Analyze this: A Visit to the Doctor's V/S a consulting engagement..
Prologue: In a few wks I am on point to launch the Security SKUs from the Enterprise Services - so I have been dreaming about assessment frameworks, customer paintpoints, value propositions etc for waay too long these days. Maybe a function of these hallucinations is the reason I am writing this blog post in 2 conscious streams of thought - one in the present and one in a parallel analogy... Never tried that one before - so here goes my pilot post :)
Present Stream: Sinuses, Allergies and the constant wetness in Seattle dont mix - so I've been under the weather (what weather one might ask - given our 27+ days of constant rain days). So finally after trying a month of Benadryls, Tylenols, Nyquils, Dayquils and everything that your average shelf-medicine threw at me did not but inflate the revenues for Pfizer and P&G - I decided it was time for a visit to the doctor's.
Parallel Stream: My behavior was not much unlike typical customers in a data center. When things are troubling - you throw some quick-fixes, some custom code, some configs, some custom patches at it. And then it all works while for a few days till all hell breaks loose... when they decide it is time to call the consultant.
Present Stream: So scheduling an appointment with relative ease, I got grilled by a series of questions each one not legal in a hiring scenario - but guess when you are a doctor everything goes! Age, Marital Status, Alcohol habits, Smoking habits, Sexual activity, History of illnesses and hospitalization, Family history of illness, Place of birth. Wait a minute - Why is a place of birth even relevant, I asked. ("Oh it is not - we just ask it anyway" the doctor said! Ha????!!!) Then there were a dozen other questions - I threw in a few of mine jus for kicks like what football team she supported - (it was the RAMs apparently)
Parallel Stream: You know where I am going with this. Consultants do the same thing too. After a series of meetings scheduled with different stakeholders - come the series of discovery questions across various aspects of the client's business. People, Processes, Business, Application, Network, Security policies etc etc. Coming to think of it a consultant asks more relevant qn than the doctors do!
Present Stream: And then finally - I have the doctor look through all the diagnostics, all the symptoms and finally conclude - "I think you have allergies." ... Uh, what allergies doc?.... "We dont know yet, but I think you do have allergies.".... "You should have some anti-histamines".... Wait a minute - arent Benadryls a type of anti-histamine?.... "Oh well... mmm... yeah.... keep having that!"
Parallel Stream: Ofcourse a consultant cant get away with that! He/she has to come up with scorecards, risk profiles, compare it with industry average, recommendations, risks, contingencies and next course of action. and if all that was the same as what went on in the data center - God help you as an engagement manager.
As noted - both these activities are similar but with distinctly different pieces of work which will be accepted. The only thing both of them really do agree on potentially is that - once you start either - there is enough reason to carry on having more of such visits.
Yea - there is another visit to the doctor scheduled in 2 wks... Maybe I will be prescribed the nightime, sniffling, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever. sleep better to feel better Medicine. Then again maybe she wont know - I already know about Nyquil. BAH!