Chapter 12Isolating the Effects of Consulting

When a significant increase in a business measure is noted after a consulting project has been conducted, the two events appear to be linked. The client asks, “How much of this improvement was caused by the consulting project?” When this potentially challenging question is posed, it is not always answered with the accuracy and credibility needed. While the change in the business measure may be linked to the consulting project, other nonconsulting factors usually contribute to the improvement as well. This chapter explores useful techniques for isolating the effects of consulting. This step must always be taken to have a credible analysis at Levels 4 and 5.

The Importance of Isolating the Effects of Consulting Projects

In almost every consulting project multiple influences will drive the business measures targeted by the consulting project. With multiple influences present, it is critical to measure the actual effect of each of the different factors, or at least the improvements that can be attributed to the consulting project. Without this isolation step, the consulting project's success will be in question. The results will be overstated if it is suggested that all of the change in the business impact measure is attributed to the actual consulting project. When this issue is ignored, the impact study is considered invalid and inconclusive. This harsh reality places tremendous pressure on consultants to show the business value of ...

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