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Consulting Industry Today

Why Building a Performance Measure System That Lasts Delivers The Best Results?

by | Jan 20, 2020 | Manage the Consulting Category

“The system, to a large extend, causes its own behavior.” – Donella H. Meadows

Markets and conditions constantly change, but a progressive Performance Measure system for Consulting projects, established within your organization, can produce desired results on a regular basis. Or even better – it can optimize all resources and boost results.

Monitoring the relevant dimensions, that a Performance Measure system produces, will provide you with a wealth of inputs your firm can use to:

  • Measure the impact of your Consulting Spend
  • Understand who spends money on what and with whom
  • Create individual ScoreCard per project, or Consulting Firm
  • Compare the performance of the different Consulting Firms
  • Identify the Low- and the High-Performers

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Consistency as a Key Factor –

We should emphasize that if you start measuring the performance but stop after a few months, or measure it on a random basis, it will be difficult to convince your suppliers of the seriousness of the effort.

To avoid this unfortunate situation, we suggest the measure of the performance to become part of your Procure to Pay Processes (P2P).

The distribution of the performance measurement survey can be automated as part of the workflow when you open a new project and should be mandatory before the official closure of the project. It can be established as a mandatory step before proceeding with the last payment to the supplier.

But evaluating and measuring performance are, in fact, designed to bring improvements.

Few easy steps in implementing an Improvement Plan-

1-Set out a few dates on your calendar for discussions with your main providers about their performance over the last few projects. The focus and topics can cover the overall performance and will be the starting point of the improvement plan.

2-The goal of the exercise also is to yield value for the internal stakeholders, as they will have to spend time to fill in the surveys. Once a year at least, plan a debriefing with them about the performance of the key suppliers in the panel. Take advantage of this meeting to discuss what will be the future needs and to identify changes to be brought to the panel.

3-Depending on the situation, and the project, improvements may include:

  • Staffing (e.g., displacing low performing individuals or those with the lowest fit with your company’s culture),
  • Movements in and out of projects (staffing evolving too frequently, poaching of collaborators, …),
  • Perceived performance or impact issues (disconnect between costs and actual impact), lack of expertise on a given subject,
  • Compliance with company processes, policies, and commercial terms (daily rates, discounts, …).
  • Creating an internal network of experts to monitor and support improvement actions. They can be functional experts or ex-consultants. They can help you review the outcomes of the key projects, the feedback on the various firms and to design improvement plans more specific to the expertise of each consulting firms. They can also support you to identify, through their network, alternative consulting firms not initially in your radar screen.

Building an appropriate performance measurement system is your first step towards creating value through consulting and taking control of the consulting category while keeping decision-making and feedback in the hands of the project sponsors.

And to finish on a high note, the great news is that “What’s measured improves.” – as Peter Drucker said.

 

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Published in Manage the Consulting Category

About The Author

Hélène Laffitte

Helene is the CEO and Co-founder of Consulting Quest. She launched Consulting Quest in 2014, driven by the idea that a global performance-centric Consulting service platform would greatly benefit clients by helping them source better.  Helene’s background in Engineering, Consulting, Procurement, and Industrial Strategy has contributed to the creation of an extremely athletic business model, set to change the way consulting is procured.