Learn from the pros
Project consultants continue to be in high demand, in part because most organizations still lack enterprise project management capability. Although consultants are usually judged on whether they deliver quality products on time, and provide useful analysis that leads to value-added process improvements, the most critical prerequisites to success are people skills and an understanding of the client organization's culture. Most of the project consultants cited in this article agree that the keys to success include obtaining executive support, maintaining good communication and feedback, managing change with a sensitivity to employees' emotions, and being receptive to all stakeholder investments. Trust and confidence in a consultant develop over time, and consultants need soft skills to deliver the hard numbers that management wants.