Year-End Consulting Audits

What Did You Expect?

It’s that time of year again. While you are developing plans and budgets for next year’s portfolio of IT projects, most consulting firms are scrambling to update their statements of work to on ensure their consultants continue to be staffed for another year. Before you sign away a hefty percentage of next year’s budget to the same partners and vendors, it’s a good idea to a year end audit to answer a fundamental question, “What did you expect from your IT consultant and did your consultant deliver on those expectations?”

What Does a Consulting Audit Include
The first step in performing a Year-End Consultant Audit is to review the consultant’s performance. That is, you need to determine whether the consultant(s) delivered the benefits, met the objectives, operated within the scope, and produced the expected deliverables on time, within budget and using the allocated resources. The audit also needs to determine whether the consultant conformed to the requirements specified in the Project Charter or Statement of Work. It should also identify the key consultant achievements, failures and any lessons learned for future projects.

The following are key components of a Year-End Consulting Audit:

Expected Benefits
Determine whether the consultant has delivered the business benefits specified in the Business Case (or Statement of Work) of the project.

        • List the business benefits stated in the Business Case.
        • ​Identify the value of the business benefits as stated in the Business Case.
        • ​Measure the actual value of the benefits gained by the business.
        • ​Identify any substantial deviations between the benefits originally stated and the benefits received.

Identify the extent to which the consultant has achieved the objectives specified in the Project Charter.

        • List the consultant objectives stated in the Project Charter.
        • ​Identify the actual level of achievement of each objective stated.
        • Describe any shortfall where the consultant has failed to achieve the objective stated.

Identify whether at any stage the project deviated from the original scope defined in the Project

        • Describe the planned project scope as per the Project Charter.
        • ​Describe the actual scope of work completed by the project team.
        • ​Identify any deviations from scope and quantify the impact of those deviations on the project.

List the deliverables and quality targets defined in the Statement of Work and rate the overall level of achievement.

        • List the deliverables outlined in the Statement of Work.
        • ​List the original Quality Criteria.
        • ​List the original Quality Standards.
        • ​Quantify the percentage of criteria and standards achieved.

List the major achievements for this project and describe the positive effect that each achievement has had on the customer’s business

        • List and describe each of the key project achievements.
        • ​Describe the positive effect that the achievement has had on the business.

List the major achievements for this project and describe the positive effect that each achievement has had on the customer’s business

        • List and describe each of the key project failures.
        • ​Describe the negative effects that each failure has had on the business.

Lessons Learned
Describe the lessons learned from undertaking this project and list any recommendations for similar projects in the future.

        • List and describe each of the lessons learned.
        • ​Document the recommendation to ensure that future projects benefit from the lesson.

Identify the actual vs. the planned delivery schedule.

Identify any deviations between the budgeted project expenditure

How Darby Consulting Audits Performance

At Darby Consulting, we actively check in with our clients and monitor our consultants performance so that we continue to ensure Darby Consulting delivers the highest quality people and performance on every project we support. Every 4-6 weeks, depending on client preference, a Managing Director conducts a 15-minute “Supervisor Touchpoint” meeting using a custom Consultant Performance Audit app developed by Darby Consulting. The Managing Director and client are guided through a set of key questions related to the consultants performance and key metrics. Because our consultants’ performance bonuses are directly tied to Supervisor Touchpoint results (rather than chargeability or selling work), our consultants consistently perform above industry standard.

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