Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Using consultants for big picture insight

Few software engineers and software architects have the privilege of being meaningfully involved in so many initiatives that they see the big picture of where the organization is going. This does not apply to all architects and all organizations, so this tip is for large organizations.

If your organization is using consultants to help on various projects you should consider tapping into their experiences for a big picture perspective. Yes, they will ask you to fund the time they spend gathering the data and creating a presentation, but the insight may be worth the time and money. It’s always very beneficial to have a third party provide feedback on the elements you don’t have time or ability to see.

Caveats: only work off the existing trust level. If there is no trust between you and a consulting group you won’t benefit from provided insight. Pay attention to the recommendations and the consultants’ line of work – they may be consciously or subconsciously selling you more work (and you should expect them to do so). Reflect on the findings and synthesize with your current and future activities. This may be a good time to review your organization’s strategic plan and objectives (if it exists).

Constantin K.
Firebrand Architect®

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