The Contractor vs Consultant
Do you know the difference between a Consultant and a Contractor? Does the company you hired know the difference? The terms, Contractor and Consultant tend to be used interchangeably but the reality is that they are quite unique. When it comes to IT projects in general and IBM Maximo projects specifically, it’s of utmost importance for you to know the difference. Not understanding the differences can lead to frustration and extended costs when it comes to your projects.
Organizations hire 3rd party companies with the intention of having assistance in implementing their business vision and utilizing their contracted partner to help guide them. However, some of these same organizations do not understand or during the project will tend to forget how a Contractor functions versus a Consultant.
The Contractor Role
The role of the contractor is to translate your requirements and simply execute the work. At ITS, we call this “moving the dirt pile”. You want the dirt pile moved over to the left. No problem, we move it to the left. While this may seem straight forward, it can come with an additional price when additional work is required when you discover that what you asked for isn’t what you really wanted.
You see, a contractor does not provide you with the expert helpful insight that what you originally asked for isn’t aligned with what you really require business wise. You asked for A, and you get A when you really needed B or C.
The Consultant Role
On the other hand, a Consultant knows that while you asked to move the dirt pile to the left, you will eventually want it moved to the right because you haven’t factored in the impact of what all you are asking for.
This is because the Consultant is considered an expert and it is the job of the Consultant to review your requirements and provide feedback on the best path to take, considering any drawbacks of the current intended path, and determining the potential future impacts prior to doing any work.
At times, the suggestions of the Consultant can lend itself to confrontations. This is because sometimes there can be personal ownership in developed requirements or perhaps a storied history that factors into decisions that were made long before the Consultant came on board.
You must remember that the consultant wants the same thing that you do and many times sees the impending car crash long before you might. Working with the Consultant should be a true partnership because your goals are also the Consultant’s goals. Therefore, this is why you need a Consultant and not just a Contractor handling your assets with IBM Maximo or other IT projects.