It was my first time in Canada and it was really fun! I’ve been invited there to help an insurance company from Toronto implement BigPicture in their new environment. The customer also bought our premium pre-recorded online training of BigPicture for the whole team in order to have materials to work with after I’m gone. Watch the video to learn more, or scroll down for a written summary.
My trip was planned weeks in advance and we’ve had a lot of time to prepare for it. During the preparation period we always spend some time learning how the company operates, to have a better understanding of the environment we’re stepping into, but that doesn’t mean that we go into a lot of details. The rough idea is enough, because the first day of our visit is always focused heavily on getting all the details of that and speaking with all stakeholders. Therefore I had time to plan other activities, like visiting Niagara Falls, which I did 🙂
But from the professional point of view it’s worth noting few things about the situation of the Customer:
- One of the focus points was to learn even more about the functionality of BigPicture. Having me there was an opportunity to ask all the difficult questions.
- The company has been moving from one Jira environment to another. This was a chance they didn’t want to miss, because suddenly they were to have a lot more control over Jira than before and it was an opportunity. I was there to help them grasp this.
- Specific reports that had to stay as they were. Executives are sometimes used to specific type or reporting and do not want to change it. So while the tools change it’s always a struggle to keep the reports intact.
- Having tools is one thing, using them is another. We wanted to end the consultancy with templates of both Jira projects and BigPicture Programs to be reused in the future. Take what works and copy it to make your life easier, right?
- While doing all of that we had to make sure that other departments and stakeholders are part of the process and we’re not going to step on someone’s toes.
The project management team I’ve been working with was small but very active and eager to design something awesome. This always helps a lot and creates an atmosphere of innovation and positive thinking which enhances the change process. Together we’ve managed to:
- Strengthen the feeling of control over the BigPicture tool. It’s a very common occurrence that people feel it finally “clicks” after the practice session based on real life examples and designed solutions and setup. This team was no exception to that. After the practice day there all got a boost of confidence and understanding of how their work is going to change from now on.
- We were able to gather the requirements and design the new BigPicture setup that is easy, informative and understandable for everyone. As always it’s been a difficult task. We had to analyse the pros and cons of many solutions and pick the best one of them. This is where the detailed analysis of requirements done on day 1 comes in handy!
- Reports were a tough nut to crack. We’ve looked into several different possibilities like Xporter, EasyBI and PowerBI, which they’ve already had and have been using for reports from other tools. In the end we’ve decided to use it as well and save on licences thanks to that.
- We’ve created a dedicated Jira project template with custom issue types, fields, screens, workflows, permissions and also a task structure. This of course takes time, so we were not able to finalize it during my stay there, but we were able to create a design for it which I’ve taken back as a homework to be implemented later. For the task structure – this doesn’t happen often, but sometimes projects within the company are done in a similar way and can be described by the same set of tasks. This allows us to create a task template to be reused in every project, which we did.
- Talking with all the necessary stakeholders was a pleasure. There were no tough discussions, because fortunately everyone was really open to change and kept a flexible mindset remembering about others. This was very heart lifting. I love these kind of people 🙂
Some of the work had to be done remotely after the implementation sessions, but that’s ok. It happens from time to time, depending on the amount of changes we’re making.
What I’m most happy about is that it was yet another visit after which people felt that they finally know what to do and how. They changed their way of working for the better and this is what I’m always looking for. Change is good ans shift happens! 🙂