An Information Technology Consultant is an IT professional offering specialist expertise on a short or long-term basis. A good time to bring a consultant on board is at the start of a new business or as you embark on the next step of expansion. In addition, consultants can assist businesses to transition to the latest technology perhaps previously looked after by the business owners. This situation isn’t uncommon as the business owners can begin to struggle with the increasing complexity and size of their IT requirements. The key to successfully working with IT consultants is to provide a clear brief about expectations and deliverables together with appropriate resources.
8 Steps to Consider When Contracting an Information Technology Consultant
- Create a Balanced Relationship
Consultants can be an expensive but cost-effective resource, so be sure to guide them carefully. However, don’t be too controlling as this may stifle their productivity.
- Be Clear About Roles
Make it clear to everyone involved in the project exactly what is expected of the consultant. After all, they’ll be part of your fulltime team for weeks or months. Furthermore, discuss any underlying issues and be sure to let them know who are the key stakeholders.
- Define Direction
It’s a good idea to create measurable goals. These will help clarify your expectations and allow for measurement of progress.
- Scope Control
Projects change and grow as they progress. However, you may have to say no to any further increase in expenditure. Therefore, make sure you set clear targets, budgets and priorities before you begin.
- Hit the Ground Running
While consultants shouldn’t need as much onboarding as new employees, they will need help getting to know the team, organisation and project goals. Therefore, be ready before they start, provide sufficient briefing documents and introduce them to the entire team as soon as possible.
- Build Trust
Bringing in an outside consultant can create tensions with your team. They may feel threatened or insecure. So, it’s important to make sure they are clear about the reasons and outcome expectations. Moreover, ensure they realise the consultant doesn’t reflect a failure on anyone’s part.
- Provide Feedback
An information technology consultant needs feedback. Therefore, regularly let them know where things are going well and where they can improve.
- Keep Monitoring
Most IT consultancy service contracts are based on parameters that ensure your consultant will remain efficient and effective. However, be wary of any slippages over time and above all, keep communicating.