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Evaluating Professional Services

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Evaluating professional services for a project is a critical step in ensuring successful outcomes for your business. Whether it's technical expertise, project management, or specialized skills, choosing the right service provider can make a significant difference in meeting your project goals on time and within budget.

To evaluate professional services effectively, you need to ask key questions to determine whether external expertise is necessary, identify the best-fit provider, and understand the terms of engagement. This process involves assessing your in-house capabilities, budget constraints, project timelines, and the potential impact on your business if the project isn't completed successfully.

We’ll guide you through essential questions to ask when deciding if you need professional services and when interviewing potential providers. We'll cover topics such as credentials, team member qualifications, project management, organizational capabilities, and business terms to help you make an informed decision.

Key Questions to Ask

As you explore a professional services engagement for any project, it pays to do your homework. Below are some questions to ask as you explore your options for this investment in your business.

Are you at the point where you truly need outside expertise? If so, how do you know which provider is the best fit? By performing due diligence, you can solve technical challenges on time and within budget, ensuring your organization gets the results it needs.

When Deciding if You Need to Use Professional Services

  • Do you have the resources in-house to solve your problems?

  • Do you have the resources but too many open projects to dedicate time to the project?

  • Do you have the budget/headcount to hire resources to manage the project?

  • Do we have the personnel and knowledge to do it yourself?

  • Can those resources be dedicated to this effort based on other core business objectives or priorities?

  • Can you meet the delivery timeline without getting outside help?

  • What is the impact on the business if you can’t get this done on time?

  • Do you need a fresh perspective, someone that hasn’t been part of the development? Unbiased?

  • How much will it cost your business if you don’t complete this project on time? What is cost if you don’t deliver it at all?

  • Do you need assistance with determining what the solution needs to be or what the best solution is?

  • Will you be able to expedite solution delivery without impacting other priorities?

  • Are you able to build the business case without external help?

  • Do you have strong Program Management/tracking skills in place today?

  • Do you have existing partners or vendors that can help?

  • Can outsourcing help reduce our liability?

When Interviewing Providers


  • What industry certifications does your team hold?

  • Do you have any customer references for same/similar work as you’re going to do for me?

  • Can you share some success stories/references?

Team Member Qualifications

  • May we “interview” one or more team members that

  • might be working with us?

  • Can you please share resumes that highlight the specific skill-sets of the team working with us?

  • Are the consultants full time employees or contracts?

Project Management & Logistics: Approach

  • Will I get an assigned resource?

  • Will the resource be dedicated to me?

  • Once I sign how long until I get my resource?

  • Onsite or Remote? Assuming remote, what access is needed?

  • What tools are used?

  • How do I sign off that work is completed and acceptable?

Organizational Capability

  • What kind of methodologies do you use?

  • Do you have repeatable processes in place?

Business Terms

  • What are your pricing increments?

  • Contract Questions:

  • Time & Materials or Fixed Bid – Why?

  • If Fixed Bid, what happens if you finish early? Late?

  • What if the scope changes?

  • Do you have liability insurance?

  • If “anything” is created, who owns it?

For more information, give us a call at (877) 275-5788.


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