You have a professional responsibility to offer your opinion about any subjects in your scope of work. But once or twice at the most, is enough. Any more than that and the client will very likely decide you are argumentative. It is a very fine line and you want the client to believe you are part of the solution, not the problem. Your prejudices/preferences about the attributes of software, hardware or methods are understandable but verbalizing strong contrary opinions on the chosen course of action will put limits on your career. Your approach has to be at the end of the day "just tell me what you want me to do and I will do it".
Our clients appreciate resources that are able to communicate effectively to get what they need to move forward with deliverables. Assertive (without being abrasive) is a good thing. Simply waiting for someone to do something for you is not helpful to the client. Ability should be coupled with a work ethic and self-confidence that doesn’t require a lot of handholding. The most successful consultants have to be self-directed and self-motivated to meet project goals. It may sound simple, but it is definitely a skill and clients pay more for that skill. It can add several dollars an hour to your specific skill set – just because the specific resource is self-managed and does the appropriate follow-up and communication. Consultants continually get at least 10-15% more than their peers in FTE positions with their client and they get paid for overtime. There is, as there should be, a greater expectation. Our role is always to make the rubber meet the road.
Here is recent feedback from one of our client managers:
I know you sent a review form out to manager for XX and XX but I wanted to throw my 2-cents in, too. They are both a huge add to the team and especially for me. FTE and FTE (client employees) are both in class this week. In the past I dreaded times like this because there would be technical questions or urgent tasks that I didn’t have the knowledge, access or tool set to address. Now, I can go to either of them (Ferguson resources) and quickly hand over the request and know it will be taken care of. If they have questions, they follow-up. When they are done, they follow-up. They are professional in working with both IT and the business and even tempered in the face of a difficult schedule and less than ideal seating arrangement. We’ve had good people on the team but XX and XX are outstanding!