Every day I talk to people in charge of organizations re new initiatives they have in mind.
Before things get too involved in discussions I ask them about their “old initiatives”.
- Do they have in place a formal mechanism for authorizing the allocation of scarce resources to a new initiative?
- Is there in place a means for assessing risk and uncertainty?
- Do they have in place mechanisms for prioritizing competing proposed initiatives and selecting from these, the one or two that will give the greatest “bang for the buck”?
Next, when will the new initiative start, how long will it run, do they have the people needed to plan, implement, monitor and control the initiative? What is their Plan B for the scenario where the initiative fails or starts to fail?
The client quickly gets the message that the questions will not stop during the implementation phase of any new initiative.
For initiatives that manage to get going in the absence of a particular tool/methodology, the client expects to hear the same questions, slightly re-phrased i.e. “Do you now have in place …. ?”
Bottom line, if you want to be successful as a consultant, you have to ask a lot of questions.