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In the dynamic world of management consulting, the ability to adapt and customize tools to the unique demands of each project is crucial. The ISO 20700 checklist, a pivotal tool for consultants, is designed with this flexibility in mind. This checklist isn’t just a rigid set of rules; it’s a dynamic framework that can be tailored to a wide range of project types and sizes. In this blog, we delve into how you can customize the ISO 20700 checklist to enhance the effectiveness and relevance of your consulting projects, demonstrating its versatility and applicability across various scenarios.


Understanding the ISO 20700 Checklist

Before delving into customization, it’s crucial to understand what the ISO 20700 checklist encompasses. It’s a comprehensive guide designed to help consultants implement the ISO 20700 standard effectively. This checklist, developed by ICMCI, provides an easy to implement guide that covers various aspects of a consulting project, from contracting, through delivery to the project’s closing. The beauty of this checklist lies in its adaptability, allowing consultants to adapt it from the most simple and the most complex projects. 


Tailoring to Project Size

Small-scale Projects: For smaller projects, the checklist, helps the consultant to focus on key areas that are most relevant to the project’s scale. The simplified checklist for small-scale projects ensures efficiency without compromising on quality by zeroing in on those aspects of the ISO 20700 standard that would apply.

Large-scale Projects: For larger, more complex projects, the checklist is expanded to prompt more detailed discussions with he client.  This ensures that every aspect of the project is thoroughly planned and executed with a common understanding between the consultant and the client.


Adapting to Industry Specifications

Different industries have unique challenges and requirements. The ISO 20700 checklist is sufficiently broad that it accommodates the appropriate discussions for project scoping. Whether you’re working in healthcare, finance, or technology, the checklist will prompt the appropriate discussions and the appropriate level of documentation to ensure your consulting services are as relevant and effective as possible.


Addressing Client Needs and Preferences

Every client has their unique set of expectations and preferences. Tailoring the ISO 20700 checklist involves understanding these client-specific needs and adapting your approach accordingly. This might mean placing more emphasis on certain areas that are particularly relevant to the client’s business or the specific challenges they are facing.


Focusing on Project Phases

The ISO 20700 standard delineates three phases in a project, with details in each phase as to the topics that should be completely transparent between the consultant and the client. In addition, the standard provides twelve policies that are a resource for the consultant to use as a template for the development of clarifying documents.

Initiating Phase. The initiating phase of the ISO 20700 standard sets the foundation for a successful management consultancy project. It involves the establishment of clear objectives, scope, and responsibilities between the management consultant and the client. This phase is crucial for ensuring that both parties have a mutual understanding of the expected outcomes, deliverables, and timelines. It also includes the development of a project plan that outlines the methodology, resources, and evaluation criteria to be used throughout the consultancy engagement.

Executing Phase. During the execution phase, the management consultant implements the project plan, applying their expertise to address the client’s needs. This phase is characterized by active management of resources, ongoing communication with stakeholders, and adherence to the agreed-upon methodology. The consultant monitors progress against the project plan, making adjustments as necessary to ensure that the project remains on track. The focus is on delivering value to the client, with an emphasis on achieving the desired outcomes and enhancing the client’s capabilities.

Closure Phase. The closure phase marks the completion of the consultancy project. In this phase, the consultant and client review the project’s outcomes against the initial objectives to ensure that all goals have been met. The consultant provides a final report, which includes an assessment of the project’s impact, lessons learned, and recommendations for future actions. This phase also involves the formal termination of the consulting agreement and the release of project resources.

Policies. The ISO 20700 standard emphasizes the importance of policies throughout the consultancy process. These policies include awareness of the regulatory framework, stakeholder engagement and commitment, adherence to a code of ethical and professional conduct, effective project governance, capability communication, data protection and confidentiality, protection of intellectual property, social responsibility, health and safety, and risk and quality management. These policies ensure that the consultancy services are delivered in a professional, ethical, and transparent manner, contributing to the overall success and sustainability of the project.


Continuous Improvement

Remember, the use of the ISO 20700 checklist is not a one-time task. It involves continuous improvement and adaptation based on experiences, feedback, and changes during the project. Regularly revisiting the client agreements reached through the use of the checklist can help to ensure that an effective consultant-client dynamic is not lost..


The ICMC ISO 20700 Checklist 

The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) has developed a comprehensive Self-Declaration Checklist to facilitate the effective application of the ISO 20700 standard for management consultancy services. This checklist serves as a practical tool, ensuring that management consultants and their clients can maintain transparency and align on project deliverables and accountabilities throughout the consultancy process, from contracting through delivery to closure¹.

To complement the checklist, ICMCI offers specialized training programs delivered by accredited trainers. These programs are designed to provide consultants with hands-on experience and a thorough understanding of the ISO 20700 guidelines, empowering them to deliver high-impact consulting projects that fully adhere to the standard. 

To learn more about ICMCI’s ISO 20700 Checklist Training, click here.



The ISO 20700 checklist is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a management consultant. Its real strength lies in its flexibility and applicability to a wide range of projects. The checklist can accommodate each project’s size, industry, client needs, cultural context, and specific phases. Consultants can ensure that they and their clients are on exactly the same page to ensure that their services are both transparent and effective. Embracing the adaptability of the ISO 20700 checklist is essential for consultants who aim to deliver top-tier, client-focused services in today’s diverse and dynamic business environment.