How much planning goes into your projects? Do you even get to be part of the planning process? As an independent, you and I normally arrive once the project basics have been set and the work begins. You can’t even imagine the fun that your missing.!
First of all, the client has rose colored glasses on! What fun! They use statements like “We know we need new process…”, and “It will be fun to work with you.” They see every problem with a delivered solution and every obstacle as something that has surely been solved before at many other companies.
But, they also see you accomplishing the work in half the time you tell them it will take. Or is that at half the cost?
Either way, planning is were all your consulting soft skills will come into play. You must show your an expert at every opportunity, but you have to be subtle so that you don’t appear cocky.
Lead!! Don’t be shy or underestimate your power to drive change. You are setting the tone with your client for the whole project. There are difficult times ahead, you know it well, so set the expectation now that your not afraid to face any challenge and you expect them to follow you into the fire.
What’s your biggest complaint when you show up in Design? Are you understaffed? Is the timing all wrong? How about the way the clients expectations are all way out of wack. Planning is when the client is actually purchasing the dream we will later crumble. Imagine teaming with them early on and helping them spend their money well.
Consulting is not just about being the out of town expert! It’s about being a trusted advisor to clients who don’t understand where their going. Your a co-leader. You are the voice of experience that voices an opinion at just the right time and then quietly falls back into the group.