Here’s how consultancy works if you happen to be a government agency or a large private-sector company with bad control of your finances.
Phase I – Preparation
First you have The Idea about setting up a system to manage all your information.
Then you set up an internal ad-hoc group to develop the idea. None of these people should know the first thing about technology, but you should make sure they’re all on expenses.
After that, arrange regular meetings to discuss progress, ideally several hundred miles from your head office.
On no account should you hire an experienced professional to advise at this stage. Instead, you need to consult widely, among other people who know nothing about technology. The best place to find this level of ignorance is in senior management.
You should hold a two-day seminar in an expensive spa resort and gauge feedback. Make sure to set up focus groups, working parties and task forces. And a golf outing.
Eventually, the person who first thought of the idea will write up a request for proposals.
Next, make sure that the person who approves the expenses gets credit for the idea.
Appoint a consultant. Agree fees for final delivery and hourly rates.
Go back to the expensive spa resort for the consultant’s presentation.
The consultant will provide a list of technical buzz-phrases. Write these down for future regurgitation at management meetings. Repeat them at every opportunity.
Vitally Important!!! Believe everything the consultant tells you.
Phase II – Implementation
Create an implementation team. Ideally, the team will consist of staff members who know absolutely nothing about the technology.
Pay consultant to train the implementation team at €12,000 per day.
Pay consultant to produce implementation manual.
Once implementation team is trained, agree deadlines for delivery. Agree payments to consultant for team’s failure to meet delivery deadlines.
Phase III – Slippage
Implementation team fails to understand consultant’s manual.
Project falls behind.
Consultant supplies support staff at €12,000 per day to help client meet deadline.
Phase III – Realisation
Project fails to meet specification.
Search for scapegoats begins.
Consultant in the clear thanks to to well-constructed contract and failure of implementation team to meet deadlines.
Senior management in the clear thanks to specialised nature of project.
Phase IV – Retribution
Blame the person who had the idea in the first place.
Phase V — Official launch.
Book an expensive spa resort.
Invite the media.
Set up an internal ad-hoc group to promote the initiative.
None of these people should know the first thing about public relations or technology, but you should make sure they’re all on expenses.
Phase VI — Abandoning the Plan
Quietly walk away from all mention of this idea.
Lose the files.
Declare it a great success.
Wait several years and then put it in your CV.
Phase VII– Closing it Out
Consultant moves on to next corporate client.
You join senior management.