Technology is changing at a rapid pace and keeping up with these changes is challenging. We have a talented team of consultants that are on billable projects most of the time. Being on billable projects makes it difficult to find time to kick the tires on new applications. Many of our consultants spend time away from work reading about new applications or capabilities in their spare time.
Kiefer Principal Consultant, Andy Coyle, recognized the need to stay up to date on technology and introduced a new concept to the team that helps to ensure that we understand changes that are being made to applications that we support or new capabilities. He also recognized the importance or sharing solutions that had built for clients and discussing our successes as well as lessons learned.
Andy and a couple other Kiefer team members introduced the team to the concept of a Kiefer Tech Briefing. It is a simple concept.
- Ask for volunteers to speak on new features/functionality
- If there are no volunteers look to SME’s in each technology
- Estimated time for each session is 30-45 minutes
- Screen share Teams demo (Recorded for reference and those who cannot attend)
- Quick product demo
- Best practices
- New features/functionality
After several briefings, the team further refined the criteria to make the sessions even more useful to the team
- Dense information
- Technical information
- Demo/tactical/how to (not slide) focused
- An understanding of the audience (Associates -> Principles) and an assumed base level of knowledge
- Presentations address application for State of California customers
- Use cases
- Specific applications or successes
- Potential business areas
Knowledge transfer is an important consideration in project delivery, so it should not come as a surprise that the Kiefer team has made this investment in delivering tech briefings.
While our team members are very knowledgeable, there is simply no way that they can know absolutely everything. It was for this reason that we decided create 4 practice areas. This allows the consultants in each practice area to focus primarily on one area and allows them to become a subject matter expert (SME).
Leverage the skills and talent of a team
Our team is a highly skilled one, but as mentioned, it’s difficult to know everything about everything. Our structure and tech briefings are useful in helping Kiefer team members find the internal resources that is best suited to answer a specific question about a lesser-known technology or a feature that they may not have much experience with. Leveraging the skills and talent of the team is easier when there are mechanisms in place that helps our team members quickly identify which team members are best suited to help in answering the question.
Tech briefings are not “one way” presentations. It is very rare that the presenter is the only team member that knows about the technology featured in the briefing. It is typical that the entire team is fully engaged in the conversation. Perspectives are offered, questions are asked and new ideas that may have not been considered are brought to the table. We have found that the tech briefing is important for knowledge sharing and is an effective way of giving team members a high-level look at technology or capabilities.
So much of what we cover in Tech Briefing are new technologies. This format allows are team members to present the technology, articulate the value and discuss potential challenges. These sessions are perfect for finding the best way to introduce technology and helps us finding the right way to discuss potential solutions with our clients.
So, this is a look behind the scenes. We look forward to sharing valuable information about new technologies with you. Contact us to discuss your business challenge or your idea for an application. You can also reach out to us if you are looking to maximize your investment in Microsoft 365 and hoping to start using more applications in the suite. Let’s talk!