Saturday, April 16, 2005

This last week has proven to be quite a busy week!
Juggling with three Sharepoint projects, switching to another team, being headhunted for the position of Product Consultant within an international company while I am still in the process of negotiating my current transfer; who said IT was boring?

The position of Product Consultant has left me pondering the following question:

"What is the definition of a Consultant?"

After consulting (...) a few of my superiors I came back with a wide array of answers. I wasn't satisfied with the answers I got. And I have gotten the suspicion that I won't get a good answer either.

My Definition of a Consultant

In my (limited) opinion a 'good' Consultant should have at least the following skillset and be knowledgeable in the following area's:
  1. Know Technology
    Whatever the area of expertise, whenever we are talking about a techno Consultant, he or she should have a firm grasp of the technologies involved. What are the pitfalls, what are the opportunities, how to asses, use and implement it etcetera.
  2. Know People
    Your expertise isn't going to be of any use when you aren't a people person. How else will you motivate others, how will you get 'the question behind the question', get the feel for the politics involved?
  3. Know Management
    Knowledge of the technologies involved, coupled with interpersonal skills alone isn't enough. Management-type skills are obligatory! How else will you succeed at managing your projects, choosing which development methodology is best suited for this situation, how to get a grip with an escalation gotten out of hand?

In my opinion these three area's are obligatory for any consultant.

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