Lessons learned

Rather than regurgitate what we have done in the past, we share with you the ten most important things we have learned and incorporate into our practice.

I. Skunks don't make good company
Yes, skunkworks and guerilla projects have their place in forging creative solutions. But they are no substitute for basic practices that provide a foundation for solid results every time. Information management solutions exist within a larger business ecosystem and their successful implementation requires us to:
  • Identify all stakeholders early but limit veto power.
  • Get everyone involved but not design by committee.
  • Be sensitive to organizational issues.
  • Communicate often and effectively.
II. Satisfice
Good IT consultants know what technology could do for the client, but great consultants focus on what it should do to add appropriate business value. We craft solutions that address the business challenges within the timeframe and resources at hand.
III. Don't shy from a debate
Clients know their business. And we know technology. In order to help clients make the best choice, we need to listen closely to their goals & challenges and leverage our technological expertise to provide new perspective on potential solutions.
IV. Don't stop thinking about tomorrow
Business priorities change. Information technology evolves rapidly. We don't chase fads but strive to build solutions on a robust foundation so we can benefit from technological advances and address new and unforeseen challenges.
V. Respect the organization
Organizations have their own culture, structure and established practices. The best technological solution might not be the most viable business solution. We strive to tease out unarticulated needs and hidden constraints and adapt solutions to organizational realities.
VI. Challenge the organization
Sometimes we need to ask clients: Why? The world changes and yesterday's best decision may not translate into a good business practice today. By providing our clients a fresh, independent perspective on old assumptions and current possibilities we empower them to make the right choices.
VII. It's Software Engineering
Effective IT solutions are the product of software engineering—the application of computer science theory, techniques and principles to the real-world problem. Our investments in internal R&D and organizational learning provide us leverage in identifying, adapting, honing and creating the software frameworks and patterns essential for delivering great solutions effectively.
VIII. Low tech is OK
We're not delivery boys for a particular technology or platform. Nor are we always set on finding a pure technical solution. Our goal is always to find the appropriate solution for the client's needs. If a low-tech solution does the trick, we go for it.
IX. Don't try to boil the ocean
Yes, having a strategic intent or an overarching goal is important. But attempting to do everything at once in an environment where business needs change or surface over time and technology evolves rapidly is almost impossible. We aim to add business value incrementally and follow an iterative implementation methodology to enable collaborative design, feedback and rapid course correction.
X. Tomorrow is another day
Sometimes things go wrong. We prefer not to dwell in the past and assign blame. But rather prefer figuring out the best way to get back on track to deliver the promised business value and treat the event as a learning experience.
Since 1996, we have learned valuable lessons delivering solutions to a range of clients from Fortune 50 to niche players.