Traditional consulting works on a face-to-face model, with consultants working at the client’s offices. While this is useful when collecting data, and when large teams need to work together, it is not needed when teams are small and interaction is very one-to-one. In such a situation, Remote Consulting is a very feasible option, providing the same quality of services at a far more economical price.
The Remote Consulting model being deployed on an engagement can be configured around a mix of interaction levels, depicted below.
The mix of intensity levels to use should be as per (a) the nature of an engagement (strategic and ambiguous objectives require high intensity interactions while more tactical assignments can use lower levels), (b) logistical concerns – scattered teams can better phone in to tele-conferences; or connectivity issues in different places might mean that video conferencing is not an option for everybody, and (c) the culture of a client – a very hierarchical organization might work better with the video conferences supplemented with detailed email messages. Its also likely that all models of remote consulting will be used at different times of an engagement, with high-intensity modes being used to start with, and as people get comfortable with working together, a shift to less intensive modes.
Some of the aspects that we will special attention to when putting together a remote consulting assignment are listed below:
Target output – Objectives and scope finalization
Assignment Governance – sponsorship, oversight, permissions, quality reviews, monitoring and reporting processes
Detailed program plans – timelines, deliverables, resources, responsibilities, accountabilities
Communication plans – audiences, sponsorships, expectation setting, team introductions
Technical methodology – information needs, analysis required, output, quality assurance
Logistics – Workshop scheduling, secretarial help, conferencing tools