We specialise in AWS and our consultants leverage their knowledge and skills to analyse problems, develop strategies and offer recommendations to help organisations achieve their goals.
Technical knowledge lays the groundwork, but combining technical expertise with strong non-technical skills enables our consultants to effectively analyse, communicate, and implement solutions that address our client’s challenges.
My colleague Christian and I lead our team of consultants and have collaborated on this list of key skills and behaviours needed to be a successful consultant.
Throughout our project lifecycle, we engage with a range of stakeholders, each with individual vested interests. For that reason, adapting the communication is crucial.
Our ability to translate technical language into tangible business results, linking them to financial benefits or risk mitigation and beyond, is fundamental. It takes time and experience to master the art of presenting complex technical details in a universally understandable way.
One of the easiest ways to help navigate how to communicate with a new stakeholder is by observing and identifying their communication needs and style. Be proactive and ask for what lens they need information presented in and adapt accordingly. This article about 4 communication styles every manager should know may help you along the way.
Business Acumen & Relationship Management
Our success stories tend to present a strong link between positive client relationships and business understanding. The Scale Factory consultants need to master those skills to create solutions that are fit for purpose and deliver true value.
Transparency, honesty and reliability are a testament to our commitment to having customers’ best interests at heart, even through the most challenging situations. This commitment demonstrates our investment in a shared future partnership rather than a transaction.
Proficiency in business acumen goes beyond technical knowledge, but it extends to practical application.
Through a deep understanding of the client’s operations, our consultants can help define requirements, offer solutions that can help navigate changes in technology, regulation and future trends, and enhance the overall client experience.
Planning & Time Management
An indispensable skill in consultancy is being able to plan effectively and manage time. These skills support us in structuring our projects, as well as ensuring we allocate resources efficiently to meet the client’s milestones.
The complexity of any consultancy work demands a strategic approach, which needs to be tailored to the needs of the project and client, depending on the task at hand. Some of our projects are fast-paced, and managing the resources to minimise delays and, therefore, risks to the project timeline is key.
Important to note, that we never rush a project through to deliverables only to hit a deadline; the priority is always to deliver a solution to our clients that is fit for purpose and delivers value.
Tip: Plan forwards and backwards. Depending on your preference you may plan backwards from the end goal or forward from your start point. Utilising both helps you see your plan from another perspective to check if you have missed any dependencies.
Adaptability & Flexibility
Unsurprisingly, technology is an industry that continues to push boundaries and advance in ways that require us to stay nimble and resilient.
The concept of disruptive innovation is prevalent in consultancy, so being sympathetic towards the client’s challenges and, specifically, how their teams might be affected contributes to the long-term success of the project.
We also have to adopt a flexible and compassionate approach to change and encourage our consultants to integrate into the client’s ecosystem. This tends to support a seamless journey of collaboration, especially when dealing with projects which can initiate a large change in the client’s environment, which can be very challenging for those involved.
Problem-Solving & Analytical Thinking
Analytical thinking acts as a guiding force, enabling our consultants to dissect complex scenarios, spot potential enhancements, and build solutions that meet specific business needs. By leveraging data-driven insights and employing critical analysis, consultants balance the costs and benefits of each recommendation.
The ability to dissect problems, analyse root causes, and devise innovative solutions distinguishes exceptional consultants and sits hand in hand with analytical thinking. It relies on experts to navigate intricate challenges, from technical hurdles to operational complexities. Whether it’s unravelling intricate technical issues or streamlining processes for optimal efficiency, problem-solving expertise empowers consultants not just to address immediate concerns but also to envision long-term, sustainable strategies.
Simple tools are often the easiest to demystify issues. For example, you could use ‘The 7 Whys’, a tool to identify a root cause.
Development & Improvement
The significance of continuous learning and self-improvement of non-technical skills can’t be overstated. While technical expertise lays the foundation, the ability to communicate effectively, negotiate persuasively, and lead collaboratively elevates an engineer to a consultant. Embracing a commitment to ongoing learning through workshops, mentorship, or self-study hones these crucial non-technical abilities.
We offer every employee ten days per year away from their usual duties to focus on their learning, necessary to maintain knowledge of AWS and its ever-evolving ecosystem. The fusion of technical prowess with refined interpersonal skills is the cornerstone of impactful consultancy. As the landscape of technology evolves, so do the demands of our business. Refining non-technical skills ensures adaptability, fosters client relationships, and empowers our consultants to navigate complexities beyond code and infrastructure.
Success at The Scale Factory extends far beyond technical expertise. It hinges on tailoring communication for stakeholders, integrating business understanding, and prioritising long-term partnerships over transactions. Commitment to continuous improvement through dedicated learning opportunities ensures adaptability in the face of evolving technology. This holistic approach, emphasising both the technical and non-technical, embodies the essence of impactful consultancy in the ever-evolving AWS landscape.
Interested in joining our team? We’re friendly and inclusive, so if you have the skills and experience, I hope you would consider applying regardless of your age, gender, sexuality, race or physical ability. The Scale Factory is hiring.
This blog is written exclusively by The Scale Factory team. We do not accept external contributions.