Practice Development: Balancing the 4Cs

Lionel Grealou Consulting Leadership 2 minutes

Image credit: mudenchuka.jp

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.

About the Author
Lionel Grealou

Lionel Grealou

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Lio is founder and independent consultant with Xlifecycle Ltd—helping organizations make the most from their digital enterprise strategies and manage the 'Lifecycle of Things' across PLM, MES, ERP, IOT, SCM platforms.

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