Editor’s note: On Friday, we published Part One of How I Got Fired as an ERP Consultant by Rich Farrell, senior manager at Panorama Consulting and arguably our most irreverent and unique blogger (and colleague). Following is the second half of his ten steps to getting the boot (though, as he wrote in the first post, if you successfully made it through number five you’re probably already packing your bags anyway).
Without further ado . . .
6. Not being a team player and being despised wherever new projects take you. Consulting is a team sport and loners get culled from the herd. Your team includes your associates AND your clients. A successful consultant will dial their ego down to “two”, roll up their sleeves and do whatever needs to be done. It is important to be not only a good team player but a great team player.
Alternatively, if you goal is to be ostracized and the proud holder of a brand new pink slip, by all means sniff your nose, declare some work to be “beneath your social or corporate stature” and stab your teammates right in the middle of their back. You will be well on your way to walking the plank.
7. Worrying solely about the money and not the work. ERP consulting is about leaving the client better off than they were before – not leaving them significantly less affluent. If a consultant loves the work, really leans into it and does not hold back, the money will follow. Being a coin-operated consultant and unabashedly upselling something a client doesn’t need is off-putting and coarse. Act this way and all you will have to really worry about will be money because you will be downsized right off the ERP project.
8. Being unprepared. It never gets old. The whole room full of clients is disgruntled. After all, they have full-time jobs and any time spent with a consultant piles even more onto their to-do list. The consultant breezes in, fashionably late and takes ten minutes to set up the PowerPoint presentation and the projector. For the next 45 minutes, the consultant empirically proves that he or she has not looked at a single document provided by the client or even reviewed their PowerPoint brief. The presentation is full of “ums” and “ahs” and uncomfortable pauses. The consultant also meticulously reads every single word on the slide deck that was created by someone else. Being unprepared is excellent preparation for another presentation . . . job interviews.
9. Being late. This is my very best tool for getting “right sized.” Always be late. Be tardy without fail and with maddening consistency. Always provide an excuse: “My car . . . , my cat . . . , my dog . . . ,” and never, ever be on time. Lateness is not only rude but is the best and most effective way to get pulled off stage with a hook. Everyone’s time is valuable. Being ready to go on time telegraphs respect and acknowledgment of others. Rolling in 15-20 minutes late with a Starbucks in your hand shouts how little you care about other people’s time. The upside to always being late to a gig is that you will not have to be on time for anything in the near future . . . while you desperately search for a new job in your pajamas.
10. I would have a tenth step but no need! You are already fired. Congratulations! You are part of a government statistic, the recently unemployed, restructured, streamlined and transitioned. After successfully achieving the ten, um, nine step plan, don’t bother applying to Panorama Consulting Solutions. Our ERP consulting team takes great pains to avoid the steps above and we have a singular client focus second to none. We work to build partnerships to enable our clients to determine their current states, pinpoint their future desires and use ERP software to be the bridge between the two. To boot, we are always on time, prepared and happy to be working with our clients. And frankly, we much prefer Dunkin Donuts to Starbucks anyway.
Written by Rich Farrell, Senior Manager of Client Services at Panorama Consulting Solutions.