to insights

Author: Richard Wotton

Partner, Insurance Delivery

There are many good reasons for choosing a big four consultancy. There are even more good reasons to manage them effectively. Innovation can help.

The big four provide a range of essential skills and services on a global scale. They are often the only solution to achieving the level of resources and skills needed for key projects.

We have at various times - had them work for us, we have worked for them and we have worked with them.

What reflections tell us the big four engagement is going well or in need of stronger intervention?

As a client, when you reflect on the performance of your big four engagement - which way do you land on these: 

  • ‘Are they expensive but worth it’ or ‘just too expensive’
  • ‘Are you getting the knowledge transfer were looking for’ or ‘is the intellectual property growing and then just walking out the door’
  • ‘Are you getting the A team you have been sold’ or ‘does it feel like you are getting the C team’
  • ‘Is your partnership alliance performing’ or ‘Are you stuck in a turf-war between delivery partners’
  • ‘Are you receiving the solution your business needs’ or ‘are you receiving a solution the big four know how to provide’
  • ‘Are their costs and budget commitments in the forward plan’ or ‘do their fees keep on coming from the left field and keep on blowing the finances out of the water’


In order to avoid these pitfalls, it is necessary to manage them very closely to ensure they are working effectively and efficiently to the client’s agenda. However, this is a time-consuming task and the project sponsor is unlikely to have the time to do this. Innovation can help.

Why Innovation

Our expertise is project management. It is our specialty to develop plans, budgets, controls and reporting as part of project governance to deliver projects on-time, within budget and fit for purpose. In this context, it means we control the use of third party resources to ensure their value is optimised. Our value is in delivering to the client’s mandate. We do the heavy lifting of project management for our project sponsors. In fact, we see ourselves on the client side of the transaction; client-side consultants.

Innovation are client-side consultants – what does this mean?

The role of the client-side consultant is to be the communicator. Good news and bad news and the ability to say “No” or “I don’t know…I’ll find out for you” are key strengths of the client-side consultant.

We keep the focus on the goals and objectives. With our expertise and experience, we can evaluate the options and suggestions from other consultant firms, contractors and company staff/teams.

We help our clients maintain the holistic view, keep the time and money on track and deliver what the client wants to deliver.

Consultants and contractors must deliver a tangible ROI to justify their fees. A client-side consultant ensures this happens by tweaking and nudging on the programme sponsor’s behalf to keep an eye on all the helpful and less than helpful changes that human beings add or miss.

Matrix operations of internal and external teams, integration, stakeholder communication and management, accountability and responsibility…all great words that mean very little unless they are applied and measured. We have to justify our fees too…

The act of appointing Innovation – an organisation independent to the big four often immediately dissolves many of the challenges outlined simply by introducing independent, transparent and experienced project oversight.

My experience of working diplomatically, professionally and pragmatically to help clients and their big four delivery partners to get the business outcome they signed up to has led to great deliveries and great benefits to the both parties.

I look forward to working with the talent of the big four to help them get the best out of their delivery with their clients and working with clients to get the best business outcome they deserve.