Oct 22, 2014

Life as a Consultant - Hard part of letting the process to live the life on it's own

In the past years I've worked ans still work as Product Development Improvement Consultant. I've worked with interesting companies in past years. I've been given the privilege to work with them on finding better ways to organize teams and roles, plan the work better or improve the efficiency of daily work in product development or product delivery.

The one thing I hate is the moment of letting the process to live the life on it's own. As a consultant, there always comes the time to let go. In some cases, companies have let me be there to ensure that process actually gets up to speed as planned, but in some companies they've wanted to take the ownership right after the training's or pilot (or whatever the implementation method has been). In any case there always comes the time, that process or practice needs to be taken in-house and I must leave. That is the difficult time for me.

I admit, that I'm sort of a perfectionist. When I have a vision of how something should go, I do work hard to achieve the vision. As a consultant it's in one way easy to persuade people. It's easier to bring new ideas from outside than inside, but it's then much harder to actually get the people to accept and adopt the new ideas from an outsider than from insider. As an outsider, you need to sell the ideas to everyone and be always willing to discuss and adjust the idea to match the reality that people inside the company work with.

When you've done a long journey on persuading, discussing and inventing the new ways of working, there comes the time you need to let go. I almost feel like a parent at that point. You leave your child to walk on it's own. The benefit of being a parent, rather than a consultant, is that with your kids, they keep in touch and you see how your parenting went. As a consultant sometimes you don't see. In good cases you keep in touch and even come back to improve the things even further. But in some cases you don't work with them again, and you don't even hear how it actually went.

I think this problem isn't that unique. There's many people who work on short term contracts with specific topics. It would be nice to hear am I the only one with this kind of pain of abandonment. I don't really lose my sleep over this, but I admit I think about previous project quite often. Did it go well, are people happy, are the planned benefits happening. I'm wondering am I just strange or does other have these feelings too? This question is the reason I sometimes think, that maybe I would be better working in product development companies directly, rather than a consultant. I currently love my job, but I hate these goodbyes.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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