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IT Consulting Engagements: Project Cycle

A typical consulting engagement can last from one month to several years. Industry insiders say the typical length of a consulting project has fallen from 6 to 18 months in the 1990s to as little as a month or two currently. This trend makes sense given that organizations have less money to spend on big consulting engagements and are demanding a tangible return on investment from the consulting services they buy.

Increasingly, IT consultants also are getting involved in nuts-and-bolts implementation work, which may be done as a follow-up project or as part of the original project. In other words, they roll up their sleeves and do the actual work they recommended to the client.

Team Structure

IT projects might have dozens of people working on developing and implementing a new software system. As you might imagine, the bulk of the programming and design work for such projects is handled by junior employees, who bill out at lower rates.

You might be able to get a feel for how a firm staff s its projects by comparing its revenues with the number of professionals—a high revenue per consultant generally indicates a high percentage of senior-level staff.

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