I write this post having recently started my own IT consulting company, Princeton Technology Advisors, LLC. In making this career decision, I reflected on why I previously contracted with professional consultants, and how I demonstrated doing so will bring value to my projects and the organizations where I worked.
- Works with you, your team and/or your management on goals and deliverables.
- Accountability for results, schedule and costs to complete key project tasks. These tasks and goals can be identified and added to the contract, which can translate into significant economies as compared to in-house efforts.
- A proven methodology and skill set applied to the appropriate tasks.
- Creativity drawn from a robust base of prior experiences.
- No significant cost of training or “experimenting” on how to complete the assignment. The consultant will focus on achieving results. Training of in-house staff can be scheduled into the project both during execution or as the final tasks to perform.
- If your project involves purchasing a product, consider the vendor. While this may appear to be a costly upfront option (e.g. highest hourly rate), the vendor will provide well-trained product resources that will effectively perform the needed tasks.
- Large multi-disciplined contracting companies have a variety of technical resources and specialties within their in-house staff. Some specialize in a specific set of technologies. While that can provide good value to your organization, you need to be sure the companies you speak with actually have in-house staff proficient in skill sets that your project needs.
- An independent general contractor is a consultant who will manage your project and has access to a wide variety of the specialty sub-contractors needed on your project. It is often the case that the general contractor can be more cost effective and flexible as compared to specialty contractors since the team assembled is not limited to in-house resources. In addition, an independent general contractor typically does not have the overhead of larger firms.
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