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  1. #1
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    IT Consultant Frustration

    So, at work we are kicking off a large project to rewrite our website in .NET (from Cold Fusion - finally) using Sharepoint 2007.

    We have a great web programmer, well versed in .NET. What we didn't have is someone with Sharepoint experience (for external websites). So to get us rolling, we decided to bring in a consultant for at least the first half of the project, if not likely the entire duration.

    Well, as with the risk with consultants - he didn't show up the day he was supposed to start. We got a heads up the day of stating he had a major fire to deal with at his current job and would need to be there longer. He did offer to be in our office 2 times a week for 3 weeks, while he put the fire out, then would be with us full time.

    Again, didn't show up on the day he was supposed to. Supposedly the fire got worse at his current location and things would be pushed back for him. We've decided to move on.

    So, here we are again - a delay in starting the project and back near square one locating a consultant. The biggest issue is, people with Sharepoint experience don't grow on trees.

    I had planned to have this project completed by July - now we're looking at late August at best, most likely September/October.



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    Sounds like the typical frustrations of dealing with some of the consultants/contractors we've dealt with as well. Some things aren't always under their control but sometimes it is and they just don't want to admit it. Good luck, because like you said, Sharepoint expertise isn't in great abundance around here.


    A program isn't built on one player and it doesn't succeed because of one player, thus a program won't fail if it doesn't get that one player.

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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    Give someone in your company a month to learn Sharepoint, and then do it from within. The only disadvantage is it will take more time - but you're running on delays as it is.

    Relying on outsiders is never smooth!



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    We have sent our programmer to a week long Sharepoint training seminar, plus he's been doing his own education.

    This is a rather significant undertaking, as the website has many web services that are used to display various agent information (commissions, pending/active client info, etc).

    Plus, at the end of this project we'll be re-hosting in a new environment.

    The project requires 2 full-time programming resources (in addition to a few part-time resources for services, database, architecture, etc).

    We tried to hire a full-time programmer yet couldn't find one with Sharepoint experience.

    Rock(us)Hard place


    Last edited by ISUFan22; 04-12-2007 at 11:04 AM.

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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    I don't know anything about Sharepoint, but .NET web services are pretty smooth once you get the hang of it. But if the migration process is a multiple person undertaking, you could consider hiring another programmer. If it's a situation where one programmer is enough, except during your transition period, then you are probably stuck with consultants.

    Good luck. :)



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    Never, ever, write a contract with a consultant without stating explicitly, to a T, exactly what you want done (every single little thing) and by when. Then, it all becomes their problem, not yours. You don't pay if they don't deliver.



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    I would be more than a little scared of a consultant who is required to remain at his current job to put out a fire. That implies to me that this guy didn't do his job to the full satisfaction of his current employeer. And this is who you want to lead your project?

    I would bring some consultant in only on a temporary (6 week) assignment. Have him help you formulate your plans, train your staff in best practices, and then be available for questions and guidance. But, let your in-house guys do the coding. They'll appreciate getting to do the new development and your company will get people that know what the heck is going on.



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by uthaman View Post
    your company will get people that know what the heck is going on.
    This is the key. You don't want to be at some consultant's mercy if the **** hits the fan. You need guys who have the knowledge and expertise in-house to make changes and fix problems.



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by uthaman View Post
    I would be more than a little scared of a consultant who is required to remain at his current job to put out a fire. That implies to me that this guy didn't do his job to the full satisfaction of his current employeer. And this is who you want to lead your project?
    I didn't go into detail on what the fire was, which was a bit unfair.

    The person he would be handing the project back off to - had a death in her family. Namely, her 2 year old child choked and died. Needless to say, she's not in any state of mind to be at work for a while.

    Having said that, he was still supposed to be here last week - he wasn't. I guess something else happened - some people were fired at that company, legal issues, etc.

    So I don't think it's as much of this consultant being bad, but he's in a very unfortunate, bad situation.

    I still think he could have communicated with me much better, as I've always had to contact him when he doesn't show up to find out what is going on.

    To this guy's credit, his resume is impeccable. He's got more experience than entire companies have in their IT department. I'm just very frustrated that we have to look elsewhere, he would've been a perfect addition to this project.



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    Re: IT Consultant Frustration

    Regarding consultants, we have a website with decent traffic, yet smaller companies with less traffic tend to beat us in google search rankings. I know there is a whole science to this and we have considered hiring a consultant to check out our website and offer any guidance. Anyone know of people who do such a thing? Is this what we need? I'm not an IT guy, but just spending some time on google analytics and alexa has told me we must be missing something.



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