However – the knowledge to create a technology product and the experience in bringing it to market are quite different skill sets.
Certified Management Consultants
When should a technology firm consider management consulting to augment their team?
1.) Early in the Process
The most common error made by technology companies is trying to do it all themselves. Best practices in product development require that marketing be involved at the early stages of design. Why? Because the business case comes first, not the technology. Don’t have to wait until the team is floundering – get help early in the process.
2.) When money is tight
And when isn’t it? A management consultant can charge a flat fee for a set of deliverables – rather than hiring an employee – hiring a consultant means you have flexibility.
3.) When there is a strong engineering focus in the technology firm
And less of a marketing orientation. A wise man once said that if two members of the team think the same, then one of you isn’t needed. Technology firms are great at technology though may need the alternative thought processes to ensure the garden path isn’t tainted with everyone espousing the same tired concepts.
4.) When the business model or go-to-market strategy is not crystal clear
– not having something set in stone is not the end of the world – unless you don’t have a plan for clarifying it!
Naturally, if you are going to hire a management consultant, you need someone who has experience and a keen understanding of technology launches. Plus you want someone with a broad management experience base, who keeps up on their professional development, holds the CMC (Certified Management Consultant) designation and subscribes to a code of conduct such as from CMC-Canada.
Terry Rachwalski holds an MBA and is a Certified Management Consultant based in Victoria, BC. Via her company, Front Porch Perspectives, Rachwalski provides business development services to technology firms – from product ideation to product launch.