Whether it’s the level of the technical team’s cloud experience or internal organizational politics, every engagement has the potential to go off the rails. At ScaleSec we believe in guardrails, not roadblocks, to work with our customer to ensure the desired outcomes are always achieved. There are several ways to keep engagements on track, but the following are a few that work consistently for our consultancy.
The North Star
Internal politics can play a pivotal role in an engagement’s outcome. If things get lost in translation or don’t meet expectations, it can easily derail an engagement. To keep the team aligned, pivot back to the key outcome of the engagement or ‘the north star’. Especially for shorter term engagements, focus on the customer’s number one goal, knowing you can always go back and do more. Focusing on the north star, or primary goal, allows everyone to rally around one key objective and show forward progress. This keeps focus on the outcome and takes it off of any distractions or potholes that may have surfaced along the way. The best solution, sometimes, is steering towards results.
Train the Trainer
Adopting cloud technology can be difficult to wrap your mind around and can lead to a dearth of knowledge that is not easily overcome. Sometimes there could be an existing or upcoming organizational change that really shakes up key operations or teams. When this happens it’s best to socialize the change by knowledge sharing and transfer. This method can alleviate stress and provide reassurance for those learning the technology, or transitioning the solution to the team who will be using or supporting it. Teams or organizations can learn the process or technology without the pressure of having to create it. We find success by partnering our consultants with customer team members to help create the solution together, which instills a great sense of confidence and proficiency. We also create documentation in Confluence, GitHub, or other communal tools as artifacts to make sure the information is easily accessible.
Call and Response
Sometimes it’s challenging to meet regularly with a busy customer, get adequate responses via email, or traverse a knowledge gap between teams. In those cases we present the client with a standardized solution and tweak it with them to meet their specific needs. Following their unique road signs helps us to avoid confusion or misunderstandings that might arise from a communication breakdown.
Once that baseline of communication is established the customer can more easily see the progression of the engagement and socialize it among the organization. This method also provides transparency and allows us to move the engagement along without added stress or strife. Starting with a premade solution gives us a basis for the technical conversation and allows us to help guide the customer through the engagement with minimal friction.
No engagement is a walk in the park, but if there does come a point when a roadblock occurs, you can get things back on track. Keeping the team focused on the overall goal will help relieve frustration and build the trust needed to create new work and build a stronger relationship. Part of being trusted advisors is paying extra attention to the guardrails that keep our engagements on track, which lead to greater productivity and success for our team and our customers.