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Team Roles & Responsibilities
Hello Everyone - I would love to understand how you structure business analysis and product expertise responsibilities within your service's delivery team. Do you expect all team members to have both skill sets equally or do you separate the collection of requirements versus solutioning tasks into different individuals? Thanks in advance.
I have seen in my career based on IBMs acquisitons companies that separated both roles, but I have also seen a large company that did run with small teams where all members where able to do analysis, delivery and they even had techsales and some sales skills. I was impressed how powerful the mix was, as they were acting much faster and projects seemed to be smooth. On the other hand I know that in areas where both roles are strictly separated a lot of people are saying you're getting larger and faster growth as deals are probably bigger and more aggressive if people are not having the combined knowledge and task. I personally tend to be somebody who prefers the split, but I think it is nice if you have on the collection of requirement somebody who was working in the past in solutioning and vice versa as you're getting more realistic collections and on top the solutioning individuals understand better what got collected.1
CindyYoung Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭
Our PS resources are expected to have both skills - by our customers. Despite thorough documentation, knowledge is generally lost when switching resources between requirements gathering and solutioning.1
We expect them to have both (within our channel) with centrally available resources and support (at the OEM) for more complex solutioning. The complexity of the product itself, the extent of the upfront design/engineering work required, and the ever-changing customer environmental considerations plays a huge factor. Our model struggles at scale and onboarding new PS is a real challenge. For our largest customers they often experience variance in their level of customer success across projects. It's the most common VOC survey response we get and is reflected in our NPS.0
At Splash, we have specialization. Solution Engineers get involved in the sales process to gather requirements for a service engagement over a threshold ($ and/or complexity). The requirements are handed off, confirmed and delivered by post-sales delivery resources with expertise in general configuration, tech, creative, edu, or consulting. We're small enough currently that we can work together in a coordinated manner in our PSA; however, as we scale we are seeing more resource scheduling and utilization challenges. To improvement capacity planning, we're working on 1) deploying more pre-scoped service products (IP service products) that have predictable delivery schedule and 2) building out our delivery partner network to handle engagements that would put too much strain/variability on our resources.
One area that has recently been getting exposed is in our enterprise service projects: our solutions meet the needs of the business requirements but the detailed technical specifications of our platform misses (i.e. we can integrate system a to system b but in the delivery we find out latency of our api doesn't meet the business needs). We don't always go to the level of depth required at the enterprise level in our current process due to the number of resources needed -- even when we bring in people directly from our Product and Eng teams to sign off on the solutions being scoped. It has caused friction between our services teams and our product/eng teams as the resulting blocker typically creates unplanned work for our product. We're learning though!0
@Greg Higgins I'm reading that your post sales resources are also delivering Education? Do you also have a dedicated Education team or are you running all with the post-sales resources? Are you also using Digital Learning?0
@Alexander Ziegler Thanks for the question! We do have a dedicated Education team that splits their time between scaled education programming (webinars, Digital Learning, etc. - http://splashthat.com/education) and Education services delivery (live training, workshops, customized digital learning courses).
As of recently though, we're likely going to bifurcate the team and move the scaled part of the team under Product Marketing so that their initiatives are more aligned with our Go-To-Market function.
We use Mindflash for our digital learning platform and we use On24 and our own tool Splash to market virtual events (and eventually in-person events again 🤞) while integrating all data with Marketo and Salesforce.com.
Sidenote: I'm a huge fan of IBM's development of their employees and I've seen such great talent evolved through their experiences there! Keep up the awesome work!1
@Greg Higgins I'm curious to hear more around your recent change once you have experience. I think in general an alignment of Education with Product Marketing is great. Once there is a combined go to market and Education is visible everywhere you should see much hiugher product adoption.
And thanks for the feedback around our talent development. We're still trying to get even better. I'm currently working on a solution where everybody can use parts of our internally used content free of charge. There is a big demand for high quality emplyoee development as COVID19 shows, and I think it helps to make content available.0