As a consultant of nearly 20 years, I am very used to clients coming to me with a whole host of challenges they need help with, but the first question I always ask is “what problem is it you are trying to solve?”
The key to a successful project is to be very clear from the outset about what it is you are trying to achieve. Our approach starts with a conversation with the client to dig into the ‘why’ – why they want to do the work they have outlined in their brief. As consultants, we want to deliver impact with our solutions – to enable our clients to achieve success and positive results. A good consultant will make sure they fully understand what the client is trying to achieve, and will offer advice and guidance as to the best approach. Occasionally that approach will not quite match the scope of work outlined in the brief and so openness and flexibility from both parties will yield the best results.
Some of the problems our clients present us with can be very focussed and need a tactical approach – “we need more submissions,” “we need to raise awareness and engagement of our learning platform”, “we need to know what customers think of our new product,” or even “help, we are overstretched and need another pair of hands on deck.” In these cases, we can provide that extra pair of hands and act as an extension of the internal team, working hand-in-hand to design and implement campaign plans.
Whilst other clients come with more strategic challenges and know they will need a focus on the bigger picture. In these cases, we will likely need to pull in both internal and external stakeholders to the conversation. Questions like “is this the right time to flip our journals to open access?,” or “what does our community want from us in 2022?”, or “Covid has hit us hard, how can we adapt and survive?”
There are also times when our clients don’t have a brief or project in mind, but they jump right in with the problem – what they need our help with is designing a project that will help them meet their particular challenges.
Regardless of the scope or scale of the brief, our approach is the same: talk to the client, fully understand their problem, and design a scope of work that will help them solve it; be clear about the deliverables from the start and communicate effectively throughout the project.
The TBI team work together to get the best for our customers – and those customers come back to us time and time again because they know they will get a creative, outcome-focussed approach. Our consultants are experienced, knowledgeable, creative, and overall great team players. So, if you have a problem you are grappling with and don’t quite know where to start, or if you have a project you really need to get off the ground but haven’t found the time to get to it, please do get in touch.