Tips and Tricks for Working With or Being a Consultant

CASE Summer Institute for Advancement Services

Lynne D. Becker

Overview • • • • • • • • • Choosing a Consultant Setting the Scope of Work Work Groups Project Management Executive Team Deliverables Timeline and Budget Principles to Guide the Process Advice from Colleagues .

When do you know you want to engage a consultant? 2. How do you check references? . Where do you go to find a qualified person? 4. How do you define what needs help? 3.How do you choose a consultant? ** 1. What type of individual will fit with your organization? 5.

Who is paying? 3. How will you measure it? 6. How do you control expectations? 7. What does success look like? 5. What does the communication plan look like? . Who is involved? 2.Setting the Scope of Work * 1. What is being accomplished? 4.

• Planning involvement in the earliest stages. • Periodic course adjustments throughout the engagement. . • Anticipating whose buy-in you will need.1. Who is involved? • Identifying the stakeholders.

2. • Mobilize resources to build the expertise of each of the stakeholders. . Who is paying? • What kinds of costs are there besides dollars? • An imaginative allocation of costs. • Sharing outcomes means providing commensurate resources.

Assess compatibility with tasks at hand.Prepare people psychologically for acceptance.Respect the various feelings about change. . purpose and strategy.3. Transition Management . People . Organization . Culture . What is being accomplished? Strategy – Clarify vision.Know where you want to go and what it takes to get there.

. Communicate regularly with all parties. What does success look like? Describe what your deliverables are. Appoint a project manager to monitor progress. Document a detailed timeline.4. Base deliverables on business-related outcomes. Describe what the consultant’s deliverables are.

Reporting accomplishments and milestones. How will you measure it? Establishing meaningful metrics.5. Evaluating progress and course corrections. Measuring on a regular basis. .

How do you control expectations? • Assess the current status of the opportunity for improvement.6. • Develop a communication plan based on degree of integration. • Begin discussions in the planning phase and continue constituent involvement throughout the engagement. . • Work through key questions in the planning stage. • Convene a transition body to manage team projects (implementation teams).

. • Decide on content. • Decide on frequency. • Decide on mediums for communications .7. What does the communication plan look like? • Work with leadership to formulate final plan .

System Administration and Training System Architecture . Receipts and Acknowledgements Relationship Management Financial Reconciliation and Reporting Data Evaluation and Mapping Data Management.Types of Work Groups ** Data Entry and Maintenance Stewardship.

Project Management ** Characterized by: Project Manager Project Team Structure Timeline and Cost Collaboration Integrated Decision Making Balanced Recognition and Acknowledgement Partnership (parties look out for each other) .

Executive Team ** • Members • Roles • Responsibilities .

summarize next steps. . • Keep agendas. • Never let a deadline pass. • Report regularly on progress to stakeholders. monitor progress.Deliverables ** • Keep organized files. • Devote time and energy to the process.

.Timeline and Budget ** • Create a detailed timeline and share it widely. • Hold each member of the partnership accountable for expenditures. • Appoint a budget manager and monitor costs.

Principles to Guide the Process** • Everything done with the best interest of the employees and organization in mind. • Create a memo of understanding. . • Expectations are set for how we relate to each other. • Both entities rise to a higher level of performance.

They work for you and provide the kind of help that you need – not what they want to sell you. breadth of knowledge and exposure to best practices. Take advantage of their objectivity.” (small private college) • “Be very specific about what you can handle and pace your organization for absorption rate for change. You’ve hired their services.” (hospital foundation) • “Know what kind of support you need from the consultant and use them in that capacity with abandon.Advice from Colleagues ** • “Don’t let the consultant tell you – you tell the consultant.” (large public institution) . consumption of resources and usefulness of visits.

Thank you Questions? Lynne Becker .

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