Many professionals encounter situations where their clients require a solution which includes expertise beyond the ambit of a single professional practice. Examples of such situations include expert witness litigation support, acquisition deals and outsourcing arrangements. Professional people often find it difficult to trust and to work harmoniously in multi-disciplinary teams from several professional practices, even in circumstances where such an arrangement is in the interests of both the client and the professional practices. Yet co-operation would often make the quality and quantity of client work significantly higher. At Z/Yen, we recognise the need to work well with other professionals and we have designed our risk/reward methodology specifically to work well in multi-disciplinary environments.
As one of the leading risk/reward management firms, Z/Yen is frequently asked to apply its techniques to support the work of other professional disciplines. Examples include expert witness work to support litigation or joining an investigation team to provide expert input. Expert support might be forward looking, "what options does our client have to get from where it is to where it wants to be?", or retrospective, "what was best practice at the time the problem arose and did our client's supplier follow that best practice?" Increasingly, such expert opinion requires not only expert knowledge and hard factual analysis but also the application of indirect techniques such as prospect theory, motivational analysis and game theory.
Most Z/Yen people began their careers in other professional disciplines such as accountancy, law, engineering or information sciences. Many Z/Yen activities require the support of other professional services. It is hardly surprising that Z/Yen tends to build strong working relationships with complementary practices and that those relationships are beneficial to Z/Yen's clients and the professional parties.
Z/Yen applies risk/reward management techniques through its proprietary strategic risk/reward methodology to help clients improve their performance. Where complex decisions form part of a review, deal or investigation, then risk/reward management techniques function as part of a decision-making process which can help other professionals to understand their environment, the portfolio of client risks which they are handling and the scale of benefits they should seek for their clients.
In practice, Z/Yen people have negotiated multi-million pound outsourcing contracts, produced framework deals for acquisitions, established joint ventures in property, managed high technology portfolios, investigated payment systems in broadcasting, examined the potential for fraud in EC subsidy schemes, and provided expert opinion on IT system disputes in hospitals, banking and emergency services. Z/Yen people tend to be experts in their chosen fields, such as "information systems in banking", "multimedia technology", "logistics in the distribution industry" or "voluntary sector strategies".
Z/Yen is flexible in its approach to relationships with other professional services and is happy to make arrangements as main contractor, sub-contractor or joint venture partner, depending on the needs and wishes of the other professional parties. In our experience, clients seeking a rich blend of expert professional skills are often delighted when you sort out the multi-party team for the work. The clients can then concentrate on their main priority; a successful resolution to the assignment.