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In addition to these seven critical skills of consultancy, Block identified five techniques that are useful in streamlining consultancy. Peter block, in Flawless Consulting stipulates the use of the following prescribed approaches in order to succeed in the endeavor of consulting. These proposals are in the form of step to be taken in succession. First is entry and contracting stage. This addresses the first contact with the client about the project. In the case one is independent they would directly meet the client to talk of the project.
In the case you are working with the aid of a recruiter you take this as the interview stage.
The tasks to carry out include; arranging for the first meeting, investigating the nature of the problem, determining your suitability to handle the work. , listing the expectations of the client, baring own expectation as the contractor, and deciding on how to start. This initial stage is very critical in the work of consultancy. The planning helps to avert the so common disasters faced by consultants.
Second is collection of data and data diagnosis. He says that it is important that to have consultants project their view of the problem. This is the step where the consultant contributes the most value.
In this phase the contractor should become aware of the one who shall define the problem, which methods shall be put into use, and the kind of data to be collected. They also know about the time frame of the project. Third is the step of getting back to the client and making the decision to act.
Here one reports on the information gathered in the previous step. This is done in order to summarize the huge amount of information that is gathered in the second stage so that it can be understood. The consultant must also in this stage devise ways of how to involve the client in the activity of making analysis on the gathered information.
The client should be prepared to encounter resistance while giving the feedback to the client organization. If the project is highly ranked the resistance will be greater. Before a decision on how to proceed can be taken the consultant must deal with this resistance. This stage is analogous to the planning stage in other forms of business as it involves setting goals and selecting the best steps of action (Salopek, 1998). Fourth is the implementation step. It is the step where all the decisions taken previously and implementing the course of action decided upon.
This mostly involves the efforts of the organization, though at times situations warrant that the consultant remains involved in the affairs. Often projects start implementation with an occasion of education event. This can come in the form of several meetings to introduce a change. Parts of the organization are called together into a single meeting where the problem is addressed, or this may be a training session. In both cases the consultant is deeply involved in complicated work of either designing or training. Fifth is the stage of extension, termination or recycle.
This is a stage that begins with evaluation of the main event. After this is the determination on whether to expand the process to more of the organization. The clear picture of the problem comes up sometimes after the implementation. In case of this there is recycling of the process and new contract details to be discussed. In cases where the implementation has been average to very poor there may be termination of the process immediately after the initial implementation stage. Options on how to end the relationship abound, and the termination is a legitimate and important part of the consultation.
If the termination is executed well it provides an experience of learning for the client and the consultant. An amicable solution ensures doors for future work of the consultant with the organization. In addition to these five stages it is important that further considerations are made in order to avoid failures in contracting. The best thing that people should do to avoid failures of contracting is to ensure clearly drafted consulting engagements. The contracts should be mutually satisfying to the parties involved. When getting into new contracts with clients there are things one should require.
This is due to the fact that a contract is essentially an agreement of the client and the consultant. Both parties should be able to comprehend the terms of the contract. A clearly drawn contract is easier to work on and is more effective because it lays out the role and task of the parties concerned. They should take time to make negotiation. This ids one of the best ways for ensuring contracts succeed. The parties should meet to negotiate terms. This will allow for the parties to know each others needs and will build trust and increase the relationship between them. (Manfred, 2005)
The parties should invest thought and time before agreeing to the terms of the agreement.. This should happen before the contract meeting and should be based on ones knowledge on the project, and also on ones needs and what they need to know. Each should consider what they are willing to offer. Investigations on possible challenges are done and device ways to encounter those challenges (Salopec, 1998). One should listen to answer to the question one asks. One should clearly listen to the answers of the questions they ask during the meeting with more emphasis on those implied answers that are not spoken.
The goals of the project are a major point of focus for one to get the relevant information. One should be specific in that the client should follow the specifications of the contract and that the client gives enough information. The contract won’t be good at all if it is glossed over by the parties involved. It is pivotal to know how the project fits into the big picture. This ids looking at the goals of the business organization and establish where the priority of the business is as perm the efforts being undertaken. If you get the whole picture then you will be able to serve the client better in the future.
The understanding should occur during the contract meeting (Hill, 1999). The contractor should be ready to pass. This happens when the client isn’t ready to meet the requirements of the contract or when the client comes up with demands that are unrealistic. One should see the indications of non compliance and avoid getting into a sour deal. Once these important skills are developed the consultant easily handled those cases that come his way single handedly. This helps for the consultant to be a one stop consultant and his clients will feel confident seeking for their counsel.
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