This page provides examples of typical projects.
Use the tabs at left to select a project type.
We are sometimes asked to provide a quick assessment of a
technical situation or asset. This might be in the context of
- Software product or vendor procurement
- Due diligence for an investment or acquisition
- Revising corporate priorities or strategies
- In-house quality management or auditing
- Troubleshooting or problem resolution
- Conflict escalation
Such projects are “classic” consulting – analyzing
a variety of source material, and providing a quick objective assessment that
considers observed facts, client goals, and industry practices.
The amount of work required varies, based on the complexity of the problem
and the type of result needed. Useful answers can sometimes result from
just a superficial look – “Let me describe this opportunity,
and give me a quick reaction.” Other situations may require days, weeks,
or months of study.
Technology reviews sometimes benefit from site visits, for data gathering and
discussion. If face-to-face dialogue is not essential, however, necessary
work can perhaps be completed remotely.
Following are a few examples of review projects from our files,
where the right combination of circumstances and information
made it possible to reach an answer quickly.
- Software audit for a troubled project.
In a two-day visit, we briefly operated the system,
reviewed design documents, spoke with users, examined source code,
and formed basic recommendations.
- Due diligence review. Prior to acquiring a software
vendor, a client wanted an assessment of the vendor’s
technology base and development methods. We supplied a series
of questions to ask, and conducted a brief review based on a
combination of public and disclosed material.
- Company description. Based on telephone discussion
and review of emailed documents, we developed a better company
story (essentially: its “elevator ride” story).
We then drafted a simple one-page collateral document that illustrated
how to tell the new story. Although a normal (re-)positioning
project usually takes weeks or months, this short review backed up
by a tangible example was
sufficient to refocus internal efforts.
- Lost sales review. We were called in to examine a mystery.
“Existing users love our product, but we keep losing sales
in evaluations. What is going wrong?” Over the course of a few
days, we discussed the situation with customers, lost prospects,
sales reps, and tech reps; and we experimented hands-on with the
product. We identified a critical conflict between sales claims
and the training process – the sales process was setting up
users for early disappointment. We redesigned the sales presentation
and training program to create reasonable expectations.
- Business plan summary. We gave a hand to an entrepreneur
developing a business plan. Although a full business plan project normally
takes weeks or months, this quick analysis and summary was sufficient to
identify urgent needs, and redirect wasted efforts. The result was a
short executive summary document that got everybody working together.