I know consultants have different opinions about this but I want to, if possible, have a member of the client staff participate on the consulting team. Is this a good idea or not?
I like the idea of having a member of the client staff participate on the consultant team. At a minimum, you gain a quick check on your assumptions, access to information, and validation of preliminary findings. With the right person, the consulting team will find a eager and willing partner to bring fresh ideas (including ideas that may have been offered before by the client staff but were not as readily accepted).
A second great reason is that your diagnostic, analysis, and process improvement techniques can be learned and repeated after the consulting team is gone. As much as we might like to be invited back to provide additional services, the client is best served by learning how to conduct many of our services by themselves. this helps a client sustain and advance the improvements you have provided. Tip:
Talk with your client at the beginning of a project and suggest having a member of the staff "shadow" you, if not serve as a full participant on the project team. Make sure you understand the staff member's capabilities and skills and work with them to assign appropriate responsibilities. © 2008 Institute of Management Consultants USA