Consulting Best Practices

The Problem of Consultant Roll-off

In a post at Consulting 101, Lew Sauder discusses the temporal challenges that come with a consultant being rolled off of a project. How abrupt is too abrupt to terminate a consultant, and how far in advance is too impractical? Some consultants get shown the door on a convenient Friday afternoon, meaning that the rest of the staff will come back from the weekend to find the consultant (and his or her knowledge) has vanished forever. This is not good for the consultant and may result in damage for the team that remains. On the other hand, if a consultant is informed months in advance of his or her pending termination, things might get awkward when the rest of the team must discuss plans or events that will occur after the consultant has left.

Sauder ultimately finds that two weeks’ notice is probably suitable, the same as with any other job. The two really important things though are conducting proper knowledge management and not blindsiding the consultant in the situation.

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