Consulting Best Practices

The 4-Stage Process for a Consulting Project

Process is at the heart of great execution. Flying by the seat of your pants only works for so long before gravity takes over in a big way. So in a video and post at Consulting Success, consulting expert coach Michael Zipursky shares the four stages of a reliable process for conducting a consulting project:

  1. Assess
  2. Plan
  3. Implement
  4. Optimize

Stages to Success

The assessment, which Zipursky also says is often referred to as the discovery offer, is where you collect information about the client’s structure and its challenges. The assessment informs how you will proceed into the next stages, and the deliverable of this stage is a high-level plan that can be approved or rejected by the client.

Assuming the client approves it, you move into the planning stage, where you create the full, detailed plan for execution. And following that, you get into the actual implementation. Implementation might mean you are the one doing the actual work, or more likely it will involve you guiding a team to execute the plan properly.

The final stage then is to optimize, which Zipursky thinks is something that gets forgotten from time to time. Optimizing means taking data garnered from feedback (etc.) to improve the implementation beyond its current state. Optimizing might take place through coaching, training, or mentorship. And it could be that a deep enough optimization could lead you back into another a project, and back to the first stage in the process.

You can view Zipursky’s video and a full transcript here:

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