- Chapter 31: Working with Consultants
- Working with Consultants
- What Are Your Needs?
- Project Manager and Leadership
- Selecting Individual Consultants
- Work Ethic and Attitude
- Large-Scale Project Team Structure
- Preparation for Consultant: Contracts
- Preparation for Consultant: Rates and Fees
- Preparation for Consultant: Fixed-Price Contracts
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Change Managementx
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Client Involvement
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Reviewing the Original Requirements
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Weekly Status Reports
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Risk and Issues Log
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Importance of Database Administrator
- Consulting Work Environment
- Consultant Travel and Costs
- Case Studies of Consultant Behavior
- Case Studies of Client Behavior
Consultant Travel and Costs
One area where a client can gain greater productivity from its consultants involves travel requirements. It is generally necessary for most functional consultants to spend a high percentage of their time on-site at the client site. This is because of the high level of interaction between the consultant and the functional user. However, there are some situations where these consultants can productively work remotely if they have conference calls, e-mail, a fax machine, and dial-up access to your system.
With technical consultants, there are more opportunities for remote work. If a consultant is implementing new reports and if a detailed reports requirements analysis has already occurred, the technical consultant can document, design, and develop reports remotely.
Of course, careful management should occur when consultants work remotely. Not every human is trustworthy. You really need to address each situation on a case-by-case basis. However, many consultants can work remotely with great success. When this occurs, the client saves more than the time and expense of travel-related costs. The client can gain in productivity if the consultant can manage her time without typical office distractions (assuming that these distractions have not merely been replaced by other distractions at home).
Another area that can affect productivity involves the four-day work week. Most consultants respond positively when they can work hard and focus over four days to produce 40 hours of work. By traveling home, they have one weekday at home to handle typical family issues such as doctor and dentist appointments. Then, they actually have a weekend like normal working Americans. Why is this important to the client? This is important because you are reducing the likelihood that your consultant will achieve project/travel burnout. At least you are delaying when the effects will set in. Another benefit is that users have at least one day a week to perform their normal jobs without interruption from the consultant.