The consultant (and I use this term loosely) stood there and contradicted everything that his client (and mine) had just said. Bold-faced, to her face, contradicted!
Now I had been on the project long enough to know that this particular business team member knew her business policies and procedures intimately; in fact, she had written several of them in her pre-project role within the business organization. Every time she explained this functional requirement, she explained it in exactly the same way; so it was a mystery to me and the business team why this consultant (and I use this term loosely) was arguing.
I also knew this particular consultant (and I use this term loosely) as a pontificating, self-aggrandizing, several-French-fries-short-of-a-Happy-Meal, IT systems analyst. He wasn’t getting it. The business analyst drew the logic on the whiteboard for the umpteenth time. But Mr. Half-a-Happy-Meal dug in, insisting that the way the functionality worked was the way his team had programmed it.
On the probability scale of 1 to 100 of who was correct, where would you put the business team member? Where would you put the consultant (and I use this term loosely)? Me too.
I see this on every project. Is there a defective gene that makes its way into this certain IT analysts? Even if he was right, why would he publicly contradict the one person who has it in her power to keep him out of trouble? Especially with many, many defects that would yet be discovered as the product of his analytical “expertise”?
WHY DO THESE TYPES OF CONSULTANTS (…L-O-O-O-SELY!) ASSUME THEY ARE 100% RIGHT ALL OF THE TIME, WHILE THEIR BUSINESS COUNTERPARTS ARE 100% WRONG? ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!
Where do so many consultants go wrong? It’s in situations like this. They hate to be wrong. Fine, be right. In fact, be right all of the time. But would you rather be right or successful?True partnership comes from give-and-take, from healthy exchanges to truly understand the system requirements. In my experience, seldom have I seen the IT side bat even close to .500 when it comes to defining the functional requirements for a new system (even .250 would make me happy).
A true consultant relies on his business teams’ knowledge and expertise.
[If you’re looking for an upbeat keynote speaker, an experienced seminar leader, an on-site project management coach, or an expert in project oversight and IV&V, you need look no further. Contact Merv to help guarantee your project delivery success.]
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