Aries Technology Group helps you to not only achieve your expected results but to exceed your expectations for a new technology project through collaboration and innovation. An effective consultant is your most valuable asset.

What should you look for when you engage a consultant? Of course, everyone on the Aries team has many years of product experience. You can find plenty of product knowledge on every street corner. Just ask any technology consultant about their product knowledge. A consultant’s product knowledge accounts for only a small part in determining whether a project will be successful. Of greater importance are the behaviors, skills and project management experience of the consultant.

You want to engage a consultant who exemplifies the professional consulting behaviors and skills that consistently result in producing your expected results.

The consultant’s personality will make or break a project way faster than the consultant’s level of product knowledge. Below is a “consulting pyramid” to explain why these behaviors and skills are so important. They are the foundation on which every project is based. Without that foundation, your rate of success with a technology project will be limited.


There are three types of consulting

  • Expert: An expert comes in, tells you what you need to do to solve the problem and then leaves. This type of consulting solves the immediate problem but does not seek to understand the underlying causes of the problem. Nor is it focused on correcting those causes. The downside here is that the problem will probably reoccur because the causes were not explored. Use of an expert consultant does provide a solution for a specific problem; however the long-term success rate for the project is low.
  • Pair of Hands: This type of consulting is the mirror image of the Expert. The customer hires the consultant to perform a specific task as designed by the customer. The consultant is not expected to understand why the task is being performed; rather they are simply expected to get it done. The consultant is dependent on the customer’s ability to understand the problem and on the customer’s knowledge of how to solve the problem.
  • Collaborative: A truly collaborative effort between the customer and the consultant ensures your problems will be solved and stay solved. This kind of consulting is the best chance for success!

And here is why we favor the collaborative approach…

You benefit from the consulting process as outlined below.

  • Visioning (click here for a Sample of Vision Statement)
    • Business process review. A business process review documents and flowcharts of all your current business processes and identifies opportunities for improving those processes.
    • Scoping. The scoping process serves as a blueprint for the implementation process. It contains all of your project goals and objectives. More importantly, it documents all of the procedural changes necessary to implement a new system. (click here for a Sample of Project Scope)
    • Proof of concept. The proof of concept consists of a fully functional instance of your new system as outlined in the scope and will utilize your actual data and business processes.
  • Project management
    • Projects are managed with an Issues List instead of with a time sheet.
      • The Issues List contains every to-do item for the project
        • Every issue is assigned to a team member. That team member can be from your company or from Aries.
        • Every issue is assigned an estimated completion date and an actual completion date.
      • You have 24/7 access to the Issues List that provides you with an up-to-the-minute status of every project.
        • You can mark your assigned issues as complete.
        • You will always know if a project is on-track.
      • All projects have at least a project manager and one consultant. Those two will not be the same person.
  • Implementation
    • Your executive and operations teams are intimately involved in the collaboration.
      • They take ownership of the project and participate in the design of the proof of concept.
      • Reduces fear of new system. It’s not that people dislike change. They fear the unknown. Collaboration gets everyone involved in the project and turns that unknown into a known.
    • Going live is a non-event because everyone has already tested the system with familiar company data before the go-live date.
  • Ongoing support (click here for a Sample of KTA)
    • All knowledge transfer agreements are custom tailored for your business
    • All knowledge transfer agreements include unlimited technical support cases.
    • You will have access to your consultant for any business related question without being on the clock and without needing to count cases.


If you suck at what you do then bill for your time.

Ed Kless
Senior Director of Partner Development and Strategy


I understand that in the past you dealt with people on a time-based model but that’s all wrong! I don’t believe it’s ethical to charge by a time unit. You are best served if problems are solved quickly and business conditions are improved quickly. But the consultant is always best served when charging by a time unit if things take longer.

Alan Weiss
Summit Consulting Group, Inc.


Here are the reasons why Ed and Alan are exactly right:

  • In a time-based model, everything is a guess. You don’t want guessing, you want facts.
  • In a time-based model, you take all of the risk. The consultant, not the customer, should take the risk for projects going over budget and over the time line.
  • A time-based model puts you and the consultant in adversarial roles. You want the consultant to work quickly to reduce cost and the consultant is under pressure to work slowly to increase the bill, to please that consultant’s boss and to make sure that consultant gets a bonus based on amount of time billed.
  • You want the consultant to be focused on your required results, goals and objectives. A time-based model requires the consultant to focus on the clock instead of on your business. To put it a different way, you don’t want to buy time, you want to buy results.
  • You should be able to talk to your consultant any time about any subject without being on the clock. The idea here is to have a strategic relationship with your consultant and not simply a tactical one.
  • You want to set a budget for every technology project and know that the budget will not be exceeded. By setting a fixed price for every project, you can depend on sticking to the budget.
  • The best strategy for managing technology projects is not tracking time working on the project. Just because a consultant spends time on a project does not mean that the project is going well nor does it mean that the project will succeed. Instead, a project should be managed with an Issues List.