The following comment came across my desk this morning. It was in response to a question on our current survey about plans to use – or not to use – a particular consultant again. The person taking the survey [name, company and location is being withheld] indicated they would NOT be using the consultants again.
When asked, ‘Why?”, they responded,
“They knew their product, but remained entirely dependent upon our company's project team for any attempt at understanding the business. So - the project team was made up of one or two of our IT staff, one or two key employees from the business areas involved, and the consultants who knew the product. What was missing was a true business analyst. Essentially we had a team of 'order takers' but nobody trying to understand and guide us as to where we should be going. As a result, our project has taken 2 years longer than originally planned (and we are not live yet.) We are implementing a configured system to accommodate evey [sic] little twist and turn in our business rules. We should have done a process re-engineering before implementing.”
So, who’s at fault? Without knowing all the details, I'm inclined to say that both parties – the client and the consultant – were at fault.
The client apparently didn’t do their homework. They didn’t understand what was involved in implementing this system and clearly didn’t understand that it would have been appropriate to reengineer those business processes before attempting to put in the new system. (Anyone else think it might have been an ERP or CRM system?)
Based on the way the comment reads, the consultants were either a captive implementation group or were independent and very familiar with that specific product. The issue of paving the cow path is not a new phenomena. That they didn’t INSIST and REQUIRE that their client first do the required front end work tells me they were more concerned with their billings than the well being of their client.
Looks like both parties were at fault. And it also looks like the consultants were engaging in patently unethical behavior.