I work for government and most of the work is given out to consultants to do, and we project manage and pull all the work together. I haven't been doing well at it so far.
Frequent problems occur when I need to schedule a meeting so the consultant can present the results to us, they say they are ready, but during the meeting they are presenting and it's clear they haven't finished the work and so it was pointless having the meeting. So another meeting is required and the first was a waste.
Another common problem is the consultant decides to change the scope without asking for approval. Like a modelling project I'm looking after, I requested 3 dimensional modelling, and tight time frames. I said to them to tell me if the timeframes were too tight and I could cut back the scope. They made an internal decision to save time by changing to 2 dimensional modelling, without asking me. They showed some of the results at a workshop, but because they'd used a different format for the plots, we couldn't interpret them. Many weeks later and the plots come in a format I can interpret, and I realise that I can't use the results because they are 2D. They said they wouldn't be that much different, but instead of the results being in the range 2-50, they are 100-1000. Not even in the same ball park. Yes, they did offer to redo them in 3D, but that's not the point. Our timeframes are so tight I needed them to be done right first time. Given they had only completed an assignment exactly like it a few months ago, and I said do it the same way, I thought this would be easy. But the lead consultant delegated to a junior staff member who wasn't familiar with the previous work.
Things like this happen to me a lot, and I don't know how to prevent it. Any ideas?