by Art Gillis
What does it cost to make good technology decisions? Like any consultant, my answer is, it depends. But I'll give you some of the data elements to plug into your own algorithm. Based on standards used by any good consulting firm, a rookie consultant with an MBA from a top business school is going to bill out at $2,800 per day. The math is pretty simple, and I didn't invent it. Although the numbers were a lot lower when I worked for the prestigious sector, the algorithm is the same. The salary is $150K. The billable value is four times his/her salary, thanks to healthcare, profit sharing, overhead and partner support. Partners sell, they don't work, so someone has to pay their way. There are 215 billable days in a year, max. And there you have it. A $150K person has to produce $600K of revenue. Any billing rate less than $2,800 per day, and you're looking at a guy who is between jobs and calls himself a consultant. Anything more than that, and you're looking at a guy who already has many of the answers so he doesn't have to work as many days as the rookie, to come up with the answers a client needs. Why do you need to know this? Because technology decisions are very difficult to make, and sometimes a consultant can ease the burden. And don't believe everything I say just because I earned my CMC and I've been doing it for 35 years. A lot of people have been telling me recently that there a re a lot of good consultants in the industry, as opposed to previous years. So when the going gets tough, hire a good consultant. But don't worry about the rate. Worry about the total amount on the invoice.
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