I often say I live my professional life at 35,000 feet, both physically and figuratively. That includes more time on aeroplanes than is good for me, or the planet, (note to self: always pay the carbon offset and try to be responsible). The benefit of being at 35,000 feet is that you can see a long way and you’re invariably above the cloud line where the view is always beautiful. This privilege allows for plenty of time to reflect on the past, the present, and the future.
A sign of success for me is being able to focus on the big picture, the wide-angle view, and steer the ship accordingly. As our business grows and matures, the job, in many ways, gets easier. At least the existing business does, and my focus is drawn to what’s next. Having a high-performance team who deliver excellent results consistently is a key part of that.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent some time on the ground, at the coal face, and it’s been an enlightening experience. Last week I sat in on a presentation to a potential client. They have a mission-critical project and at the end of the meeting, the stakeholder asked a direct and important question, “How can we be sure that you will deliver on time and within budget?” This is critical to us.
That’s a great question. I felt we answered well, but it got me thinking. How in that situation can you convince someone that you’ll do a great job? How can you sweep aside those concerns and expect someone you don’t know to trust you? In reality, you can’t; that’s unrealistic. Trust and respect are earned and take time. What you can bring to the table, however, is a customer-first attitude and belief in your team.
In the days to follow, I met with a customer and sat through a governance meeting for a major project. Both reinforced my belief in our team and the results we produce.
The first was a discussion about an upgrade project that wasn’t too complex but was important to a customer who needs 100% uptime, no excuses, because lives are literally at stake. The fact that the project was completed early, 20% under budget, and had no impact on their business operations is testament to the work we do. A happy customer, a job well done, but for those involved, just another day at the office (with a fair bit of WFH, of course).
The second was a weekly governance meeting for a major project that is politically charged and challenging to navigate. We’re not done, but we’re on track. The first phase of the project was delivered on time and within budget, despite the challenges we faced. A large team has knuckled down and delivered under pressure and we’re proud of them.
This deep dive into the details has bolstered my belief in our ability to deliver. Let’s delve a little deeper and talk about why we deliver these results time and time again. I’ve talked about being specialists and being technology agnostic. Those are strengths for our business. But there’s another differentiator that’s harder to achieve, and that’s simply experience.
We’ve been discussing the 1,500 projects we’ve completed lately. I checked, and it’s over 2,000, across more than 150 customers, over 18 years. Have all those projects been delivered to today’s standards? Perhaps not but reaching where we are today has taken time. Can we confidently approach any challenge we’re given today and expect a great result? Absolutely!
What’s taken us to this stage? Hard knocks, some mistakes, a lot of learning, investing in people, laser focus, collective wisdom, and a positive attitude. Most of all, it’s our experience.
If integration is important to you, then you need to talk to us. We don’t expect your trust; we aim to earn it.