It is all about the People
When you think about the consulting firm that you just hired – did a guy named IBM walk through the door? I have never met Mr. IBM or Ms. Accenture. Did you hire a company name or did you hire the people that company provided?
I am not saying that these companies cannot get the job done. If you get the best people from those companies they will perform as well as the best people from other consulting firms. The model of a “partner” of a large consulting firm walking through the door and delivering solutions with smoke and mirrors and 10 “newbies” is long becoming a thing of the past. The decision makers within companies are seeking value for every resource on the job. They don’t want to be teaching the latest crop of employees how to be a consultant; they want results for each dollar spent.
Two simple rules to delivering more with less:
#1 Build Strong Relationships
A strong relationship is a key component to finalizing a sale and delivering a successful project. When the bond between the client and the consulting team is good then even bad news (budget cuts, budget over run, scope creep, etc.) from either side can be rationalized and resolved and each team can become productive again quickly. When there is animosity then bad news can linger and slow progress on all fronts. One side will use this bad news to show why the other side was the problem. Sounds simple, but it is true.
Strong relationships equal a faster road to success.
#2 Hire smart, experienced resources and do more with less people
You may make a larger margin on a less experienced resource, but you won’t deliver a high quality project, if you deliver at all. When hiring, I have always focused on finding resources with lots of experience and a personality that meshes with the client and project. Do smarter, more experienced people deliver more? Yes! A smaller team of more experienced people will deliver a project faster and for less money than that of a larger team of inexperienced people. Your cost per hour may be higher, but the amount of resources and hours worked will be smaller – the net is you save money.
When you combine a solid methodology with experience and a focus on quality you will deliver more with less people.