“CDS” is Consultant Dependency Syndrome. It’s ugly, expensive, and it’s usually contracted from a consultant who aims to embed him or herself into your organization like a tick until they become a necessary part of your regular operational procedures.

At Red Three we are dedicated to the eradication of CDS wherever we find it. So how do you know if you’re infected?

  1. If you need the consultant to come back and fix a report every time the data changes, you have CDS.
  2. If you can’t close the books at month’s end without the consultant, you have CDS.
  3. If the auditor arrives and you need to call the consultant to explain how the system calculates some key numbers, you have CDS.
  4. If, when you ask for training, the consultant says, “We’ll make sure to schedule that” and then never does, you have CDS.
  5. If you’re amazed at the complexity of your system—but have a gut feeling that it really shouldn’t be so hard, you have CDS.
  6. If your consultant knows more about your operations—not just your systems—than anyone on your staff, you have CDS.

There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing any particular function if that’s what makes sense. But that should be an active choice, not the result of a gradually building case of CDS.


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