When you’re just beginning a new project or starting to work on a new capture opportunity, it’s often difficult to know just where to get started. One easy way is to have an expert give you a general overview of the lay of the land on the topic/ sector and or the geography you’re focused on.
Check our guide on submitting effective Expert Requests
1.) Selecting a sector or geography
When beginning a project, often all you know at the beginning is the sector or industry of focus and the geographic area the project will eventually take place in. At this stage, both of those tags can be pretty broad, and that’s ok.
If you’re tracking a new procurement opportunity on Energy Infrastructure in Mozambique - great! If your project doesn’t have a geographic focus at the moment - also fine! You can also speak with experts for a general landscape overview of best practices in the industry or sector.
2.) What are you looking to understand?
At this stage, the project is pretty self-explanatory. You’re looking to get a general understanding of the landscape, or overall industry trends, so those are the two boxes we’ve selected.
It’s ok to keep things broad at the beginning. As you get more information, you can narrow down your focus and come up with more targeted questions.
3). Organizations to Avoid or Pursue
If there are any organizations you need to avoid, such as competitors or incumbents on a project, you can name those companies here. Or if there are any organizations you’d like to pursue, that you think have a good overall perspective on the industry you’re focused on, you can name those companies as well.
Don’t know who you should avoid or pursue - don’t stress. Leave it blank for now and our Research Manager can help talk you through it once you finish submitting the request
4). Describing your Ideal Expert Profile
At this stage, your ideal expert might not be well defined, and you might want to speak with a few people to get a full lay of the land. If you’re working on a bid for a USAID project, maybe you want to speak with an expert who has experience in the international development industry, or maybe you want a good private-sector perspective from a company that operates in this space.
This is where you describe the general background of the person you’re looking to speak with. During a general landscape overview, often times there are multiple people and perspectives you want to speak with to make sure you get the full range of thoughts/ activities across the country, as well as a variety of opinions on government priorities, success/ failures of past projects, etc.
Remember, you can always request a new expert to get a different profile - you don’t need to stress about finding the perfect person who has every bit of information and all the perspectives you need.
Describe your ideal Expert profile
Explain what project stage/phase you are in and what you're looking to get out of the call. If your project is just starting and you would like to schedule a general call to get yourself familiar with an industry, please make it clear in this section. Also, remember to mention it during your scoping call.
Describe your ideal expert background and what kind of experience or seniority you are expecting your experts to have. Generally, if the project is not defined yet, successful users ask for senior-level independent consultants in this section based on their ability to provide great insights for the project on the initial phase. Interestingly, consultants are usually the ones that score the highest in client feedback surveys.
Pro tip: focus on high-level experts, such as retired executives, to provide a broader view of your topic rather than technical level experts. Usually, high-level experts, even when generalists, are the ones that deliver key guidance about where your project should go next.
5.) Discussion Questions
This is it! This is your winning section! Your boss/ director/ friend/ colleague just handed you a new project and you don’t know where to start, here’s where you get to ask!
The goal of the general landscape overview is to get a good perspective on what is currently happening, what other companies/ organizations are doing, and what has or hasn’t been successful. If you don’t know anything going into these calls, that’s fine! That’s what the expert is there for, so include any question you have and they’ll help you get up to speed quickly.
Pro tip: open-ended questions work better than Yes/No questions, as they prompt the expert to share highlights from their experience while applying to consult with you on this call. Also, good vetting questions should relate to the core of your project objective, including the industry and region of focus - such as:
"What are the existing public-private partnerships in the Nigerian pharmaceutical sector?"
"Who are the top 3 market leaders in the Ukrainian superior online education segment?"
Create a custom expert request here
That’s it. Now you can go to the link above and request an expert to give you a general landscape overview and help you get started on your new project.
Note: Once you have submitted the expert request form through our platform, you should expect an OnFrontiers Research Manager to contact you shortly for a scoping call. The information provided while submitting your request will be used by Research Managers to understand your project ahead of the call. This will help in faster and more successful project scoping overall. In general, the scoping call takes 10-15 minutes and it is a vital part of our process that defines the success of custom-matched experts.