Bigger Isn’t Always Better: How Niche Consulting Firms Add Meaningful Value – Part 1

As the famous author Oscar Wilde once said, “The answers are all out there, we just need to ask the right questions.”

This concept can be applied to the broad world of consulting. All consulting firms, regardless of size, are tasked with fulfilling a client’s business objective. They provide requisite guidance and pertinent information at critical decision-making points. However, in a crowded market with many options to choose from, how can you be certain you have the best consultant for the job? It comes down to asking the right questions and understanding your needs. Here, we explore the unique value-add of a niche consulting firm.

by Jose R. Michaelraj, CIPM, CAIA, Senior Consultant

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4 Steps To Establish a Successful Proof of Concept Scope

The most effective system implementations start by establishing a proof of concept (POC) to validate a vendor’s ability to support your requirements and highlight areas where custom solution design may be required. A key component of a successful POC is a clearly defined scope that identifies the types of scenarios, number of portfolios, goals and criteria for completion. Yet we see time and time again firms overlook this element. Here are four key steps to establish a thoughtful POC scope that will allow your implementation to go off without a hitch.

by Nicol S. O’Connor, Senior Consultant

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Implementation Archaeology: When Finding Business Logic Becomes an Easter Egg Hunt

Picture this: The monthly performance report has just been received, but it’s missing some data. No errors were generated, yet the blank section on the output indicates something went wrong. The analyst sends a message to IT to report the error, and this starts the Easter egg hunt for the issue.

How many times has this happened to you or your colleagues? Whether you rely on a large single vendor, multi-purpose platform or multiple integrated systems, I’d be willing to speculate it’s a common occurrence. Beyond tracking down today’s Easter egg, how can we avoid the problem in the future or remedy our existing platforms?

by Christopher D. Sadala, Senior Consultant

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3 Ways To Accelerate Your Vendor Selection Process

Finding a vendor to solve a business need is often treated as an analytical task – pick one that checks the most boxes and provides the biggest “bang for the buck.” However, several other factors should feed this decision. Vendor selection is not only about choosing the right platform, but also about picking the right partner who closely fits the firm’s culture and offers complementary services. Often, organizations find themselves in a precarious situation when extensive analyses conducted over several months do not yield decisive outcomes. Here are three ways to accelerate the process and reach a viable option.

by Christine (Tina) M. Madel, CFA, Principal

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Agile and Waterfall: How To Marry the Two Approaches To Project Management

The two main approaches to project management, Waterfall and Agile, are often viewed as mutually exclusive. Though it’s true they may have little reusable overlap, each is helpful in setting expectations and tracking iterative development and nuanced progress updates. But what happens when you are managing an Agile team and the executive committee wants Waterfall-style reporting? Let’s explore how to unite the teams that work and view progress differently.

by Elizabeth M. Colebrooke, Principal…

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