Our team performed the first read-out today with the customer. We reviewed the results of our engagement and provided our suggestions for improvement. These kinds of things can go a few different ways. As part of my regular job, I often perform assessments for customers looking to either evaluate current performance, or get to the bottom of user adoption issues. Some customers are very open to the feedback and recommendations, while others get defensive and make excuses. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this first read-out. Would they be as open to the results as they were to sharing their experiences with us? Think about it: this is a small organization with only 23 employees, with a founder who is still CEO. What if they took our comments as not only calling the baby ugly, but also having bad breath and a terrible personality? Strange analogy – couldn’t think of anything better on little sleep.
One of the benefits of having such a small organization is that most of what we shared was not news to them. They may not have realized the depth of some of the concerns, or how widespread the perceptions ran. However, there were no moments of great surprise. I do feel that they took the results well. There was a lot of silence on the phone line (most of the customer team was in Bangalore) but at least in the Chennai office, we could see a lot of head nodding, and it wasn’t because they were falling asleep. It was great to be able to honestly say that we were impressed with the talent and commitment of their team members. All of the issues we identified are around process or fine-tuning that can be fixed with some organizational diligence. They have brilliant people employed at Villgro and work with top talent outside of the organization as mentors for incubatees. That leads the company to not put too many rules in place; they don’t want to insult or constrain them. Unfortunately, that leads to confusion and lack of process adherence. People don’t know what they are being measured on and what is expected of them. Processes actually help people perform better and feel co rodent in their success.
Very glad to have that part behind us! Now we shift into some additional workshops for some of the Villgro staff. Tomorrow the German is leading one on how to create a good reporting dashboard, and Wednesday I will lead two: one on project management, and one on change management. I was really excited that one of the portfolio managers asked if she could join the change management one because she wants to help them improve their ability to change. So Wednesday will be a long day, but Thursday will be fairly low key. Friday is the large presentation for all of the teams and non-profits. Some of SAP leadership is flying in for it. No pressure. 😉