No matter how talented an IT team is, not every business is able to have software development resources with the skills to take on enterprise software projects on their payroll. Fortunately, software consultants are able to step into this role when needed, providing expertise on the market, business, industry, and the software solutions that meet those needs.
But, there are approximately 478 thousand IT consulting companies in the United States, and you really only need one. So how can you find the right consultant for your software management needs?
Defining a Software Management Consultant
First, let’s clarify the role: A software consultant is an IT professional who is hired to provide guidance on strategy, design, building and/or implementation of business software. They may carry out these tasks alongside software developers, and are typically experienced developers themselves.
Per the title, these professionals focus mainly on consulting, or, offering expert advice. They can provide an independent and unbiased check of current business and tech plans, honing in on tech-related weak spots and areas for improvement within business operations before proposing solutions. Unlike engineers, software management consultants do not build, design, or develop the software. A consultant makes the plan and software engineers make it happen.
Finding Your Next Software Management Consultant
Finding the right software management consultant for your business takes time and involves evaluation of more than simply expertise and work approach. When choosing a consultant, keep the following things in mind:
- Trust. Whether your software solution is out-of-the-box or a custom build, it’s going to be a large investment that is important to the business. If you can’t trust your software management consultant to deliver as promised, your company could be out more than just money. Make sure a prospective consultant can demonstrate competence by reviewing some of their previous work. Next, outline clear requirements, deliverables, schedules, and pricing in a Statement of Work. Finally, a good consultant will offer reasonable payment schedules.
- Knowledge. You need to be confident that your candidate can handle the real-life challenges your project will throw at them. Make sure your consultant’s specialty fits your needs by asking questions or giving situations that are as close as possible to the real thing they’ll be doing should you hire them. Are they familiar with the industry and trends, as well as specific project skills needed?
- Keep Looking. It can take time to find the right consultant, so don’t settle just to get something done. Continue to engage with candidates, checking platforms, referrals, prospects, recruitment channels, and more.
- Try Them. While you may not be able to validate everything in the recruitment process, giving candidates a set of paid trial tasks can reveal how quickly the candidate will grasp what you need, and whether or not they can get along well enough with your team to accomplish it.
Partner With ASI’s Software Consultants
The right software management consultant will look at technology first from the business perspective, offering advice on the latest tech trends and best practices. The goal is always to help clients make better business decisions. Software consultants will also tend to look at the bigger picture, thinking outside the box. They’ll keep marketing goals and business objectives in mind, while also ensuring that engineering adjustments and decisions are within the agreed-upon budget, timeline, and requirements.
Not all software management consultants are created equal, but a good one can be an invaluable partner in creating and deploying new software. At ASI, when we establish a relationship with a client, we get to know them and their business so we understand what works for your company, your employees, and your teams. Our consultants are highly trained to provide the expertise and attention necessary to accomplish your goals. But don’t just take our word for it: Request your free consultation here.