Tools

A Delicate Balance: It’s What We Do

by on July 16, 2012 9:30 am

What does a consultant with Keyhole Software do?

Do we do heads-down coding on software? Do we design new systems? Introduce new tools and techniques? Do we help with process? Testing? Gathering requirements? To all of these things, the answer is yes. Regardless of the reason we are brought in, our duties are to help our clients — even in areas that they didn’t yet realize they need it.

Sometimes, clients have not yet asked for all those services. The key to good consulting (what we employ at Keyhole) is to provide all services needed, without stepping on anyone’s toes, or sounding as if you are giving directives. It’s sometimes a delicate balance. No company wants a cowboy coming in telling them everything is wrong and they need to do it his way. (That will get you shown the door very quickly.) But our clients deserve to have all of the information needed for their success.

For instance, you are brought in for heads-down development. But, you see areas where the agile process can be improved. Instead of telling them they just aren’t doing Scrum right, a good consultant would offer up helpful suggestions. I would say something like: “You could improve sprint predictability by not altering sprint length.” And instead of just internally complaining about the state of the controller layer, a good consultant could show them a prototype of Spring MVC controllers in their application, illustrating just how much better it can be.

Another key is to simply roll with it. Sometimes, clients don’t want to take your suggestions, and that’s okay. Don’t get angry or frustrated and continue the good work. But do the work they ask of you and more. Continue to show how they could improve, while providing the services they ask for. I was once at a client doing development and architecture for a two-year period, all throughout suggesting agile improvements. For quite some time, those suggestions were ignored, overloaded iterations slipped, and waterfall testing continued to show a disconnect with requirements. But my team worked on and continued to make suggestions. Eventually, the organization decided to adopt Scrum company-wide.

Some consulting companies are staff augmentation. They don’t want a consultant to take on the roles that are above what they want them to do: fill a seat and bill hours. But Keyhole encourages you to grow your own skills, and encourages you to help clients. Keyhole is filled with good consultants who understand all of the above, and are willing to share their knowledge and experience to benefit the organizations we work with.

Every IT shop is a work in progress. We’re just there to help them.

– Brad Mongar, asktheteam@keyholesoftware.com

  • Share:

Leave a Reply

Things Twitter is Talking About
  • #HTML5 is a viable technology for the enterprise & a must-know for single page applications. Learn how - http://t.co/VlOjRiWZ25 #tutorial
    April 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM
  • JSF components can be used to quickly bring up a user interface. Here's a quick example using #ICEFaces: http://t.co/5YCOtIy2HE
    April 24, 2014 at 11:35 AM
  • Signed up for Keyhole's free monthly tech newsletter yet? Latest resources compiled to a quick email. Sign up here: http://t.co/F8h0NSiicZ
    April 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM
  • code smell: dev practices that leave a stench of inexperience. Avoid it in method implementation with these tips - http://t.co/b7A884BnXb
    April 23, 2014 at 9:20 PM
  • Tech Night is now! Mark D is presenting to the group on #Grunt 101. Good technology talk, food & team makes for a fantastic night.
    April 23, 2014 at 5:10 PM
  • Single Page Application architectures allow for rich, responsive UIs. #JavaScript is a must-know for SPA - http://t.co/6sfk3kt1k3 #tutorial
    April 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM
  • Vacuole #Encapsulation aims to minimize the code necessary for routinely verbose data tasks -http://t.co/fJQzz731rZ
    April 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM
  • DYK? We translate our hands-on experience to custom courses to train your dev teams. Our new course on #AngularJS: http://t.co/Bf3UuClj4Z
    April 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM
  • Interested in #Backbone & #Marionette but not sure where to start? Check out the Marionette-Require-Boilerplate: http://t.co/XDj43BwSS3 #SPA
    April 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM
  • Responsive Design can help in giving your users a consistent app experience across devices. Quick tutorial - http://t.co/BDrT5LvgRo
    April 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM
  • Tips & tricks to save time in the #Eclipse IDE - http://t.co/uGgCkchwNk (keystroke combos, navigation, time tracking & more)
    April 22, 2014 at 8:40 AM
  • Join us! Looking to add to our team a developer w/ advanced #JavaScript & #NodeJS exp (& love of tech variety). Info: http://t.co/cC9CU1RCF9
    April 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM
  • Looking into #ExtJS but don't know where to start? Check out our video tutorial series to find your way around - http://t.co/XFYDT6YNWA
    April 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM
  • We've been tinkering with JS library Famo.us since its public release 4/10. What we've learned so far via a POC app - http://t.co/S77TSKHDKd
    April 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM
  • RT @CompSciFact: Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman published the RSA public key cryptography algorithm in 1978.
    April 21, 2014 at 11:13 AM
  • DYK? When we share/RT/blog/etc, it doesn't mean that Keyhole endorses it - we just like variety of opinions! Info: http://t.co/MXhB9lE9tV
    April 19, 2014 at 3:01 PM
  • A huge welcome to Justin Graber who joined the Keyhole team this week!
    April 18, 2014 at 3:25 PM
  • Pssst... @kc_dc early bird pricing ends on Sunday. Shoot us a note if you want to save 10% off of your ticket with our sponsor promo code!
    April 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM
  • Join our team! Looking for a developer w/ advanced #JavaScript & #NodeJS experience (& love of tech variety). Info: http://t.co/cC9CU1RCF9
    April 18, 2014 at 11:21 AM
  • .@befamous has huge potential to make HTML5/JS/CSS web pages feel as native apps. Here's our inital tech takeaways - http://t.co/S77TSKHDKd
    April 18, 2014 at 9:50 AM
Keyhole Software
8900 State Line Road, Suite 455
Leawood, KS 66206
ph: 877-521-7769
© 2013 Keyhole Software, LLC. All rights reserved.