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Practitioners versus consultants: what benefits do both roles offer?

boxing glovesWould your company benefit more from an ITSM practitioner or an ITSM consultant? Have you as a CIO even considered the differences the two can bring to an organization? Blog author Tobias Nyberg uses his experiences as both a practitioner and consultant to shed some light on the differences between the two, what each can bring to an organization, and how to consider which might be a better fit for particular efforts.

First, let’s get to his definitions. As Nyberg sees it, the consultant may be the rock star (drawing lots of attention, pulling off miraculous changes, and motivating the company to take on big process modifications), whereas the practitioner is more of the “rock” (always present, always working to create better processes, but oftentimes doing so without much acclaim or attention). These differences in definition can often cause some chagrin for practitioners, as Nyberg writes:

So when your boss runs in to the office, proclaiming that she or he has seen the light and the true path to ITSM goodness through the eyes of the new consultant, you just smile and cheer, and silently thank yourself for the excellent groundwork that led up to this moment of clarity. Never mind the fact that you’ve probably been saying the exact same thing for the past six months, although no one was willing to listen to you back then.

We, the practitioners, need to be there to take care of all the daily business, and gradually identify and implement areas for improvement. We are the ‘rocks’ who get the chance to see the theories and the frameworks, and then put these into practice in reality. We are the ones with the hands-on experience and firsthand knowledge on how to do things, and how it all really works. So, we may not get to be the rock stars, but we do get to be the rocks on which change is built.

In the end, Nyberg shows how having both practitioners and consultants can be a winning combination. They are able to work off of each other, share visibility with hard-earned knowledge and experience, and create a successful process for organizations to embrace.

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