In an article for Inc., consultant Robin Camarote recounts a time where a CEO hired expert consultants who ultimately created an over 100-page document for how to improve business. It was well prepared in every respect, with good ideas, and yet it was utterly useless to the business—until Camarote came along to derive actionable insights from the stack of paper. She discusses how to prevent this all from happening to you.
Camarote finds that there are two main reasons why consultants put out unusable reports like this. One is that they do not want to offend anybody with “hard truths,” because angering even a couple people can put them against everything else you have to say. The second reason is this:
…even with interviews and a document review, it’s difficult to have all context needed to layout [sic] a “how to” plan. This is especially true when the consulting team receives its information from a single, vocal source–the buyer and key client. Without this critical information, the consulting team can’t provide the kind of roadmap recommended as a best practice to wide out consultants you shouldn’t hire.
Here are five things you can do when the recommendations your consultants have cooked up lack the necessary context to be executable:
- Get stakeholder input.
- Increase communication and collaboration.
- Conduct a workforce analysis.
- Develop performance metrics.
- Set up a project management office.
Those first two require no elaboration, since you have likely heard them a hundred times. Conducting a workforce analysis though can help you see where the squeaky wheel is in operations. It might be up to you to do this when a wallflower consultant does not feel comfortable pointing the finger at an underperforming team. Developing performance metrics over time will assist in making this a less personal affair. Lastly, a great way to get projects in line is to manage them with a project management office. These are all good tips to follow regardless of whether your consultant turns out to be a wuss.
You can read the original article here: http://www.inc.com/robin-camarote/what-your-management-consultant-won-t-tell-you.html