A status report clearly communicates the progress made to date on a particular project. Moreover, the status report is a method of communicating successes and / or challenges the consultant encounters during the project.

Status reports come in a variety of formats including documents and presentations, and the exact format will depend on the preferences of both the client and consultant.

While working on a consulting engagement you should monitor how you spend your time for several reasons. First, this will help you keep track of your own time and resources effectively. Second, clients may expect you to produce detailed reports of how you are using their time and money during the engagement.
In order to provide the highest quality consulting services to clients, you should implement a stage-gate model, which involves dividing the project into ‘stages’ and separating each by ‘gates’.  At each gate, apply standard quality assurance exercises to ensure the quality of your consulting services and work outputs.
The final report you send to your client will detail the objectives met during the consulting engagement, outline the next steps for implementation and define any follow-up work. Final reports come in a variety of formats including documents and presentations, and the exact format will depend on the preferences of both the client and consultant.

By developing a standard format for presentations and reports, you can ensure that information is communicated to clients consistently and effectively.

An overview of the requirements for success during the assignment, based on the Execution Phase in the EN 16114 Management Consultancy Services Standard, is set out below:

PurposeTo deliver what was agreed in the Offering phase.
InputShould not start without an agreement and significant changes in the assignment context that have an impact on the execution may require renegotiation of the agreement.
OutcomeServices and deliverables or outputs.

Recommendations and approach for the future, if appropriate.

Ongoing evaluation and improvement.

The components of the Execution phase should include:
Refining the agreed work planWork plan agreed in Offering phase refined to reflect conditions at the start of Execution phase; client involved and approval gained for the refined plan.
Implementing the work planAssignment carried out in accordance with refined work plan – typically to consist of:

– information gathering;

– analysis;

– scenarios and/or recommendations;

– decisions taken;

– implementation of decisions;

– preparation for acceptance and closure.

Assignment management and monitoringAreas below addressed throughout the assignment to ensure success:

a) Project governance: Final decisions about the assignment made by the client with the practice making all reasonable efforts to provide relevant information; terms of agreement between client and practice respected, and capable of dealing with the consequences of any breach.

b) Project management approach: Agreed project management methodology and structure adhered to.

c) Resources Management: All resources involved made available and managed in accordance with the agreement.

d) Monitoring of progress and change control:

Progress against the work plan monitored and recorded formally with a change control system or process in place to deal with:

– deviations from the work plan;

– changed context of the assignment;

– changes in the client’s operating environment;

– changes in the consultancy practice.

Significant changes beyond the scope of the change control process considered as new inputs to the Offering and / or Execution phase.

e) Risk management: Commercial and assignment-related risks continually assessed, and mitigated.   Risk management applied to identify, analyze, assess and prioritize risks, coordinating and applying the required resources to minimize, monitor and control probability and impact.

f) Quality: An agreed quality plan followed by the client and the consultancy practice. to ensure that the service is provided and the outputs are delivered.

g) Communications and reporting: Principles of communication agreed in the Offering phase followed throughout, with regular reporting of progress and risks.

Approvals and acceptanceAgreed process in place to approve and accept all services delivered. Commercial implications of acceptance or rejection dealt with in accordance with the agreement.