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
  • In Part 2 of our series on creating your own #Java annotations, learn about processing them with the Reflection API - http://t.co/E1lr3RmjI7
    September 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM
  • The life of a Keyhole consultant - A Delicate Balance: It’s What We Do http://t.co/ToRpWY3aix Blog as true today as the day it was written.
    September 19, 2014 at 9:50 AM
  • 7 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Developer - http://t.co/llPNMUN8nQ
    September 19, 2014 at 8:43 AM
  • .@jessitron Good luck, you'll do great! Our team really enjoyed your KCDC14 talks.
    September 18, 2014 at 10:19 AM
  • RT @woodwardjd: 7 deadly sins of programming. I think I did all of this last week. #strangeloop http://t.co/f7QFq1SpqW
    September 18, 2014 at 10:03 AM
  • In Part 2 of our series on creating your own #Java annotations, learn about processing them with the Reflection API - http://t.co/E1lr3RmjI7
    September 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM
  • We send out our free monthly tech newsletter tomorrow - dev tips/articles via email. Not on the list? Sign up: http://t.co/h8kpjn419s
    September 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM
  • Want to chuckle? If programming languages were vehicles -http://t.co/quqHsUFCtR #funny
    September 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM
  • In Part 2 of our series on creating your own annotations, learn about processing #Java annotations using Reflection: http://t.co/DJZvQuarkc
    September 16, 2014 at 9:06 AM
  • Don't miss @jhackett01's newest post on the Keyhole blog - Processing #Java Annotations Using Reflection: http://t.co/E1lr3RmjI7
    September 15, 2014 at 12:02 PM
  • We're pretty excited - Keyhole's #BikeMS team raised 158% of their fundraising goal to benefit @MidAmericaMS. Plus, they had a great ride!
    September 15, 2014 at 10:38 AM
  • A huge welcome to David Kelly (@rheomatic) who officially joins the Keyhole team today! :-)
    September 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM
  • Sending warm thoughts to @eastlack, @cdesalvo, @wdpitt & all participating in #BikeMS this AM. Thanks for helping in the fight against MS!
    September 13, 2014 at 8:10 AM
  • .@rheomatic We are so excited to have you joining the team! Welcome :-)
    September 12, 2014 at 4:11 PM
  • As the official holiday is a Saturday, we're celebrating today! Happy (early) #ProgrammersDay to you! http://t.co/1CvUfrzytE
    September 12, 2014 at 1:55 PM
  • Tomorrow @cdesalvo, @eastlack, & @wdpitt are riding #BikeMS to benefit @MidAmericaMS. You can get involved, too - http://t.co/9boQwEUxth
    September 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM
  • RT @AgileDevs: 5 tips for great code reviews http://t.co/9PdbtEv0z8
    September 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM
  • The BEMs of Structuring #CSS - http://t.co/159suYtfx6 A quick introduction to the Block Element Modifier methodology.
    September 10, 2014 at 2:49 PM
  • A huge welcome to Joseph Post (@jsphpst) who has joined the Keyhole team this week!
    September 10, 2014 at 9:52 AM
  • @TheGrisExplores Absolutely, and thanks for the compliment! Here's an article that you might find helpful, too - http://t.co/7oxpaohCS1
    September 9, 2014 at 2:22 PM
Keyhole Software
8900 State Line Road, Suite 455
Leawood, KS 66206
ph: 877-521-7769
© 2014 Keyhole Software, LLC. All rights reserved.