Are Consultants bad news for VC Implementations?


I was listening to a Podcast about Russell Ackoff who was one of the original pioneers of Operations Research and had some interesting ideas on how business works.  If you look at Operations Research it is about optimising the parts - using stopwatches, algorithms etc.  But as time went on he saw things with a more big picture view.

The anaolgy is this.  He was a trained architect and his later thoughts reflected his training in this.  As an Architect you start with the "whole" and put the parts together to support the "whole".  Designing a skyscaper is an extremely complex thing, but the Architect is concerned with the function of the skyscaper.  Then the architect has to coordinate all the "parts" to make the "whole" work. 

I thought this was interesting, as often as consultants (myself included) are often focussed on the "parts".  Often we can loose sight of the "whole" or we do not have a clear picture of the "whole".  The solution architect is the one who needs to identify the function of what we are building and often on tight project deadlines this is not clear.  So we end up focussing on the parts that may make VC work, but perhaps not well for the "whole".  We can push the design in directions that perhaps are not optimal.

Often after a VC implementation there is the "wisdom of hindsight" and if we could do it again then we would change this or that.    I think some of this is because we dont have time to understand the "whole" especially when you have customers who dont understand VC, and consultants who dont understand the business and industry well.  

I think there is a requirement to spend more time in the design of VC, by using more Proof of Concept, more prototyping, to enable both the consultants and the customer to be more effective.

We still maynot get the perfect solution, but at least we will get a better solution.