Case studies are a great way to illustrate the impact of your work. They can provide content for many things: value proposition, elevator pitch, networking discussions, sales meetings and web site to name a few. You may be thinking, “But wait, I’m new to consulting, I haven’t done any client projects yet.” Don’t worry, you can use examples from when you were an employee.
I favor the CAR format – challenge, action, result. I am not talking about a multiple page case study for the Harvard Business Review. Here we’re looking for one page of information. It’s a marketing piece to go a little deeper into your capabilities. You will need both a one-page version and a two-sentence summary. You will eventually want a repertoire of a dozen case studies but start out by tackling two or three. Case studies will be your best source of content when you are getting started. Some people call them success stories on their web sites. Either term works so choose the one you prefer.
The challenge is the set up for a good story. What is the challenge you faced?
This is your opportunity to show off. List the action steps you used to achieve the amazing end result.
Here is where you pull everything together and finish they story with an impressive ending. Focus on how you impacted the business. Use metrics and include dollars in the result, if at all possible.
Can You Use the Client Company Name?
You cannot use the client company name without permission. I work in technology so nearly all my work involves confidential intellectual property. Even when it doesn’t, the business information is confidential. I don’t bother to ask permission to use the client name. I am afraid it might raise concerns. I simply write blinded case studies, so the company name is never mentioned. I will say something like “medical device manufacturer” or “pharmaceutical company”. I also have a list of clients on a different page of my web site. It is simply a bullet point list of companies. The goal is to have some names that everyone would recognize. I do have a few case studies where I knew the client would be happy for me to use their name, but this is not the norm.
Case Studies Convert Prospects to Clients
These mini case studies bring your service offering to life with something concrete. Choose one that will resonate with the client situation when you are speaking with a prospect. A good story makes you memorable.
As you get better and better at these stories, you will need this free Billable with Baby® proposal template to lock in your new projects by delivering a beautifully professional proposal.
Example Case Studies
You can see my case studies here for examples. Here is one of my favorites:
Led program to develop device portion of drug/device combination product. All device activities were completed on schedule to support required clinical programs. Program was acquired by a major pharmaceutical company.
Full Case Study
Product Development Program Management – Pharmaceutical Company
The client was working on a drug/device combination product and needed help on the device side. Rasdal Associates was engaged to project manage the development of the device and supporting materials.
The product team was geographically distributed across the United States and Europe. Project activities included:
- Created and maintained master program schedule in Microsoft Project
- Maintained Product Requirements Document
- Oversaw evolution of product specifications
- Coordinated review and feedback for product prototypes and development progress
- Managed the creation of a Quick Reference Instruction for the product including several focus groups
- Coordinated usability studies
- Supported clinical program needs for devices and documentation
- Developed Product Requirements Trace Matrix for product testing
- Coordinated risk analysis activities
- Researched disinfection solutions
Rasdal Associates was able to come up to speed quickly on all aspects of the device program with little involvement from the client. This was important as client resources were needed on other critical projects. All device activities were completed on schedule to support required clinical programs. Program was acquired by a major pharmaceutical company.
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