Telecommunications technologies are growing more complex each
day and the companies that provide them are often of
questionable viability.. This leads to system solutions that
offer enhanced features and customization. Often, individuals
responsible for the procurement of new technologies do not
posses the familiarity needed to properly manage their
implementation. This can lead to the purchasing of a system that
is not cost effective for your organization and/or the
sloppiness and corner cutting from vendors during the
installation. How can this be prevented? Hiring a consultant
will help lead your organization to a solution that best fits
your needs. It also insures that your new system will be
installed, tested, and guaranteed to perform according to
industry standards and more importantly will perform the tasks
that are needed to more effectively conduct day to day business.
Success requires the honesty to recognize ones limitations
I was trained in one of the world's premier consulting firms. We
could provide a consultant to address just about any issue that
a business might face. Our marketing slogan was "If we can spell
it, we can-sult-it." With thousands of consulting professionals
around the world, this somewhat arrogant statement was at least
theoretically accurate. WTCI does not make that claim. We
specialize in the issues revolving around the planning, design,
implementation, and management of communications technologies.
We will not pursue opportunities that do not match our skills.
This means that when we do pursue an opportunity, we are well
suited, ready and available to meet the need.
With that said, you should consider hiring a consultant when you
are faced with one or more of the following:
You do not have the time to analyze the situation;
You do not have the skills to analyze the situation;
You think you know the problem, but do not have the ability
to design the solution to the problem;
You know the problem, you know the solution, but you need
validation and help in the implementation of the solution.
The solution to the problem requires additional specialized
resources than you have available;
The timing of the solution to the problem requires more
resources than you have available
ready to engage a consultant
If you want exceptional service, be careful to clearly define
the role and responsibilities of the consultant. I have included
our checklist of items that we want to see in an agreement with
a client. These items protect both parties:
Does the letter of understanding (LOU) cover the underlying
purpose of the proposed engagement?
Does the LOU refer to the client's own expressions of
concern about the situation?
Are the form, content, and timing of the engagement output
the total services we may need to provide to achieve the
engagement objectives cannot be completely detailed (and
their cost accurately estimated) until the engagement has
been partly completed, have we limited our fee quotation to
the initial phases,
with a specific comment that the remaining fee requirements
will be estimated later?
the work we intend to perform covered in sufficient detail?
there a detailed work plan (whether or not included as a
part of the proposal or letter of understanding) that
clearly describes the work we will do and the estimated time
required to do it?
the role of specific client personnel stated explicitly?
problems were to occur during the engagement because client
personnel failed to perform, would the responsibility be
evident from the proposal languages
there any danger that the client could misunderstand the
extent or depth of our study?
Have we covered the procedures to be used in keeping the
client informed of our progress during the engagement, and
how the client will be able to periodically review our
findings and interim or tentative recommendations?
Have we identified engagement team members be assigned to
we state the start and completion dates?
references are made to previous client engagements, has
approval been obtained?
appropriate, have we covered the use of our reports and/or
the responsibilities, if any, we assume for information
developed from outside sources?
Have we addressed any confidentiality issues?
Are fees and expenses clearly stated?
the billing arrangement spelled out?
Has a review been made of the technical approach by an
executive other than the person writing the proposal or
letter of understanding?
Has an information copy of the LOU and other key documents
been sent to engagement team members?