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“ Are You Cut Out For Consulting?”  Paul N. Jacobs, PMP May 19 th , 2009 Presentation to the Chattanooga PMI Chapter May M...
Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why Use a Consultant? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professiona...
Why Use a Consultant?  <ul><li>Client Determines Short-Term Labor is Beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>You develop </li></ul><u...
Professional Competencies <ul><li>Assess Your Competencies (Skill Areas) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul...
Fundamental and Content Skills Skill Progression <ul><li>Fundamental Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Core consulting skills  </li...
Fundamental and Content Skills Strategic Sourcing Pricing and Proposal Preparation Vendor Management Intellectual Capital ...
Lifestyle and Commitments <ul><li>Complete this profile sheet to determine your affinity to consulting </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Sources of Consulting Pressures <ul><li>Vendors need to be part of master contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Engagements are driv...
Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>Why be a Consultant? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New and Different Typ...
New and Different Types of Work Implement Latest Technology High <ul><li>You Get the Chance to Use Latest Toolsets </li></...
Opportunity for Travel <ul><li>What about international Travel? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t expect to sight see </li></ul>...
Opportunity to Learn New Technology <ul><li>New Technology Opportunity Does Not Mean You Learn on the Job </li></ul><ul><u...
No Internal Corporate Political Battles <ul><li>Be aware of political corporate culture; but don’t participate in it </li>...
Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>Why be a Consultant? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Pitfalls? </...
Stamina and Energy <ul><li>90% Travel Assignments Require Stamina and Energy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the time it ta...
Expectations for Performance <ul><li>Consider these expectations for your performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How quickly ca...
Longevity and Insecurity <ul><li>How long do you want to be in consulting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You just might wake up so...
Market Conditions <ul><li>How does the Market affect Consulting Positions? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some people want to be a ...
Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Excitement? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Pitfalls?...
Consulting Arrangements <ul><li>What do I do when I get an email from a headhunter about a “job”?  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>C...
Pre-Sales or Post-Sales Roles Project Management  – You would rather focus on delivery. Client Interaction  – You focus on...
Post-Sales Capabilities Analysis How the system will work from the perspective of the user and external systems Design How...
What Makes a Successful Engagement? <ul><li>First and foremost, the company's managers should define the problem they need...
Career Decisions <ul><li>The IT Consulting Professional is Foremost a Career Decision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It may done to...
Risks and Rewards Rewards <ul><li>You Can Develop an Impressive Resume’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You demonstrate adaptability...
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Transcript of "Are You Cut Out For Consulting"

  1. 1. “ Are You Cut Out For Consulting?” Paul N. Jacobs, PMP May 19 th , 2009 Presentation to the Chattanooga PMI Chapter May Monthly Meeting
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why Use a Consultant? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Competencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental and Content Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perform an Internal Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifestyle and Commitments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why be a Consultant? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Pitfalls? </li></ul><ul><li>Closing Thoughts </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Use a Consultant? <ul><li>Client Determines Short-Term Labor is Beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>You develop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More well rounded skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive level capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of project-based work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure to new technologies and industries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Client receives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher levels of quality and consistency in work being performed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better leverage and margins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived highly skilled trusted advisor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More cost effective solutions to immediate problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resource through procurement process to off-load work </li></ul></ul>Making the move from fulltime project manager to professional consultant can be a great gig in a tough economy, but it’s not right for everyone.
  4. 4. Professional Competencies <ul><li>Assess Your Competencies (Skill Areas) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamentals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each person needs to be able to identify the competency group and define their skills in their area that are needed to effectively deliver client work </li></ul><ul><li>Consultants are expected to develop skills across all competencies </li></ul>Do You Know Your Competencies? Business Current Trends Competitive Market Industry Knowledge Technology Systems Process Tools Fundamentals Communications Presentation Skills Work Ethic Client Delivery Success Professional Competencies <ul><li>At some point consultants must specialize in functional competency areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Each person needs to be able to accurate assess their strengths and weaknesses </li></ul>
  5. 5. Fundamental and Content Skills Skill Progression <ul><li>Fundamental Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Core consulting skills </li></ul><ul><li>Common to all of us </li></ul><ul><li>Skills that are demonstrable on most engagements </li></ul><ul><li>Need to demonstrate proficiency in these skills for promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Content Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Business and Technology skills </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone develops these skills differently, depending on career profile, career goals, and demonstrated experience </li></ul><ul><li>Need to demonstrate progression, but no pre-prescribed path for promotion </li></ul>1 2 3 4 5 6 Fundamental skills Content skills Do You Have these Skill Types?
  6. 6. Fundamental and Content Skills Strategic Sourcing Pricing and Proposal Preparation Vendor Management Intellectual Capital Development Customer Experience/Analysis and Proposition Development IT Financial Analysis Program / Project Management Market Sizing and Segmentation Analysis Technology Implementation Management Relationship & Business Development Industry, Competition, Comparative Analysis, Value Chain & Trend Analysis Strategic Enterprise Architecture Client / Engagement Mgmt Quantitative/Statistical Analysis Management of IT Operations Analysis & Problem Solving Financial Statement Analysis Management of IT Written Communication Financial Modeling Infrastructure Architecture Oral Communication Operations Analysis and Business Design Application Architecture Teamwork / Leadership Business Plan Technology Content Fundamental Business Content
  7. 7. Lifestyle and Commitments <ul><li>Complete this profile sheet to determine your affinity to consulting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Lifestyle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I like to travel to new places more than work at home where I live </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I enjoy the challenge of being thrown into a project to test my abilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I would much rather be learning new technology than supporting old systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I enjoy having the opportunity to manage multiple projects than focusing on one </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B. Commitments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I don’t have a lot of commitments to my family that requires me home each night </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I don’t put a lot of importance on having a stable income </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I am motivated by money and I strive to increase my salary with higher pay </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I would rather test my skills and learn new things than work for one company </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly Agree (3), Slightly Agree (2), Disagree (1) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Sources of Consulting Pressures <ul><li>Vendors need to be part of master contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Engagements are driven by contract rates </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost decisions mean less options </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the assignment carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity lost when rate is compromised </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful to agree to lower market value </li></ul><ul><li>Services are finite; income stops abruptly </li></ul>Intensity of Competition <ul><li>Contract doesn’t last as long as advertised </li></ul><ul><li>Didn’t know what you got into until on-site </li></ul><ul><li>High rate of turnover of previous consultants </li></ul>Threats to Engagement <ul><li>Specialized knowledge and skill sets </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility to travel, or relocate, or work virtual </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating rate and start date </li></ul><ul><li>Experience suggests proven expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate success rate and have references </li></ul>Consultant’s Bargaining Power <ul><li>Owns the contract terms and conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Determines vendor payment of services </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation and industry dominance </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing requirements and legal review </li></ul><ul><li>Has option to cancel at will agreement anytime </li></ul>Client’s Bargaining Power <ul><li>Achieve PMP certification to make you unique </li></ul><ul><li>Be the sole source provider if possible </li></ul><ul><li>Write the SOW - to fill the unique requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Once inside, protect all borders against threats </li></ul><ul><li>Use information wisely; don’t give it all up at once </li></ul>Threat of Entry Decide how many opportunities to evaluate <ul><li>Determine what opportunities are available and how you might best fit the consulting position. </li></ul>Perform the analysis across potential engagements Develop conclusions from the analysis <ul><li>Analyze the consulting tasks, company, job requirements to understand the potential for success. </li></ul><ul><li>Make a decision to pursue the opportunity based on the amount of information available to support your findings </li></ul>Perform An Internal Analysis A B C 1 2 3 4 5
  9. 9. Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>Why be a Consultant? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New and Different Types of Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity for Travel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity to Learn New Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Internal Corporate Political Battles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are the Pitfalls? </li></ul><ul><li>Closing Thoughts </li></ul>
  10. 10. New and Different Types of Work Implement Latest Technology High <ul><li>You Get the Chance to Use Latest Toolsets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What really gets you excited is that the opportunity exposes you to the latest technology and you have always wanted to be on the cutting edge </li></ul></ul>Medium to High Work with Industry Leader Medium <ul><li>The client engagement gives you a chance to work for one of your major competitors </li></ul><ul><li>The company is more successful, has greater market share and seems to lead the industry </li></ul>Leverage Your Skill Sets Medium <ul><li>You Have the Right Qualifications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You know what you are good at and the job presents itself as requiring the skill sets you have mastered, so it looks like a good fit </li></ul></ul>Exciting Project Opportunity High <ul><li>Something You Have Always Wanted to Do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The project is something you did not have the chance to do as an employee, but always wanted to </li></ul></ul>Have More Responsibility Medium <ul><li>You Get to Manage More People than before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You did not get promoted to the job that has more direct reports, therefore the job gives you the chance to lead a larger project team, which you feel you are capable of </li></ul></ul>Attractiveness Questions to Ask Yourself <ul><li>How do you validate the job description is accurate? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the position seem too good to be true? </li></ul><ul><li>If the role exists as described; why wasn’t it filled internally within the organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a ‘high-risk’ project that could be cut? </li></ul><ul><li>Was the job requirement all over the highway? </li></ul>Implications <ul><li>The job requirements may not reflect the true need. </li></ul><ul><li>What makes it unique that you seem right to fill it? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the project too far along to save? Did you ask? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you coming in to ‘fix’ a project gone bad? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you honestly portrayed your true abilities? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you embellish your resume’? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have the right skill sets? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Opportunity for Travel <ul><li>What about international Travel? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t expect to sight see </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you know how to travel light? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blend in; don’t wear expensive jewelry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use the buddy system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Check medical insurance coverage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have backup funds available </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be the ugly American </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Nationwide travel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a good credit line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be efficient as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t let delays ruin your day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you do work on a plane? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lodging and Rental Cars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t frequent hotel bars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful of your diet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get the fastest service for rental cars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you have a passport? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you ever been overseas? </li></ul><ul><li>Security is a real issue </li></ul><ul><li>Work Visas </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ever do anything illegal </li></ul><ul><li>Be cooperative at customs </li></ul><ul><li>Can you sleep in a bad hotel room? </li></ul><ul><li>Does a change in diet affect your work? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you able to cope with delays? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it okay if you do work in your hotel? </li></ul><ul><li>How self-sufficient are you? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Opportunity to Learn New Technology <ul><li>New Technology Opportunity Does Not Mean You Learn on the Job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To implement new technology assumes you have done it before successfully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The reasons why it hasn’t worked could be the same problem you solved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other employees who are semi-expert will evaluate your knowledge base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implication: You need to be able to give them guidance and be the expert </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t try to be the technical lead on their legacy systems environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use best practices and leverage the work you have done previously </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Beware of Projects Implementing New Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects that are part of new product evaluations don’t always get funded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Just because you evaluated a vendor and are doing a proof of concept does not mean the project will continue – if it does not go well (can’t scale for example) – the project may get cut </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects that are part of legacy system upgrades (new version of software for example) are also risky </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because the product works fine as it is, and may not be broken. Whereas, once the risk analysis is done, it may be determined that the risk of the upgrade could cause the system to not have the same functionality (because it is highly –customized, out of support and performs a critical revenue function) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. No Internal Corporate Political Battles <ul><li>Be aware of political corporate culture; but don’t participate in it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not try to jockey for a position in the organization, sit on the sidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your value is that you are not a threat to other people’s jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand most employees are overworked; you should ask for how you can help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be someone who is expected to over-achieve above existing employees’ efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do things quicker, present findings more professionally, come up to speed faster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be able to offer advice (options and recommendations) not directives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How well can you Influence others without having direct supervisory authority </li></ul></ul>Consultant Qualities <ul><li>Your value is measured when you are a trusted advisor </li></ul><ul><li>Prove your worth quickly to establish credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Be reliable/credible in making an objective analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Establish relationships before asking for information </li></ul><ul><li>Be okay with others taking the credit for the work you do </li></ul><ul><li>When asked for advice; give the ‘tough’ answer </li></ul>
  14. 14. Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>Why be a Consultant? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Pitfalls? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stamina and Energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectations for Performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longevity and Insecurity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market Conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Closing Thoughts </li></ul>
  15. 15. Stamina and Energy <ul><li>90% Travel Assignments Require Stamina and Energy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider the time it takes to get to and from client site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Car to airport parking lot, shuttle to terminal, waiting in line for ticket, waiting in line through security, walking to gate, waiting at gate for plane (delay of plane), getting on plane (delay of plane taking off), taxi down runway and takeoff, getting off plane and waiting for luggage, getting luggage, waiting in line for rental car, taking shuttle from baggage claim to rental car lot, getting directions to hotel, driving to hotel from car (detour because you got lost), parking car in hotel lot, waiting in line to check in hotel, getting to hotel room, unpacking clothes, next day, try to get up early enough to have breakfast, try to find car in hotel parking lot (what color is your car?), get directions to client site, drive to client site, park at client parking lot, wait in line to get security badge, get to client site, arrived. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you make time to work out at hotel gym (assuming there is one)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The client may have late night meetings over dinner, will you attend? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Client will undoubtedly ‘expect’ that you do work in hotel room at night. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add up the hours – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Travel to Client site (4 hours) + Work at Client Site (14 hours x 4 Days) = 56 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Travel Back from Client Site (4 hours): 4 + 56 + 4 = 64 hour work wk. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time to recover on weekend = (extra sleep + packing/unpacking) = 8 more hrs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So a 90% travel assignment results in 72 hr work week (40 billable) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Expectations for Performance <ul><li>Consider these expectations for your performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How quickly can you put together a MS PowerPoint presentation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How quickly can you convert Excel data into MS Access? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How quickly can you turn around meeting minutes to a vendor presentation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you provide a polished executive summary to your peers and management? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you deliver by completing work assignments much quicker than employees? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you effectively use your intellect to come up with innovative solutions? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your client contact will rarely give you the feedback of an employee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You are expected to perform with little or no coaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You must be able to self-evaluate and critique your work before others review it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You are expected to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide the information needed and prepare an in-depth analysis of factual data for your client manager to use as her own to shine in front of the organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lead a team of people effectively, even though you do not supervise them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be able to communicate effectively to the user all the way up to the executive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are doing your job well, employees will seek you out to do their work for them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Think about how would you balance these types of requests </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Longevity and Insecurity <ul><li>How long do you want to be in consulting? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You just might wake up some day and realize your skills are out dated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you clearly defined your career goals within a consulting environment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has your health or family life been affected by the consulting work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Due to ongoing travel and away from home </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Due to work load that has caused stress-related illness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Has your family and personal support mechanisms been impacted? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Are you concerned about medical plan coverage or disability plans? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you put money aside for SEP or retirement? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What are some insecurities you might face? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How long will this contract last? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does the client truly feel about my job performance? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I staying current on the latest technologies and re-training myself? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What types of work will be in demand on my next assignment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How do I best prepare for that? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You see signs of contractor layoffs and are concerned about what is next </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The budget item for your project has been abruptly cancelled </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Your emails and invites to meetings has declined significantly </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Market Conditions <ul><li>How does the Market affect Consulting Positions? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some people want to be a consultant after a layoff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultants are hired when companies are making money and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultants are also sometimes hired after a layoff or downsizing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New interest in ‘temp to perm’. Is this really true? Read the contract </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rollercoaster Earnings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Money comes in peaks and valleys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If independent, it takes around 10 weeks to find another opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This causes gaps in earnings that requires planned savings when working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is extremely difficult to market your services when employed at a client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When hiring occurs usually revolves around budget cycles and time of year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>World is Flat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consulting jobs are now affected by global (downward) ‘rate’ pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large numbers of jobs are going overseas as companies cut costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The hourly rates have essentially declined since the peak of 1998 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More people than ever can do your consulting job for less money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek out those organizations that have good balance sheets </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Agenda <ul><li>What are the Challenges? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Excitement? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Pitfalls? </li></ul><ul><li>Closing Thoughts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consulting Arrangements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-Sales or Post-Sales Roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What Makes a Successful Engagement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risks and Rewards </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Consulting Arrangements <ul><li>What do I do when I get an email from a headhunter about a “job”? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider your current situation carefully before making a decision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Realistically evaluate the pros and cons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will I be a W2 Employee/ 1099 Contractor or Corp-to-Corp? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short-term contract assignments are commonly available to someone. These are usually local opportunities. Think about the right arrangement. W2 means you get paid consistently and may have some benefits. 1099 Contractors provides a higher rate but you are responsible for taxes and insurance. Corp-to-Corp is an option only if you have the business incorporation entity. Caution: some contracts are structured “you get paid when we get paid.” Beware of tax man. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will I Join a Consulting Firm and Travel to their Client Sites? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For someone who has advanced skills and education, a professional tiered-consulting firm may be a good fit. The advantage is steady work, someone is marketing your services and the overhead is covered by the consulting company. May be virtual. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will I Start a Consulting Practice and ‘Broker’ Resources? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This provides the capable small business owner to leverage multiple resources to client contacts and sell/ mark-up their services for a fee off the top of their rate. This allows someone who has key contacts to multiply the consulting fees. This does not limit a person to only making money by working at the one client dilemma. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Pre-Sales or Post-Sales Roles Project Management – You would rather focus on delivery. Client Interaction – You focus on client needs on-site and ensuring project success. Technology – You understand both the business and technology needs and have a technical background. Solution – Develop a solution and set direction for others to meet the high-level requirements. People – You would rather lead others and demonstrate your skills in project lifecycle/ methodology. Sales – You would rather be in front of the client and you have developed superior ‘soft-skills’. Contracts – You can prepare a sales proposal that meets contract requirements and sell it. Presentations – You can stand in front of executives and perform. Closing Ability – You are highly self-motivated and can adeptly ‘close’ a sale. Motivation – You have a ‘hunter’ mentality and can generate leads in casual conversations. Post-Sales: Pre-Sales:
  22. 22. Post-Sales Capabilities Analysis How the system will work from the perspective of the user and external systems Design How the internals of the system will work <ul><li>Detailed Design (How) </li></ul><ul><li>Class Model </li></ul><ul><li>Sequence Diagrams </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Data Model </li></ul><ul><li>Business Case (Why) </li></ul><ul><li>Business Problem Statement </li></ul><ul><li>Success Criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Solution Alternative Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture/HL Design (How) </li></ul><ul><li>Logical Application Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Application Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Logical Deployment Diagram </li></ul><ul><li>Software Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Specifications (Solution) </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed Screen Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed Report Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>External Interface Data Mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Logical Data Model </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements (Scope) </li></ul><ul><li>Business Process Flows </li></ul><ul><li>Functional Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Functional Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Integration/System Test </li></ul><ul><li>Test Cases </li></ul><ul><li>Test Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Test Scripts </li></ul>Test Definition Concept Detailed Design
  23. 23. What Makes a Successful Engagement? <ul><li>First and foremost, the company's managers should define the problem they need the consultant to address. Using probing questions to go beyond superficial symptoms to underlying causes, the managers should attempt to state the problem in writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Next, the company manager should define the expected results of the consulting experience. The objectives the managers come up with should be clear, realistic, and measurable. </li></ul><ul><li>The company should explain the problem fully and honestly, in as positive terms as possible, and ask employees for their understanding and cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>When employees feel surprised or threatened, they may hamper the consultant's efforts by withholding information or not providing honest opinions. It is also helpful to gather all important company documents relating to the problem in order to make them available to the consultant. </li></ul><ul><li>The consultant's job will be easier if they have ample information about both the company and the problem at hand. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Career Decisions <ul><li>The IT Consulting Professional is Foremost a Career Decision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It may done to close the gap between periods of fulltime employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It may done because it provides the right blend of challenge and rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A a result of the trend toward corporate downsizing, many companies have found that they lack the internal manpower to complete all necessary tasks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good consultant can fulfill these on-going needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A good consultant can leverage a broad set of experiences to add value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A good consultant is adaptable and motivated by challenging projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A good consultant is confident in his/her ability to perform above expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A good consultant can save a company lots of money on critical initiatives </li></ul></ul>Consultants can be very expensive, although their expertise can prove invaluable.
  25. 25. Risks and Rewards Rewards <ul><li>You Can Develop an Impressive Resume’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You demonstrate adaptability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can achieve high productivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You get paid for hours worked overtime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You have shown you can handle high-stress projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Client engagement shows industry knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You May be Able to Multiply Your Income </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially consulting is attractive because it looks like more money and adventurous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you make the right choices you may be able to secure a lasting income greater than what you make now, with variety of projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you can specialize in a certain specialty area that has staying power, it may be a lifestyle that is something you enjoy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You become successful at something you love to do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You do work that is challenging, exciting and often changing to meet your needs </li></ul></ul>Risks <ul><li>Your Resume will Appear to Be Spotty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short client engagements are difficult to explain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You appear to be bored with fulltime work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If done consulting for more than 5 years </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And especially if were an independent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You have to prove you are corporate-savvy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You May end up Decreasing Your Income </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You could under estimate the ability to move into a role that you excel at </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The instability of some contract consulting assignments could discourage you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The amount of net earnings is below what you could have made as an employee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The market changes and you end up taking a an assignment below your market rate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You could become a career consultant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is more difficult to ‘convert’ back to fulltime if you have mostly done consulting positions on your resume’ </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Questions?
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