Spring is in the air. The snow is (mostly) gone. Grass is beginning to grow. Baseball is back in play. And your favorite team (is this the Cubs year???) is hopeful to make a run for the pennant. I’ll bet you’re asking what this has to do with using consultants? Well…nothing. I just love baseball.
Actually, there are many parallels. The decision to bring in a consultant and the process of selecting the right one can be critical to your companies’ success and our clients are often asking themselves the same questions about their team…
- Utility player or specialist? Do you need a back-up middle infielder, pinch runner, or a big hit in the 9th? Deciding what type of player you need for your role is a critical early step in the decision to bring on a Contractor. Each Major League baseball team has 25 players on their roster. With 8 starting fielders, 12 pitchers, and 1 backup catcher, that leaves 4 utility players to fill in for anyone else that goes down. No doubt your company runs lean. Like a baseball team, you don’t carry excess of any particular skill set. Most consultants have the ability to wear many hats. That’s how they make their living after all. They can be plugged into numerous situations (year-end reporting, month-close, budget/planning, interim Controller/Accounting Manager, etc.). Good consultants aren’t particular about titles. They get stuff done! But, on occasion, you require a specific skill set. Need your SEC reporting done? A utility player probably isn’t your best option in this case. You need a skill set that not only can get this completed, but can do so without creating chaos.Ask yourself…do I need a contractor who can do many things or has a specialization?
- Starting pitcher or closer? Rarely do pitchers play both roles. Teams prepare these pitchers differently for the role they are going to play for the team. Similarly in consulting, do you need someone to carry on the long-haul of an extended project or a Senior-level specialist to close it down? Consultants have made a career of focusing on one or the other. Very few are adept at both.Ask yourself…how long of a duration do I need the contractor?
- Minor league rookie or major league vet? Many projects are appropriate for a less experienced contractor (i.e. temp). Other projects need the experience of a well-versed consultant. One who understands not only how the project should be completed and the necessary steps to take, but how to navigate the corporate politics to get it done. Do you need someone to complete tasks which may require training or someone who has the experience to jump right in?Ask yourself…how much consulting experience does the contractor need and how much am I willing to train?
- Clubhouse popularity or heads down performer? Let’s face it, some players’ skills are so good the team overlooks deficiencies in the clubhouse. We all know stories about players that nobody likes but they’re tolerated because of their value. The same is true in consulting. This is a people business. Some people we like, some we don’t. Some we tolerate because we don’t have to see them that often. Is your project self-contained and isolated or does it need to interact with others? Your team? Upper management?Ask yourself…How critical is it that the contractor has a charismatic personality or can we hire based on technical skills alone?
If you don’t know the right answer the Oggi team will keep their eye on the ball. We would welcome the opportunity discuss adding a new player to your team or bringing in a consultant to assist with a special project. We can help you determine what would be the best fit for your team.