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Learning from my Consultant Colleague

COMMENTARY

By Chandan Lal Patary

Bangalore, India

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I have spent time with my colleague who has worked with us as an agile consultant for a transformational project where we have deployed scaled agile (SAFe) framework. He has worked as an agile consultant for one of the assignments where we have been trying to adapt agile for a large division for a long time. I had the opportunity to closely work with him. I have written down a few of my observations and the approach a consultant takes for an assignment and how they get the work done in a certain stipulated timeline.

This has triggered certain thoughts about consulting as a profession to think about.

Can we also start our own consulting assignment? That thought triggers me to list some of the points and I have penned a few here.

According to Wikipedia – A consultant is a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area.

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) defines management consulting as: “The creation of value for organisations, through improved performance, achieved by providing objective advice and implementing business solutions.”

  1. Why consultant?

No one likes changes. We don’t like change because it upsets what’s known—the rules, practices, and norms which we have gotten comfortable and familiar with. In addition, we are in control when events are the same. When work involves the same rules, practices, and processes, we know how to achieve our goals and be effective. But what happens when work changes in fundamental ways that require new skills and new capabilities, and the actual jobs we are good at are not just changed but eliminated because of trends in industry, commerce, innovation, or business?

As Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth president of the United States, put it, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something”. Change is scary to most people; it takes them out of their comfort zones into a strange new world where their status and expertise are potentially under threat.

Change is all around us, and we often feel like a victim of it.

The world is changing very fast; we cannot wait and re-discover ourselves which can be done with the help of an expert.

Many people make the mistake of assuming that we have to force the whole company to be more agile in order to implement an agile development process. That is not necessarily the case—a company needs to build its culture around whatever makes sense for the primary business that the company is in.

Who will simplify to do this type of cultural change in a much smoother way? Consultant/Third party agent?

If a company operates in an environment that requires some level of risk and/or regulatory control, it may be necessary to adapt the agile approach to fit that environment but it’s not impossible to do that with the right approach and tools.

Who will understand the risks?

More…

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About the Author

pmwj34-May2015-Patary-PHOTOChandan Lal Patary

Bangalore, India

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Mr. Chandan Lal Patary
currently works as an agile coach and Global Program manager at ABB. He has deep experience in developing Software products across various domains and has successfully executed many Projects. Chandan has worked on domain like Healthcare, Aerospace, Building automation, Power automation, Industrial Automaton under real time mission critical product development to large scale application development. Chandan has 16+ years of industry experience. He is certified PMP from 2008, Green Belt certified holder from 2005. Chandan is an agile practitioner and Certified Scrum Master from 2011. Chandan holds a Bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Technology (National Institute of Technology – Agartala, Tripura) in Electrical Engineering -1998. He has completed one year of a Executive General Management program from Indian Institute of Management – Bangalore, Karnataka in 2007. He has published several management papers. He can be reachable through email/LinkedIn: [email protected]

To view other works by Chandan Patary, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/chandan-lal-patary/.