When an organization needs specific expertise on a complex subject matter that lies outside their normal area of work, they typically hire a technical advisor. This person assists the organization in understanding and performing tasks in their area of expertise in compliance with best practice. For example, a high-level university psychology study may bring in a technical advisor in business or financial services to help construct and perform surveys and tests related to consumer behavior or market correlations. A business entity may use a technical advisor in construction or design to help facilitate the most efficient means of conducting regular business operations. Film crews, producers, and directors frequently turn to technical advisors to ensure that specialized events such as military maneuvers, medical procedures, or police investigative work are depicted in a realistic way.
Software development is one of the largest areas employing technical advisors. Developers with the understanding of how to build large, user-friendly databases and records-keeping software turn to advisors in the legal or medical field to help ensure that their products are useful in the enterprise and adhere to standard required by those specialized fields. In these cases, the technical advisor works with the senior design team, making suggestions and showing weaknesses in the design that should be eliminated or fixed.
To be a technical advisor, it is necessary to first possess the specialized knowledge and education requirements necessary to work within one’s chosen field. Normally, some amount of professional experience within those fields is also important, and organizations typically look for some amount of “crossover” experience from the specialized field to their own work. A technical advisor normally works during regular business hours, but may need to be able to travel.
Technical Advisor Tasks
- Troubleshoot and solve technical problems internally and for clients.
- Work directly with clients and internal teams to execute technical specifications.
- Customize and update products, features and documentation.
- Document technical risks, requirements, issues and training.
- Communicate across teams to ensure appropriate usage and technical