We talked about common consulting mistakes to avoid in a recent post, but now we want to go into a bit more detail. By giving you two real-world examples, we hope to equip you with the practical application guidance you’ll need to succeed.
We could talk all day about hypothetical situations and throw out idyllic advice. But instead, we’re going to give you real examples. Names, situations, and details will be changed, but rest assured these examples represent some of the most effective consulting strategies we’ve come across in our 30+ years of IT consulting.
Over the years, we’ve literally helped thousands of customers identify and adhere to the following consulting best practices.
Real-World Example: Benchmarking
Tim, an IT consultant, had been engaged by a customer to improve processes within their internal help desk department.
The customer’s pain points, you ask? (1) Help desk couldn’t track issues, (2) requests took too long to complete, (3) systems were down too long, resulting in lost productivity for the rest of the company.
After completing a business review, Tim determined that service delivery processes and a centralized ticketing system should be put in place. As a part of the statement of work (SOW), Tim clearly defined what a successful solution implementation would look like:
- Detailed processes for requests, incidents, alerts, and problems
- Implementation of a centralized ticketing system
- Defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
- Measurable KPIs
- Implementation of Dashboards and Reports
The consultant clearly defined how the results would be measured and that a successful implementation included reaching a specific, measurable target—‘measurable’ being the key. If Tim hadn’t made his definition of success measurable, the outcome would have been merely a matter of opinion.
By clarifying what success looked like, Tim set himself up for a smooth consulting experience.
Real-World Example: Find Gaps
Liz, a consultant at Software Development Company (SDC), was asked to engage with a new customer to complete a gap analysis.
This customer recently decided to acquire new scheduling software for its medical center. Liz specializes in medical companies and is an expert on the associated software.
After conducting several meetings and analyzing the business, it was determined that there were gaps in the business that could not be addressed by the software: (1) Web-based self-scheduling, (2) rescheduling notifications, (3) phone integration for reminder notifications.
By knowing the gaps, Liz was able to document and propose workarounds or alternative solutions that were acceptable to the customer.
These are just two real-world ways you can create a better consulting experience for not only your company, but also your client’s. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series to learn even more ways you can improve your consulting program.