If trusted partnerships are the key to successful project delivery during challenging times, then how do you establish these with your vendors in order to face any situation which may occur over the coming months and years – whether due to COVID-19 or something else?
Before our collective worlds were turned upside down in early March, a day in the life of a Gresham Technology Professional Services Consultant was relatively predictable. It was comprised of daily commutes or weekly flights to sit onsite with our customers to gather requirements, design and configure solutions, conduct training and co-deploy our Clareti reconciliation and control solutions. Over hundreds of implementations, we’ve found that this degree of direct engagement ensures the quickest and most focused path to success. Remote implementation models can work well, but you just can’t replace the value of face-to-face collaboration and the commitment to a shared goal. And then, everything changed.
Overnight, the routines that we – and our clients- know all too well were turned upside down. Being problem solvers by nature, we quickly mobilised with our customers and partners to establish or revalidate remote access to key systems. Face-to-face daily scrum meetings and weekly project governance meetings were now video conference sessions. Solution design collateral remained in the shared Gresham or customer systems we’d been using and collaborating on from the start of the project. System testing and end-user support continued via video conferencing sessions. What didn’t change was our drive to achieve our agreed delivery dates and deliver successful outcomes. Looking back, I’m thankful to say we didn’t miss a beat and all our active projects continued to progress largely uninterrupted.
So how did this happen?
It turns out that our standardised and disciplined approach to project implementation had set us up to successfully deliver our projects remotely. It is important to note, that up to that point, we’d had the luxury of establishing trusted relationships with our customers through frequent face-to-face interaction. In that context, the transition to remote working was successful because we had long since established those critical and trusted relationships, and in fact seeing each other in our home settings helped to cement those relationships a little further.
Looking forward, the new challenge is how to build and maintain that same level of trust and collaboration with new customers and partners with whom we don’t have the luxury of working in person with. As many of us will find ourselves in this position in the post lockdown environment, openness and transparency are going to become more important than ever, and firms selecting vendors will need to really think about who they want to work with, how they are going to communicate with them, and who will see them as ‘more than just a number’ when the inevitable next set of challenges come and we find ourselves having to adapt all over again. However, even this can only take you so far. What really allows productive collaboration to grow is when a vendor partner can deliver real, effective results.
Building trusted partnerships for success
At Gresham, we still feel the best way to continue to earn our customers' and partners' trust is to demonstrate our continuous commitment to achieving the outcomes they signed up to achieve with our solutions. To be available when needed, to leverage our global team of experts and to provide our best practice guidance and suggestions as we solve real business issues together.
At Gresham, we pride ourselves on our relentless focus on customer satisfaction. We measure ourselves based on the business value we deliver to our customers and partners, and the outcomes we achieve in collaboration with them. Our mission has not changed, but our method has had to. On the surface, building trust remotely with all the screen sharing and video conferencing applications on the market today should be relatively easy, however in practice it can be easier said than done to build a connection remotely. This is where we believe that our collaborative approach will stand out and enable us to deliver successful, high value projects for our customers in the new environment. So we push forward in these new ways of working, and if your pet or child (or any unexpected guest), decides to join our video conferencing session, collaborating together will be that much more fun.
For more information on how we can work with you to deliver success in challenging times, please get in touch below