By Angel R. Rojas, Jr., DataCorps Technology Solutions
Remember when we talked about the need for change in the Managed Services Provider (MSP) industry? Well, we've made it our mission at DataCorps to not just embrace change but to actively seek it out and use it to our advantage. This is a journey of continuous evolution, where learning and adapting become a part of our organizational DNA.
Peter Senge, in his seminal book “The Fifth Discipline,” makes a powerful statement: “The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization's ability to learn faster than the competition.” We've taken this to heart at DataCorps. We understand that as the MSP industry evolves, the problems we're solving today will likely be automated tomorrow. We need to stay ahead of the curve, and that means consistently reevaluating and adapting our processes.
Our implementation of the Gemba process, a Lean strategy of observing work where it occurs, has been pivotal in this regard. It has allowed us to understand our clients' true needs and adjust our services to become more effective, rather than just efficient. An example of this is a situation where a technically perfect plan would have taken weeks to implement, thus delaying the value to the client. Instead of sticking rigidly to the process, we modified the approach to provide an immediate solution to the client's pressing problem.
At the core of our process adaptation is the “Task, Purpose, End State” framework, which borrows from military strategy. This approach allows us to communicate our objectives clearly and give our team the freedom to use their skills and creativity to meet those objectives. Despite initial resistance due to perceived inefficiency, our team has embraced this approach, resulting in collaborative problem-solving and a boost in morale.
Now, there's a delicate balance to be struck here. Processes are essential; they provide structure, consistency, and a means to measure and improve. But we don't want to be like the man in that popular meme, who's climbing a short coconut tree while the coconuts are easily reachable from the ground. The meme is humorously titled "When you have to follow the process," and it's a stark reminder that processes shouldn't restrict us, but rather, empower us.
We've also made a point of actively listening to our clients and understanding their needs. Regular client visits, proactive communication, and fostering a culture of transparency have all contributed to an improved understanding of their needs, facilitating our ability to adapt our processes effectively.
Adapting our processes is about more than just maintaining efficiency or staying competitive. It's about being strategic partners with our clients, walking in lockstep with them as their needs evolve and the technological landscape shifts. The result? Success stories such as the expansion of our services for a client who initially engaged us solely for Voice over IP phones or advocating on behalf of a client to their software vendor, leading to significant time savings and better client service.
In essence, our commitment to adaptability is a testament to our commitment to our clients and our team. It's about building a culture that values learning, welcomes change, and understands the importance of continuous improvement. It's about being the kind of MSP that doesn't just react to change but anticipates and harnesses it.
We're on a journey, and it's one we're excited to continue. Next time, we'll conclude our series by discussing why we persist on this path of continuous improvement. Because the journey doesn't end when you reach a destination – it's about continually moving forward, learning, growing, and becoming a better version of ourselves every day. So, stick around, there's more to come.
About The Author
Angel R. Rojas, Jr. is President & CEO of DataCorps Technology Solutions.