Having spent the greater part of the last 8 years as an ITSM consultant (20 years if I consider the internal roles I had within some organizations), I have developed a philosophy around the practice. Contrary to what is commonly sold as “consultancy” in the industry, a consultants role is to be more than a body in a seat to do additional work because there are no FTE’s within the company to get it done. The terms “consultant” and “contractor” are all too often used interchangeably. Effective consultancy requires a certain balance in the relationship between the customer and the consultant.
The effective consultant enables his/her customer to reach further into the culture of the organization and influence change in ways that would otherwise not be possible. Providing the external support and objectivity required to socialize and institutionalize meaningful change. The consultants role is to make the customer successful. In essence, the consultants job is to impart knowledge, skills, and capabilities to the organization so that the organization can realize benefits far beyond the term of the engagement. When an organization institutionalizes these capabilities, the capabilities become assets to them. This requires a commitment from the customer as well.
The customers role in a successful engagement is to provide the resources necessary to successfully realize the benefits. When the knowledge, skills and capability assets are developed they need to be owned, nurtured and exploited. The consultant can not take on accountability for that. A consultant should make sure that every asset he/she is developing has an owner within the customer organization and that the asset is positioned for long term value.
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