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What Makes Us Different
10 Keys to Completion
Completion Tips
10 keys to Completion
10 ideas that rescued ugly projects
10 ways IT consulting has changed

Then: The more technical the jargon, the more the customer trusted you.
Now: If the customer can't understand what you are saying, you don't get a second chance.
What does this mean? You better learn to communicate with the customer or you won't have any business. Communication is the ability to organize your thoughts and listen.

Time frame.
Then: Information technology projects might get day. Time lag was usually estimated in 1 year plus.
Now: Don't blink or the project might be done.
What does this mean? Stay lean and nimble. Put things in writing so you at least have a beginning point.
A goal without a deadline
is a dream.

How the time is spent.
Then: The majority of time was spent on obtaining technical resources, programming, watching the machine talk to itself, waiting for your deck of cards to come back.
Now: The majority of time is spent before development with the customer, and after development, communicating how to use the system.
What does this mean? You better understand what your customer needs to succeed in their business because it is your job to get them promoted now.

How much can one person do?
Then: If you were good enough, or studied hard enough, you could know almost everything you needed to know.
Now: No one person can know everything. Successful project completion requires a team effort.
What does this mean? To grow substantially, a contracting firm should have a culture that supports teamwork. This has to start from the top.

How the customer buys.
Then: Buy the body.
Now: Buy the solution (completion).
What does this mean? The days of "my guy is better than your guy" are over. You will need to show that your culture supports completion.

Who is driving the bus?
Then: The programmers. The customer had no other choice.
Now: The customer. The programmer has no other choice.
What does this mean? The customer is NEVER wrong.

Why the customer buys.
Then: Technical superiority (or so the programmer said).
Now: They trust you to complete the project.
What does this mean? Selling just got harder because now you have to prove you can keep your commitments with someone before they will buy.

What's important.
Then: Technical solution is in place.
Now: The customer says it is complete.
What does this mean? The customer is NEVER wrong.

The resurgence of multiple award contracts.
Then: No effect on the environment. Customers selected a company (proprietary system) and stayed with them no matter what. It was easier to stay with the same company than to get a new one.
Now: The choice of who actually gets the work is no longer in the hands of the contracting officer, it is back in the hands of the user. You had better read # 7 and then hold on for dear life. You have now entered the age of continual selling and open systems.
What does this mean? Getting the contract is no longer "enough". Read # 7 carefully and then go out and make someone smile. Read # 4 again too while you are at it, because in order to survive today, no one person can do all of the selling.

Virtual teams.
Then: One company had "The Contract". They might ask some of their friends to help.
Now: Be prepared to work with anyone at anytime. The mix of companies will change from project to project. There is no guarantee that your partner within the same client will be the same from project to project.
What does this mean? Contracting firms will need to have a strong set of base values, a good management team with a strong set of tools, and a strong base of "knowledge workers", not just technicians, to survive the change.

What skills does the customer want?
Then: Mainframe programmers who understood a very complicated programming environment.
Now: Programming environments are quicker and easier to understand. Customers want a team player who can communicate with them, get them promoted, understand their business, write well, make the other team members look good, can program and is low maintenance.
What does this mean? Selling "bodies" is not enough. You need to train those "bodies" in customer skills and create a team environment focused on serving the customer.
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