Project Management

Consulting Characters

Patti Gilchrist, PMP, is a Senior Technical Manager with more than 20 years of IT experience. Visit her website at

As a former consultant, I can attest to the numerous benefits of hiring experts from the outside to solve the most critical and challenging issues facing your business. Consultants offer an advantage because they are not burdened by mundane tasks and the day-to-day fire drills that plague your associates, so they can focus their attention and expertise on solving problems and driving results for your organization.

Additionally, the perception others have of them as experts empowers the consultant to influence and drive change for your organization. All of this is a win for both the consultant and the organization--that is, when the consultant is a consummate professional, capable and worthy of the vast amount of respect bestowed upon them.

However, what happens when the consultant falls short of their billing as an industry expert? As a project manager, no doubt you have experienced challenges with consultants on your projects. Thus, here is a humorous look at some of the consultant characters that you may have encountered and survival tips for dealing with them.

The Virgin
Although you paid a generous sum of money to acquire their services and are anticipating a professional with significant experience ready to take charge and deliver, the virgin--in the heat of the moment during your project--nervously confesses they have “never done this before”.…

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"The purpose of art: to make the unconscious conscious."

- Richard Wagner