The Principal Consultant is the most senior member of the Professional Services Consulting business, taking a lead role in key delivery engagements and will likely direct a team of other consultants in the process. The vital attributes of the Principal Consultant include significant technical expertise and capability, thought leadership, team leadership and responsibility for client relationships. The Principal Consultant must have experience in delivering successful projects as well as an in-depth knowledge of the business issues in their chosen field.
The Principal Consultant must possess excellent interpersonal skills to build relationships with their teams as well as the wider business and their clients. A significant responsibility for the Principal Consultant is building project and domain teams as well as developing the skills of team members and acting as a mentor to employees across the company. Part of their role is to help others develop and grow through every opportunity. The ability to develop client relationships at the board level is critical to assist in driving Services Sales in addition to their project roles.
Strong delivery management skills are essential, and the Principal Consultant must take responsibility for leading the technical delivery of projects, either by a team or on their own. They must have the technical skills and knowledge to understand their clients’ requirements and to develop effective solutions, alongside being able to make the best use of the entire company’s knowledgebase and resources. The Principal Consultant will select and lead teams and take responsibility for the quality of the results and the profitability of the delivery. A Principal Consultant should expect to engage with several project teams simultaneously to enable them to apply their knowledge and expertise to clients with similar requirements.
A Principal Consultant must be an excellent communicator, required to hold meetings with clients to discuss their requirements and prepare reports or presentations that set out their recommendations. They communicate project requirements to members of their teams and prepare progress reports for clients and for the company’s management team. They also take responsibility for developing thought leadership in the company, writing papers, speaking at conferences and producing case studies.