Professional and consulting services for project manager



By Simon Bryard

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



In this paper we will focus on the different forms of contracts related to professional and consulting services.

When it comes to call out a professional service (which can be suppliers, contractors, consultant or consulting company …) a project manager faces several different types of contracts and must choose the one who fits the best to his need in order to handle the risk.  This paper aims to guide him towards the best option.

We choose, in a first way, to base our analysis on 4 different types of contracts to see which one is the best according to the question: what are the project manager needs? We will quickly see that we can remove one contract from our analysis which is the open-end agreement and we will focus on the standard services agreements and on the standard consultancy agreements.

Finally, we will conclude on the fact that project managers should use services agreements to work with contractors and consultancy agreements to work with consulting companies and explain to him what are the key clauses each contract should include and why.

Key words:  contracts – professional services – service agreement – consultancy agreement – consultant – consulting company – project manager


The consulting French market, namely pushed by the digitalizing of big firms and the increasing importance of data, has grown by more of 10% in 2017 and has created around 3500 jobs in 2016.

A consultancy mission aims to a deep analysis of a problem or a project for the consultant to give recommendation to clients to help him to fulfill this project. Indeed, there are some situations when a project manager needs technical advices to make his business grow, for example with his data analysis or his human resources strategies, but hire a new employee is too troublesome so professional services can be the solution.

A professional service is an intangible product that a contractor sells to help a client to have a better management on a specific part of his business. It provided technical knowledge about niche areas of interest. Nonetheless, we can differentiate a contractor and consultancy services as a consultant evaluate a client’s need and provide expert analysis in answer to a problematic and a contract evaluate the client’s need and perform the works. In this paper we will focus on professional services linked to contractor and consultancy services, on contracts involving contractors and consulting company (which exclude freelance consultant) and clients.

With professional services contracts, it is crucial to cover a certain number of terms to facilitate the relationship with the clients all along the project.  As this type of mission/service is very important and can be costly for the client, one consultant or consulting company is engaging his responsibility, then it is mandatory to define the good type of contracts between clients and consultants or consulting companies and the involvement of each parts. With professional services contracts, it is crucial to cover a certain number of terms to facilitate the relationship with the clients all along the project.

This paper will attempt to uncover and develop the following questions:

  • What are the different types of professional services contracts?
  • What are the key points they should include?

Step 1 Those aspects will be helpful to understand the different ways for consulting company to deliver professional services through different types of contracts, to understand what involve each types of contracts and analyses the several options for project manager regarding professional services.


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Bryard, S. (2018). Professional and consulting services for project manager, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VI – June. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pmwj71-Jun2018-Bryard-professional-and-consulting-agreements-for-project-manager.pdf

About the Author

Simon Bryard

Lille, France





Simon Bryard is a student in Project Management and Business Development Master of Science at Skema Business School in France. After a graduation and two years of economical preparatory classes in Dijon, he started his studies in Lille but did his first year of masters study in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He’s currently finishing his studies in Lille and Belo Horizonte, Brazil for his last Master of Science Semester. He has a few experiences in Business Development and Project Management as he did a 6-month internship as a business developer for FACELIFT, a Fintech in Paris, and a 6-month internship as a Real estate project manager for AMARIS Vietnam, a global consulting company that namely operate in Vietnam. He intends to do his end of study internship as a Junior Sales in a consulting company or in a SSII as Junior Sales and then as Sales Manager.

He did this paper under the authority of Professor Paul Giammalvo in the framework of the class ‘International projects for contracts ‘. He namely had the idea on working on contracts between project manager and consultants in consulting company after working as a real estate manager in consulting company: he was in charge of setting up a new office in Lille for the French director of his company; when establishing the layout of the office the director told him “I want a separate office between consultants and sales peoples so that the consultant can’t see the contract between sales manager and clients “. He decides to investigate on that topic to clearly understand the issue of the director regarding this issue.