Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Technology Consultants

How this misunderstanding of words affect IT Consultants?.

  • Wrong answers to an undefined problem
    • When we try to give answers to something we have not defined as a problem , we run into trouble. In other words we try to connect the problem to the tool, not focusing the efforts into creating a solution explained in non-technical language.
  • Ethics are affected
    • As seen through practice, many people instead of having the courage to say no, or saying clearly that they do not understand, they continue working in projects that are not clear, maybe through ignorance/fear/other, but many times concious that the person they are trying to help has no idea. Isn't that what the consultant role is supposed to do?
  • Reputation
    • Clearly, from one project to another, people want to check your prior experience and solutions. Some customers force consultants into confidential agreements. The nature of our business is showing our prior work to future customers so that they can see how competent we consultants are to have confidence in the contract they are signing. It does not make sense.
  • Effectiveness: Making sure you check all fuzzy words used by the customer allows better communication and less errors.
    • I can't stress how important this is. I've seen cases where this happens where the outcome has not been positive.
  • Get ready for a hard landing. Lawsuits included (God forbids).
  • Definition: A consultant is a professional that provides expert advice in a particular domain or area of expertise. There are ocassions where the role of the consultant is not well understood by both parties, so there needs to be clear roles and responsibilities in each project to be effective in the long run.

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