1. Contracting: Begins/Continues the relationship between consultant and client organization, testing the fit of consultant’s skills and values with the organization’s needs. Begins/Continues the process of clarifying the expectations of the consultation efforts and desired characteristics of the client-consultant relationship.
2. Discovery & Dialogue: Though some information surfaced in the first phase, discovery is a systematized approach to gaining information about the organization (collected in a variety of ways.) Dialogue is a collaborative process between the consultant and client organization members to derive meaning from the information gathered.
3. Feedback & Action: A written summary with recommendations for further action is submitted for consideration by the consultant based on the findings from the Discovery & Dialogue phase. The client and consultant formally come to a mutual understanding about the meaning of the analysis and decide on the areas of focus for the next consulting activities.
4. Engagement & Implementation: Specific activities in service of the project’s goals are carried out in the client organization. These may be led by the consultant, supported by the consultant, and/or accomplished by the organizational members.
5. Reassessment & Extension or Closure: Once the activities are completed, consultant and client look at the progress compared to the intentions. If the work is complete, this is the time to celebrate the completion and close the project. If there are still actions to be taken, this is a decision point for renegotiating the next phases of the contract.