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Re: Consulting firm, job-based consultant, or hourly contractor?

by rodion (Chaplain)
on Mar 16, 2007 at 22:49 UTC ( #605229=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Consulting firm, job-based consultant, or hourly contractor?

In my environment (a not-for-profit hospital), it's rare that the spec is clear and easy to write and the programming is hard. More often it's the other way around, or they are both hard. Worse, as is the way with software, either the spec or the programming looks easy at the beginning and becomes hard. Thus it's fairly rare to have a task where a fixed cost, known up-front, is a workable way to do business.

Also, when I do have a task that's that clear and contained, it's often a treat to have something so straightforward to work on; so it's better to to let someone in-house have the benefit of doing it, if possible.

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Re^2: Consulting firm, job-based consultant, or hourly contractor?
by punch_card_don (Curate) on Mar 17, 2007 at 19:09 UTC
    OK, so one vote for the hourly programmer thing. I can see the logic - quoting is always a delicate area. Guess so far I've been lucky at finding projects that can be farily clearly defined - but it's true that I am always careful to be very explicit about the scope of a quote and upfront about ex-scope work being extra.

    Forget that fear of gravity,
    Get a little savagery in your life.
      And another.

      I prefer maintaining relationships with a few good consulting firms so that hourly programmers and technicians can be brought in as needed. Ideally, the contract should allow right-to-hire but that may not be in your interests (but the loss can be mitigated by charging finder's fees).

      It's obviously also in your best interest to engage with good clients with proper expectations and experience with consulting resources. For example: once a consultant has established him/herself with us we give them leeway such as flexible working hours and dress code. Although none has ever reached the pinnacle of working in their underwear :)

      We are also accustom to having contract resources working with our teams so once the resource is established, they tend to integrate well into the team and the lines between contract and employee resources fade away.

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