Overcoming internal IT’s objectionsLocked
Okay gang, here’s a hum-dinger for you. How do I ‘handle’ working with or around an internal IT person who is dead set against a consultant coming into her shop? Here’s the scoop.
1) Director of nonprofit agency asks around and gets my name on referral for “help with IT issues.”
2) I have great interview with this person, listen carefully to her concerns, and conduct preliminary interviews with the office manager and some directors and managers. They ALL tell me how dissatisfied they are with the current technology setup. Machines are old and slow. The part-time internal IT person (who only works 4 hours a week to get benefits!!) has Lotus WordPro on most of the machines. Staffers have resorted to bring in their own PCs from home… It’s Dysfunction Junction.
3) I bring in my subcontractor to do hardware inventory and we meet for the first time the infamous internal IT person. She is in her own world but doesn’t act overtly threatened or upset that “consultants” are being brought in.
4) As soon as I leave, she starts riding my subcontractor, tells him what we’re doing is a “farce,” and there’s no way “her users” will EVER want to part with their Paradox for DOS 4.5, horribly designed, full-of-garbage, everything-in-one table database….
5) The part-time IT person is best friends with the office/business manager.
Is there a win-win solution here? My gut instinct is to go into the big director’s office with my first/last invoice for time spent to date, and throw in the towel, “unless someone can get the IS person to buy in to what we’re doing.”
On the other hand, I hate to squander an opportunity to make a good impression and make a lasting, real difference in how these folks conduct their business by upgrading their systems, which was my charter.
So, fight/win or flee? What’ll it be? Welcome input from anyone who has been there before. -Jeff