Training lies at the core of effective consulting. This applies to both the learning and instruction aspects. One must constantly seek out new training as a consultant to keep a keen edge on valuable skills. One must also be able to effectively train others to provide value. I’m going to address the “providing training” side of this coin.
All of the early members of the Isos team spent some time running others through training classes in our pre-Isos lives. These included fundamental Java development courses targeted towards developers familiar with languages such as RPG, IBM WebSphere configuration and administration, and a host of other topics. These courses were mixes of canned materials and customized instruction.
As the company has grown, one thing that always resonates when reviewing new candidates is teaching or training experience. We have a tendency to gravitate to those who have at least some experience in teaching others.
Why is being able to train others so important? This is a question those with little to no consulting experience, and sometimes even those who have been consulting for some time, often wonder about. It comes down to one of the core roles of a consultant. As an effective consultant, your primary goal should always be to leave a client in better shape than when you first met them. This goal is only partially met once you have gone in and addressed the issues you were brought in to solve. If you leave at this point, the client will probably be good for a while, but there is a very real chance the issue will rear its head in the future. However, if you include training as part of your solution, the client will be better able to prevent the issue from occurring again. This is the difference between treating a symptom and providing a cure.
Of course, an issue doesn’t have to exist at the moment for training to be sought out. Proactively developing the skills needed to deal with tomorrow, should be the goal for any organization, regardless of size. Providing the training for these skills is the goal of any effective training expert. With the growth of Isos Technology’s Atlassian practice, we have seen many of the issues impeding those incorporating Atlassian tools into their environments. This is the reason that we have begun growing an arm specifically targeting Atlassian focused training, becoming certified members of the Atlassian Authorized Training Partners Program (AATPP).