Consulting Industry Today

3 Best Ways to Measure Consulting Performance – In Short, Medium & Long-Term Formats

by | Oct 31, 2019 | Clients, Managing The Category

Let’s start with the question – How important is measuring the performance of Consulting Services’ providers?

For Consultants – as long as their clients keep buying the services, measuring and analyzing performance is not that important.

But for Clients, it’s a very necessary part of the process of acquiring such services and getting the best ROI.

If we take a look at the Automotive industry, for example, the ultimate price will be losing the business of the client.

In most procurement categories, the receipt and inspection of the purchased goods is a key step in the process. When the product is damaged or not compliant with the requirements, it will be rejected. When the product is compliant, but the quality is not satisfying, the provider’s contract will not be renewed. When a supplier is the subject of numerous claims it will be removed from the panel.

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But here are the shocking facts :

  • 57% of companies don’t have a systematic Performance Evaluation system for the Consulting Category.
  • Consulting firms also don’t necessarily have a reliable system for measuring clients’ satisfaction. They realize the client was unhappy when they lose the account.
  • Which is often unfortunate, and doesn’t help either party.
  • Open conversation and feedback is the first step. But why is t often obstructed?
  • Consulting Firms are looking for feedback to engage in a continuous improvement process, and their clients are expecting them to listen and improve their ways of working.


There are a few reasons that prevent collaboration:

  • Consulting Services are seen as hard to measure, intangible, and measurement can be tricky. But companies know from experience that even intangible objectives can be measured

The best approach relies on a system. Since Peter Drucker has popularized Management by objectives in the 50s, it became a standard in General Management. SMART objectives are used across the board to help employees have a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities.

The same can apply to Consulting Services. When you hire a Consulting Firm, you have some expectations such as the quality of the deliverables, the ability to understand your business, the ability to build trust with the stakeholders, etc.

  • Why not measure the achievement of these objectives

Implementing a systematic Performance Evaluation specific to Consulting Services is a cornerstone of the management of the Consulting Category.

The benefits of measuring can be seen at three time horizons

1. Short-Term

The beginning of the implementation can be rocky. Being attentive to feedback from the main departments or business lines using consulting can help procurement to identify the Consulting Firm with performance issues and gather the necessary information to build the right improvement plan with them.

2. Medium-Term

Tracking your providers’ performance longitudinally is the only objective way to monitor the providers, to benchmark their performance and to identify the high and low performers: two essential elements to keep a fluid Preferred Supplier List. This analysis will also help you identify capabilities with insufficient performance.

3. Long-Term

The purpose of aligning your Consulting Spend with your Strategy is to maximize the Value for Money. Year-Long performance evaluation of the impact of your Consulting Projects will help you validate your decisions and make sure the money has been well spent with the expected impact in line.

Don’t forget that Performance can be evaluated at all stages of a Consulting Assignment. And for every project time formats can be different.

You need help measuring your Consulting Performance?

Or you just want to share your experience with us?

Don’t hesitate to contact us!

CEO and Co-Founder at | Website | + posts

Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.

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