Given the right role, an internal consulting unit can be an invaluable asset to an IT organization. An internal consulting group can work as an advisor to management or help execute an organization's project management tasks. Often, an internal consulting team will work with user groups to implement new technologies or help prepare a department for upcoming technology changes.
But one of the most challenging roles—and potentially the most rewarding—is when an internal consulting unit works as an adjunct to an organization's developers, developing new uses for existing technologies or increasing the capabilities of a business's service arm. In this capacity, it's imperative to have clear rules for client contact.
A few months ago, we ran an article that described a TechRepublic member's struggles and successes with an internal consulting unit. One of the components that the member said would help sort out questions about who should be contacting clients and how internal consulting should work with other departments was a "rules of engagement" policy. We've put together a sample policy that offers guidelines for a business that has sales, engineering, and internal consulting departments.
We're also interested in how you work with your internal consulting departments and whether you've put together a similar document. If you have, send it our way. We'll pay you $50 if we post it to our Web site.
If you haven't seen a few of our recent downloads, here's a look at what you've missed:
- Conflict of interest disclosure form
A conflict of interest, as defined by your firm or company, must be presented openly. This sample form, which includes language describing conflicts of interest, can help you or your associates keep everything aboveboard.
- Ethical conduct between IT employees and vendors
Don't wonder if your IT employees who have contact with vendors and suppliers are grateful for good service or guilt-ridden for accepting gifts. This sample policy offers a framework for proper business conduct.
- Acceptable downloads and executables
Regardless of how robust your security architecture is, the greatest tool you have in keeping your network secure is an informed workforce. This sample policy offers suggestions on what kinds of downloads and executables are safe.