What do Clients pay for?

Consultants as Jesus/Superheros?   (psst… It’s a joke, no hate mail please).    I’ve been spending some time today talking to folks about the state of solution developers but also consultants in general.     It’s worth mentioning.    What do clients expect?   There are three ways that consultants spend time…  ( read on please )

I know this might seem sad, but in many cases,  clients won’t call for a consultant until it’s too late.    They call for help right before they die.    Additionally, sometimes clients just call in consultants to get an opinion that is perhaps free from company politics.   A consultant can come in and borrow your watch and tell you the time.    🙂

Now, following are the three activities of consultants…

Here’s the core point.   There are always three activities that are involved in consulting:

  1. Clients correctly want to pay you for outstanding services rendered.    Well, duh.   I think this reflects a certain amount of common sense, but I might add that they pay you as a form of insurance in case something goes wrong,   someone to place blame.  I did consult with a Fortune 200 company to bring them into modern technology and I considered that they kept me around for an extra year to provide a sense of E-Commerce psycho-therapy.     ( Transformational Leadership )
  2. Clients rarely want to pay you for learning new technology, but the core idea here is that consultants rarely understand your business and technology.     I remember the day I started working at a large Fortune corporation and I lost the little cubicle they had given me on starting day….   oops.    ( I did find it, eventually ).
  3. Clients never want to pay you for correcting the mistakes you made.    However, we could debate about an idea, a principle.   Software systems rarely seem to get really reliable until the third release…    Everyone wants it perfect right out of the gate…    For my own perspective,  I try to avoid ultimate embarrassment, and that’s a bit of a joke..   but if you are not at NASA, and let’s say you are designing something for the hotshot internet…   You want to get it out the door and clean it up along the way.    A lot of systems are improved after people discover the usability or lack of it.

 

 

 

Author: Steve Edens

Solution Architect and sometimes digital sociologist / artist. Steve Edens is a veteran of developing business applications and formerlly Quality Manager for IBM.

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