Project management planning guidelines

Project management planning guidelines

Project planning done at the beginning of an engagement is decisive in making sure Healy Consultants Group PLC sets our Clients expectations and thereafter, meets them. The work done during the planning phase of a project ensures Healy Consultants Group PLC selects reliable suppliers and is able to work with us in a smooth and efficient manner. Our ability to timely supply quality deliverables will contribute to convincing the Client of our trustworthiness and ability to solve future engagement challenges.

Please find below step by step guidelines designed to guide you towards such goals.

  • Before sending the engagement advancement email

    • Easy engagements for which Healy Consultants has previous experience:

      • Whenever possible, convene one phone conversation with our Client to understand his goals and the nature of his business and the expected deadline for this project before sending the sales email;
      • For quality sales emails, ask Alicia to send follow up emails with small deliverables to increase probability of a sale. These small deliverables will be in the form of country reports specific to the Client’s industry and business activity;
      • While preparing the sales email, always review the invoice to make sure it i) includes latest notes and fees and ii) the notes are tailored to reflect any challenges you may meet during the project and additional services requested by the Client;
      • When you feel the client is ready for it, send them the engagement advancement email. Such email is always reviewed by Aidan and by your manager.
    • Challenging engagements or engagements for which Healy Consultants has no or little previous experience:

      • Your manager or a senior staff and you always need to have a phone conversation with the Client to determine:
        • The goal(s) they want to achieve by using our services (eg. signing a contract or receiving a payment);
        • Deliverable(s) which are a priority for them (eg. corporate bank account numbers or work permit);
        • Their preferred timeframe for completion of the project;
        • Alternative solutions they may want to action (nominee LLC setup, turnkey, agency agreement);
        • The profile of your Client and their management structure;
        • Banking requirements.

      • After the above phone call, always send a summary of conversation to your Client to ensure we are on the same page re each other’s expectations;
      • You need to have at least one supplier quotation for services included in the invoice face. It is strongly recommended to source multiple quotations if the Client is serious or if supplier fees are unexpectedly high;
      • If the engagement includes significant uncertainties, it can be a good strategy to request Clients to settle a retainer fee to determine optimal solution/strategy;
      • Always review the invoice to make sure it i) includes latest notes and fees and ii) the notes are tailored to reflect any challenges you may meet during the project and additional services requested by the Client;
      • It can also be a good idea to tailor the due diligence checklist in order to make sure the Client will timely provide you with supplementary documents required by your supplier, the banks or the Government;
      • The engagement advancement email is always reviewed by Aidan and by your manager;
      • If the Client is serious, ask Alicia to send follow up emails with small deliverables to increase probability of a sale. These small deliverables will be in the form of country reports specific to the Client’s industry and business activity.
  • When the Client provides due diligence documents or confirms he will pay

    • The above confirms we can expect the Client to be serious, so ask Alicia to send follow up emails with small deliverables to increase probability of a sale. For larger engagements, ask your manager or Aidan to call the Client to help close the sale;
    • Make sure you have i) at least one supplier for simple engagement and ii) one preferred supplier and additional backup supplier(s) for complex engagements;
    • For each of the above suppliers, start to complete the supplier checklist by:
      • Negotiating final fees and discount for the engagement;
      • Negotiating signature of our standard service agreement. Cai Xin and your manager to review before the same is signed;
      • Collecting due diligence on each supplier;
      • Negotiating signature/approval of detailed project plan. For simplicity purposes, minimize the engagement project plan with the key steps and considerations and the timeline the supplier is expected to complete each step. Emailing our suppliers the format we email our Clients will confuse them.

    • While you do the above, select your preferred supplier. For challenging engagements or suppliers which did a good work, request Aidan to settle of a small retainer fee to i) your preferred supplier and ii) one or two backup suppliers. This is important to maintain good relationship with suppliers worldwide.
  • After the Client settles our fees

    • Within the first week of the engagement, supply the Client deliverables including i) confirmation of corporate structure or corporate structure change ii) detailed project plan and iii) draft business plan. These documents should always be provided before the third weekly engagement;
    • By the end of the first week of the engagement, i) email Cai Xin supplier due diligence checklist and after her approval ii) request Aidan to settle first payment to supplier;
    • Call your supplier frequently to make sure he understands the project is a priority. At the same time, stay courteous and understanding of the fact he has other customers;
    • Call your Client at least once a week during the first weeks of the engagement (and longer if necessary). Follow with a phone summary. Your manager to approve if not controversial. If controversial, seek also approval from Aidan or Simon;
    • Inform your clients of any engagement delays before the occur, first by phone and then by email. Do not wait till the end of the week or your next formal engagement update to do the same. Also be mindful to update the project plan each week accordingly so the client is fully aware of expected timeframe of project completion;
    • Finally, listen to both what your supplier and your Client say. Good project management is largely finding a good balance between satisfying the Client’s requests, while listening to your supplier re their potential impact on the project’s timelines and feasibility.