Practice development typically consists of developing value propositions, consulting and commercial models, strategic positioning, consulting frameworks to market service offerings, networking, facilitating the understanding of client’s requirements – as the first step in developing business relationships and the process leading to the award of a contract.
Practice development is part of a wider organizational competency management process, where the elements may be considered to be:
- Competencies – How we go about our work
- Attitude – How we prepare for work
- Skills – What we can do
- Knowledge – What we know
- Differentiation – What unique benefits we bring
Practice development encompass 4 key areas which need to be balanced: 1) Competency, 2) Credibility, 3) Capability, and 4) Capacity.
1) Competency – is there a demand, and do we have a solution?
- Do we have a compelling offering that answers the client’s needs or solves the client’s problems?
- Do we have experienced and/or creative people to solve the problem, define the detailed requirement, architect a solution?
- Is it something we can easily buy?
- If we partner, do we have a joint solution that is compelling or unique?
2) Credibility – can we sell it, and how do we sell it?
- What would make the client believe we can do what we say?
- What evidence do we have to demonstrate credibility? e.g. approach, delivery models, case studies, references, testimonials, credibility of client-facing representatives, partner history and heritage.
- What ‘trusted advisor’ relationships do we (or a partner) already have with clients?
- What experience in other industries or with other clients can we leverage?
3) Capability – have we done it before, are we confident that we can do it?
- Can we really do what we say?
- What skills do we need?
- What tools / enablers do we need?
- Can we assess risks and define mitigation plans?
- Do we need to partner to access capabilities we don’t have (or vice versa)?
4) Capacity – can we deliver / execute?
- Do we have enough strength in depth?
- Can we ramp-up / access the relevant resources?
- Can we respond quickly enough?
- Do we have a local interface?
- Can our partners provide the necessary scale (or vice versa)?
What are your thoughts?
Credits: adapted and inspired by the words of Mark Williams.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn on 27 March 2015.