Many CIOs use consultants to help with their technology initiatives -- but that doesn't mean they have to like it.
Indeed, many folks take a decidedly dim view of consultants, based on observations like this one from software developer Joel Spolsky. He describes consulting engagements as "a fairly pointless transfer of wealth from ExxonMobilConoco to BainMcKinseyGartner's senior partners" in his popular Joel on Software blog.
An important point to remember, however, is that consultants are often only as good as the guidance companies give them.
We liked this Fast Company article, penned by management expert Mark Goulston, that features a list of 12 steps (coincidental?) designed to help companies get what they want out of their consulting relationships.
Of course, choosing the right consultant goes a long way toward ensuring a successful relationship. In this IT Business Edge interview, the president of the Professional and Technical Consultants Association says that clearly defining a problem or need is the first, and perhaps most important, step in selecting a consultant.