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Business case – Using a consultant

You might want to consider using a consultant to do some of the planning, action, review and evaluation of your work-life strategy

Tips on choosing and using a reputable work-life consultant

Do you need a consultant?

  • Consider why you want to use a consultant. Consultants can be useful when:
    • You don’t have the time
    • You don’t have the right skills
    • You want someone to look at the issues objectively
    • You want someone with experience of working with similar organisations
  • Is there a member of staff with the right skills who could be released to do the job instead?

Work out the aims of the consultancy

Find the right consultant

  • Consider whether you want to engage an individual or a group
  • Draw up a project brief
  • Decide on your selection process, e.g. written proposal, phone interview, and selection criteria, e.g. cost
  • Ask the following questions:
    • How they would approach the project and to feed back on your brief
    • What relevant skills and experience they have
    • How long it would take and what the estimated cost would be
  • Make sure you meet the main consultant you’ll be working with
  • Take up references if necessary

Draw up an effective brief

  • Work out what you want the consultant to achieve, the outcome you want, what you want them to produce and when by
  • Provide clear and detailed information about your organisation
  • Tell them with who they will be working with internally, and what assistance you will provide to get the job done
  • Go through the brief with the consultant and ask them to give feedback and help you refine it

Getting the best out of the consultancy

  • Identify who will be the main point of contact with the consultant, and who else they will be working with. Do you need a steering group?
  • Decide what you plan to do with any products (e.g. reports) you have asked the consultant to create
  • Discuss how you will discuss and review the consultancy during the project
  • Discuss how and on what basis payments will be made, e.g. day rate or fixed fee
  • Don’t forget that you’ll get more out of the project if you work with the consultant
Getting funding
The Work-Life Balance Challenge Fund, run by the DTI, is now closed.

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