Thirdparty Assistance

One way to mitigate concern about managing consultants is hiring a third-party expert, who accepts responsibility to manage the consultants. This approach can be a sound business move. Nevertheless, responsibility for project outcome still rests with the customer. Such an expert must be able to deal effectively with consultants and should be compensated on the basis of the consultant's performance.

Although using a third-party manager may be viewed as additional overhead, it can substantially benefit a project. Because consultants are hired to provide skills that the customer does not possess, IT management may have difficulty in determining whether the consultants are delivering what they are contracted to deliver. A third-party expert can make this determination and judge the quality of the consultants ' work.

A third-party manager is in an excellent position to verify that project knowledge transfers from consultants to members of the IT staff. Completing that transfer should be the responsibility of a third-party manager, who should develop a plan for this transfer and present the plan to IT management for approval. A third party can also bring a higher level of objectivity to the issues that are certain to arise; as the work moves forward, it will not have a particular turf to defend.

Using a third-party manager does not have to complicate IT's management of a project. IT managers should find someone who has the required experience and have that person serve as liaison between the customer and the consulting organization. An expert can be valuable to IT management by simply posing appropriate questions about the project to consultants. Raising these questions forces consultants to use care in providing answers. A third party can also help level the playing field between the customer and the consulting organization.

A third-party arrangement does not have to be full-time. A third party can conduct periodic reviews. When such an assignment is not full-time, a customer and the third-party manager must be specific about meeting with consultants. Although having the third party available on a full-time basis is more effective, one working part-time can also considerably benefit a project.

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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