RTM Consulting Whitepaper Heroic Delivery

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  • 8/3/2019 RTM Consulting Whitepaper Heroic Delivery


    RTM Consulting, LLC


    [email protected] www.rtmconsulting.net

    RTM Consulting

    Heroic Delivery: TheHallmark (and DeathMarch) of most PS

    OrganizationsA Guide to Building a Scalable PS Organization and Avoiding

    Burnout of Your Best PeopleMark E. Sloan

    Chief Operating Officer

  • 8/3/2019 RTM Consulting Whitepaper Heroic Delivery


    RTM Consulting 2

    RTM Consulting, LLC


    [email protected] www.rtmconsulting.net

    2007 - 2011 RTM Consulting, LLC. All rights reserved.


    MOST PSORGANIZATIONSThis document is a guide to building a scalable PS Organization.


    Through our work with clients, RTM Consulting has been able to analyze the utilization data of a variety

    of Consulting and Professional Service Organizations (PSOs) both large and small. In virtually every

    situation, we have seen that 10-20% of the population is 90% or more utilized. In a number of cases, 5-

    10% of the population was over 100% utilized. We all know that overtime and going the distance is

    part of the job, but in these cases, people were 100%+ utilized for a full year. What makes matters

    worse, anywhere from 20-40% of the population was less than 60% utilized.

    How does this happen? Do these statements sound familiar?

    Many PSOs start as small organizations. In small organizations, PS executives hire experts or

    employees develop into experts by necessity as there is no one else around to do the job. As the PSO

    grows, either organically or through acquisition, the same initial experts are still doing a majority of the

    work. The organization is systematically either unable or unwilling to mint a new generation of experts.

    This document will provide a guide to building a scalable PS organization.


    Amazingly, many PSOs do not fully recognize the extent of this problem. First of all, the problem is often

    masked at the executive level because:

    1. Somehow the work keeps getting accomplished; and2. Overall utilization is at or near the target for the organization.

    The beauty of the typical pool of experts in PSOs is that they just keep on going. They thrive on being in

    demand and at the center of the action of the organization. Additionally, when the PSO executive

    looks at the data, the 10-20% of the PS employees with extremely high utilization helps to balance out

    I have to have on my project. No one else!

    No, those resources are not experts. It has to be !

    can come shadow the project, but Im not paying for the time.

    can you work on both of these projects at the same time?

  • 8/3/2019 RTM Consulting Whitepaper Heroic Delivery


    RTM Consulting 3

    RTM Consulting, LLC


    [email protected] www.rtmconsulting.net

    the 20-40% with low utilization. The result is an organization that has net utilization in the high 60%

    range. When viewed in aggregate, executives see this utilization as ok and move on to other issues.

    The issue is that one of two things will happen:

    1. The experts will eventually burn-out and leave the organization; or

    2. The organization will not be able to scale to meet expanding needs (which only serves to

    accelerate the first point).


    The problem of a Subject Matter Expert (SME) shortage is often seen as a classic chicken and egg

    problem: an expert needs experience, but a resource cannot get experience without being an expert.

    That is, Account Teams do not want to invest the funds required to staff a junior resource on the

    project, but the junior resource will not become an expert without real world field experience.

    I contend that the decision does not need to be seen as an either, or problem. Rather, by shifting

    their thinking to developing SMEs, PSO executives can break the SME shortage cycle. There are three

    key steps that PSO executives can take:

    Deploy a Career Coaching Model;

    Launch Comprehensive Development Programs; and

    Employ Strategic Staffing Assignments.

    Career Coaching Model

    Many of the PSOs we have seen operate in the traditional command and control, top down organization

    structure. Put more simply, each person on the organization chart works for the person that gives them

    their daily / weekly / monthly work tasks. However, in this model, the employees supervisor is not

    always the expert in the topic area of the employee. The supervisor is a supervisor.




    Career Coaching

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    RTM Consulting, LLC


    [email protected] www.rtmconsulting.net

    To be successful in grooming new SMEs, new members to the PS team need to have a mentor, a coach,

    a person they can call to get their questions answered. They also need someone looking out for their

    future assignments, helping chart out a course of assignments that help them build the necessary skills.

    Career Coaching is the foundation that provides the employee with a safe place to address their needs.

    Comprehensive Development Programs

    Training, Development, Knowledge Transfer. Call it what you want, we all know it needs to be done.

    However, we all rarely spend enough time, energy or money in this area. Yet, it is so critical. In our

    work doing Resource Management Diagnostics, a common refrain from most client organizations is that

    We need more training. These programs do not need to be

    expensive programs. Rather, it can be:

    Self paced training that is taken after normal work hours;

    Access to a well organized knowledge base that is accessible electronically; or

    A message board that is governed by other experts in the organization.

    The resources you have hired are smart, intelligent people. Otherwise you would not have hired them.

    You simply need to give them the access to tools, knowledge base, reference guides that will help them

    along the way.

    Strategic Staffing

    Of the three recommendations, this is likely the cheapest to implement and most productive in

    developing future experts. As mentioned early in this paper, we often hear the refrain, We need more

    experts. I am willing to let some new employees shadow a projectbut Im not going to pay for them.

    The problem is, someone needs to pay, but few PSOs allocate the budget for idle resources.

    To address this need, we have seen successful PSOs leverage the staffing assignment process to build

    new experts. As project needs are defined, they look at how to pair up more and less experienced

    resources. This could involve:

    Pairing up two new developers with a more seasoned developer;

    Staffing a new / junior project manager on a team of seasoned architects and analysts; or

    Assigning an expert architect to three projects and giving the expert the leverage of three to

    four junior architects across those projects.

    The list of permutations and combinations could go on. The point is, by strategically staffing your teams

    you can create the opportunity to develop new experts. You may be throwing new people into an

    uncomfortable environment, but you are also surrounding them with the additional support that they

    need to get the job done and learn from the experience.

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    RTM Consulting 5

    RTM Consulting, LLC


    [email protected] www.rtmconsulting.net


    We have all seen heroic delivery. Through the course of our progression up the PSO career ladder, we

    have likely exhibited some of these traits: going above and beyond; working 70+ hour work weeks;

    making it happen. These are all great traits in an individual but difficult to scale in an organization.

    Losing a hero can have a tremendous impact on a PSO. PSO executives need to make their experts

    expendable by developing more experts. Developing peopleis a process and will take time; but, its

    better than the alternative of doing nothing and finding yourself without the right people.

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    RTM Consulting, LLC


    [email protected] www.rtmconsulting.net


    Cincinnati-based RTM Consulting provides strategic and operational advice to assist technology

    companies with increasing revenues and margins by leveraging professional, consulting and shared

    services more effectively. Specializing in Resource Management and Services Business Optimization,

    RTM Consulting helps IT hardware and software companies, consulting businesses and shared servicesorganizations get better at what they do. With its unique Just-in-Time Resourcing solution and Business

    Acceleration Services, RTM Consulting helps large, medium and small firms move beyond theory to

    practical application of industry best practices and achievement of exceptional results in the shortest

    possible period of time.

    Mark E. Sloan is the COO of RTM Consulting. Mark is an industry pioneer with respect to defining and

    deploying Global Resource Management processes for Consulting and Professional Service Operators.

    Mark is a frequent speaker at industry events and has served as an Advisory Board Member for the

    Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA). Prior to his current role as COO and Senior Founding

    Partner of RTM Consulting, Mark held a number of executive consulting and entrepreneurial roles with

    Accenture and Convergys.

    2007 - 2011 RTM Consulting, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • 8/3/2019 RTM Consulting Whitepaper Heroic Delivery


    Copyright 2007 2011 RTM Consulting, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


    Who We Are

    RTM Consulting provides strategic and operational advisory services totechnology companies and other industries to assist them in increasing

    revenues and growing margins by leveraging consulting, professional and

    shared services more effectively.

    What We Do

    Strategic Planning Services - We use our extensive leadership experience to

    help services organizations build the right strategy and operational model to

    make value creation a reality.

    Resource Management - We help you focus on Getting the Right Person in

    the Right Place at the Right Timewith our Just-in-Time Resourcing (JITR)


    Project and Portfolio ManagementOur unique PMO/PM frameworks will

    help your organization efficiently run projects on-time, on-budget, with

    consistently excellent quality.

    PS Business Optimization - Our skilled practitioners help you identify and

    implement best practices necessary to transform your services business into

    the most efficient and effective operation possible.

    Skills Development/Training - We enhance the soft skills of your consulting

    and professional services personnel to complement your product, business

    and technical knowledge. We also offer training in project management,

    resource management and other services based disciplines.

    PSA/PPM Consulting - We provide an objective third party assessment andassistance in choosing the right automation solution for your needs and

    assist you with implementation to achieve the benefits of your investment.

    Outsourcing Advisory Services - We assist both providers and consumers of

    outsourcing services with Strategic Sourcing Consulting, Resource

    Management Strategies, Business Optimization, Skills Development and

    Training, and Resource Management/Project Management Automation.

    Value Realization Services - Our unique Value Realization Framework enables

    you to help your clients close the technology consumption gap by accelerating

    adoption of your products full range of features and functions.

    How We Do It

    Our highly disciplined management consulting and operational services


    Rapid Diagnostics to identify opportunities to improve business performance.

    Implementation Services to make solution implementation fast and effective.

    Business Planning Services to turn your vision into a realistic operating plan.

    Business Acceleration Services to accelerate your time to value with RTMC


    The Challenge

    Technology service providers andother human capital intensive

    service organizations including

    hardware, software and consulting

    companies, internal shared service

    organizations and outsourcing

    entities all know that efficient

    management of human capital,

    project processes, and other service

    delivery and go-to-market related

    processes are key to market


    Todays challenging business

    environment makes running a

    services business highly dependent

    upon having lean and proven

    business and operational processes

    designed for peak performance.

    The SolutionOur unique combination of decades

    of services and outsourcing

    operational experience coupled with

    solutions targeted to the services

    organization allow us to work with

    large, medium and small firms to

    move beyond theory to practical

    application of industry best practices

    and achievement of exceptional

    results in the shortest possible period

    of time.

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    Company Capabilities Overview

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