Consulting servicesAN INTRODUCTION
At the conclusion of a six-month long search project in 2021 my client commented in an email
“Your work and advice have enabled the team to discover and appropriate a field that seemed more than obscure at the beginning of the project. It is a pleasure and a pride to see today an autonomous team united around the same objective, able to challenge a search specialist vendor on precise and specific subjects, both functional and technical. You have made a major contribution to this.”
In the course of the last two decades I have developed a unique range of tools and processes to support my consulting work. Each of these is described below.
An opportunity to talk through your aspirations without any obligation to use my services
A two-hour briefing to bring your project team and project stakeholders up to speed with the benefits and challenges of implementing a new search application or focusing on improving your current application.
Search Stress Test
A set of twelve search challenges you can use to gain an initial assessment of how well your current search application is meeting requirements.
There is no charge for the Sounding Board, Executive Briefing and Search Stress Test, and no commitment to use my consulting services.
I like to work on a fixed price basis for a specific phase of a project. These phases are typically as follows but are of course open to negotiation.
- Scoping and preparation
- Vendor listing and RFI development and assessment
- RFP development and assessment leading to the choice of a preferred vendor
- Support and review of Proof of Concept tests
There is no requirement to commit to more than one phase at a time. I take pride in making sure that at the end of every phase my work is documented in a way that it can be immediately handed across to either an internal consultant or to another external consultant.
Provides you with a quantitative benchmark of the strengths and challenges of your current search application as a basis for making a business case for investment. The score matrix also gives you the facility to track progress following the implementation of a new search application.
Business case development
Most of my projects start with a request to develop, or to critique, a business case. I have developed a 50-item check list that enables me to gain an initial appreciation in just a few working days of the strength of the business case and define the work that needs to be undertaken to improve the prospects of success when it is presented to stakeholders.
From my extensive project experience I am able to provide a reliable forecast of the likely duration of the project, build a risk management scheme and indicate a likely budget for both software and professional services.
I have extensive experience of undertaking user requirements research, dating back to my initial consulting assignments in the early 1980s. My focus is always to understand the decisions that groups of employees (defined as personas) need to make to meet business and personal objectives. From these decisions I work backwards to define the information needed to ensure the decisions are as effective and risk-free as possible and then consider the role of enterprise search in finding this information.
I maintain a database of over 70 enterprise search and e-commerce search applications, both commercial and open source. This database enables me to quickly build an initial short list of potential vendors whilst keeping the identity of my clients confidential until such time as an RFI is circulated.