Publisher: The Economist, 2010, 247 pages
Public and private sector organisations are spending huge amounts of money buying professional services, and most are doing it badly, without sufficiently rigorous procurement processes or an adequate understanding of the marketplace, resulting in wasted money and disappointing outcomes.
Even among those organisations with formal procurement processes and techniques, many are applying them inappropriately and therefore achieve similarly poor results. On the other side of the fence, many professional services firms don't understand how the increasing application of procurement processes could affect the way they get business and work with clients, the way they charge and ultimately, their profitability. Furthermore, while they are working together, both professional service providers and their clients too often behave in ways to reduce the potential benefits to both parties.
Using real examples from a range of private sector firms, government departments and the professional services firms themselves, this book explores what users and providers of professional services need to do to ensure that users' money is well spent and the providers' earnings are well earned.
This is something as odd as how to purchase professional services, written for the purchasing department and senior management of the buying company. Admittedly, it has a certain Anglo-feel, but I believe it may be useful in other parts of the world as well.
With that said, I think even seasoned consultants can get some value by reading this, as it is so broad and may even give some ideas on how to approach customers.
All in all, there is nothing revolutionary in the book, but it has its values.