Be a Bridge for the Client

When you work in a larger consultancy, you might sometimes rely on the engagement manager to maintain communication with the client. The problem is that the engagement manager might simultaneously be relying on you as the consultant to maintain that communication. You had best play it safe and be the one who conveys regular consulting engagement updates to your client and also the engagement manager. Lew Sauder explains in a post at Consulting 101.

Open Channels

There are three types of information you should be sharing up and down the communication stream: information about the consulting firm, information about the project, and information about staffing needs. Normally, the inner workings of the consulting firm should be irrelevant to the client, but if (for instance) there is a management change-up that will affect the engagement, then the client must be informed well in advance. Likewise, if something dramatic changes on the consulting project, you should articulate those changes to the engagement manager. And about staffing, Sauder offers this:

… the consultant should be a liaison – a bridge for the client – to ensure the optimal staffing mix. Consultants should have a constant eye on how needs are changing on an engagement and what new skills are needed. Any skills that have become obsolete are candidates to roll off of the project.

Consultants should communicate regularly with the engagement manager and any staffing managers within the firm. Knowing what skills are available “on the bench,” can help the client achieve their goals more efficiently.

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