In small or medium sized Consulting Partners, there may not be luxury (and budget) for a PM to help manage client relationships and scope.
This task falls on the shoulders of the consultants that are being sent directly to clients to gather requirements and implement the solution.
In my experience, smaller projects and clients generally mean a higher overhead in the ‘project management’ tasks around client management.
Budget is tight, and the clients generally question everything and might not be happy about how long tasks might take.
Generally, they also do not expect to pay for the ‘not-doing’, ‘not-developing/configuring’ activities.
For example, the hour phone call arguing about why your estimation to build that workflow is 6 hours (regardless of any testing/fixing/deploying activities that is necessary).
To become an effective consultant in this environment, you need
– the ability to manage expectations well
– strong stakeholder skills
– confidence in own capabilities
– tactful conflict resolution
In many cases, ‘soft’ skills will allow you advance and make headway in personal and professional relationships a lot more than ‘hard’ skills will.
So invest in yourself.
Invest in self-development.
Invest in people skills.
You’re worth it.