Working with Sherpa

Sherpa Consulting’s management consultancy services are guided by the recommendations of BS EN 16114:2011.

This European standard comprises a set of best practice guidelines for the consultant/client interaction.  The standard requires that a consultancy establishes a set of policies guiding its operation – these may be accessed using the menu to the right of this page.  It also requires that a defined process is followed for each of the three phases of an assignment: Offering, Execution and Closure.  Our processes for these phases are presented below.


Sherpa Consulting and our client will reach a clear agreement on the service to be provided and will commit to working together.

Inputs will include the perceived needs, expectations and desires of the client, potential constraints and risks, and any possible significant changes which are beyond the scope of the change control process.

The output will be a legally binding agreement between Sherpa Consulting and the client.

The agreement document will include the following:

  • Context: background information, assumptions, scope and limits.
    • Accurate description of client organisation’s current situation;
    • Client objectives;
    • Why the work needs to be done;
    • Assumptions and their impact;
    • Scope and limits of the assignment;
    • Statement of the need for the client to share all relevant and significant information;
    • Statement of the need for access ro the client’s staff and the implications of failure to provide adequate access;
    • Any known and identified constraints or risks to be monitored during the execution phase;
    • A list of all stakeholders involved with the project;
  • Services & deliverables
    • Description of services to be provided, outcomes, deliverables or outputs, specific and measurable where appropriate;
    • Timescales and time-related objectives;
  • Approach and work plan: a work plan for the operational planning of the services including, as appropriate:
    • Objectives and scope;
    • Change management;
    • Contents;
    • Documentation;
    • Data, information and technological resources;
    • Organisation;
    • Sherpa Consulting’s human resources and their responsibilities;
    • Client’s human resources and their responsibilities;
    • Timetable;
    • Project management methods (including acceptance stages, notification of delays, decision process, stages for assignment delivery, methodology etc.);
    • Communications (including channels, methods etc.);
    • Escalation procedures (in case of deviation from the agreement);
    • Quality programme;
    • Deliverables or outputs.
  • Roles & responsibilities:
    • Specify roles, responsibilities and all the required resources (including client personnel, data and documentation) involved in the assignment;
  • Assignment monitoring & control:
    • Specification of decision-making, direction and control processes for the assignment, including the designation of the project sponsor or project leader for the project governance role.  These should be consistent with the client’s corporate governance.
  • Evaluation of the assignment:
    • Specification of how the evaluation will be carried out (e.g. measurable milestones), how objectives should be evaluated and to whom interim and final evaluation results should be reported.
  • Terms and conditions
    • Commercial terms & conditions, fees & charges, payment schedule, treatment of expenses etc.
    • Contracting standard terms & conditions pertinent to any relevant legal and regulatory requirements and statutory obligations, such as ownership of materials and outputs, user rights, licencing, intellectual property rights, liability limits etc. Statement of governing law.
    • Policies: any requirements, responsibilities and activities relating to policies applicable to the assignment such as the regulatory framework, communications, ethics, corporate social responsibility, capability, quality, health and safety or any other agreed item.


This phase concerns the delivery of whatever was agreed in the Offering phase.

Execution will not begin until there is an agreement.  Significant changes in the context of the assignment which have an impact upon the execution will require the renegotiation of the agreement.

The outcomes of the execution phase are:

  • The services and deliverables or outputs as specified;
  • Recommendations and approach for the future, if appropriate;
  • Ongoing evaluation and improvement;

The components of the Execution phase may include:

  • Refining the agreed work plan to reflect conditions at the start of the execution phase: the revised plan must be approved by the client.
  • Implementing the work plan.  This will typically consist of:
    • Information gathering;
    • Analysis;
    • Scenarios and/or recommendations;
    • Decisions taken;
    • Implementation of decisions;
    • Preparations for acceptance and closure.
  • Assignment managing and monitoring
    • Project governance
    • Project management approach
    • Resources management
    • Monitoring of progress and change control
    • Risk management
    • Quality
    • Communications & reporting
  • Approvals & acceptance: Agreed process in place to approve and accept all services delivered.  Commercial implications of acceptance or rejection dealt with in accordance with agreement.


The Evaluation phase begins when delivery of the service is complete and is intended to provide an orderly end to the assignment.

Outcomes include:

  • Release of all parties from their obligations under the agreement, except for specified continuing obligations;
  • Shared understanding of any continuing obligations between the stakeholders, in particular between Sherpa Consulting and the client, such as confidentiality.
  • Financial settlement of invoices, expenses etc.

The assignment is not considered closed until the final closure procedures have been completed which will include:

  • Legal & contractual matters. Effective processes to ensure that all legal and contractual matters are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner in accordance with the agreement. To include:
    • Invoicing & payment;
    • Reconciliation of expenses;
    • Formal sign-off and acceptance;
    • Release of resources (including subcontractors);
    • Warranties and guarantees;
    • 3rd party confidentiality;
    • Intellectual property rights;
    • Obligations remaining after closure (legal, confidentiality, non-competition etc.).
  • Final evaluation and improvement. Review of the assignment to determine:
    • Process effectiveness;
    • Process improvements;
    • Climate and motivation;
    • Sales leads/references;
    • Client satisfaction.
  • Outstanding issues.  A process to be agreed between Sherpa Consulting and the client to deal with any outstanding minor issues so that closure can be achieved.