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Information Consulting

Book Description

Information Consulting presents a closer look at what makes information consultants successful and how they develop a productive relationship with their clients. While most of the books on this subject area are providing the experiences of information consulting veterans on ‘how do you really do it?’, the aim of this book is focused on exploring the nature of information management consulting. This includes the task of the advice-and-guidance variety, such as helping clients to analyze and solve problems or to meet opportunities with the element of ‘What should I do?’. The authors have used their extensive international and professional networks to take the challenge of letting the clients speak about their experiences and expectations in hiring information consultants.

  • Unique client perspective: managers and clients talk about their motivation, experiences and advice in the utilization of information consultants in recent case studies conducted by authors
  • Current information and guidance based on the authors’ wide-ranging practical experiences and empirical data (through interviews and questionnaires) collected from several countries
  • ‘top five’ list of consultants´ qualities is presented

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. List of figure and tables
  6. Foreword
  7. About the authors
  8. Chapter 1: What is information consulting?
    1. Abstract:
    2. An information professional: to be or not to be1
    3. The possible roles: the demands on which information consultants reflect
    4. Consulting encompasses a wide range of roles and activities
  9. Chapter 2: Advantages: why information consulting might appeal to you
    1. Abstract:
    2. Sense of control over one’s time
    3. Sense of reward from helping clients
    4. Satisfaction from leveraging one’s experience
    5. Freedom from corporate politics
    6. Freedom to ‘pick and choose’
    7. No ceilings on your earnings
    8. Chapter 2 checklist
  10. Chapter 3: Challenges: realities to consider
    1. Abstract:
    2. Uncertainty and anxiety
    3. Uneven workloads
    4. Need for flexibility and being available
    5. ‘Difficult’ clients
    6. Proposed location
    7. Finances: are the necessary resources in place?
    8. Can you tolerate a slow ramp-up? Should you work part time or subcontract?
    9. The degree is only the beginning
    10. Are you a consulting personality?
    11. Qualities that may trip you up
    12. Chapter 3 checklist
  11. Chapter 4: The starting point: make a business plan
    1. Abstract:
    2. General company description
    3. Products and services, their features and benefits
    4. Economics
    5. Product
    6. Clients
    7. The outlook for the targeted business sector
    8. Competition
    9. Promotion
    10. Pricing
    11. Distribution channels
    12. Sales forecast
    13. Identifying costs, funding and fees
    14. Start-up expenses
    15. Credit policies
    16. Chapter 4 checklist
  12. Chapter 5: The legal environment
    1. Abstract:
    2. Liability
    3. Intellectual property and copyright
    4. Ethics and quality
    5. Code of Professional Conduct for the Information Consultant
    6. Chapter 5 checklist
  13. Chapter 6: Building trust and marketing your services
    1. Abstract:
    2. Understanding makes reputation and detects niches
    3. Your ‘business attire’: creating and maintaining image
    4. Professional visibility
    5. Word-of-mouth: happy clients do marketing for you
    6. Electronic promotional brochure
    7. Chapter 6 checklist
  14. Chapter 7: Client relations: the key to success
    1. Abstract:
    2. The request for proposal (RFP): to bid or not to bid?
    3. Yes, I can help (informal inquiry)
    4. Preliminary discussions: what, exactly, are you selling this time?
    5. A preliminary memorandum
    6. Determining budget scope
    7. The formal proposal
    8. Contracts
    9. Helping the client’s decision
    10. Signature in hand: now the work begins
    11. The art of the client relationship
    12. Delivering the deliverables: report, presentation, discussion
    13. Handling invoice issues
    14. Wrap up … and setting up for the future
  15. Chapter 8: Advice from other information consultants
    1. Abstract:
    2. ‘Just one more clarification’: agreeing to deliverables vs delivering in advance
    3. Keeping your integrity: what to do if you’re told what to do
    4. Maintaining poise and neutrality while getting people to open up
    5. Encountering concerns outside the official project scope
    6. The unforeseen circumstances
    7. Who said that? Protecting the trust client staff place in you
    8. Losing objectivity or being seen as taking sides
    9. Do you take the money and run when what the client requests disagrees with what you believe is needed?
    10. Working with clients in the same industry
    11. Can work be ‘recycled’?
    12. Coping with the disappointment of burning the midnight oil … only to see the report collecting dust
    13. You’re good, and don’t you forget it
    14. Pass it on
  16. Chapter 9: Take a leap from being a librarian to becoming an information consultant
    1. Abstract:
    2. Doing things differently
    3. Assessing the demands for the information professional
    4. Culture makes the difference
    5. Expert practitioner ‘falls into’ consultancy
    6. Ways of repositioning the librarian profession and schools
    7. Chapter 9 checklist
  17. Chapter 10: The clients speak: from a client’s perspective
    1. Abstract:
    2. The motivation to use an information consultant
    3. How to find the right consultant
    4. The ‘top five’ list of consultants’ qualities
    5. Clients’ advice for future consultants
  18. Chapter 11: Ahead
  19. Appendix: Case studies
  20. References
  21. Index