Managing An Assignment

Most consulting firms are ethical and have the best interests of customers as their primary concern, but some firms do not hold these values. When management at a consulting firm changes, the firm's former values may change because they no longer fit the goals of the new management.

Because consultants are brought in to do work that, for whatever reason, is beyond the capability of the customer, consultants enjoy an immediate advantage over their customers. Customers may be vulnerable if their organization does not have experience in managing large IT projects. It may be that the decision has been made to move to a new technology about which no one in the customer's organization has any experience. It may be that the level of pressure is such within the organization that no one pays appropriate attention to the work of the consultants. In any situation where the consultants have a clear advantage, the possibility exists that the advantage may be used to the detriment of the customer.

Customers have to guard against being in a position where consultants are the only ones with knowledge about how to maintain the applications once the consultants have developed them. Examples exist of situations where consultants have been at a customer site in excess of five years, doing essentially the same work, because none of the customer's employees understand how the system works. Falling into such a situation is a failure on the part of IT management.

If consultants fulfill their obligations to a project but do not transfer project knowledge to members of the customer's staff, the consultants have not completed their assignment. Any consulting assignment should include a transfer of knowledge from consultants to employees of the customer.

Sometimes, consultants are assigned to handle all cutting-edge or advance technology and members of the IT staff are given more mundane work. This arrangement is not advisable. A better approach is to find a way to involve members of IT in areas of a project where they can develop new skills and gain experience. A major reason that IT employees leave an organization is because they are not given opportunities to develop new experience and skills. By allowing only consultants to gain experience with new technology, IT management may inadvertently make their personnel look for these opportunities with other organizations.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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