Internal Consulting Process



Your Objectives

Key Steps

Targeted Outcomes

Potential Problems

Phase I – Entry

u       Get to know the potential client

u       Let the client learn about you and the Internal Consulting organization (if they don’t know you!)

u       Identify the primary problem or task

u       Determine if you can help or if you should refer them elsewhere

u       Agree on a next step


u       Set up a meeting

u       Gather background information, if possible

u       Meet with the client

-         Description of your services / expertise

-         Client description of the problem

-         Client analysis and solution (if already determined)

-         Discuss information that is needed

-         Discuss next steps

u       Send a note confirming next steps / next meeting


u       Client feels comfortable enough to proceed

u       You have identified a fit between the client need and your expertise

u       Agreement on next steps


u       Client is locked into a solution without fully analyzing the problem

u       Lack of alignment on size / scope of potential project

u       Not checking to verify your understanding of the problem

u       Not getting an OK to collect the information you need to formulate a response and outline a plan


Phase II – Contracting


u       Agree on scope of project, activities, roles, resources, final output, final results

u       Develop a specific plan for the project

u       Identify key stakeholders and reporting requirements

u       Clarify implementation issues

u       Agree how the results will be measured at the end of the project


u       Preliminary data gathering and analysis

u       Presentation of initial findings

u       Presentation of draft plan

u       Clarification of open issues

u       Alignment on scope, roles, resources, contacts, final output and results

u       Plan for status reporting

u       Finalize the contract


u       Contract which clarifies details     

u       Plan for the project including timelines

u       Plan for assessing results at the end of the project


u       Proposing a solution based solely on the clients problem statement

u       Collecting data which is redundant or viewed as subjective

u       Conducting an assessment that is out of line with the size of the project

u       Presenting a plan that is vague or too large in scope

u       Not including all decision makers in the up-front planning


Phase III – Performance

u       Provide high quality service

u       Meet all commitments made in the contract

u       Collaborate with the client

u       Lay the ground work for solution implementation (if it is the responsibility of the client)

u       Communicate frequently with the client and key stakeholders


u       Implement the agreed to plan

u       Monitor interim results

u       Monitor reaction of stakeholders

u       Recommend plan modifications, if needed

u       Report regularly to the client (both positives and negatives)

u       Ask for your client’s assistance to remove roadblocks


u       Problem solved

u       Stakeholders satisfied

u       Client satisfied

u       Personal feeling of accomplishment


u       Services or products are not consistent with what was promised

u       Modifications are not made when the plan is not working

u       You take sides in conflicts rather than focus on the goal of the project

u       You report on activities rather than results

u       You assume that the client is satisfied without checking


Phase IV – Assessment


u       Determine if the problem was solved

u       Assess lessons learned that you and the client can apply to future work

u       Determine if additional activities are needed

u       Determine the client’s level of satisfaction with the results and your performance



u       Implement assessment activities agreed to in the initial contract

u       Meet with the client to get the client’s perceptions of how the project was implemented

u       If appropriate, meet with stakeholders to gather perceptions of the project

u       Meet with the client to present the assessment

u       If appropriate, plan for next steps


u       Quantitative measures of results showing project success

u       Qualitative measures of results and your performance showing success and opportunities for improvement

u       The foundation for a continued relationship with the client



u       No assessment with the client

u       Internal consulting team assessment only

u       Assessment was not part of the original plan so it is designed to fit the results

u       Assessment is not documented

u       You become defensive if the client provides negative feedback

u       You and the client can not agree on the results


Phase V – Conclusion

u       Be sure that the results / benefits of the project are maintained

u       Transfer the project to the client (this may include training, information, and documentation)

u       Clarify any future role you have in the project

u       Discuss potential client needs that you have seen during the project


u       Summarize results

u       Document information so the client can continue with activities and follow-up

u       Be sure there is an internal point person for the on-going effort

u       Provide recognition to key people who supported the project

u       Plan for future contact

u       Start planning for additional projects


u       Client organization gets long term benefit from the project

u       Smooth transition

u       People who participated feel that they were recognized   


u       You leave so everyone assumes the project is over

u       You or the client assume that the results are self-sustaining and requires no additional effort

u       You do not transfer responsibilities

u       People feel they did a lot of work but you got the credit

u       Client does not recognize that you have additional skills / expertise