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In any consulting assignment what are the most important factors in determining a successful outcome?

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Introduction

´╗┐Consultancy and Professional Practice Assignment 1 In any consulting assignment what are the most important factors in determining a successful outcome? Justify your answer with reference to the literature. Table of Contents: 1. Executive Summary 2 2. Introduction 2 3. Important Factors in a successful consultancy assignment 3 1. The integrity of the consultant 2. Client involvement, moviation and readiness for change 3. Clarity between client and consultant 4. Client Competence 5. Fit between client and consultant 1. Conclusion 6 2. Refereences 7 1. Executive summary This report reflects on the question of the most important factors in determining a successful outcome to a consultancy assignment. Following a brief introduction, which details some of the reasons consultants are used and points out the difficulties in trying to establish what ?success? means in a consultancy assignment, a number of factors are considered. It is suggested that these factors, where present, make a successful consultancy assignment more likely: integrity; client involvement, motivation and readiness; agreement; consultant competence and client/consultant fit. The report provides a conclusion that where these factors are present in a consulting assignment the chances of success are likely to be significantly improved. 1. Introduction There are many reasons that an organisation may seek to use a consultant but among the more popular arguments for their use are they; ?(a) ...read more.

Middle

and Schein observes, "If we allow clients to distance themselves, we have already lost the war, because it is, after all, the client's problem we are dealing with." (1999: pp.42). Schaffer (2002) proposes that a crucial success factor in an assignment is linked to client motivation. The suggesting being made that projects undertaken where the client evidences a clear motivation to carry out the work are far more likely to succeed than otherwise. This is most likely to be true as it also links into other success factors such as ownership and responsibility. This is even more likely to be a key factor where the client is a senior member of staff. A senior manager with a clear motivation to endorse and sponsor a consultant?s assignment gives that assignment an impetus which can drive it to success. Linked closely, but a little different, is the notion of client readiness as a factor vital to the success of the assignment. ?Readiness refers to client involvement in the sense of an attitude about the need for change and the degree to which it will receive support and enthusiasm,? (Armenakis and Burdg, 1988; pp.351). Here the sense of readiness relates to the position the client finds themselves in terms of willingness to take action now rather than at some piont in the future. ...read more.

Conclusion

1. Conclusions This report has not sought to discuss the consulting process itself and the factors mentioned should be seen as being suggested as required at just about any point in the consulting life-cycle. Where these previously listed factors are present in any consulting assignment, and at any given point in the process, there is an enhanced likelihood of success. Of course the presence of all of the factors at all times is of preference but the presence of an increasing number is also likely to mean a gradually increasing anticipation of success for the assignment. So while it may not be possible to achieve all of the factors in all assignments efforts should be made to put as many in place as possible to increase the probability of a successful assignment. ________________ 1. References Appelbaum, S, (2004) ?Critical success factors in the client-consulting relationship?, Journal of American Academy of Business, Vol.4, No.1/2: pp.184-191 Armenakis, A. and Burdg, H. (1988) ?Consultation research: Contributions to practice and directions for improvements?, Journal of Management, Vol.14, No.2: pp.339-365 Covey, S. (1997) The seven habits of highly-effective people, New York; Simon & Schuster McLachlin, R. (1999) ?Factors for consulting engagement success?, Management Decision, Vol.37, No.5: pp.394-402 Schaffer, R. H. (2002) High-impact consulting: How clients and consultants can work together to achieve extraordinary results. San Francisco, CA; Jossey-Bass Schein, E. (1999) Process consulting revisited; Building the helping relationship. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley. Shenson, H.L. (1990), How to Select and Manage Consultants. ...read more.

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