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VSarkiss (704)

VSarkiss
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I haven't really taken the time to set this up, but you can look at my home node [perlmonks.org] on Perl Monks.

Journal of VSarkiss (704)

Monday September 16, 2002
10:31 AM

Managing your consultant

[ #7757 ]

It never ceases to amaze me when people hire a consultant, and then have to prove that they're smarter. It's almost like they're trying to say, "See, I don't really need you because I'm smarter than you." I learned years ago not to get into this kind of pissing contest, but it still surprises me when it happens. Money-wise, it costs them the same since I charge the same rate for whatever they ask me to do. But the real cost is that it gets our working relationship off to a weak start.

Rarely, I've been lucky to have clients who split the work up cleanly and said, "Take this chunk, make it work." My last client was typical of the more-common case: I got meaningless debates over how I should and shouldn't do something by people who knew neither the business nor the technology. But that's not a function of being a consultant: that's just working for bad versus good management. Hopefully things won't deteriorate to that point with this client.

Man, these last few journal entries are really whiny. I've got to cut this out. ;-)

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  • Eh, don't worry about your entries sounding whiny. Like the mass media, it's easier to report the planes that crash rather than the planes that land.

    As for your consultant woes: I have a friend who went on vacation and his boss, without telling my friend, hired a Microsoft Security Consultant (stop laughing) to review my friend's work. My friend has been working weekends to fix what the consultant broke.

    From my experiences with consultants, I find that they are hired either as additional manpower (pa

    • as additional manpower (pardon the implicit sexism)

      Heh. It's called "staff augmentation", mainly because it sounds better than "body shop".

      I understand your point: how do you know the person you brought in knows what s/he is talking about. But again, it's not a consultant thing. You have the same issue with new "permanent" hires as well. Essentially, you interview, do your homework, and use your best judgement. Even if you don't have expertise in a particular area, it's usually easy to spot a phony.