Generis is adopting the European Standard EN 16114 “Management Consultancy Services” as a guiding Policy framework, that includes guidelines for ongoing evaluation and improvement.
The first phase of a consultancy assignment is Offering. Generis and the client reach a clear agreement on the service to be provided and commit to working together. Transparency is critical to avoid misunderstanding and minimise risk.
Once agreement has been reached, the second phase of the assignment is Execution. Generis implements the service, following the agreed approach and plan. To achieve a mutually positive outcome, Generis and the client need to collaborate with confidence, fairness and mutual respect.
The final phase is Closure. After completion of the deliverables and assessment of the outcomes, the assignment is completed by resolving any open items and meeting all contractual and legal obligations. The client will confirm that the assignment is complete.
The following clauses give more details about each of these phases.
Generis maintains an appropriate level of awareness of the relevant laws, policies, rules, regulations and standards that govern its services.
Clear understanding between the client and Generis is critical for the success of the assignmenst. Generis provides an effective communication policy that maximizes understanding, creates confidence and minimizes risks:
. we establish the briefing elements in a written document and share it with our clients.
. we describe our approach as a solution to our client’s needs.
. we communicate with our clients by mail or via an online collaborative platform, to make sure that key statements can be tracked.
. we confirm by writing the reception of any documents, messages and instructions.
. we ask for written approvals.
This effective communication strategy and policy exists for the duration of the assignment.
Code of conduct
A professional code of conduct and business ethics should be observed in order to guide the professional conduct of Generis.
See Annex A « Ethical guidelines ».
A statement of values is guiding the professional conduct of Generis.
See Annex B p »Values ».
Corporate Social Responsibility
A statement of corporate social responsibility is guiding the professional conduct of Generis.
See Annex C « Corporate social responsibility statement ».
Generis should only accept those assignments that they are able to fulfil in a professional manner in accordance with this European Standard.
If Generis has reason to believe that the agreed outcomes of the assignment will not be met within the terms of the agreement, the Generis will, without delay, inform the client of its findings and renegotiate the agreement.
Generis considers preparing a quality plan to anticipate, manage and quantify risks and issues.
Generis will negotiate and agree the conditions of any guarantee of the services to be provided.
Health and safety
A statement of health and safety is guiding the professional conduct of Generis.
Ongoing evaluation and improvement
The purpose of evaluation is for Generis to assess the assignment. Generis is establishing a structured process for proactive evaluation. This allows the results of the assignment to be recorded and assessed. It also allows the client and Generis to:
See Annex D « Evaluation criteria ».
An effective evaluation strategy and policy exists for the duration of the relationship between the client and Generis. Even if no evaluation is included in the agreement, Generis follows a process to learn from the work it undertakes. If evaluation is required for contractual reasons to determine the fees paid, Generis and the client will agree the most appropriate method of evaluation.
There are several activities that take place before the execution of a consultancy assignment, including:
1) identification of client needs, to be performed by the client or the client’s agent, Generis or both of them jointly;
2) supplier selection, to be performed by the client, taking into account the technical/economic proposals submitted by Generis;
3) specifications definition, to be performed by the client, Generis or both of them. Offering includes analysis and conceptualization of the problem to solve, approach to services to be asked for and budget for these activities.
4) negotiation and agreement, to be performed by both the client and Generis.
The purpose of the offering phase is to reach an agreement between Generis and the client on the services to be provided.
There are many inputs to the offering phase, including the perceived needs, the expectations and desire of the client and the potential constraints and risks involved in the assignment, and any significant changes that are beyond the scope of the change control process.
The outcome is a legally binding agreement between Generis and the client. The outcome specifies the services and the deliverables to be provided and establishes rights and obligations for each of the parties. Depending on the context, the agreement may refer to a “request for a proposal”, describing a set of requirements and specifications for services, deliverables and evaluation criteria.
A proposal from Generis to the client always includes:
These points are typical contents of an agreement between Generis and the client. However, the description of a specific item can be made by Generis or the client (for example roles and responsibilities);
The description of the context ensures that the client understands the need to share all relevant and significant information. It includes background information on the assignment, assumptions, scope and limits, and specifies the stakeholders. Its contains relevant facts, for example an accurate description of the organization’s current situation, the client’s objectives, why the work needs to be done, the assumptions and their impact, the scope and the limits of the assignment. It also specifies the constraints and risks associated with the assignment, to the extent that they are known and identified. These risks will be monitored during the execution phase.
Services and deliverables
The agreement contains a description of the services to be provided, the outcomes expected, and the deliverables or outputs of the assignment. The objectives should be specific, measurable and achievable, relevant and time-bound so that the results of the assignment can be evaluated.
Approach and work plan
Generis provides work plans for the operational planning of the services to be implemented.
Terms and conditions
Generis provides its services according to its own terms and conditions relevant to billing, such as fees and charges, payment schedule, expenses, any information pertinent to relevant legal and regulatory requirements and statutory obligations, such as ownership of material and outputs, user rights, licensing, intellectual property rights, liability limits, etc. Generis terms and conditions also include reference to applicable professional standards, as well as any requirements, responsibilities and activities relating to policies applicable to the assignment such as the regulatory framework, communication, ethics, corporate social responsibility, capability, quality, guarantees, health and safety, and any other agreed item. For cross- border and international services, they include the governing law.
Execution is the performance of the services agreed in the offering phase. Beyond the delivery of the agreed services and the performance of the assignment, the ultimate aim of the execution phase is to satisfy the client.
The purpose of this phase is to deliver what was agreed in the offering phase.
Execution should does not start until there is an agreement. Significant changes in the context of the assignment that have an impact on the execution may require that the agreement be renegotiated.
The outcomes should be:
The components of the Execution phase should include:
Implementing the work plan
The work plan agreed in the offering phase should be refined in detail to reflect the actual conditions at the start of the execution phase. Generis involves the client and gain approval for the refined plan. The assignment will be carried out in accordance with the refined work plan.
Assignment management and monitoring
Planning and continuous coordination between the client and Generis are essential for the success of the assignment. For the assignment to be delivered successfully, several areas of activity are addressed, including:
Project management approach
Final decisions about the assignment should be made by the client. Generis will make all reasonable efforts to provide relevant information relating to the assignment. Project governance will respect the terms of the agreement that regulates the relationship between the client and Generis, in order to be capable of dealing with the consequences of any breach of the agreement.
Generis adheres to the agreed project management methodology and structure throughout the assignment.
Generis should ensure that the assignment is carried out effectively and efficiently.
All resources involved in the assignment are made available and managed in accordance with the agreement between Generis and the client. All the resources will be suitable for the assignment.
Monitoring of progress and change control
The progress of the assignment against the work plan will be monitored and recorded formally. There may be significant changes that are beyond the scope of the change control process. These will be considered as new inputs to the offering and/or execution phase.
Both the commercial and the assignment-related risks will be continually assessed and mitigated, as far as possible. Risk management identifies, analyzes, assess and prioritizes the potential risks, coordinating and applying the required resources to minimize, monitor and control the probability and impact of unforeseen events.
The client and Generis follow an agreed quality plan, to ensure that the service is provided and the outputs are delivered.
Communications and reporting
The principles of communication agreed in the offering phase will be followed throughout the assignment, and will include regular reporting of progress and risks.
Approvals and acceptance
There will be an agreed process to approve and accept all services delivered during the assignment. The commercial implications of acceptance or rejection will be dealt with in accordance with the agreement.
The assignment is completed when the client approves and accepts the service provided and the outputs delivered. Generis will not consider the assignment closed until the final closure procedures have been completed. These should include:
The purpose of the closure phase is to achieve an orderly end to the assignment, after completion of the delivery of the service.
The closure process starts when a decision is taken that the assignment is complete, normally when the agreed service has been provided. An assignment may be terminated before the originally agreed service has been provided. In this case, the closure process may need to take place based on a revised agreement.
The closure process results in a number of outcomes, including:
Legal and contractual matters
Generis provides effective processes to ensure that all legal and contractual matters are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner, in accordance with the agreement. These processes include:
Final evaluation and improvement
Even if no evaluation is included in the agreement, Generis follows a process to learn from the work it undertakes so that Generis can record the information and knowledge created during the project and apply it for improvement. Evaluation may be required for contractual reasons to determine the fees paid. If this is the case, Generis and the client will agree the most appropriate method of evaluation.
Generis will maintain expertise in evaluation and should have a systematic process for ensuring that strengths and opportunities for improvement are recorded and shared among the staff.
Generis follows effective processes to ensure that all administrative matters are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. These processes can include:
Generis ensures that any obligations regarding communication about the assignment are fulfilled (e.g. confidentiality agreements, preparation of case studies, articles, requests for references, etc.), and that the client is debriefed at the end of the assignment.
Outstanding minor issues
Generis follows a process, agreed with the client, for dealing with any outstanding minor issues after the completion of the assignment, so that closure can be achieved.