Criteria For Evaluating Consultants – Risk of Independent Consultants
I have a client that we began working with about a year ago. They previously used another firm that had lost a lot of people, some of whom become “independents”. One such person had written an interface for them and they wanted it modified. So they called the “independent “ in without our knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, we play well with others - but communication is the key! The “independent” for some reason decided to upgrade their Cognos Finance, knowing they had Cognos Planning integrated with CF, but not thinking about the ramifications on upgrading one piece at a time. Choo Choo Choo, do you hear the train coming down the track? Yes train wreck ahead! So I get the distress call! "HELP!!!" As you suspected the “independent” killed access to the entire planning system and they were getting ready for a forecast.
So I asked, “Can I speak with him to see what happened in hopes that we can fix it faster?”
“No, he’s unavailable”.
“Is he in the bar drinking?” I asked.
“No he left,” they replied “What do you mean he left???”
“Ummm, he’s on a plane going home.”
Stunned, I asked, “Are you kidding me? Let me get this straight, he decided to upgrade a piece knowing there was integration with other moving parts, blew up the system and LEFT?”
“Yes, he said, “I don’t know how to fix it, call Lodestar" and left.” Needless to say our technical team stepped in and working with the clients IT department, were able to get them up and running before their forecast was due.MORAL OF THE STORY! Independents typically work alone and can’t fix it if they screw up. You do not control them, so they can leave if they want.
MY QUESTION – Do you think the “independent” billed them for his time and travel?