Tag Archives: consultants
Dec 20, 2010 by Rich Murnane
Like kids on Christmas morning, almost immediately after receiving and installing our favorite data quality tool at our shop we went wild and started cleansing data like crazy. After the indulgence of all this data cleansing (a data cleansing hangover?) we decided we’d take a breather and spend some cycles building metrics about our data.
Nov 18, 2010 by Phil Simon
For better or (mostly) worse, in my professional career, I have consistently found myself on projects suffering from a bevy of issues, many of which were related to data. By 2008, I had reached a tipping point: I was either going to write a book about IT project failures or see a shrink. I chose the former.
In other words, it’s rare that, as a consultant, I have the ability to influence the direction of an organization’s data management. I find myself these days in such a place. The details of my project aren’t particularly interesting to the average reader. For now, however, suffice it to say that I am building a little ETL tool that takes a bunch of data from a bunch of places, transforms it, and spits it out to a bunch of people. I’d give this about a 4 on my 1-10 scale for complexity. (Yes, I have had to build tools that scored a 14 on that same 1-10 scale before. Take me out for a beer sometime and I’ll tell you a story or two.)
Nov 15, 2010 by Joyce Norris-Montanari
Does acceptance come with time on the job? There was a time when I could get all worked up about the fact that upper management’s decision is not the one I would choose. I spent many years as a consultant, assisting management in assessing which way the corporation needs to go. Did they always listen to me? No, of course…
Nov 04, 2010 by Phil Simon
This week marks an interesting anniversary for me. One year ago, I started a consulting assignment for a fairly large hospital implementing an ERP system. This was, quite frankly, the most dysfunctional organization with which I have ever worked – and I’ve seen more than my fair share. On so many levels, this hospital had absolutely no business going live when it did. (For more on this, check out this link. It’s a long read but it’s like a traffic accident: you just can’t look away.)
In this post, I’ll return to the scene of the crime and provide a few status updates. If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this: data quality issues not addressed at the beginning of IT projects exacerbate ten-fold after ill-advised system activations.
Note that this hospital is anonymized as NEP in the case study. For the sake of consistency, I’ll keep that moniker.
Nov 01, 2010 by Joyce Norris-Montanari
Well, my time with this client is coming to a close. I have completed all the assigned tasks, given information to help their future plans and shared knowledge with the co-workers I will be leaving behind.
We have created a data strategy for corporate customer data and shared it with upper management and my team members. It included the need for a…
Oct 14, 2010 by Phil Simon
Times are tight all over, especially in the banking world. Let’s just say that my phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook with calls from financial institutions over the last few years. I suspect I’m not alone here. All companies are trying to save money these days. Most that are looking for consultants want to find those with the lowest possible rates.
Ho hum… What else is new?
Well, despite my rants on this site, on occasion a company does the right thing. It focuses on long-term data management, finding the right resource to help them get from point A to point B. This happened to me just a few hours after I returned from IDEAS 2010. (I’ll address some of the lessons learned from the conference in subsequent posts.)
Sep 21, 2010 by Robert S. Seiner
I originally published an article with this title on TDAN.com in April 2002. A recent client experience (and another potential client opportunity) got me thinking some of the same thoughts. I was going to post a blog about it, but rather I decided to revisit that piece to see if the 2002 content was still relevant today. Without a doubt — it is! In fact, I changed only a few words here and there (an artist’s work is never done) but the meaning is the same.
My thoughts … When you hire a consultant, you (the person or company doing the hiring) should expect to work hard to take advantage of the investment you have made. A recent client did not feel that Knowledge Transfer was that important and we had several conversations to that end. My consulting firm focuses on Knowledge Transfer and getting the client to take ownership. The K-I-K in KIK Consulting stands for “Knowledge is King,” and I state up front that I focus on “consultative mentoring.”
Thus I am republishing this as my blog. Please share your thoughts and experiences with the Community of Experts as well. Thank you.
Jul 01, 2010 by Phil Simon
One of my all-time favorite movies is Heat. Directed by Michael Mann, Heat is the story of a master criminal and master cop played by two actors you might know: Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino.
In perhaps the most famous scene in the movie, the two meet on screen at a coffee shop. It’s an amazing scene in which the two feel each other out, realizing that they have a great deal in common even though their professions are polar opposites.
One line from this scene has always resonated with me:
NEIL (DeNiro): You must have worked some dipsh*t crews.
VINCENT (Pacino): I worked all kinds.
You’re probably thinking right about now, “That’s great, Phil, but I really don’t care about obscure quotes from your favorite flicks.” Fair enough, but there was a point to this little diversion.
While the writing has picked up over the last six months, I continue to make most of my money via consulting. Like many consultants, sometimes I get to work with organizations that do things the right way. Of course, I also work with organizations that seem hell bent on making things as difficult as possible and maximizing their chance at failure. In other words, to channel my inner Pacino, “I worked all kinds.”
My last two projects couldn’t have been more different. To say that my last gig was challenging is the acme of understatement. I still believe I’ll see the inside of a courtroom at some point. Given that, I knew that my next assignment would be considerably less difficult. This reminds me of the time that I shot a 117 at Warrenbrook. I knew that my next round there would be better. It was. I shot a completely legitimate 87. (Golf applause.)