Insist on a work plan from the consultant
Give the consultant sufficient information to get them up to speed
Request that the consultant provide progress reports on the project as follows:
- Outlining the methodology used
- Presenting interim findings and/or progress to date
- Compiling (one or more) preliminary reports
- Final report and evaluation
Communicate regularly with the consultant to review timetables and responsibilities
Establish a process for any necessary changes in the scope of the project
Maintain control over the process and product
If you're unclear, or not pleased with the work in progress - ask for a meeting to address the situation. Discuss your previously agreed-upon objectives, the work to date and/or problems met.
Reach consensus on how to proceed from there
Be prepared for resolution of disputes or changes required by a relationship that sours
Be prepared to promptly pay the consultant's invoices
Evaluate the results of the consultant's work
- Input - What did your organization put into the consulting relationship?
- Process - What is the relationship between the organization and the consultant?
- Output - Did we accomplish what we set out to accomplish?
- Outcomes - Did the work help us move toward the agency's long-range goals?
- Hold a final debriefing to discuss the results of the project