3 Keys to Effective Partnerships

Chains from Mark Skipper
“Chains” by Mark Skipper is licensed under CC BY 2.0

At Excella, I lead our Services organization — really the “what” and “how” of our business. One responsibility in my organization is establishing partnerships to complement what we do. A partnership can deliver value to us, our clients, and our partner if established for the right reasons and managed correctly. For example, we are currently a partner with both Microsoft and AWS and they’ve both been win (clients) – win (partner) – win (us) relationships.

Occasionally I’m asked to look at new partnerships — either by an Excella employee or by a potential partner. These opportunities led me to think about the criteria for exploring a new partnership. Continue reading

DC Continuous Delivery Presentation Resources

I delivered a presentation entitled “Tactics To Kickstart Your Journey Toward Continuous Delivery” to an awesome group of attendees at the DC Continuous Delivery meetup on August 25, 2015. The back-and-forth was fantastic! That’s probably why I kept going for 90 minutes (sorry if you attended and had plans I impinged on). As a follow-up, I wanted to provide some resources I mentioned during my talk.

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6 Principles for Consulting Teams

I’ve worked on a lot of consulting teams over my career. Many of them have been mixed teams including our employees, other contractors, and even client staff. Everyone comes with different backgrounds, perspectives, and personalities and it’s important to get everyone on the team pulling in the same direction to get the best results. You’ve probably remember times when a team wasn’t clicking either within itself or with the client. It’s not fun. It’s feels bumpy. It takes effort. It’s draining. And you feel things could be so much better.

One tool I’ve used to orient teams and get alignment is a set of team operating principles. These principles aren’t rules, per se — they define the basics for our attitudes and outlook and guide our actions. I’d much rather have a few principles that can be applied by intelligent, well-meaning people in a variety of situations than a ton of rules covering every conceivable situation.
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Using a New IT Provider: Are You Really Doing It Wrong?

A friend of mine in a professional group we’re in together asked me a question recently. He’s not in the IT field so he has a perspective I really appreciate. He gave voice to what a lot of companies out there might be thinking, “Why does every new IT provider I use tell me our old IT provider did it all wrong?” As someone leading a company that does various kinds of IT assessments, this was an eye-opener for me. Knowing my friend’s perspective, maybe we can be a little more sensitive to it in the future when we’re doing an assessment for a new client. Let me give some reasons why my friend might have this perspective.
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