How to Manage Consultants

THE WORKSHOP

The aim of this workshop is to help attendees achieve productive, long-term, mutually satisfying relationships with their consultants. Consulting is an advisory service contracted for and provided to companies or individuals by qualified and/or experienced professionals who assist, in an objective and independent manner, the client to identify management, technical and other problems; devise, design or recommend solutions to those problems; and help, if and when requested, in the implementation of those solutions.

This course will teach participants a range of tools to assist them in the process of hiring the right consultant for the right job. Furthermore, it looks at ways of successfully managing consulting projects, reducing costs and increasing profits for your corporation. It is a great workshop aimed at helping you improve your own skills and advance your career.

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • Receive a certificate of attendance in support of your continuing professional commitment
  • All workshops include the associated hardcopy technical manual
  • Printed workshop handouts
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Interact and network with workshop attendees and experienced instructors
  • Practical, industry driven content to assist you in your continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Attendees automatically become IDC subscribers and receive exclusive deals and technical content every month

YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO:

  • Recognize the myths and realities about using consultants
  • Properly define your consulting projects
  • Select the right consultant for the project
  • Get what you want from consultants
  • Communicate your needs more effectively
  • Manage using effective and flexible methods
  • Minimize disputes, delays and other problems
  • Get your projects done on time and within budget
  • Get the best value for your money

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • All users of Consulting Services
  • Contract Administrators
  • Engineers, Accountants, Supervisors
  • Financial and Marketing Managers
  • Human Resources Professionals
  • Occupational Health and Safety Professionals
  • Project and Maintenance Managers
  • Purchasing and Procurement Officers
  • Quality Assurance Co-ordinators

CONTENT SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

  • Survey – consulting issues that are most important to you and your organisation
  • Personal introductions – about yourself and your expectations

FOCUSING ON CONSULTANTS

  • Consultants – who they are and how they operate
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using consultants
  • Internal consultants – when and how to use them
  • Ten reasons why you may consider outsourcing services
  • Avoiding outsourcing pitfalls
  • The right and wrong reasons for hiring outside consultants
  • How to recognize qualities of top consultants

MODELS OF CONSULTATION

  • 3 types of client-consultant relationship – which one should you use and how?
  • Various roles consultants should and should NOT play
  • Why do role confusions occur?

SELECTING CONSULTANTS

  • How to justify the use of consultants on your project
  • Developing the process and criteria for evaluation and selection of consultants
  • Establishing your needs and requirements
  • Problems with under and over specification of requirements
  • The 7 most common project proposal flaws and how to spot them
  • 4 things to look for when comparing and evaluating proposals
  • Recognizing the 7 types of bias in hiring consultants and minimizing its impact
  • Interviewing and evaluating consultants

CONSULTANT ASSESSMENT EXERCISE

Case study: From negotiation to litigation in the construction industry

MANAGING CONSULTING PROJECTS

  • 3 ways to create a consulting contract
  • Various types of consulting contracts and charging methods and which one to choose and when
  • How to negotiate favorable consulting contract terms
  • 6 tactics you can use to reduce consultants fees
  • An overview of contract law
  • 14 items you should always include in your consulting contract
    Case study: Withdrawal of tenders

MANAGING CONSULTING PROJECTS

  • What is project management – an art, a science or just rubbish?
  • 5 aspects of each consulting project
  • Goals of an engineering system or project - technical, economic, operational, health and safety, environmental
  • Estimating and budgeting issues
  • Balancing risk and cost
    Practical Exercise: Budgeting dilemma

CONSULTING PROJECT TEAMS

  • Team issues
  • Team roles and personalities
  • 3 ways to manage a consulting team
  • 7 most common team problems and how to overcome them
    Teamwork and negotiation game: The road to billing!

HOW CONSULTANTS SOLVE PROBLEMS

  • Dealing with problems (the ice block theory)
  • Fallacies (fault reasoning)
  • 2 ways to finding a solution to client’s problems
  • Changing your frames of mind – paradigm shifting in consulting
    Problem solving exercise: The case of pokey elevators

MONITORING AND CONTROLLING CONSULTANTS

  • 10 most common client complaints
  • 5 basic client management styles
  • Methods for effective control of consultants
  • Comparing proposals with final reports
  • Evaluating the evaluation process
    Case study: From negotiation to litigation in construction industry

COMMUNICATING WITH CONSULTANTS

  • Levels of communication
  • The impact of your communication
  • 4 types of consultants and how to communicate with them
  • Barriers to effective communication – how to identify and remove them
  • 7 rules of communicating with consultants
  • Progress reports and meetings – practical communication issues
    Game: Broken squares

CRISES MANAGEMENT

  • SWOT analysis
  • Dispute avoidance and minimization
  • Signs of trouble
  • The psychology of a crises
  • How to use flexibility and contingency plans instead of fire-fighting
  • Strategies for conflict resolution

FOCUSING ON CLIENTS

  • Analyzing yourself and your organization
  • ANALYSIS: various types of clients and where they go wrong: discover which type are you!
  • How to maximize your learning from consultants
  • Client’s fears about consultants and how to overcome them
  • EVALUATION: your consulting ethics
  • Productive and counter-productive client’s attitudes and strategies
  • Common mistakes clients make an how to avoid them

WHY CONSULTING PROJECTS FAIL

  • Individual factors
  • Organizational factors
  • Corporate constraints and resistance to change
  • The games consultants play

OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE AND FURTHER READING

Exercise: Actions steps to be taken (from this seminar to your workplace)

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