People first

Applying Great Principles Naturally, the People First Way

by Andy Davies on October 17, 2017

I recently read an amazing book by Shane Anastasi, where he looked at the seven principles of professional services based on his extensive time in the consulting industry. And I started to think, whilst this book is good, isn’t it incredible that we’ve already built these principles into People First and the Partner support?

Here are Anastasi’s seven principles, with some reflections on how we already using them to support People First.

Adapt to your environment

Each customer is different, and we appreciate that.  As a Professional Services consultant, it’s important to relate to your customer, understand the pressures they have to deliver ROI, and then tailor your approach.  Through the range of checklists and change management documents we have built for our Partners, these can easily be adapted to any customer or environment.  And we keep updating and building new content all the time through our own environmental scanning and feedback from customers and Partners.

Always know what done looks like 

By using the detailed system design documents to discuss and record a customer’s requirements, both the Partner and customer has a clear understanding of what needs to be done to achieve the customer’s sign-off.  These documents specify the requirements and work that is needed by all parties to ensure success.  And by using our carefully crafted data validation guide and pre-go-live checklist, we can ensure that everything has been actioned before the people get access to People First.

Manage expectations 

Our management of expectations, and honest conversations, start at the Readiness Meeting.  We’ve got a clear plan of what Partners need to discuss with their customers and, as always, there’s still scope to tailor this to fit the customers' needs.  We know that customers want to be kept up to date with product developments, and by posting articles and other resources on our partner portal our Partners are better placed to have a continuous conversation with their customers.

Have difficult conversations early 

We have a fantastic set of project management documents backing up the implementation process for People First.  This includes agendas for a meeting, change control registers, RAID logs and many other tools to ensure our Partners are best placed to hold proactive escalation.  Openness is at the heart of People First, and we’ve carried this through to the way we implement the system.

Think FAAST (Focus, Attention to detail, Accountable, Skilled, Trustworthy) 

We have carefully selected Partners to implement People First, and all of them have been subject to rigorous due diligence checks.  Our enablement training requires all consultants to demonstrate these attributes and pass several exams to ensure we deliver a consistent service to all customers, irrespective of location.

Participate in the collective wisdom 

Our parent company, MHR, has been working in the professional services industry since 1984.  Many of our colleagues have decades of experience, and we like to draw on that collective wisdom to solve problems for our Partners and customers.  We’re busy capturing and recording a lot of that knowledge and making it available to Partners to help accelerate their learning of People First.

Remember: People + Experience + Relevant knowledge = Professional Services Value

Stay engaged 

It’s our job to stay engaged with all of our Partners and support them in their People First journey.  And because we’ve selected the right Partners, we know they will want to stay engaged with their customers throughout their working relationship.

It was a pleasure to read Anastasi’s book and realise that when we apply these principles to how we already work, we can quickly gain an external endorsement about our work.  Hopefully, you can understand how committed we are to supporting Partners and customers, and we’re not going to stop improving what we have already delivered.