The IT Alliance is a group of member firms, consultants and vendors who collaborate to share ideas, best practices and network. A number of technical sessions are hosted throughout the two days and cover topics ranging from Disney World Imagineering to project management and consulting pricing.
I’m on the ground and scheduled to completely bore everyone to tears host a session on Tuesday at 8:15 am on the exciting topic of blogging (Ballroom CDE ).
Last Live Conference Feed (via Qik and this may not be broadcasting constantly)
For more IT Alliance Session Summaries – read on
Session Summary: ITA Project Management Update and Mini-Workship
Kevin Cumley – Forepoint LLC
Ed and Kevin are leading a session on project management for consulting firms. Specifically this session focuses on change requests and project management.
The session begins with a video that should hit home for consultants in the mid-market:
- Project change requests should probably average about 12 depending on the project
- If there are no change orders – there’s probably something wrong with the project – either the scope was ill defined
The Triangle of Truth
Customer Thought = “Scope creep is good” because I’m getting something that I didn’t pay for
That’s not true – because in these situations quality actually decreases – resulting in a poor outcome for the customer.
The Change Request
Anyone can request a change. Consider holding a min-meeting at the outset of the project to introduce the concept of change orders. The customer/client should be the one creating the change order.
Note: A well defined scope document is essential to this process so that the customer/client knows what is included and what’s not.
Mini-scope document but condensed to one page
- Impact on scope
- Impact on resources
- Impact on time (not money – scheduled deliverable time)
- Impact on qualify
- Reason for rejection or Reason for approval
- Most common reason for rejection is not price! – It is the VALUE perceived of the change
Random Ideas: Give the project a name and have the customer create the name
How to Win a pitch : The five fundamentals that will distinguish you from the competition
Joey Asher – Speechworks
- Standing out
- Making sure the comparison is “apples to apples”
The analogy of the apple aisle where all the Apples look alike.
Five things prospects CAN judge:
- Speaker’s talking about listener needs
- Presentation is simple
- If they like you
- If you have good answers to their questions
- Whether you’re well rehearsed
Three critical points:
- Organize into 3 listener centered points (hook, objective, evidence, restate)
- Present in a style that connects
- Practice like crazy
Tip: Find out as much as possible about their problem BEFORE the meeting so you can tailor your pitch around their problem. As to speak to the people “on the front lines” which gets to the problem as well as builds relationships before the initial call. Never go into a pitch and give a boring overview of your firm. Customers want to know about how you will solve their problem.
Selling or convincing:
- Point (tell them the action you’d like them to take)
- Plan (How this will help)
- Story (proof)