What happens when we start giving away our work for free? Clients get the wrong idea of the value we bring to our table, commitment takes a hit, and our internal teams start asking questions on how we're contributing to our organization. We look at 3 reasons why we shouldn't be giving away our work, and a tactic to assign value without assigning cost.
What are the reasons why some projects stay on track while others derail? We look at a couple of factors outside our influence (lack of options and the fear of missing out), and one strategy we can all use (alignment with our client's business roadmaps) to ensure our projects always keep moving forward.
Part 2 of the series on Pain. When our clients come to us with immediate pains, it presents an opportunity for us to mine deeper to find out their big anticipatory pains. Forming an agreement that bigger pains exist, correlating anticipatory pains to their immediate hurt, and building a solution that address the short-term first will help you build the trust needed for your clients to come to you with their biggest business problems.
Great meetings results in consensus built, decisions made, and directions agreed to. Bad meetings not only undermine consensus and decisions, but it also destroys team trust resulting in resentment, grudges, and apathy. Here are my 2 rules to great meetings that help teams leave nothing on the table so they can foster participation, understanding, and cooperation.
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?
With unique objectives, measurements, and a strong voice at the management table, structuring an independent professional services team strengthens an organization's ability to continuously focusing on doing what's right for every client. It's definitely more work than to have a PS team report to sales, marketing, product, or another organizational unit, but in the long run it's more rewarding and sustainable.
Professional services has the potential of generating a cycle of endless value within and outside the organization. Instead of approaching engagements as purely transactional, taking the time to assess pain, build great solutions, commit to a plan of action, deliver the action plan, and engage throughout the process will foster great partnerships that begs for the PS cycle to loop over and over again.
What does professional services do? It seems the answer to that question is never consistent than the answers you get from "what does development do?" or "what does sales do"? Perhaps it's because every organization defines PS differently. But just because every PS team is defined uniquely doesn't mean there isn't a common thread.