If you’re not cultivating your relationships, then what are you doing?
by YLD • September 2nd, 2022 • 4min
YLD’s growth has been purely organic, and here’s the magic behind it.
There’s a reason why in the last nine years and counting, we’ve had multiple brands come back to us to work together on a project. It’s safe to say that our returning clients see how much care we put into the partnership, starting from the high level of respect both parties have for each other from day one.
Our clients get more than just a software engineering and design partner; they gain an ally to their technological and growth challenges.
After chatting with a few of our client leads, I identified the main themes of what YLD has been doing right to be of service to its clients in the best way possible regardless of the industry:
Client Engagement Conversations
Client leads have their own way of working and approach when taking on new projects. Our Head of Product Design, Luis Klefsjo, shared key initial questions he typically asks clients and their teams to understand in great detail what they specifically want to achieve.
- Why are we here?
- What are we trying to solve?
- What’s your current work set-up like?
- Why did you contact YLD?
- What does success look like to you/ your company?
- How do we validate that this is what the business needs?
Let’s face it; there are cases when people don’t know what they need and what drivers led them to initiate a particular project in the first place. Our job as a consultancy is to not only ask the right questions but to help explore your idea and maybe even come up with an even better digital solution than originally planned. You could say there’s some coaching involved with how we conduct our conversations, and we’re proud of it.
For example, having an entrepreneurial mind that never stops and strives to do more, or sometimes it’s a case of simply wanting to create something new but not necessarily knowing what the underlying issue is or what the end goal is.
We deem it crucial to hone client relationships and deeply understand them. YLD consistently strives to connect with the client as an organisation and as a team by identifying the direct and indirect stakeholders. We have thorough conversations during this discovery period. Evidently, the direct stakeholders impacted by this project have a strong influence on how the teams involved will work and the tools they’ll work with, among other things. It’s also important to recognise the mindset of the decision-makers and know what factors drive their excitement about this project.
Did you know that indirect stakeholders are easily overlooked?
Identifying who they are can minimise any curveballs down the road that can easily throw off the timeline, the flow, and even the project’s budget. Once YLD identifies who these indirect stakeholders are, we speak to them and dig deep into these conversations to unearth factors that may not be obvious that potentially have a direct impact on the project.
Once we understand that, we align YLD’s own working style to the client’s so our partnership would be a good fit during the entirety of the project throughout each stage of the life cycle. By doing this, the odds will be in our favour, and we will successfully achieve what we set out to do while working together on this project.
Ultimately it’s about people. We have to know certain parts of them so we can successfully work with them.
Constant and consistent communication with all stakeholders
Communication makes or breaks a partnership alongside what the team knows. Working in a siloed manner won’t bring much good, and we gathered that each client has their preferred communication style and way of working. Did you know that over communication outweighs companies that prefer under communication when working together? Some companies prefer to get in touch monthly, but this doesn’t stop YLD’s teams from sharing updates regularly.
Internally, the daily “standup” meetings allow all teams involved to go through the agenda for the day, any blockers, and any dependencies that need to be prioritized to move things forward in the project. For bigger conversations that involve higher-level stakeholders, we have 2-week sprint cycles to check in on the progress of the project.
Cultivating relationships & Good monitoring
Sometimes jumping into business talk first thing isn’t the best approach to achieving success with client deliveries. The human aspect of getting to know who you’re working with personally sets a more positive tone that can make working together much more enjoyable and productive.
How are you? Where are you based? Tell us a bit about your role, etc. The answers you get from asking such questions help you navigate how you’ll work with certain people involved in the project.
It is key to sense all potential issues in a project by recognising macro factors that could influence any of the numerous teams involved. There are one-on-one meetings between delivery managers and each member of the engineering and design teams, which helps in building relationships with one another. When there’s a good understanding of how each team member works, issues can be anticipated much earlier simply because of the tight-knit dynamic YLD has as a unit.
Our head of technology, Julie Mikulskis, is an example of someone who has a strong sense of things if they are a bit off. Safe to say it’s instinct, and she knows her people well to feel when things need a bit more TLC. Equally, it’s not just about identifying issues, but the better you know your team, the better you can foresee and anticipate any change of direction the project may take.
Arguably, project management is more psychological than anything else because it’s about knowing how your team works and reading the subtle cues one develops throughout working with that specific team. It’s one thing to use project management tools like the waterfall method, but building that relationship with your people makes all the difference.
Ensuring a successful client delivery is at the forefront of every consultancy. It’s important to have agile work methods in place, but don’t forget to be human and truly connect with your clients. You’ll never know how much more you can achieve when you can truly connect.
Let’s work together!
If you’re looking to get into the latest technology or want to join a collaborative team of great engineers and designers that work on impressive projects, feel free to contact us at YLD at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by YLD • September 2nd, 2022
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