the initial stage and at the growth stage. It is not just the affordability, but also the nature and amount of work required as per business plan. That will decide the nature of engagement of these Independent Consultants.