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#175: Differences of Opinion About Project Scope

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, November 13, 2009
Many engagements involve just the client sponsor or immediate staff. Is it necessary to work with more than just these staff?

The scope of your project and intended implementation will dictate who should be involved in your work. Of course, the client sponsor has the final say in who is involved but you should be recommending who can and should be involved. Even though a project only involves a limited staff in design and implementation, the impacts will likely be felt throughout the company. It is appropriate to engage the points of view of all those who would be affected by a change, not just those who will employ the changed processes.

Just as you would survey customers, suppliers and partners in many change processes, so too should you seek out those individuals and institutions who can constrain and enable your change recommendations. Say you are working with improving sales or innovation. Your work might involve process improvement or training of those staff. However, you want the perspectives of those outside those functions for two reasons: their input and their buy in. Sometimes, when staff see you are working with just "the boss" or "the leadership team," they are less interested in seeing how change might affect them or to participate in its development.

Tip: An important part of your scoping your engagement is to decide, with your sponsor, whether this is really a project for a small group of people or an organization-wide change. If there is benefit to the whole organization or other units are affected, help your sponsor understand that either he or she (or you) need to engage more than just the limited scope presumed.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client relations  consultant role  customer understanding  engagement management 

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