Guest Column | June 15, 2023

Committing To The Journey: Embracing Continuous Improvement

By Angel R. Rojas, Jr., DataCorps Technology Solutions


Change. Six simple letters that have the power to inspire growth and innovation. For us at DataCorps, change is not just a buzzword, but a core part of our business philosophy and culture. We've been open about our journey and how it has shaped our organizational culture, processes, and relationships with clients. The path to continuous improvement is undeniably challenging, but through resilience, patience, and an open mind, we've turned hurdles into growth opportunities.

One of the paradigm shifts we've experienced at DataCorps was embracing complete ownership. This meant confronting vulnerabilities and taking responsibility for everything – including seemingly external factors. For instance, if a client didn't provide enough information, we asked ourselves, “Could we have anticipated this? What could we have done differently?” This shift from blaming external factors to focusing on how we can improve has been transformative for our business. This stance of full ownership also meant revisiting established industry paradigms, like the notion of “firing clients,” with fresh, Lean-focused eyes.

Adopting this mindset, however, necessitates humility, vulnerability, and openness. Initially, it was a challenge to admit our shortcomings and failures, but it quickly became evident that the acceptance of these flaws was not just an admission of failure, but the first step toward rectifying the issue and improving the situation.

While this journey has brought a wealth of benefits, it's not without its trials. We've faced resistance from team members uncomfortable with change and had to navigate a fine balance in maintaining creative tension – a force that drives us toward our vision. Too much tension can lead to “gap thinking,” focusing too intently on our future goals without appreciating how far we've come. Too little, and we risk complacency.

This balance is crucial because the tension must be strong enough to propel us forward without causing undue stress or burnout. Operating within this realm of 'optimal discomfort' can be challenging, but it is within this space that we find our most profound growth. It's where we've learned to real-time evaluate and adjust our goals, strategies, and processes, a practice integral to the Lean philosophy.

Professional and personal growth often goes hand-in-hand with challenges. In our pursuit of continuous improvement, we've seen high levels of frustration, departures of team members resistant to change, and the stress of learning new processes. But through patience and understanding, our team has matured, and we've transformed our company by rejecting norms like burnout and recruitment struggles.

This transformation wasn't easy, and at times it seemed like the challenges might overshadow the progress. But with each challenge, we found an opportunity for growth, and with each setback, we discovered resilience we didn't know we had. In fact, these obstacles have been instrumental in defining who we are as an organization today.

Unexpectedly, our journey has struck a chord with younger professionals, often labeled dismissively as “millennials.” We've found them hungry for an environment that values their creativity and growth. This insight has shifted our perspective and reaffirmed the importance of treating our team with respect, fostering an environment where they feel safe to explore, learn, and grow.

To create this conducive environment, we've been deliberate about priming the pump–engineering conversations and orchestrating scenarios that give our team members an early “win.” These successes, though sometimes pre-arranged, help build confidence, setting the stage for more independent problem-solving and initiative-taking.

This journey has not just impacted us internally, but also positively influenced our relationships with clients. A particularly memorable moment was when we enabled a business owner to work from home, providing much-needed support to his family after the birth of his second child.

As we conclude this series, we hope our experiences and insights inspire you to embrace change and embark on your journey of continuous improvement. This path is not about the destination, but the growth, learning, and development that happens along the way. So, to all MSPs reading this, we invite you to challenge your paradigms and to be open to learning and adapting. Here's to your journey, may it be filled with learning, growth, and abundant success. Thank you for being a part of ours.

About The Author

Angel R. Rojas, Jr. is President & CEO of DataCorps Technology Solutions, Inc and has been a member of The ASCII Group since 2017.