How IT managers protect themselves – 7 bad Consultant tricks

How IT managers protect themselves - 7 bad Consultant tricks

So that consultants don’t pull the money out of your pocket, Dan Tynan reveals her seven meanest tricks. For example, selling complex solutions tailored to the customer, although a standardized model would be sufficient. […]

Dan Tynan from our American sister publication Infoworld is repeatedly subjected to consultant scams. He has compiled seven tricks that consultants use to get more money out of their clients’ pockets. Of course, not all consulting experts resort to the box of tricks, but some do. So that no one can say he was not warned, Tynan introduces seven consultant tricks.

1. Consultant trick:
In order for the consulting company to get the order, it makes a comparatively low offer. During the project, additional fees are added again and again, so that the final invoice is significantly higher than the original offer. Experts advise to make the tender more flexible. In this way, it is possible to avoid additional fees being incurred because the services are not included in the framework contract.

2. Consultant trick:
While the best consultants were present at the contract negotiations, the company sends newcomers after signing. Experts advise that you meet the core team of consultants who will process the order. You should check whether these are exactly the people who were advertised to you in the offer with their cvs. If they are not, you should charge for this or ask for comparably qualified ones.

3. Consultant trick:
The longer a project takes, the more the consultants earn from it. That’s why there are black sheep who deliberately use indecision and meetings and thus extend the duration of the project. The management, direction and schedule of an IT project should therefore lie with the IT manager and not with the consultants. Because the IT manager can best ensure that action is taken in his interests.

4. Consultant trick:
Especially unpleasant is the trick of data hostage-taking. If a company hires a service provider, for example to write a software or to program a website, and later wants to change the service provider, there are always unpleasant situations. Because maybe you only realize then that the source code or the domain belongs to the service provider and not to yourself.

Often the only thing that helps is to pay for the triggering or to threaten with a lawsuit, writes Dan Tynan. In order to avoid such scenarios, one should carefully examine contracts before concluding them. Any intellectual property or domains that the Service Provider sets up for you must be listed in the contract. In addition, you should make sure that logins and license information are not only available to the service provider.

5. Consultant trick:
Does a consultant repeatedly suggest to you the service or product of a particular third-party company? Then he could be involved in this with a commission, warns Dan Tynan. Often you would save much more if you negotiated directly with the third-party company and did not go the way through the consultants. You will hardly know how much a consulting company earns from initiating the contract between you and a third-party company. With the company you choose, you should always negotiate a good price yourself.

6. Consultant trick:
The sixth trick is to sell the latest and greatest to the customers. An expert denounces that consultants repeatedly sell their clients customized solutions that have to be implemented for months. A standardized solution for the needs of the customer would often be sufficient. Especially with applications, you should therefore always make sure that they really meet the needs of the company.

7. Consultant trick:
There are consultants who know the answer to all questions. And if you do not know the answer, at least do so. Taking on a project for which you are not qualified enough is probably one of the worst tricks among consultants. It does not matter whether this happens accidentally or deliberately. In order not to waste IT projects in this way and waste a lot of money, you should set feasible but short deadlines. In this way, it is possible to check again and again what the status of the IT project is at the moment and you avoid nasty surprises.

*Andrea König has been writing for CIO.de . The focus of her work for the CIO editorial team are topics related to career, social networks, the future of work and book tips for managers. Working as a freelance writer for various editorial offices is no longer a full–time job – she works full-time as a PR consultant at a Hamburg communications agency.

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