The Professional Services Guidebook
Building Great PS Teams
I wish there was a manual on building good PS teams. I never got one, so I took lessons from being in PS teams, good and bad, and developed a sense of what a good PS team looks like, and how to build one up. These articles is a beginning of a how-to guide for you so you can meander less and build more.
It's the dilemma that all "doers" face when they become a leader: What's should I do with my existing client? If you think you can take on a leadership role and keep your entire client at the same time, you're going to yourself doing poorly on both. Read on to find out why it's not fair to your clients, your team, and yourself if you try to take on way too much.
When we're asked why we should have PS report to Sales, we try really hard to rationalize that proposition. I've been asked to rationalize moves like this before, but I've always had a hard time trying to stand up for my team. I outline the 4 biggest ways organizations try to rationalize this terrible move, and how in real life they are completely irrational.
Do you have your services organization reporting up to sales? That's a recipe for disaster, leading to objectivity conflict, poor morale, and constant personnel churn.
Hiring into a PS team is hard. Most of the time, we beat our heads at a wall to find candidates that do the same things we do. I've had great success at building PS teams with those from support and operations organizations. Read on to find out my 4 reasons why I think they make great PS colleagues!
Hiring for Professional Services teams tends to be difficult. We don't seem to find as many professional services candidates to fill our teams. Don't blame a smaller hiring pool of generalists! Start finding great people who share our passion to be great trusted advisors and our drive to learn and grow beyond a single discipline. Read to find out more!
Teams that compete and win all have one thing in common: They train. They train hard, and they train often. So, why should our team be any different? Read on to find out how intense team training focusing on developing and improving our synaptic responses can be a great way to spread knowledge and build confidence amongst ourselves and our clients.
Why is pattern recognition important for services teams? How does our pattern recognition help our organization figure out anticipatory problems? Where do we get started? We dive into the 3-step process on how professional services teams can take our learnings, make it relevant, and affect positive change for our clients.
A PS team can be greater than the sum of its parts! Building and growing a cohesive PS team takes effort and hard work, but there are 3 really good reasons to do it: it promotes learning, allows for greater pattern recognition of problems, and encourages adherence to standards. Learn how to help build a cohesive PS team with 4 simple tactics!
Measuring the success of a professional services team can be nebulous. Resist the urge to take the easy route of tracking dollars or "time spent" alone! Measure the team based on how they are executing on the three fundamentals of a great professional services team: How well are they diagnosing pain? How objective are they in solving client pain? And finally, how strong are the long-term partnerships we are striving to develop and maintain?
Part four in our series on separating deliverables from effort. We conclude with tips on making the transition to structure a team that collaborates on quality deliverables.
Part three of the four part series on the operating model of separating deliverables from effort. Knowing what the model looks like, we now break down the benefits of the model.
Part two of a four part series on making the case for separating the notions of deliverables and effort. We look into a real life trial of this operating model, and examine the results of the trial.
Part one of four on making the case to separate the notions of deliverables and effort. It's an operational model where the team works together on all aspects of PS work, but each role is uniquely responsible for their own deliverable. Part 1 breaks down what the model looks like.
Professional Services isn't a team with a homogeneous role. It is a team of people that wear different hats: solutioner, planner, executor, and supporter.