Checking In & Assessing Progress
Assessing progress and evaluation should happen regularly throughout the project as well as at the project’s conclusion. Evaluating as you go will help keep the project on track and allow you to recognize shortfalls in the consultant’s work or in your organization so that they can be remedied quickly.
Do not assume that your consultant is a mindreader. It is important to set up a relationship where there is a continuous feedback cycle—both for the client to give feedback to the consultant, but also for the consultant to help coach a client on how to be a good consumer of consulting.
We want to normalize the idea that consultants should get feedback and should share with clients how they learn and evaluate their own work—and have a way to share that information that goes beyond identifying only “false positives.”
When checking-in, here are some important assessment questions for consultants and their clients to consider:
- How well are we upholding the 7 guiding principles in the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities?
- In particular, are we making an intentional effort to learn, explore and share during the engagement?
- Are we disclosing all information relevant to the project?
- How are we communicating? What is working, and what is not?
- What shifts do we need to make? What do we need to do more – or less – of?
- Where are we in terms of staying on budget? Are there shifts or re-allocations that we need to make?
- If there is a funder involved, what needs to be reported to them? Who should deliver the message?
A few more tips from TechSoup Global:
- Establish expectations
- Assign a point person
- Communicate regularly
- Maintain staff buy-in
- Make the project internally sustainable