Scoping a consulting request for business insight
Rigid Focus on the Requirement
In a corporate world where we are deluged with data and information, often our business leaders struggle to interpret what it all means. So they seek help, requesting research and analysis to give them insight to inform their thinking.
Scoping is not an exact science, but a common approach to understanding the requirements can set you on the right path…
Comprehensively scoping requests for insight is a ‘must get right’ at the outset
of any such project to ensure stakeholders in the process are aligned around
In short, scoping will help you keep all stakeholder eyes on the end game, and
there are some fundamental principles we recommend adopting:
Customer first ethos engage the customer to elicit the broader context around the request; why they want the work, and how they intend using it
Communicate regularly manage expectations about what will be achieved within a set timeframe and to specific quality criteria
Clear parameters agree what is, and is not, to be included in the request
Curiosity mind set professional inquisitiveness to leave no stone unturned
Challenge behaviour if customers purely seek a transactional dynamic where the request is ‘thrown over the fence’, do not accept this.
Scoping is the most critical step in the process of creating business insight. All too often ambiguity about the request exists in the minds of the various stakeholders, which regularly leads to disappointment.
For the purpose of clarity in this Perspective, all requests for ‘research’ and ‘analysis’ or
‘insight’ and ‘intelligence’ shall be referred to as ‘Business Insight’, and requestors
shall all be referred to as ‘Customers’.
When tasked to deliver a business insight request, a flaw many succumb to in their
enthusiasm to deliver for the customer is a failure to scope in detail they dive
straight in, taking the initial ‘ask’ at face value rather than pausing to think and engage.
Quite often the customer is the spokesperson for a broader group of stakeholders,
and this group of individuals often have differing perspectives about what the request
needs to address as well as what the final deliverable should look like.
With deadlines for completion often tight, can you and your organisation afford to
bounce backwards and forwards between competing stakeholder views while a
project is in flight? Getting the balance right to satisfy these competing perspectives is
a fine and delicate art, but it can be managed by scoping in detail and securing sign off
before commencing to deliver on a request for business insight.
Securing customer buy in for the scope and their ownership of ensuring all the
relevant stakeholders accept the scope, is a critical success factor in the process. It
should mean expectations are managed and the delivery process is de stressed’ as
much as possible because everyone is on the same page at the start.
Creating a ‘Statement of Works’ is the end product to aim for in the scoping stage of every request for support. It codifies the project you are about to commence.
For details on how to scope in practice and for scoping examples, please download the full insight PDF below.
For further information, please contact:
Chris Staerck, Director and Consulting Lead, WEIGHT LIFTED
About WEIGHT LIFTED
Weight Lifted is a newly formed London-based business with 50 years of combined experience in marketing, communications, design and consulting. We believe passionately in delivering a first-class outcome and experience for all our clients.