Friday, March 13, 2009

The Storyteller

Consultants have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects in many different environments. When working on a new project, or with a new customer, it is common to relate stories about other similar projects and how those were done & issues resolved. In some cases this is quite necessary, so that the customer is aware that you have the skills & experience applicable to their project.

But there is a fine line between sharing relevant experience, and simply turning into a storyteller talking about the good old days. For these stories to be effective, there is usually a certain amount of background information about that other customer, project, or the stakeholders; most of which the new customer really doesn't care about, wasting both your time & theirs.

What's more, consultants have an implied obligation for nondisclosure & privacy of their customer information, even in the absence of any written document.

It is essential to keep relevant when talking about past projects, in the context of the current customer's requirements. It's OK to reminisce about other similar projects, but it's best to keep it to yourself unless it has a direct bearing on the matter at hand.