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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Figuring Out Your Role as an IT Consultant

A customer typically hires you as an IT consultant in order to reach a goal he has set, and your main function is to advise him on how to meet this goal. Although there is more of a trend towards hiring an IT consultant to simply advise, sometimes you may want to carry out a planned project yourself.

There are three different roles you can play as an IT consultant: the advisory role; the advisory and action role; and the action role. Determining which one to play will depend upon the client’s style, how you work together and the nature of the project.

ADVISORY ROLE

The most common role you will play as an IT consultant is that of an advisor to the client. You will need to research and investigate, then review the information you collect. After you’ve evaluated everything you find, you present a report and recommendations for the next steps to your client, and your client is responsible for carrying out these steps.

ADVISORY AND ACTION

Sometimes as an IT consultant you will be asked to be both an advisor and the person that carries out the plan you determine. This is a more profitable role for you because you will be paid for your time spent advising and working on the project; it will also be a much more satisfying role because you will get to see all the aspects of the project completed. However, you have to be sure you have the required skills to carry out the entire project before proceeding.

ACTION

Sometimes a client will have a project planned and evaluated, and they simply need an IT consultant to complete it for them. If you have the skills to complete the job, this can be an easy task because you have the guidelines already set for you.

Regardless of what role you take as an IT consultant, you are responsible for completing the job assigned by your clients in a way that best meets their needs. Your role will most likely change depending upon the project, and you should gauge it by the method that will be best for your client.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg