Every project undertaken by a consultant is unique. While many assignments may be similar in nature, no two are ever identical.
For this reason, it is essential that a consultant be chosen with deliberate care. In essence, the more experienced and qualified to undertake a given project, the more likely the consultant’s services will be in accord with the goals and objectives of the client.
Moreover, provision of consulting services, by definition, implies a close, privileged relationship between the consultant and the client. To give less than full consideration to the selection/retention process, therefore, would be to jeopardize a successful consultant-client relationship before it begins, thereby jeopardizing the successful outcome of the project at hand.
The following method for the selection of a consultant is provided for your consideration:
- Determine to the extent possible the nature and scope of the problem or assignment involved.
- Identify one or more professional consultants who, by virtue of previous experience, stated capabilities, availability and proximity of location, as well as other relevant factors, appear to be generally qualified to undertake the project.
- Provide project details and request statements of qualification, including a complete description of the firm, previous assignments and clients, names and biographies of persons who would be working on the project, anticipated time schedules involved, and other factors which relate to the quality of work to be performed.
- Review credentials and experience data and identify the firm which appears most qualified to serve your specific requirements.
- Contact the firm felt to be most qualified and open negotiations to establish a mutually acceptable consulting fee arrangement and payment methodology.
- If the negotiations prove satisfactory, retain the consultant to ensure their availability for the project. If negotiations are not successful, they should be closed and opened with other qualified firms, one at a time.