Why Consulting Will Lie To You

Flash Hub founder, Manuel Pistner, spends some time talking about why consulting will lie to you and give some recommendations on, how to set up the right consulting environment.

We ofter rely on the opinion or the consultancy from one person or company that most probably will give us just a very limited view of the situation.

How to get to a consultancy that will help you to see the broader picture and give us a better base to make a decision, that we will learn in this podcast with Manuel.

Listen to the episode below:

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CHRIS REEVES

Hello, and welcome to the virtual frontier, the podcast about virtual teams created by virtual team. I’m Chris and I’m part of the team here at Flash Hub. On today’s episode, we have our founder manual Pistner, talking about why consulting will lie to you. So here is episode nine of the Virtual Frontier.

MANUEL PISTNER

Here’s why consulting often individual person is never an objective base for proper decisions. Why? Customers approach us for different challenges that they face every day. They have different questions from high level questions like what is the best content management system? What is the best ecommerce system which technology should I use for XY said? He etc.. Usually, I’m answering this question with What I experienced in the past, that means, if I am doing projects with Magento or with Drupal, and this is the only system that I use, most likely I will recommend one of the systems because it’s my experience. Even more important than more dangerous for a customer. It is if you get a consultancy by a salesperson, it’s not that sales people are bad, but sales people have one clear interest. And this is selling to you to you as a customer, and what do they want to sell?

This might be the thing that where they earn the most or where they have capacity that is not utilized. And they will try to consult you in a way that they can sell you what they want to sell you even if the customer does not realize that they have this interest. So this is a conflict of interest in consulting. That’s why consulting can never be objective, if it is done by one individual person. But how to get rid of this blurring effect? The answer is simple. You need to ask many people, but you need to ask the right question. And you need to ask the right people. So what is the right question? If you’re just asking for what is the best CMS, you just get a simple solution. Maybe it’s Drupal and maybe it’s Joomla or maybe it’s WordPress, you need to identify your other variables that should be respected in your answer. This could be what is the best content management system for more than 200 users or even more precise, which content management system is the best regarding usability, performance, security, scalability, etc..

And once you defined all your variables, make sure that you don’t ask just one person. But ask many people, and not ask just randomly some people but ask people that have a broad experience. If you ask for example, okay, that’s my past. If you ask a Drupal developer, the answer will most likely be the best system is Drupal. Why? Because I know I can do everything with Drupal and I did it in the past. But what I don’t know is how other systems compared to Drupal because I never tried them. So you should ask a person that has experienced with a broad range of in this case content management systems or technologies for a specific use case that you are looking for.

Make sure for example, if you’re asking for the best ecommerce solution to find a person that has experience with Magenta with Shopify with WooCommerce with Shopware and then you get a consultancy that is more objective. Because this individual person has no interest to sell to you, if it is not a sales person or an account manager. You will hire this person just for consulting. And then you ask not one person, you find three or five, even 10 or 20 people and ask them, what can happen then is that they all tell you different things. That’s good for you. That’s good, because then you know, that you didn’t ask the question precise enough. So what you can do is, you can put all those people into a video call and ask them see guys, this is my question that I had. I asked 10 people and each of you gave me a completely different answer. I want to understand where this differences come from. That means, what did you assume? And maybe which variables did you miss, to get to the same answer, and then let them discuss. You will be wondering how much you can learn from that from just listening to this discussion. And they might not even need to find an agreement so that everyone tells you Okay, this solution is the best for you. But it will help you to understand which questions and which variables you need to ask to get a proper answer. And then you can refine your question.

Once you refine it, go back to your experts and ask them the question again, and then you will see that they have a common understanding, which is more precise of your question. And you will get an answer according. And this is what I call objective consulting. It is not influenced by an interest. It is just influenced by giving you my experience. And yeah, once you’ve got such a consulting, you can do this with many, many topics you can do for example, deep dive with one of these experts by going deeper into specific domains or specific topics, and there will be more questions that help you to understand what you are doing. And you can use the same approach to dive deeper into different things and to get an understanding and an objective consultancy, of everything that you need to do.

The idea behind that is not to buy one thing that is very complex, a more analytical approach that you don’t understand. Because you don’t even understand your problem if you can’t ask the right question, it’s simply not possible. So understand your problem and then find the best solution and the best solution is most likely broken down into small pieces that are easy to manage. So you should not try to buy a big, huge, expensive solution that can do everything and you hope that it will give you the best solution for each and every need that you don’t know today. So when I said it’s good for you that, like 10, or 20 experts tell you completely different things, it’s good because just imagine you hired one of these experts to deliver a solution for you. How will you know that this solution is really the best one and really what you need?

You simply don’t know it. You can hire one of these experts by random if you know that you get a different solution working with every experts, you understand that your input, your question or your requirements are simply not clear enough and not precise enough. And this is something that will help you to Yeah, find the right way for the problem to break it down into small pieces to understand reality and to understand what you really need. And then you can find people that executed it. And you will see instead of having the security of a huge fixed price where you have lots of hope. And you hope that those people that you pay will take away the responsibility for you. This is just not the case because you will still be responsible for the overall result. It’s better if you have full control. And if you have full flexibility and transparency of what you get, and understand of what you need. And based on these things, you can find and build the best solution step by step instead of buying one big monolithical approach that you don’t understand.

So, to get to the approach, in short, what you need to do is get your question right and get it as precise as possible considering all the variables that you want to be respected in the answer. Then find like 10 or 20 people. Let them answer the question. If the questions or if the answers vary heavily put them together in a video call, and then listen to the conversation and learn.

Make your notes about things that you learned make your question that you asked more precise, and then ask maybe different experts again and you will see that you are closer to reality about the recommendation than it was before. And this approach can be continued to refine your answers that you get. This is what we call Flash Consulting, and it will give you the best possible consultancy for complex things.

CHRIS REEVES

I’d like to thank Manuel for joining us today and sharing some of his knowledge. You can subscribe to the Virtual Frontier here or leave us a review on Apple Podcast, Google Play Stitcher or anywhere else podcasts are found. If you’d like to learn more about using virtual teams as a service, visit flashhub.io. On behalf of the team here at Flash Hub , I’d like to thank you for listening So until next episode, keep exploring new frontiers.

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