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Our practical advice for conducting effective mission monitoring with your IT consultant

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Regular and effective mission follow-up is the key to success when working with an IT consultant. It's not just about monitoring time sheets or having a check-in every six months. Proper mission follow-up requires consistency and the application of specific methods.

The goal? Establishing effective communication to ensure collaboration, but also to strike the right balance between autonomy and control. You must provide your consultant with a clear enough framework for them to successfully carry out their tasks, while allowing them the maximum leeway to organize their work and contribute their expertise.

In this article:

So how to go about it concretely? We provide you with our best advice in this article.

#1 Establish clear objectives from the beginning of the mission

A good mission follow-up starts right from onboarding. You must, in fact, define your expectations regarding outcomes and set objectives so that your consultant has a clear vision of what they need to achieve.

These objectives must be:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Time-bound

At the beginning of the mission, define your vision of a successful collaboration and be transparent. Take this opportunity to gather the expectations of your consultant regarding support and the elements they consider necessary for the success of their project(s).

#2 Fix regular tracking points

Once the mission has started, schedule regular slots for communication with your consultant. Choose a suitable frequency in light of the mission. This could be once a week, once a month, once every two months... Avoid checking in too often, as it may lead to unnecessary meetings, but also don't let too much time pass between your exchanges.

Attention, these tracking points should not be your only moments of exchange with your consultants. You should maintain smooth daily communication, especially on the operational aspects of the mission.

However, these exchanges should also provide the opportunity to regularly assess the following:

  • 1. Progress of the mission and adherence to the schedule.

  • 2. Results achieved compared to the set objectives.

  • 3. Quality of deliverables.

  • 4. Challenges encountered.

  • 5. Solutions implemented.

  • 6. Any information or resource needs.

#3 Resolve the blocking points

A good project management involves anticipating the difficulties that can compromise the success of the consultant's mission. Because if these difficulties are not detected in time, they can lead to delays, errors, and additional costs.

The secret is not to wait for things to go wrong before taking stock! By regularly taking stock, you can anticipate potential bottlenecks and resolve them before they turn into real problems.

#4 Give constructive feedback

Feedback is a crucial element in monitoring the mission of an IT consultant. It is also a fundamental aspect of talent retention. Good feedback should enable the consultant to gather information about the quality of their work and to adapt to the company's expectations.

Do not wait until the end of the consultant's mission to provide feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. Instead, offer feedback throughout their mission and provide guidance to enhance their performance.

Here are some tips for giving constructive feedback to your IT consultant:

  • Be specific and objective: Give concrete examples of what worked well and what can be improved.

  • Be empathetic: Show that you understand the challenges faced by the consultant and that you are ready to help find solutions.

  • Be positive: Focus on the positive aspects of the consultant's work, acknowledge their efforts and contributions, and encourage them to continue in that direction."

#5 Ask for feedback from your consultant

Feedback should be a two-way street. Requesting feedback from your IT consultant is indeed an essential practice to improve the quality of your collaboration and ensure the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

Seeking feedback encourages open and honest communication between the company and the consultant, which can help quickly resolve issues and avoid misunderstandings.

A consultant who feels that their feedback is being heard and considered will be more inclined to engage in their mission and contribute to the project's success by providing innovative ideas and solutions.

#6 Anticipate important deadlines such as the end of the mission

It is important to establish a clear mission tracking schedule with regular check-in dates to assess work progress and discuss upcoming deadlines. Particularly, the end of the mission should be anticipated as much as possible.

In the event you wish to extend the collaboration with your freelance consultant, you must ensure their availability and willingness to continue the mission. You should also discuss the contract renewal terms well in advance of the mission's end date. This way, if your consultant, for example, wants to renegotiate their daily rate, you will have time for these discussions and avoid being in a tight spot just days before the contract ends.

If the mission is not renewed, you should also plan for the consultant's departure and organize their off-boarding. You will likely need the consultant to document their activities or hand over their work to another person. Therefore, you should establish a concrete action plan and communicate it to your consultant in a timely manner.

In conclusion, mission tracking is a key element in ensuring a successful collaboration with your IT consultant. By following these practical tips, you can ensure effective communication, anticipate important deadlines, and achieve your set objectives within the allotted time. This will result in increased performance and peace of mind!

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