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15 Consulting Questions for Successful Client Discovery: What are your additions?
These 15 questions are key to conducting successful client discovery, as shared by 9Lenses, producers of a cloud assessment platform. Do you have additions to offer? Your thoughts on this compilation? (link to the 9Lenses blog: https://bit.ly/32lXtGM)
Why do you think we’re talking today?
How do you differ from your competitors?
What are your department’s top priorities for this quarter? For this fiscal year?
What would success look like for you?
Is the status quo a problem that needs changing?
Where did the problem originate?
How ready is the organization for change?
What are the current measures in place to solve the problem?
What are the root causes?
What are the top challenges that are acting as barriers to success?
What actions should we take?
Is there anything else I should be asking you?
If you were in charge, what would you do?
Who else should I be talking to?
Who will be making the decisions?
I use something similar but boil it down to 4 qualifying questions:
1. What are you doing (i.e., subject) today and how long have you been doing it?
2. What do you like about it?
3. If you could change anything about it, what would be your top priority?
4. Who besides yourself is involved in the final decision process?
This approach has been used successfully by Tom Hopkins, who wrote: "How to Master the Art of Selling". A Dynamo in the Real Estate sales business.
Thank you to a Patina member who submitted this checklist & additional considerations.
An Important Preliminary Question: Are we all in agreement that this is most important project to scope now?
The Essential Questions
- These are the four vital questions to a successful project. They should be asked in order. See this article for more context.
- Why are we doing this? (there should be either a problem to solve or an opportunity to capture)
- Who needs to be involved? (identify the core team doing the work, a sponsor, and as many other stakeholders as are known at this stage)
- What exactly are we going to do? (as detailed as possible at this early stage)
- When are we going to do it? (identify any internal or external time constraints. Aim for early and incremental delivery of benefits).
What are the goals of the project?
Are there any prerequisites to this project? (e.g. data gathering, other projects or activities, external events, etc). If so, when are they likely to be complete?
Are there any other projects/activities that depend on this project?
Is there any previous work related to this project that we need to know about?
Is there a hard deadline for final completion, or for any other part of the project?
What do you see as the major risks to the project?
Are you able to describe the set of requirements at this stage? (If so, try to get them grouped into “Must Have”, “Should Have” and “Nice to Have”)
What barrier, if removed, would allow us to make amazing progress?
Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I should have asked you?