Hiring a business continuity consultant – scoping is key

It’s not unusual to feel apprehensive about hiring a business continuity consultant, or indeed any kind of consultant. There are a number of possible reasons. Fear of the unknown is one. How do they work? How do they charge? What return on my investment will I get? Fear of change is another. Consultants bring change (why else would you hire them), change brings fear and so consultants bring fear. There’s a temptation to play it safe. However, business life is by its nature unsafe and unpredictable.

Common concerns may things such as a disappointment with an earlier consulting project, perhaps overcharged or under-delivered. It may be that you have a sneaking suspicion that your business continuity will need more effort than you care to admit and that bringing a business continuity consultant in to work on it, however good that person is, will trigger a project that will require mammoth amounts of resources. Then start thinking about how you might deal with them. A previous unsatisfactory experience provides valuable information on what to get right this time. Projects that get mapped-out, scoped and estimated have a way of becoming less intimidating than they first seemed.

Finally, talk to some consultants. If a consultant responds with complexity or does not seem to bring clear, relevant application to your organisation, then try a different consultant. A good business continuity consultant will make the connection with you and your business situation, express concepts in ways that are easy to grasp (without being condescending) and give you indications of the potential benefits specifically for you.