How do you know that we covered what we should have? (objectives vs. accomplishments; status reports)
Carolyn, As You Like It Consulting
Pros: The client sets the itinerary, so they’re usually pretty satisfied with what I’ve done.
Cons: I never know what I’m going to get until I get there. I deal with all operating systems and versions of software on the market. My specialty is Microsoft Office Product, but I’m realizing that I’d better learn some accounting software like Quicken or MYOB if I want to stay in business.
Greatest challenges: Keeping pace with the technology. Switching back and forth between different versions of software. Remembering which client has what and what the issues were during our sessions.
Approaches to meet the challenges: I keep an Access database and write notes in it as soon as I return from a session. I also provide written Cheat Sheets to the customer the next day covering everything we did in the previous day’s session.
Mike, On The Same Page Technical Communications
Pros: You have the opportunity to participate in determining direction.
Cons: You helped to determine the wrong direction.
Greatest challenges: Shifting direction mid-stream; pursuing goals that are turning out to be unrealistic; just plain came up with the wrong results.
Approaches to meet the challenges: Submit regular status reports; address project milestones and issues to keep the project on track; clarify dependencies such as personnel, equipment, meetings, schedule fluctuations.