At Centric Consulting, we aim to help you overcome obstacles and achieve success. Our Seattle team of problem solvers offers tailored solutions for your business and technology challenges.
While helping find solutions to our clients’ toughest problems, we’ve learned a thing or two. In this series, we share insights from our Seattle team of seasoned solvers on overcoming today’s business, technology and people-related challenges.
Meet Your Problem Solver
Renea Rayner | Seattle Practice Lead | Market Development
THE BUSINESS PROBLEM
Many of our clients, especially mid-market clients, are having a hard time figuring out how to bring formal change management into their organizations. There has been so much change, especially in the last two years since COVID-19, that clients recognize the need for formal change management and change strategy.
They not only need to prepare for what this looks like but have a roadmap for execution — whether they are hiring and building it out or integrating it into their project management offices.
For change to be successful, you need to start by engaging stakeholders to get the lay of the land. By talking with those involved, you can assess where the specific challenges are — whether those are in process, technology or design.
Then you can tailor a roadmap with recommendations that are right for the organization or department — and help leadership integrate those changes or processes so that the change will be effective.
Often, when looking at change, people are afraid — or don’t see the need to invest in a change strategy. Once they get going down the path, however, they see their desired employee base isn’t adopting the change. So, you may need to convince leadership that a change management strategy is necessary to be effective across the organization.
In the next couple of years, this is going to be important as companies try to integrate AI into their businesses. There will be security considerations, as well as issues about how AI changes jobs, how folks will use AI to make their jobs more efficient (which may mean less headcount), and how it will impact costs in the organization.
People are excited about this new tool, so early adopters could do too much too quickly, alienating part of the workforce. But, those slow to adopt it may be left behind.
We will also see change around remote work and employee engagement for hybrid and remote workers. Amazon recently decided to make folks come back into the office three days a week, and they are seeing strong resistance. The mentality of corporate workers changed during COVID and companies will need to figure out the right balance.
Meet Your Problem Solver
Joshua Quain | Senior Manager, Seattle Practice | Client Services
THE TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM
While clients face a lot of issues, two of the more recent ones I’ve been working on have to do with portfolio management maturity and digital transformation. I’m currently providing program and project management services for long-term priority initiatives for a global software company, and the CIO wants to understand why some projects are always red or green and how to make the red ones mature faster and become more predictable like the green ones.
Like many organizations, the factors that created these challenges span across many areas, typically related to process, people, technology, scope, and competing organizational priorities. For people, the client had trouble filling all the roles with the right people, doing the right work, with the right experience, or having the right knowledge.
For processes, they had challenges with all the teams following the same Agile best practices, running sprint ceremonies, or having healthy backlogs with spready ready work. This wasn’t consistent across teams. They hadn’t clearly defined scope and focus. Some team members had competing priorities and would get pulled off onto other work.
To help the client, I ended up creating a team scorecard with various inputs, outputs and use cases. The tool scored each team based on defined criteria, output the score, ranked it against others in the organization, and identified key areas of improvement.
In an ideal world, we could use something like this before a project starts to proactively identify areas that need strengthening. In this case, however, we applied it to projects in flight and on an ongoing basis to track improvements, accelerate maturity, and increase predictability.
Businesses face a lot of challenges on the horizon. One of the biggest is the use of generative AI. Not only those adopting it but also those not embracing it. For those adopting it, they’re deciding what their vision is, where to invest, how it’s governed, what the guardrails are, and how to get the best ROI and business value.
There’s also data quality, quantity and talent shortage concerns, as well as regulations and security. Technology companies and organizations are rolling it out all over the place, so companies need to come up with a plan and policies and start thinking about how best to leverage these technology advances.
Meet Your Problem Solver
Tristian Grenfell | Operations Manager, Seattle Practice | Business Development
THE PEOPLE PROBLEM
One of the issues I see clients facing is that they reach a stopping point, and they aren’t sure where to go next. Or there’s an obstacle in the way, and they need that problem solved in order to keep the workflow moving.
My job is to figure out why the workflow stopped and what we need to do to move it forward, including reaching the right people to help so that they don’t get behind on the timeline.
For example, we recently helped a client pick an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, which was a big deal for them. They had not revamped their system in over 10 years, and the last time, it didn’t go well.
At this client, we did an assessment and met with potential ERP providers, working through the pros and cons of each option. We performed a gap analysis showing where any gaps or weaknesses would be and helped them make the right choice for their organization.
There are so many technology choices to make and so many avenues to pursue that a lot of companies don’t know what to do. It’s not always about the price point.
Just because it has the highest price doesn’t mean it’s the best product for you. Just because it’s the lowest price, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s missing things. When considering technology solutions, it’s important to analyze all the different options before making a choice.