Consultants infuriate me...

  interzone55 20:42 29 Aug 08
Locked

I've spent the day working on a couple of impossible tenders. The specifications for both have been written by consultants who clearly don't know what they're talking about, but probably charge handsomely for shoveling their rubbish.

First we have an archiving requirement that needs so much storage even out server hardware supplier says it's impossible to manage.

On the second tender we have a requirement for a camera where the consultants have cobbled together a minimum specification that combines the best features of 4 different cameras, not thinking that there is no camera that matches all the spec. The best bit though is the operating temperature range, must be -40°c to +50°c. This is for a school in Essex. Anyone in Essex that can confirm temperatures drop to -40° on a regular basis?

Sorry, it's been a long day and I needed to let off some steam...

  bluto1 22:32 29 Aug 08

The consultant I hate is the one who said "I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit longer for a decision about your leg. You've got a vascular problem, a nasty sore on your foot, but I can not say either way about amputation at this stage. Let's do some more tests."
I told him we've been doing tests for the past three years.
Indecision is one thing, lack of knowledge on which to base a decision is another. Just like yours.

  Jim Thing 23:46 29 Aug 08

Consultant (n): person from out of town with a sharp suit, an expensive briefcase and a great line in flannel.

  spuds 23:53 29 Aug 08

Perhaps the consultants obtained the temperature range of -40/+50 from equipment used somewhere in Canada!.

  DANZIG 00:05 30 Aug 08

Knackered up the company I work for so we have to do twice the work with half the staff.

Genius!

  robgf 01:02 30 Aug 08

I cant say that I have a very high opinion of consultants either.
I've had to work under the recommendations of a few and only one IMOP, was a competent engineer and knew what he was talking about. The others just shined it for the directors.

In some ways you have to admire them though, they come in, chat up the bosses and walk away with a large fee, usually for doing no actual work and producing no workable solutions.
Beats working for a living, if you have the gift of the gab.

  jack 08:41 30 Aug 08

So resign and become one
click here

  spuds 10:42 30 Aug 08

I like your link, especially the one advert about the person being a consultant of one form or another ;o)

I saw a few consultant's a few weeks ago, and thankfully they were all medically trained and not via an on-line advert :O))
........

On a personal note, and perhaps returning back to the subject matter. A few years ago, our local council had a massive change of IT equipment and software. The contracting company went bust, and the system failed.They brought in a second company who also had serious problems, and eventually their contract was terminated. This left the taxpayer and tenants with many headaches (and evictions) and financial shortcomings. One good point that came out of this event, was that my nephew was able to set-up an IT consultancy business on the back of previous consultants work.

Do I ask my nephew for any IT advice, thats a definite no, he charges to much :O(

  jack 10:52 30 Aug 08

Well on the basis of how governmental orgs pick their consultancies- your nephew must have a high standing to get any business.
Pitch too cheap and the individual is perceived to be not up to much ;-}

  Forum Editor 12:16 30 Aug 08

is that you are always aware of the possibility of someone talking to your client and saying "He's not much of a consultant, he didn't know that one winter 10,000 years ago the temperature in Essex dropped to minus thirty nine degrees Celsius".

So what you tend to do is over-engineer your advice - you prepare a report in which you try fo foresee every possible set of circumstances, even if the chance of some of them ever arising is remote. That way you protect the situation, and if the temperature in Billericay plunges one frosty night you can point to the report and say "Well I did specify a server that could withstand that kind of temperature drop".

When I'm advising new clients I tell them that the advice I give them will be based on theoretical scenarios, tempered with a knowledge of their specific situation, as outlined in the briefing meetings we've had. Then, when they have that in writing I invite them to discuss a solution that's tailored to suit their needs, taking into account any bugetary and operational constraints.

So far I've not been aware of anyone saying that I shovel rubbish, but then I probably wouldn't know, would I?

  anskyber 12:25 30 Aug 08

In my experience the best Consultants in almost any field, are able to do their best work if the client has some idea of what they expect.

Briefing a Consultant and providing a performance spec is at the heart of a good start to using a Consultant. The final report therefore can often reflect the ability, or sometimes the lack of it, of the commissioner.

Consultancy I think is about providing intelligent and well explained options which emerge during the process of consulting, the final report should therefore be unsurprising and a summary of the process not a single end result in itself.

If your Consultants have determined the tender spec you can be sure that either it's been explained to the commissioner or the commissioner should seek other employment.

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