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Sure, but the reality is that frequently consultants are brought where they have a general familiarity, but the actual SMEs are internal to the CAF, who know what needs done and how to do it. The issue isn't usually that we don't know what to do, it's that the big giant heads don't trust their internal team of SMEs.Any decent consultant will always include talking to the people with the problems to understand the context. The whole point of hiring a consultant is to get another set of eyes on the project. Often the manager has got too many competing demands from within the organization and is having difficulty meeting all of them. They then start asking themselves "Am I seeing this right? Is there something I am missing?" And then, if their reality is confirmed and a course of action created and decided they then need ammunition to sell that course of action to the organization.
People moan about politicians and use the word politician as an epithet about their bosses. Reality is that everything is political. Everything is a transaction. As a salesman I spent as much time selling my clients to my company as I did selling my company to my clients. As a manager it was a case of selling my department's people to the company while selling the company to the department.
In military terms it comes down to that bit at the end of the Ops O when you ask for questions and dread somebody asking "Do you believe this will work?"
Nothing more frustrating than being a legitimate SME in a niche field, and having to walk some generalist through the details so that they will put together a report to the big giant heads that says the same thing as your BN/email whatever, but actually gets things moving. It's a waste of time and resources.
I've learned a lot from some consultants, when they are plugging a gap we don't have, and use 3rd parties a lot to bring in extra hands when we don't have enough people, but there are a lot of things we do where it's essentially a fancy letterhead and big invoice to confirm something we already know.