Approach To Consulting

Wherever CAPRA undertakes consulting assignments the emphasis is on achieving greater effectiveness, efficiency and economy for its clients, and, in the case of industrial sectors and individual companies, enhanced domestic and international competitiveness.

In executing its consulting assignments, CAPRA recognizes four important principles:

(1) The client comes first.

The interests and needs of our clients are of primary importance. For that reason great care is taken to identify and clarify these interests and needs at the beginning of the consulting relationship. Once agreement has been reached on the perception of interest and need, clear terms of reference, a detailed work plan and the corresponding timeline and budget are developed in close collaboration with the client. This process includes a careful identification of expected outcomes and agreed measures of the achievement of results. This process is considered to be essential to avoid unnecessary activity and to ensure a high degree of product quality at optimal cost.

(2) Each project is unique.

The second principle is that each project is unique. This is so because each client brings a unique background, experience and expectation to the exercise. Nevertheless, to the extent possible, Capra draws on emerging models. For example, in the case of labour adjustment, CAPRA normally recognizes four optional models that can be selected or modified in accordance with the client's needs. These are: (a) an employer driven approach; (b) a participatory approach (i.e. jointly employer and labour driven); (c) a labour driven approach in cases where the employer has ceased to exist, as in the case of bankruptcies, or when the employer is unwilling to be involved; and (d) a community driven approach, in cases where a large employer is involved whose adjustment needs impact significantly on the community as a whole.

(3) The consultant team must possess expert knowledge and experience

The third principle is that the consultants working on CAPRA projects must creatively master the latest concepts, technologies and strategies to achieve agreed program results effectively and efficiently. For that reason CAPRA strongly recommends involving expert consultants, from its existing network or from other sources, in specialty areas as required by given projects. Thus CAPRA views consulting assignments not merely as opportunities to transfer widely accepted concepts, technologies and strategies but as the judicious and creative integration of appropriate responses, based on past experience, new knowledge and the unique needs of a given client.

(4) The consultant team must leave a sustainable operation

CAPRA is committed to a participatory approach and to culture-sensitive development of local expertise, using train-the-trainer concepts, so that the results of the consulting effort can be sustained over a long period of time, as needed, by becoming part of the local culture. This requirement normally involves the development of agreed processes, the identification and improvement of the required infrastructure and careful supervision in the short and medium term. Supervision is offered periodically on site and by distance-coaching, if desired.