There is a popular idea that by giving one consulting firm a number of disciplines, they will do better internal coordination, and create fewer problems for the lead consultant and the client. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t work. Despite statements in websites extolling the virtues of one-stop shopping, experience is that intra-team coordination between different disciplines is often little better than coordinating separate consultants.
If you are the lead consultant, the safest way is to assume that different disciplines in a consultant office live in their separate silos, and will require the same degree of coordination as if they were separate companies. If not the case, it’s a plus.
To sum up a half-century of experience coordinating teams, it comes down to just 5 principles:
The simple, 1-page form below is the easiest vehicle to manage the above. It’s only paper based, but it will be adequate for the majority of projects if the 5 steps above have been fully processed.
This method is a high-level solution, not a detail level solution. A highly effective detail solution exists, but it is too detailed to adequately describe in this short article. If you want to see how that could work for you, go to our iProjects website, go to the User Guides tab under the Support tab, scroll down to 4.7: Teamwork, and download the 4-page TeamWork UserGuide.
iProjects also includes a suite of excellent, time-tested consultant coordination checklists, again too much information to describe here. However, you can access these coordination checklists in the original paper-based format at D05.02. The Checkit system has been widely used in Australia since I first developed it in 1987, and it forms the basis for many Australian architects’ QM systems. Be my guest, if you think it would be useful in your firm.