How to Select a Consultant
When choosing a consultant it is
good to know that there are basically three different types of these IT
Choosing the right consultant requires knowledge of types of consultants
available. The correct choice may determine the success of your computer system, project,
How To Select an IT Consultant who are just thinkers and writers.
They come in to your company and identify an overall solution to your computer
or data processing issue/task. This solution is usually a high-level
management-type document that describes the general solution and may identify
or recommend a technology set to go along with the solution.
How To Choose A Programming Consultant - thinks and does some or
directly manages the work of creating an IT solution. This individual is
more of a jack of all trades and usually has the skills to find and
identify the solution, sell the solution to management, and finally do it or see that
it gets done.
How To Pick A Contract Programmer - these are the folks who only
deal with doing the program/database coding. Typically they must be
managed day to day, these days you'll find many contract programmers who's primary
language is not English.
As with all disciplines the skills and ability of the
above individuals varies widely, as do the amount they'll charge for the work.
Beginners in each of these fields will usually charge by the hour and will
include every minute, including phone calls and fixing their mistake. We
have heard horror stories of programmer consultants/contract programmers
delivering code late and unworkable. Then when asked to make it work they want
What is Blue Claw Database Design?
Good question - over the last 25 years we've done all the
above type of IT consultant work. Nowadays we best fit into the
Programming Consultant description. Here are some key characteristics of
We normally work in fixed-price mode. Prices
are based on what type of group you are (individual, startup company, large
corporation), the complexity of the project, your ability to communicate
your needs and understand a proposed solution.
We have decided on the technology set we use -
specifically Microsoft Access. However, we have experience with all
levels of database application development and therefore we are up front about
what we will do and what is likely to be best for your data processing project.
And, if it is not a good fit for us will will try to recommend a consultant
who can/will do it.
We never charge for fixing our mistakes. We have recently created a process to reduce the number of
'delivered bugs' - key to this process is association with an
outside/independent quality assurance group.
What's Next in How To Select a Consultant?
prospective programmer or consultant to find out what 'type' they are.
Can you communicate with them? Do they pick up on what your business is
about quickly? Have they done similar work - in fact or concept?
Get references (2 or 3) and check each reference. Don't forget to ask
about responsiveness to support requests after delivery and final payment was
Be concerned if a programmer will not give you access to the source code.
If they are a small shop with just a few programmers then insist on it -
otherwise move on to someone else.
We hope this article has provided you with valuable information on how to select a consultant.