Most firms rely on external professional service firms to assist them with new software system implementation efforts. Quality and availability of such resources will be a critical success factor in a business system implementation effort.
Solution vendors or professional service firms track their progress differently from clients. IT firms monitor staff utilizations and their practices are aimed at maximizing billable hours per team member to achieve desired realization targets. Customers on the other hand are mainly focused on getting most value from such resources. From a customer perspective, value means tangible business results at a fair cost. As a result, we usually end up with collision of "value systems" between the two parties resulting in misunderstandings and a vendor-customer mindset rather than a partnership approach.
We need a paradigm shift to ensure a successful partnership between the two parties. Solution providers should look at proper scheduling and resource allocation with an eye towards providing their consultants time for proper visit prep, post visit recaps and some slack time for addressing potential issues rather than book resources using a simple calendar approach. We keep seeing many dazed and burned out consultants out there flying from one client to another and really ending up being less effective at each visit. Clients also need to understand their providers methodologies and plan their internal resources accordingly, be prepared and make sure their activities are fully synced with their solution providers.
It is hard work, no one said its easy. Payoffs for both parties are substantial if executed properly.