Client organizations use consultants for a variety of Project topics and managerial challenges such as developing corporate or divisional strategies, developing organizational structures, creating new business models or products or performing efficiency improvement programs. Such projects are of high strategic relevance because they have an impact on the future growth and stability of an organization. Selecting and engaging the right consultants contributes to a great extent to securing the future of an organization.
Optimization of cost and quality through information on performance of consultants
Collecting data associated with the performance and quality of a consulting firm engaged (before, during and after a project is conducted with external consultants) helps to
Optimization of selection processes
When selecting a consulting firm for a specific project initiative, looking first for the right set of team expertise, skills and industry knowledge is essential. A consultant's track record and proven past performance are important deciding factors.
Management of consulting projects
Measuring the satisfaction with and the performance of consultants who are performing a project helps identify projects risks in a timely manner and continuously assess the performance of the consultants. Performance measurement is a tool to help client organizations understand, manage, and improve what consultants do.
Optimization of the return on consulting
Since engaging consultants for a project means investing quite an amount of money and since a consultant's influence on a project's success is high, it is crucial that the consultants deliver promised value and the value of a consulting project exceeds projects costs. Performance measurement is an overall project management system involving detection and prevention aimed at achieving conformance of project outcomes to the client's requirements. Performance measures provide information about project goal achievement and qualitative and quantitative project benefits and therefore about the performance of projects in client organizations.
Optimization of consulting spend and portfolio of professional services providers
The fees consulting firms charge vary widely, depending on expertise, demand, project type and scope and other factors. Therefore, client organizations may want to seek out the consulting firms with the best price-performance ratio. Comparing price and performance of consultants helps identify the most cost-efficient consulting engagement and therefore optimize consulting spend. In addition, performance measurement is knowing the performance of each consulting firm over the past and therefore managing and optimizing the supplier portfolio and negotiations of fees.
Measurements used to assess the performance of consultants
Performance measures used to assess the project specific performance of a consultant can be grouped into one of the following most important categories: Benefits (= value of consulting) and quality. These categories can be broken down into a wide variety of subcriteria to measure performance and Quality of a consultant's work. These performance measures may vary depending on the type of a project (e.g. strategy, IT or cost cutting projects) and the type of consulting services (e.g. IT consulting, HR consulting, marketing consulting). Performance data and measures must be applied consistently though in order to allow comparisons and benchmarks among projects and across an organization. Performance measures must always be tied to a goal or an objective and be used to make intelligent decisions about what to do.
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