Written By Laura Taffet
If the title of this article sparked your interest then you have been there before. You have hired consulting firms in the past and the project went way over budget, and the end product was not what you were hoping for. You are now in the same situation – you are leading another project for your company and success is crucial. The go live date is 12+ months out so you have some time. Where do you start? When do you start? Do you hire a consulting firm or try to get by with existing resources? You may be surprised, but hiring a consulting firm can actually pay for itself in the long run.
The due diligence and information gathering phase of a project is extremely vital to the project’s success, and is also the phase which is most often undervalued and put on the proverbial “back burner”. Hiring a consulting firm to lead this effort early on will mitigate the costs associated with waiting until too much time has passed, and then rushing to try and organize the effort with in-house resources who are already stretched thin. This is where the framework of the effort, the budget, deliverables and the development of work-streams are identified. By hiring a firm with consultants who will be un-biased and attentive to detail across the different areas of the businesses involved, you will not only avoid wasting time when the sense of urgency finally arrives , but you will be ahead of the curve with a solid plan well before your looming deadline.
More Contractors Does Not Always Equate to More Effective Production
When deciding how to utilize your consulting budget, hiring the largest number of resources is not necessarily the best use of your money. You are far better off hiring the right resources, which may actually require less people. Conflicts, issues and scope changes are will arise on every project. Budgets will change and timelines will shift, this is expected. Look for a company that thoughtfully demonstrates how they proactively address issues and conflicts with the right resources, how they limit scope creep and how they broach budget or timeline changes. A good consulting firm will ensure that their resources have detailed job descriptions and clear expectations. Ultimately the right resources will yield your biggest cost savings over the life of the project. Look for a firm which has resources who are true SMEs (subject matter experts) in relation to your business needs. These resources are highly experienced and can function in multiple roles. Spending the time up front to ensure you have a cohesive team with the right skill sets and functional knowledge will ultimately ensure that you goals are achieved most effectively.
Leading the project with you
Large projects can inevitably involve project teams of multiple resources, stakeholders, business functions and locations – all which need to be coordinated, empowered and encouraged. Partner with your consulting firm to build consensus and commitment as a cohesive team who share equal responsibilities. A good consulting firm will lead the project with you, and will lead smoothly towards the agreed objectives in the spirit and interests of your business. Let the consulting firm bear an equal amount of significance and responsibility. In short, forward progress for all.
Speak to Taffet Consulting, we can structure a team that have proven skills in project methodology and staff that understand your products.