I have two great passions in this world which take up most of my time: catching fish and my job here at Building Engines. The fish catching speaks for itself, but my role as BEI’s Implementation Project Manager means that my duty is to lead our new clients successfully through the minefield and on to a complete deployment which solves their business needs. While I unfortunately can’t do both at once (Wait, can I?), I am able to learn a little bit from each to improve the other. Here are a few lessons I have learned about fishing which helps me out with that other thing…
Pack the right gear
Most days, the only difference between the one in your hand and the one that got away is what you brought to the fight. Being under-gunned is never an advantage, so packing the right resources and bringing them to bear when it counts is paramount. For my clients in deployment, this means having readily available data, creating bandwidth for proactive testing, and sticking to a firm schedule. Without these resources in place, site build-out time, learning curve, and overall time to full deployment will increase.
Bring a friend
Behind every great fisherman is another guy holding the camera and making sure that pesky measuring tape isn’t in the picture. And while their impromptu photography and Photoshop skills might be why you keep them around, the truth is that many experiences are more enjoyable with friends, and can also be a great deal safer. In deployment, executive involvement and having a few extra pairs of hands can make all the difference towards a successful roll-out. Those clients I work with who embrace executive involvement in the deployment process have, on average, a much more rapid and smooth deployment, with higher levels of engagement and system usage.
Be patient, but not too patient
They say patience is a virtue, but they also say everything in moderation. I think that patience is a virtue….in moderation. Whether it’s combing through building data, testing the system, or waiting for a bite from a hungry fish, it’s important to take your time, but know when to set the hook. One of the most common deployment road blocks I see is a simple case of being a little TOO thorough and patient before moving on to the next step. Sometimes striking on a nibble is better than missing a gulp.
One of the most critical points in fishing is also the biggest takeaway I would have someone remember from this post. Releasing pressure, even just for a moment, can undue all the effort it took to get you where you are. Many a fish has been lost by a simple second of leniency in the tension, as have many a deployment. Throughout all stages, maintaining pressure, drive, and focus is what keeps a goal on track. It can be tempting to separate yourself from a lengthy process for a few days, but a coal once cooled can be difficult to rekindle.
We all know that old saying about giving a man a fish, so hopefully you feel that this article has instead taught you how to fish. Perhaps you have even picked up a little bit about successful deployments as well. Maybe, just maybe, I really can do both at once. And finally, for all you fishermen and fisherwomen out there, I will leave you with my favorite angling quote:
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” – John Buchan