There’s no doubt your IT team is talented, but not every business is going to have in-house software development resources with the expertise to take on enterprise software projects. That’s when a software consultant comes into play, providing expertise on the market, business, industry, and of course, the software solutions that meet those needs.
With approximately 478 thousand IT consulting companies in the United States, where do you even begin to narrow down and find the right consultant for your software management needs?
What (and Who) is a Software Management Consultant?
Let’s start by looking at who exactly is a software consultant, and what exactly they do: 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 usually very experienced developers themselves.
Per the title, these professionals focus mainly on consulting; that is, 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. Your consultant makes the plan and the software engineers make it happen.
Four Things to Look for in Your Next Software Management Consultant
Of course, finding the right software management consultant for your business takes time, and involves evaluation of more than simply their 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 asking to review previous work. Then outline clear requirements, deliverables, schedules, and pricing in a Statement of Work. Finally, a good consultant will offer reasonable payment schedules.
- Knowledge. Many people can talk a good talk, but for your software management consultant investment, you need to know 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, but don’t settle just to get something done. Continue to engage with candidates, checking platforms, referrals, prospects, recruitment channels, and more.
- Try Them Out. While you won’t be able to validate everything in the recruitment process, giving candidates a set of paid trial tasks can help 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.
PositiveVision’s Software Management Consultants Are Ready for You
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 should always be 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 insuring 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 to creating and deploying new software. The software management consultants at PositiveVision have been working with small to mid-sized businesses in the Chicagoland area for nearly 20 years, taking time to ask the right questions and discuss the answers with both technical and non-technical team members. Find out if we’re the right fit for your needs. Learn more about our services. Contact a PositiveVision software management consultant today.