Working with the business:  Consulting skills for data and IT professionals (2-day Seminar)

Being right isn’t enough. One of the major challenges – often the greatest challenge – is engaging the client: understanding their requirements, winning their support, and meeting their expectations. Yet most IT professionals give far less attention to these consulting skills than they give to their technical expertise. If you are an experienced professional who has not previously studied consulting skills, this workshop is likely to be more valuable in improving your effectiveness than any technical course.

In this highly-interactive workshop, Graeme Simsion shares principles, techniques, and tips learned from 25 years of managing an internal data management function, establishing and managing a successful consultancy and working as an independent consultant. He uses a combination of formal material, stories, lectures, group exercises and case studies to share ideas and techniques that you will use throughout your professional life.

Learning Objectives

  • A deeper understanding of consulting relationships – and how to make them work
  • Practical techniques for establishing expectations – checklists and questions
  • A set of practices to keep assignments on track
  • Techniques for dealing with problems and difficult clients
  • Practical approaches to writing reports and delivering presentations

Understanding consulting 

The title or role of “consultant” brings with it a specific set of challenges and expectations. We look at the nature and psychology of consulting, and identify behaviours that lead to successful assignments.

  • The consultant role – how you’re perceived, what is expected
  • Why consulting assignments fail – and what to do about it
  • Working in a consulting team
  • Professional behaviour – and common mistakes that hurt your credibility

Setting expectations

The widely-accepted key to effective consulting is “managing expectations”. This means establishing mutual expectations and keeping them up to date, so that at every stage of the assignment both client and consultant can be confident in a successful outcome. We look at a range of techniques for understanding and validating expectations.

  • Selling consulting services: how the professionals do it
  • Really understanding clients and their needs
  • Establishing expectations – checklists and frameworks
  • Negotiating achievable outcomes – and negotiating in general
  • Pulling it together in a consulting plan

Delivering services

We look at the day-to-day practices of good consultancy needed to monitor expectations and deliver against them, and to deal with problems. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own problems for discussion.

  • Effective consulting practices: habits that distinguish the professional
  • Staying on track – and managing change
  • Gathering data and formulating solutions
  • Working with others: client staff, your own team, external consultancies
  • Common problems – and practical solutions
  • Maintaining integrity – while keeping the stakeholders happy
  • Dealing with difficult people

Deliverables and closure

Many consulting assignments stay on track until close to the end – and then they stumble on as reports are written and re-written, deliverables await final client sign-off, and goodwill (and the prospect of further work) diminishes. This final session looks at getting closure on time and on budget and laying a base for a continuing relationship. Particular attention is given to preparation of verbal and written reports, a task that technical people often find particularly frustrating.

  • Writing reports that get accepted – and acted upon
  • Designing and delivering effective presentations
  • Getting closure on the deliverables
  • Turning experience into capability: learning from assignments
  • Maintaining the client relationship beyond the completion date


This course suitable for anyone who provides business or technical services to internal or external clients. No technical background is assumed, but participants will gain more from the course if they already have some experience in delivering service or advice. The course is particularly suitable for:

  • Enterprise Architects (Data, Applications, Technical)
  • IT Strategists / Planners
  • Senior Business and Systems Analysts
  • Service Team Managers
  • Internal Consultants / Advisors
  • External and Independent Consultants
  • Professional Specialists
  • Account Managers

Seminar fee

£1,095 + VAT (£191.63) = £1,286.63

Hotel Venue and Accomodations 

26-27 April 2010
Venue: Crowne Plaza Kensington, 100 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4ER
Tel: +44 (0)20 7373 2222 Fax: +44 (0)20 7373 0559

London Accommodation: IRM UK in association with JP Events Ltd has arranged special discounted rates at all venues and at other hotels nearby the venue. Please visit the JP Events website for further information.
E-mail: Tel +44 (0)84 5680 1138 Fax +44 (0)84 5680 1139.

In-House Training

If you require a quote for running this course in-house, please contact us with the following details:

  • Subject matter and/or speaker required
  • Estimated number of delegates
  • Location (town, country)
  • Number of days required (if different from the public course)
  • Preferred date

Please contact:
Jeanette Hall
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8866 8366
Fax: +44 (0)20 8866 7966