Of course, when recruiting and hiring and working with a consultant, factors such as experience, expertise and capability should be top of your list of criteria. There are, however, several other factors that could influence your final decision to hire a consulting service.
There are several layers to the cost of a consulting service. First of all, you will have to determine how to set the budget for your project. If you are starting to hire a consulting service for the first time, set a limit high enough so that you are willing to try them. Make sure that you evaluate the cost in relation to the services you are getting. Try to get bids from as many consulting service providers as you can before making a decision. If you are a new startup, don’t be afraid to price shop. After all, a little research can save you a lot of money.
One of the secrets to a successful project is excellent communication. Make sure that you choose a method of communication that works for both parties. Make sure that you give the consultant the freedom to communicate the way they want to and at the same time give yourself the freedom to check in when you want. Make sure that you are on the same page with the consultant before the project starts.
If you are comfortable using technology, you can probably handle almost half of the project on your own. When employing a consulting service be sure to ask how they handle technology. If you are not familiar with technology, then make this a point when hiring a consulting service. Make sure to hire a consulting service that can handle all technical aspects of the project.
The consulting service should have well-defined project management methods. Although these methods may vary from one company to another, they should be internally consistent. The project management methods should also be very easy to understand. The consulting service should be able to readily give you a sample of the project management format that they commonly use with their clients. Here are some of the good project management methods that you can find in most consulting services.
In order to keep the project on track and make sure that it is moving in the right direction, you should be able to monitor progress and milestones anytime you want. This is especially important in the initial stages when you will be trying to ensure that your project is heading in the right direction. If you are not satisfied with the current progress in your project, you should be able to predict possible delays and re-plan the project.
With the level of complexity and interdependence in today’s projects, you should be able to create a high level and detailed scope for the project. Without a well-defined scope, the project may get out of control. The consulting services should be able to handle this aspect of the project with ease. They should also be able to handle any changes to the scope if they are to continue working on the project.
The monitoring of progress is essential in any project and this is doubly true when making a major investment in consultants. Make sure that the project dashboard includes all the vital metrics you would need to monitor progress in the project. Make sure that you receive this information in a timely manner. You should also be able to obtain reports of the past weeks each week.
In order to ensure that you are actually getting the output you were hoping for, you should have a means to check the quality of the work for the project. If your consultant does not have their own quality bar set in line with yours, it may be too late to correct it. Make sure that the consultant has a quality management system in place and that they have played an active part in the project. In the eventuality that there is a problem, the project management and reporting should be able to identify a serious problem rapidly before it gets out of hand.