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Applying Remote Technical Consulting to Your Business

By building a model and following these best practices for your remote consulting business, you can avoid problems and reduce costs.


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rowing product companies constantly face the challenge of scaling their consulting practices. Besides organic growth, that depends on several macro and micro economic factors, these companies look for partners to whom they can outsource their consulting needs to some degree. Alternatively, these companies seek to build a remote offshore consulting model that can help them with cost efficiency and quality delivery. Each solution comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

This article focuses on building a remote consulting practice. Challenges are abundant: quality of work, processes, travel, synchronization, strategy, etc. After reading this article, you should have a firm grasp of how to create a successful low-cost consulting group that remotely complements a local group in the region.

Any remote delivery model requires thorough planning and execution. A product consulting model calls for a customized approach on top of a remote delivery model. First, the local and remote teams must define their respective responsibilities. A good way to start this process is by using a Responsibility Assigned Matrix (RAM). One such RAM is called the RACI model; it assigns responsibilities to stakeholders using the following symbols:

  • R = Responsible
  • A = Approver
  • C = Consulted
  • I = Informed


For example, consider the process flow for a managed technical project from inception to delivery. In this case the project manager is in the US, and the technical consultant is remote in, for example, India. Table 1 shows how the RACI chart for this project might look:

Table 1. RACI Chart: This RACI chart shows the people and their level of involvement for each step.
 

R (Responsible)

A (Approver)

C (Consulted)

I (Informed)

Requirements gathering

Project Manager (local)

Project Manager (local)

Technical Consultant (remote)

Delivery Manager (local or remote)

Technical implementation

Technical Consultant (remote)

Project Manager (local)

Project Manager (local)

Delivery Manager (local or remote)


The RACI chart provides a good reference for various local and remote stakeholders associated with the delivery or the project.



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