Why Consultants Must Use Innovative Digital Technologies for Client Successes
An owner of a landscaping company cannot get grass to grow in his own backyard.
A bariatric surgeon who is 45 pounds overweight and smokes 2 packs a day.
The organizational expert hoarding copies of ‘This Old House,’ circa 1998.
A highway patrol person ignoring a stash of parking tickets.
Oh, the irony. Pros in their field solving problems, delivering action plans and recipes for ongoing success who don’t follow their own advice. Ouch. But lest you believe that this irony is exclusive to landscapers and doctors, think again dear consultant. Think about your most recent AI, machine learning, digital transformation or ERP project. How did you engage the client? How did you gather requirements? How did you maintain the system of record? If the answer includes references to paper, pen, flip charts and offline workbooks, then please add your name to the list above.
Your job as a consultant is to help your client achieve their business goals. Whether its spearheading a digital transformation project or launching an enterprise app deployment, your clients expect a certain level of technological expertise and innovation. They’ll look at your cultural mindset and evaluate what drives your digital transformation. And in a world of process automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning isn’t it counter intuitive to tout your innovative solutions and cutting-edge technology with a spreadsheet, workbook and 95 Powerpoint slides?
Collaborative Digital Spreadsheets (vs offline workbooks)
If you’re process utilizes offline workbooks (think old school excel workbooks to configure enterprise apps for clients), then your team is missing an opportunity to practice what you preach. Sure, Excel is great, but as a decentralized desktop application, it’s not meant for deep collaboration or project management. Things like task dependencies or change requests become burdensome and hopelessly inefficient. More importantly, since Excel is a desktop application, it is completely out of touch with the collaborative and transformative technologies that your client wants to see from the Pro.
Collaborative Decision Making & Prioritization Tools
If you’re team is circling the globe facilitating workshops with flip charts, sticky notes and number two pencils or if your collaborative decisions are made via email chains or Friday afternoon multi-time-zone conference calls then add another missed opportunity to your list. Let’s break this down. For a multi-national client, neither of these approaches are practical nor cost effective. You’re talking about costly facilitators, burdensome travel budgets and reduced collaboration. Worse still, you’re running the risk of a major project fail. Again, the irony here is that your team is implementing innovative digital transformation solutions using truly outdated engagement methods.
Reusable Assets & Data
If you’re gathering information from your client with questionnaires and emails, be prepared for incomplete and inaccurate data. Office politics, project mismanagement, sparring silos – when paired with apathy and disengagement – don’t often equal the truth. Using templates? No one can argue the value of reduce, reuse and recycle, but if your templates are circa 2004, we need to talk.
Instead, it’s far more productive to gather your project requirements in a real-time, automated digital format that gives you the ability to capture hundreds of ideas in minutes. It’s far more effective to use a Digital Client Engagement system that preserves nearly every interaction, every idea and every requirement in a re-usable – and highly proprietary way.
Imagine the impact of guiding your clients through requirements gathering, using the sanitized benchmark data from hundreds of prior implementations. Imagine how quickly you can speed time-to-value when you already have a blue print for success, embedded within your methodology.