What is this thing called consulting?
How does InfusionPoints define ‘consulting’?
Consulting, and what it is, can be confusing. There are two main models: staff-augmentation, project-based, or advisory consulting. InfusionPoints follows a more project based, or Advisory consulting methodology.
While many companies use the word “consultant” loosely, staff augmentation is not consulting in the traditional sense. Staff-augmentation only provides an additional resource or resources to an existing team to get work done. The relationship between resource and consultant is not as close of bond as true consulting.
Project-based, or advisory consulting, is akin to having a partner to help with accomplishing a specific goal. Therefore, InfusionPoints follows this methodology. This type of consultant focuses on guiding or advising the client on best practices and recommendations that will make the client successful. These consultants have “skin in the game.” New projects, or work “won,” is the lifeblood of a consulting firm.
To InfusionPoints, being an advisory consultant means that one is an expert in the field in which he or she is giving professional advice; this is what’s known as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Consultants are hired to provide objective opinions or best practices, help the client resolve internal issues, and provide the client guidance on solving a problem or implementing a solution. It can also be to fill a temporary staffing gap in a scalable way. Here at InfusionPoints we have a plethora of FedRAMP SME’s, DFARS SME’s and SOC SME’s.
No one person can be an expert at everything; therefore, consultants must get training for the specific advice they will be giving, such as advise on cloud platforms, security, etc. Consultants must remember that they are at the buyer’s perception of value add. InfusionPoints encourages each of our consultants to pursue certifications needed to enhance their careers and to better expand their knowledge base in their field. Each consultant has at least one certification in either AWS, Azure or a technical certification like a CISSP and PMP.
Consultants can act in an advisory role but also in an implementation role in which they help revitalize processes and documents as well as work with the stakeholders. Consultants do many things such as provide solutions to bewildering problems, analyze information to refine solutions, assist in technical implementations, educate clients in a manner that will build teamwork and facilitate the client’s education of a given topic. The goal is to improve the client’s organizational effectiveness.
In addition to having the expertise and professional knowledge, consultants need the right mindset and soft skills. That’s why InfusionPoints business is 65% referral based. We are good communicators which not only involves communicating clearly and concisely but also involves listening.
What makes InfusionPoints different is we take responsibility and think critically. We understand the client’s problems and goals, think about the different approaches to solve them, and ask ourselves, “How is this task going to help the client or organization as a whole?” InfusionPoints looks at the priorities of the work, especially if they are seemingly not aligned, and makes suggestions or recommendations for best practices.
Consultants must have an ability to set realistic expectations and consider under and over-promising, in addition to under and over-delivering. Sometimes, a client will ask a consultant to do work which is likely under a tight timeline, and to be accommodating, the consultant agrees to do it. A consultant must NEVER do that without first giving it some thought as to what all is involved, what the priorities are, and how long it will take.
Consultants must be positive and have a positive attitude. Even in a first conversation or meeting, perceptions are formed. If the perception is positive, then a good relationship can be cultivated. Since consultants depend on follow-up work or associations, being professional and positive is key.
To work with a consulting company like InfusionPonts, reach out today.