The process of getting the right information technology (IT) consultant is akin to the process of getting the right consultant in any other field. Whatever you’re hiring an IT consultant for, whether it’s to help you innovate or to offer support services, here are some general tips from btconsulting.com that will help you do it much better.
1. Your Brief Should Be Clear
The one thing you should be clearest about when you’re having your first meeting with a potential IT partner is your business objective. Second, to that is the outcome you would like from your interactions with the IT consultant. Finally, the timeframe of the project should also be very clear. To put it in simple terms, this means that you cannot determine whether an endeavor has been successful or not if you have not defined what “success” is.
Talk to your consultant the same way you would talk to your medical practitioner. Tell them everything you think they should know about your business and what problems you would like solved. Be as detailed as you can in the brief ― no piece of information is insignificant here. It all adds up in the end and allows the consultant to form a clearer picture of the problem, which makes it easier for them to solve it.
2. Look for an Independent Consultant
The truth is that consultants are often viewed with suspicion because of the terrible reputation the industry has inherited from bad consultants. Bad consultants will be more focused on how much they can earn from you, rather than how they can help you and solve your problems. They will charge you on an hourly basis and then maximize the number of hours they spend on your work and also try to push you to buy or subscribe to products and services that earn them a commission. You do not want that kind of consultant.
Instead, you should look for an independent consultant. This person should be someone who isn’t trying to meet some third-party sales quota but is instead more focused on how they can help you. Look out for what the consultant is offering right off the bat. If they’re trying to sell you a nonproprietary, ready-made solution, then you’re better off without them.
3. Have a Clearly Defined Outcome
It’s difficult to determine whether you were successful or not if you haven’t defined success. You should, therefore, be very clear with your consultant about what kind of outcome you’re expecting from your relationship and define the results with them.
As a client, you don’t want to feel like you’re just hemorrhaging money by the hour as your consultant bills you without seeing any tangible results. Therefore, define the results early enough.
4. Check in With Your Consultant Regularly
You have to approach the relationship with your consultant like any other project. A meeting at the beginning and another one at the end is a sure recipe for disaster. Good project management means you will have to check in with them regularly to see how much progress they are making and even redefine objectives if necessary.
5. See Your Consultant as a Partner
This directly follows from the point above. If you want to get the most out of your relationship with your consultant, you are going to have to start viewing them as your partner. Even after you give them your brief, they will need to collaborate actively with you on the project. Invite them on-site as often as you can. Integrate them into your team and give them any information they need. That’s the quickest and most effective way to get them to come up with a good and fast solution to your problems.