I’ve found, both as a consultant and as the contracting agency, that a strong proposal reflecting the scope and work plan for the project is another critical element to managing a consultant. The proposal should really reflect what the contractors understanding of the project is and how they intend to complete the scope of work. The project should really be about helping the consultant to do what they’ve said they’d do once the contract is in place. Unfortunately problems still arise but I’ve still found the original proposal is the place to go when troubleshooting. Needless to say effective communication is a critical element to using the proposal as a tool for addressing problems.