Engagement of the consultant may be only the beginning, particularly if the job is long and/or complex. The client may wish to ensure that the final product satisfactorily addresses the Brief by maintaining regular liaison with the consultant as the project proceeds.
Such liaison is in the interests of both parties, so that the client remains informed on works progress and emerging findings, and is in a position to discuss with the consultant possible variations to the scope or emphasis of the project, should emerging findings suggest such variation is warranted.
While the original Brief will generally prove satisfactory to see a project through to completion, it is sensible to retain flexibility in case unforseen findings emerge that justify a modification to the Brief. Any such modifications should be suitably documented.
If the client is kept fully informed on emerging findings and their interpretation, the consultant’s report and recommendations should present no surprises and should satisfactorily address the client’s requirements. A safeguard can be provided by having a two-step reporting phase:
- Submission of a draft report which the client and other interested parties review in consultation with the consultant to agree on amendments; and
- A final report which is subsequently drafted to reflect the findings of this process.