(SQL Server) Consultant To Do list for new client

This list might come in handy for consultants (or anyone else). Feel free to comment so I can update the list.
This is a list I compiled over the years and it has saved me some time. I hope you find it useful.

  1. Physical access to the building. At day one, someone usually picks you up at the gate. Try to get a badge for the following days.
  2. Make sure the client has a domain account ready for you. Most clients don’t want you to connect your laptop to their network. When you can use your own laptop, make sure your anti-virus software is up to date.
  3. Ask for Internet access which you need for e-mail to stay in touch with your colleagues and to search online in case of problems.
  4. Access to the root of the C: drive. I had multiple occasions where I really needed access to the root and lost quite a bit of time because of restrictions.
  5. Access to all necessary SQL Server instances .
  6. Ask for the proper database role on the instances.
  7. Ask for RDP access when necessarily.
  8. Printer mapping.
  9. Where are the toilets, vending machine(s), restaurant(if any) and most important, the coffee machine?
  10. All necessary software must be installed (eg: MS Office, SSMS, …)
  11. What are the local helpdesk procedures?
  12. Timesheet procedure. Most clients have their own timesheet tool (even for consultants).
  13. Name of the project(if any). Might be important to name a project in Visual Studio.
  14. Which is the company standard for naming conventions (servers, databases, database objects, …)
  15. Is there a control versioning tool?
  16. Parking space (any know security issues?)
  17. Company policies (use of Internet, …)
  18. Security (SQL Logins, passwords,…)
  19. When to use your badge (toilet, lunch, smoking break)
  20. How much time do you have for lunch?
  21. Is the use of cell phones permitted?
  22. Is there any documentation of the project?
  23. Report regurlary to the client.


I keep a Lacie iamaKey with me all the time with the following utilities on it:

  1. CPU-Z (free)
  2. EventSentry
  3. PowerGUI (free)
  4. Remote Desktop Manager (free)
  5. SQL Sentry Plan Explorer (free)
  6. SSMS ToolsPack (free)
  7. TerraCopy (free)
  8. Sysinternals (free)
  9. RedGate SQLToolbelt
  10. SQLQueryStress (free)
  11. SQLIOSim (free)
  12. SQL Server Internals viewer (free)
  13. RML Utilities (free)
  14. SQLNexus (free)
  15. PAL (free)
  16. PSSDiag-SQLDiag Congiguration Manager (free)
  17. Hex Editor (free)


Also in my bag I keep:

  1. I wireless mouse (I prefer my own mouse)
  2. A descent UTP CAT-5 cable (aka network cable)
  3. USB cables
  4. Power Adapter for cell phone
  5. USB memory sticks
  6. External hard disk (includes a SQL script repository)
  7. A Swiss army knife
  8. Business cards
  9. Painkillers
  10. A Kindle
  11. A Moleskine notebook + Pens