Getting onto the right track
It started with a miss: A short coffee talk and a one pager briefing document with guiding questions were enough for our client’s product owner, to kick off a new project with Tektit. Then he disappeared in the halls of the company and handed over full responsibility to us.
Tektit’s company culture as well as all our consulting services are based on the same foundation: the Tektit value system, which is reflected in the mode we operate and the way we communicate.
Based on our framework of values, principles and actual outputs the team members write short stories from their daily business that help us reflect on what we have learned. These value stories we want to share to a bigger audience now. They might inspire others to think about their own values and how they want to work. Join us on our journey and tell us which values come to your mind while reading the story - let us know in the comments.
Value Story (II): Speak uncomfortable truth
Principles: professionalism, speak uncomfortable truth, love the problem not the solution, we know what we do but without being cocky, long term partners over short term gains
Values: integrity, honesty, curiosity
Variables: client wanted confirmation which we did not give, result was indicating a different strategic guidance
Outcome: sustainability, self confidence, high quality
From today’s perspective an official kick-off and a Q&A session would have been a better start - not only to get the expected project commitment from the client, but also to get a better impression on how the parties act and think.
The overall enablement cooperation started much earlier: Due to preceding projects and collaboration Tektit has gained the PO’s trust in our expertise and way of working. So he reached out to us with an additional project scope. The objective seemed to be clear and so we dived into the unknown and complex spheres.
Market research and interviews with stakeholders from different departments have been conducted. Together with patient employees, we took a close look at the current process and after several loops we could understand and outline the status quo.
It quickly became clear that almost every employee had a different picture of the product goal. A clear definition of where to start and to stop? Failure! The team members shared the mantra: We have to fix everything by ourselves - no external solution will fit. They had fallen in love with a solution without even knowing the problem properly.
Although there was a lack of communication with the project management, we were able to finalise the report. Using methods proven by Tektit allowed us to uncover root causes and display them in a structured way.
Our recommendations were far away from expectations and the final result discussion left us with a gut feeling that something was wrong. But only several communication loops with the management board and stakeholders involved gave us certainty: None of them was satisfied or wanted to hear the uncomfortable truth.
Instead of justifiable feedback we revealed the sentiment: “the report is not worth the investment”. What a shock!
Fortunately, being cocky is not part of our game. So, we proposed to make amendments to the report free of charge. That helped to smoothen the waves (in fact without any changes to the report). Confirming what the customer wants to hear would have been much easier, but long-term telling the plain truth is the ultimate best - uncomfortable as it might be.
Only after about six months the information reached us that our report is regularly pulled out to onboard new colleagues or to challenge strategic decisions against our recommendations. After some time to reflect, the client admitted that Tektit had outlined a future path that helps them reach their strategic goals.