Imagine an IT department where a team of programmers, DBAs, technical leads and project managers work together effectively and efficiently to create an elegant architecture to support well built applications.
Imagine data base performance tuning that goes beyond mere productivity to deliver extreme peak performance.
Imagine a software and services consulting team that actively tries to find ways to reduce project costs and trains internal staff so well that they work themselves out of a job.
Now stop imagining. Meet the Elite Technical Team from LCS Technologies.
LCS Elite Technical Team operates on a simple set of core values:
1. Connected Communication
2. Holistic Thinking
3. Bridging Boxes and Cultures
4. Build it Right the First Time
To see how this team has changed the rules of Oracle software and service consulting, take a walk through a typical day with Elite Team members Ara Davis, Martin Ferrier, Greg Ledford, Steve Simonetto and Stéphane Côme.
A day with LCS’ Elite Technical Team begins as early as 5 am with conversation and connected communication.
Stephane: “We talk before the day starts. We talk after the day ends. We talk during the day. We aren’t just planning the day. We are all in sync on the project. And we keep the customer in synch.”
Conversation continues through the day as each team member interfaces with their counterparts in the client’s organization.
Ara: “In my role I do a lot of communicating so rather than send an email to someone, I may walk over and talk with them because it is more personal and I want them to feel more connected to us. It is too easy to sit in your cube all day.”
Greg: “We want them to see that we are part of their team rather than an outsider coming in.”
Taking a long term and comprehensive view of the customer’s problem is the bedrock of LCS consulting approach. They call it holistic thinking.
Greg: “We don’t just look at that one problem. We are always looking to see what other ways we can help them beyond what we are currently working on.”
“Once a customer had issues with an application a few days before “go live.” We could make the changes quickly (with no project delay) because we had designed it to be very flexible from the beginning.”
Steve: “Recently, we were referred to a potential new customer. They had a very technical request to implement two Oracle DB features. When we provided a quote to the customer, the response was, “Well that does not solve my issue. It does not get me where I need to be. “My response was, “Perfect. Now let’s talk about what your business problem really is.”
Billable Hours Not Spoken Here
Martin: “Some companies, their whole goal is billable hours. I have never heard that phrase here. A body shop needs you to do so many billable hours so if you do your job quickly, that’s bad.”
“One time a PM came to my cube with an issue and I said, ‘that’s real simple’ so I fixed it right then and there. She said, ‘we asked another company to fix a similar thing and they estimated 120 hours for it’.
“To a body shop, all hours are the same. We don’t work like a body shop because we look for the fun stuff.”
Bridging Boxes and Cultures
The most challenging part of outsourcing is being viewed as a threat to the status quo. LCS’ top priority is to build bridges and deepen relationships.
It’s a far cry from the typical outsourcing “body shop” where different developers from different companies are thrown together to code their way out of a bad design or poor business decision. In that scenario, different agendas, cultures and working styles can torpedo a solution before it is even discovered.
Stephane: “When a client calls and wants to bring someone in to shed the light, the internal staff automatically thinks we are there to make them look bad. That there code is not good. Is he going to find this? Is he going to find that? They wonder. There is lots of resentment.”
“I’m not here to take the credit. I want to know how can I make that person more successful in what she is doing every day.
“I feel like we (the IT industry) have gotten to a point where everyone is in their own box. We are not allowed or encouraged to go to someone else’s box. I want to bridge the boxes and solve the whole problem not just a piece of it.”
Martin: “Bridging cultures means understanding that you may need a different style to solve a problem. If my style doesn’t solve it, maybe Ara’s would.
Greg: “We can get out of the box because they trust us. We have delivered in the past. We have a little bit of freedom to do that. Technical staff appreciates the flexibility and the creativity.”
Ara: “Trust is the main thing. The staff we work with appreciates that we are more creative. We are not one of these companies that is (billing away) but doing nothing and everyone knows it. We are making things happen.”
Build it Right the First Time
Making things happen means the Elite Team is not looking to turn a consulting project into a never ending revenue stream by creating application fix after application fix.
Martin: “When I build an application, I think of myself like a custom home builder. If I do my job right, I finish the job and you never see me again.”
Steve: “Until you are ready to add on a room. Then we are the builder you want to ask back in.”
Now you can stop imagining a time when your project teams work effectively and efficiently…call in LCS’ Elite Technical Team and start working that way today!