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This practice-oriented subject allows students to develop their ability to build and utilise good working relationships with internal and external clients. Feedback from industry indicates that these “consulting skills” are highly valued, and an important factor in employment and promotion decisions. Information systems professionals learn that technical knowledge is seldom sufficient in itself, and must be supported by the ability to understand, communicate and collaborate with clients.
Students work individually and in syndicate groups. Classes are interactive and focus on practice, with reading and research tasks undertaken largely outside class. Most classes feature a guest speaker from industry.
Topics covered include understanding business and management needs, setting and managing expectations, reporting and staying on track, giving advice, written and verbal communication, consulting ethics, and the business of consultancy.
The subject will enhance students’ ability to manage relationships with stakeholders, communicate effectively about IS services, and engage effectively with senior decision makers in organisations.
- Defining consulting
- Understanding the challenge of consulting
- Understanding the client: What managers want
- Establishing Expectations
- Selling IT Services
- Managing Expectations
- Consulting practices
- Working with the client
- Meetings, Interviews, Workshops
- The trusted advisor
- Effective written and verbal communication
- Dealing with problems and difficult people
- Negotiation Basics
Intended learning outcomes
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On completion of this subject the student is expected to:
- Understand the importance of the consulting process and the factors which determine its success
- Make use of the body of research relevant to IS consulting
- Elicit client expectations for a consulting assignment or service
- Plan a substantial information systems consulting project
- Communicate technical concepts to a management audience, both verbally and in writing
- Approach consulting problems, including “people issues” in a disciplined and effective manner
- Work effectively in a team to collectively achieve practical consulting outcomes.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- Problem Analysis
- Critical thinking
- Independent learning
- Confidence at presenting to a business audience
Last updated: 3 November 2022