First Seek To Understand

To succeed in solving complex problems, you must learn active listening.  The entire objective when sitting with a client is to seek to understand.  Not only understand the problems they’re facing, but WHY they are a problem.  What are their motivations for wanting a solution?  Listen more and speak less.  Ask for clarification and questions about their why.  If you understand fully, solutions are simple.

Current Example

This last couple of weeks we’ve been talking to a new prospect.  The initial discovery meeting went well.  We listened and kept on listening.  They gave us a list of 14 significant problems they are experiencing with their current IT provider.

That’s a long list, but we kept asking questions to understand their WHY.  What lays at the root of all these issues?

This business really has 1 core need.  Their strategy for growth was to acquire more locations by buying existing businesses.  Their acquisitions team oversaw all these transactions which can often be large and complex.  At the same time, they were required to take over IT management of these locations for continued operations.

Their current IT provider consistently fell short when assisting with these projects, and the acquisitions team (which are not IT people) were left holding the bag.  Luckily, they are smart and resourceful people that stepped up to help get things done, but the time required is significant.

The company needs to unburden their acquisitions team from as many IT related activities as possible.  This will allow them to focus on growth and finding the best possible deals.  Focus matters.  To make matters worse, the acquisitions team has done this for so long they have become the internal contacts for IT in this organization.

This company had a long list of problems, but almost all of them came back to this central point.  Unburden the acquisitions team of IT activities and streamline new property takeovers from an IT standpoint.  There were some other problems along the way, but that was our main objective.

The Solution

The challenge to solving this problem was that it had many facets.  We needed a solution that would help with a lot of the day-to-day IT operations.  It also needed to incorporate project management and the setup of networks at each now location.  They needed to own communication and seek to make a cultural shift in the organization where folks would come to us instead of their acquisitions team.

When thinking about the best way to accomplish their goals we decided it wasn’t going to be possible to do so effectively without a dedicated resource.  There was just too much that needed to be done.  We needed a resource that has technical skills and can assist with project management, but also personable enough they can help change culture.

We created a role called a Technical Account Manager to fill the gaps.  They along with our helpdesk would manage the day-to-day IT operations for the company.  Ownership of project planning and management provided by this individual helps to unburden their Acquisitions team.  They save them money as well because they have the know how to configure the needed equipment themselves and minimize project fees.  They also sit in the client’s office so they can get to know the people there, become know as the IT resource, change the culture, and unburden the acquisitions team.

The TAM’s work, coupled with an excellent helpdesk and automation team at i.t.NOW allow us to solve all the clients’ problems.  Not every client has similar needs, and most wouldn’t need a dedicated resource like this.  The size of this client and complexity of project needs made it necessary for this client.

When you understand, solutions become apparent.

What are your needs?

If your business has gotten to a place where you feel like your IT needs aren’t being met, we should talk.    We’ll listen to understand not only the surface issues, but the why behind them.  Then we’ll get to work designing a solution that will unburden your team and allow you to focus on key business objectives. 

Click here and fill out the form to let us know your needs.  We would love to help.