The consultant is the expert. The client has fully delegated
the authority to plan and implement changes to the consultant. Decisions on how
to proceed are made by the consultant on the basis of his or her expert
judgement. The client elects to play an inactive role, and is responsive only
when required by the consultant to respond. The client’s role is to judge and
evaluate after the fact. The consultant’s goal is to solve the immediate
When IT people choose this role (as they very often do) it
means that they have the space to get on with the job in hand without
interruption or interference, but it means that they can hide behind their
expertise when things go wrong, much to the frustration of business managers.
The other problem with this approach is that the client’s commitment to the
technical solution is often rather thin. This means that when the client gets
the end product, he or she is not always happy, having taken little interest
until the finished item hits his or her desk.