If there’s one thing that we learned during our time at 18F it’s that delivering short bursts of consulting work, focused on a specific topic, can empower government managers and teams with the critical know-how they need to produce great technology outcomes. In other words, not everything requires a full-fledged consulting engagement.

Now with Skylight, we’re excited to take what we’ve learned from executing these types of focused, quick-turnaround, high-impact consulting engagements to the next level. We call it Microconsulting Services.

What is microconsulting?

Microconsulting is a special type consulting format that features an individual or small team who produces an immediate deliverable on a specific topic for a low cost. Think of it as a quick and easy means of supplementing your team with supercharged brains.

Traditional Consulting Microconsulting
Large teams Individual or small team
Long timeframe Immediate timeframe
Large scope Narrow scope
High budget impact Low budget impact

Why should you consider microconsulting?

Government managers and teams are modern knowledge workers (educated, experienced, adaptable) who are quite capable of performing their jobs superbly. Sometimes, however, they lack specific skills/knowledge in 1-2 areas for a given task or project. It might not be possible or practical to fill those gaps through extensive training. In addition, access to internal resources with such know-how might not be available, and engaging an outside firm in a full-blown consulting engagement would simply be overkill.

This is the type of problem that microconsulting is designed to solve. Experts who can supplement, even level-up, your team’s existing skills and knowledge base with a short burst of intellectual horsepower. Whether it’s rapidly prototyping an idea to facilitate strategic decision-making, conducting a workshop to teach a new technical skill, pinpointing code-quality issues behind a slow-moving software development project, evaluating the suitability of an open-source-software alternative, or providing feedback on how well a solicitation aligns with agile delivery practices, there are tons of useful applications for microconsulting.

It’s also a great, low-risk way to test out the capabilities of a firm before engaging in a larger body of work (that is, “try before buying”).

What types of microconsulting do we offer?

We possess digital expertise in a number of different areas — for example, design/product workshops, agile acquisition, agile delivery, open-source software, rapid prototyping, software engineering, legacy modernization, microservice architecture, application programming interfaces, IPv6, and cloud computing. So we can provide a wide range of Microconsulting Services tailored to your specific needs.

We also offer several standard ones as well. These include:

  • Agile Solicitation Support for increasing the probability of your acquisition’s success through a smartly-crafted solicitation aligned to agile delivery practices.
  • Code Quality Assessment for identifying code-quality issues such as technical debt that are holding your software development team back from delivering faster.
  • Protosketching (a unique form of rapid product prototyping) for stimulating stakeholder imaginations about what’s possible and focusing the strategic direction of your project.
  • Coding Dojo (a mini-coding bootcamp) for quickly gaining expertise with a specific programming language/framework, development practice, or technology.
  • Agile Micro-sprint for giving you and your team direct hands-on experience with agile while simultaneously advancing the development of your software product.
  • Rent-a-CTO for obtaining quick expert advice on the suitability and trade-offs of using a particular architectural pattern, delivery practice, or technology.

What prices do we charge?

All of our Microconsulting Services are conveniently priced within the federal government’s micropurchase thresholds (civilian: $3,500, defense: $5,000), making us just a swipe of the credit away.

If you’d like to learn more about our Microconsulting Services, please drop us an email at [email protected].