Being better prepared is key for urgent consultations

The pressure is on.  An urgent decision is needed to prevent foreseen losses.  This is a common scenario for which many Consultors can relate.  Yet it is traditional to ensure that Consultees are given lots of time to consider new proposals so that they have a reasonable opportunity to express their views.

While rushing consultation is not the answer, the reality is that sometimes quicker can be better.  For example, a longer consultation is more likely to be influenced by changes to the supporting circumstances – which can impact the original choices on offer.

So how can Consultors maintain a balance of quality and agility?

My view is that the principles of ‘shorter but better’ can be realised with a renewed focus on preparing for consultation and improving back office processes.  In other words, under certain circumstances and for certain issues, Consultors can strive to consult more quickly by putting in appropriate quality assurance measures and adopting productivity tools like Darzin.

For example, adequate time must be given to decision makers for their consideration of public views – so a faster consultation might expect that decision makers are more regularly briefed.  With Darzin stakeholder relationship management, not only can results be analysed on-the-fly but Consultors will have comfort in knowing that there is a robust process for qualitative data analysis.

One things for sure, it’s time to move away from using spreadsheets to try and understand what people think.  The art of creating a comprehensive and accurate summary of responses is difficult enough at ‘normal’ speed.

By | 2019-05-22T13:17:27+10:00 March 29th, 2017|Blog, Public Consulation|

About the Author:

Hoa is is a Business Development Manager and Trainer at Darzin Software where she assists organisations in reviewing stakeholder engagement goals and establishing systems and processes to achieve these goals. She provides training and advice in stakeholder engagement data collection, analysis and reporting. She brings over 10 years experience in managing social performance for projects in Australia, Asia and the Pacific. This includes social impact assessment, stakeholder consultation planning and implementation, and compliance review of social aspects of projects to the Equator Principles and IFC Performance Standards.