A key attribute to consider when hiring a consultant is the value of a time-efficient consultant.

A few years ago, I was doing a configuration management and product lifecycle management (PLM) system project for a division of a major international corporation. I needed to have a contact in each of the key organizations across the enterprise—a cross-functional team.

As the executives struggled to assign the team members, there was quite a bit of debate over who would have the bandwidth to work with me.

As they threw different names out and kept mentioning all the work each person was currently involved with, I asked if it would be worthwhile knowing how much time I might need on a weekly basis from each of the people. The executives thought that was a great question.

My response: most likely 30 minutes; 60 minutes tops. They were stunned. My client assured them, “he works really efficiently.” The relief on the executive’s faces was palpable. They all agreed to go with their first nominee.

What’s the point? A client wants a time efficient consultant to work as quickly and effectively as possible, not create a burden on their teams or business. After all, they have a business to run in parallel with the process improvement project.

Being efficient with the client is a key attribute of my consulting work, which is helping to make the complex simple.

Thought for the week:

 “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”  – Anais Nin
What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.


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