Q&A session with AKDev CTO about IT Consultancy

October 6, 2022 09:52

Transforming an idea into an advanced technical solution requires lots of effort and resources along the way. In search of a shortcut to their business goals, businesses going through the initial stage of building a certain digital product or that got lost on the way to success are turning to third-party IT consultants.

If you’re thinking of exploring that opportunity, our CTO Sviataslau Miakhovich covered the most controversial questions our clients keep asking him and told him about all that it takes to involve an IT consultant.

Sviataslau Miakhovich
Founder, CEO, CTO

What is IT consulting and Who needs such services?

When it comes to IT start-ups, the business owners need IT Consultancy to help them in choosing the right track of development process as well to build a team The expert knows the latest software development standards and will give timely advices on which programming languages, frameworks, libraries, tools, and software development practices  to adapt to their business needs.

When it comes to the ongoing projects,  an IT consultant can review your current system in terms of code, technologies, architecture, or functionality and suggest digital transformation to improve the efficiency of your business operations.

How did you come to work for the project as an IT consultant for the first time?

It was by sheer serendipity. Once, in LinkedIn I was reached out by the CTO of the company doing a project very similar to the one I had once worked for (it was mentioned in my LinkedIn profile). The guys were interested in that very experience of mine. We got in touch, talked around, agreed on all the details and started cooperating.

What characteristics should an IT consultant have?

First of all, they should be a professional. Preferably in many areas. They should be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of given technologies, as well as to come up with the efficient solutions according to the requirements and requests of the client.

What is an IT consultant for? To save time?

Firstly, in order not to reinvent the wheel. Secondly, to save time and money. You can take it from me, the cost of a mistake when doing Research&Development is much higher than the cost of consultations. And third, to make technical decisions, in which you’re not an expert in. I can give a very simple analogy: when you build a house or make repairs in it, it is much better and more reliable for you to entrust the work to a foreman than to try to figure out how the foundation is built when the workers ask what to do.

Where to begin with a project?

With getting to know the team, discussing the project, syncing up on the status, and discovering further short-term and long-term goals of the project.

How often are consultations held?

It depends on which project management model is used in working on the project. If it comes to Agile and other flexible methodologies, the consultant can be a full-fledged team member and take part in all the meetings, including the daily ones. If we talk about Waterfall or similar ones, that’s enough to consult only along the project planning.

How often does the IT consultant provide reports?

Again, it depends on the model of work at the project. There’s no need of the reports at all in case when the consultant is deeply involved in the project. Since it’s casual engagement, frequency can vary from once a week to once a month.

How are the meetings with the IT consultant going?

As usual, we arrange a Zoom/Google Meet video conferences. If there’s a possibility and need for personal meeting, we can meet in the office or at a co-working space. By the meeting, it is highly recommended to give the consultant a general understanding of the request you come to them with, which issues you need help with. If these questions had been timely covered, the meeting is meant to be as efficient as possible.

Are you coming up with the solutions or guiding them?

My expertise enables me to come up with the solutions. Although, there were times when I had an opportunity to work with very experienced teams, and that was enough just to advise on which direction to move in.

Does the IT consultant set tasks or just give advice?

Setting tasks is a project manager’s responsibility. The consultant only knows from their experience and suggests what it would be better to do. In my career, I would often combine both positions within the same project, so I had to set tasks as well.

How are mutual obligations formalized and confidentiality ensured?

All the agreements, including an NDA, as well as a consultation assignment and a contract for services are always settled. This set of documents regulates all the issues of mutual relations between the parties, risks, payment, and so on.

What happens when the work gets done? Is the IT consultant involved in the maintenance?

If the project is having a success, it is rapidly growing. If there are questions regarding the next steps where the consultancy are in order, the consultant can be involved as well. It often happens that the team extends its expertise as a result of the first round of consultations and the consultant is no longer needed.

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