- 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
Selecting Individual Consultants
After the manager has been selected, it is time to identify the specific consultants who will participate on the project team. Direct product experience again is emphasized here. Additionally, you will review other aspects of the selection process itself.
If you are new to the Oracle world, be careful about assuming that you need x number of Oracle consultants (where Oracle here is defined as anyone who has implemented a project on an Oracle database). The questions should be the following:
How many Oracle Accounts Receivable consultants do we need?
Should these consultants be functional or technical?
What are the differences between an Oracle HR/Payroll consultant and an Oracle Manufacturing consultant?
Do these different products truly require a different skill set from one consultant to another?
The answer to these questions is that different projects require different types of consultants. By defining your project goals and requirements as described earlier, you can better attempt to match individual consultant skills with your specific requirements. Please refer to Appendix A for a further elaboration on the many types of Oracle Application skill sets that will need to be orchestrated on your project.
After you identify the skill sets required by your consultants, you are better able to select your specific consultants. You should establish an interview process that includes both the consulting project manager and the end client himself. Be careful about a blanket acceptance of any consultants your consulting organization presents. At least be careful at first.
If this is a long-term, multiyear project (or projects), there might come a point where you have built up enough trust in the selecting abilities of the consulting project manager. However, at the onset of the project, it is recommended that the client remain involved in the selection process.
Some clients might not feel they have enough product experience to know whether the consultant in question has the appropriate experience. However, you can often pick up on various character traits of the consultant. You can learn what to look for in the event that you must interview other consultants later in the project. You can determine whether the consulting company is trying to load your project with green kids fresh out of boot camp. (Please see Appendix B for further elaboration on this issue.)
Also, consider having the consulting project manager interview each candidate as well. To have a maximum efficiency team, it is desirable that the project manager and subordinate consultants have a common set of goals and understandings. Assuming that the project manager is well experienced in managing projects, she will recognize skills and traits that might not be conducive to a productive implementation.
Finally, check references on each individual consultant where possible. What the consultants' references are saying is probably what you will be saying in the upcoming months.