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Involve or Engage?

Consultants often speak of “engaging the client”, but what goes into proper client engagement and how does that benefit the project?

One can find many explanations for the difference between the words “involved” and “engaged”. In simple terms, a person involved in some activity performs it because he was asked to. On the other hand, a person engaged in the same activity does it because he is truly interested in doing the work to achieve the desired results. He consciously goes beyond the scope of activities that he was asked to perform, explores ways of doing his work better, and is prepared to take responsibility for the results.

According to project management theory, a client’s participation in the project activities evolves from being involved in the early stages to being engaged towards the end. It is extremely important for the project’s success to get key client team members truly engaged in the project activities as early as possible. Firstly, developing method changes and any improvement recommendations jointly with a client member significantly increases quality of these changes and robability of successful installation. Secondly, early participation of client in project activities is another form of training and coaching which helps to provide a continuous improvement mindset in the organization. And lastly, it helps to prepare clients to take over the ownership of project changes at a faster rate while helping to lay down a solid foundation for sustainability of implemented improvements.

By: Anas Dabbakh