“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” -
This quote resonated with me when I recently took on a do-it-yourself (DIY) renovation project at my home. I decided to do the project myself because it appeared fairly straight forward. I had a vision and goal of the finished project in my mind. I had gone so far as to draw out the plan, itemize the list of materials I would need, and the tools I would require to complete the project. I was comfortable that I knew what I wanted, knew how to build it, and had access to adequate resources to successfully complete the project. I began my project with a little demolition work and ended up accidentally over-demolishing the project. I had to hire a professional to clean up the mess that I made and complete the task. The end result is that I paid more than I would have, if I had hired the professional to begin with.
When Red Adair first spoke this famous quote, he was referring to his services as a firefighter. I have found that the quote also applies to construction renovation professional services. In my professional experience, I have seen the quote suit Information Technology (IT) projects where organizations embark on the DIY path for their project. The results are often incomplete projects or projects that fall short of the goal. In the end, the organization called on professional consulting business to “fix” their project.
In addition to doing the job right the first time, there are other advantages to hiring a professional. Donald Rumsfeld, United States Secretary of Defense, said “…there are things we do not know we don’t know.”
2 A professional consultant helps organizations
identify aspects of their organization or project that they don’t know. The organization can then leverage or rectify the unknown, depending on what it is.
A professional consultant typically has past experiences and knowledge that can take an organization’s project
beyond its initial vision. While this may increase scope, costs and timelines for your project, it may actually be a creative solution to accomplish the same or more scope while potentially reducing costs and timelines.
In some projects, hiring an independent professional may simply
add value by adding a fresh, new perspective. We have seen projects where organizations are certain they know what they want and simply want to “build it”. A professional consultant can often help customers step back and revisit the goals and strategies of a project, enabling customers to see ideas they had not thought of, resulting in
On many occasions, IT professional consultants are hired after failed DIY attempts and results in unnecessarily high costs to the customer. As Mr. Adair said, while an amateur may look less expensive initially, in the long run it is often less expensive to hire a professional to do the job. It is important to
understand the value of hiring professional consultants to strategize, design, develop and deploy a business system.
Red Adair was an American oil well firefighter born on June 18, 1918, in Houston, Texas. In 1938, he worked his first oil-related job with the Otis Pressure Control
Company, and during World War II he served in the 139th Bomb Disposal Squadron.
In 1959, he formed Red Adair Company, Inc. which provided services to control
oil well fires and blowouts. His company established modern-day effective Wild
Well Control techniques. Adair’s accomplishment gained notice, and in 1968 he
became the Technical Advisor on the film
John Wayne. During
his career, he and his company completed over 1,000 jobs internationally
including in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Adair died on August 7, 2004, in
"Defense.gov News Transcript: DoD
News Briefing – Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers, United States Department of
Defense (defense.gov)" February 12, 2002.