What does a consultant do, and where do you find a consultant who can truly help your business?
We at Splendex are producing a video series with the goal of connecting professionals in the IT industry, and creating value for those who want to be educated on business development processes. These discussions are centered around actual challenges our clients have struggled with, and genuine questions that our partners have been asking us.
We invite independent specialists (CEOs, developers, freelancers and other experts) to share their honest opinions and real life experiences without any restrictions.
Most recently, we talked about consultancy at length with these key players:
The moderator of the roundtable was Levente Székely, the founder and CEO of Splendex.
Often a consultant’s job is to help, assist and guide a client or a team to a solution.
Take an IT team for example. Instead of simply telling them what the optimal solution is, the consultant will facilitate discussions and advise team members. The end goal is to mould the team by establishing a system that helps streamline processes, solve issues and promotes cooperation. As a result, the team learns how to effectively work together, and they will come up with the solution on their own!
Other than KPI-s, you can measure the success of this guidance by looking at how the team performs. If they can tackle challenges with no outside help, that’s a victory in everyone’s book.
Naturally there are exceptions, when a concrete solution is required by the client, in which case the assistance and advice is much more profound.
The advisor’s perspective is always more objective, free from any company bias, lingering emotions, or personal inclinations.
Getting professional advice from someone out of the corporate bubble gives the client a type of mental fitness or agility. This enables them to make more well-grounded decisions. Sometimes it’s enough to provide the client with alternatives, or viewpoints they simply have not considered yet.
Consultants can also serve as a bridge between two parties, providing more effective communication between people.
The added value of a consultant is strongly correlated with their years and types of experience. Most skilled consultants have a wide range of methodologies to choose from, and vast knowledge of many fields. You most likely can’t train a professional like this in-house.
This is definitely a sensitive issue, because win-win-win scenarios – where the client, supplier and consultant are all satisfied – don’t always happen. Unfortunately, no matter how much work everyone puts in, one of the parties can be let down by the result.
Nobody wakes up thinking I’m going to give bad advice today or write bad code today. So how do these unlucky situations still happen?
Disappointing projects can be a result of changing circumstances, consultants usually sign for 3 months, 6 months or even longer durations. Processes will naturally shift within a company, new parties will get introduced to the mix, the issue is if these changes weren’t accounted for in the original brief.
2 out of 10 times even the most dedicated consultant is going to have a project go south.
However, if you chose a good consultant, they would try their best to understand where it all went wrong and dig down to the root of the problem. This doesn’t mean you will have these poor results fixed immediately, but it does mean that they will continue looking for what caused the issue, especially if it was human error. It also means that the more experience a consultant has, the more likely you are to avoid potential pitfalls.
A lot of factors play into who you should contact. Specific experience and knowledge of the industry you’re in is crucial when picking a consultant. It is completely valid if you rely on your gut feelings when deciding who to contact, whether it is a specialized consultant, coach, mentor, or other type of advisor.
Depending on what you prefer, you can ask your network for suggestions on who is worth trusting. You can also do some research on your own, select the 5 most dependable advisors and take it from there.
It’s important to pick someone you are willing to trust completely. It’s even more important to build mutual trust, in order to keep moving towards a successful partnership.
We’re always open to collaborations and partnerships. Are you interested in a free consultation with our founders? Get in touch with us!
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