While performing the recent seven day challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, there was time during the daily six – eight hours of walking to reflect on various subjects of life. On one of these days I was struck by the strong parallels between “Team SYSPRO” and “Team Kili” as we affectionately called it.
A focus on the right fit
When we are called on to put a “Team SYSPRO” together for Sales, Implementation or Support – we assess the task at hand, the culture of the customer, their unique requirements and then pull together the appropriate resources with the required expertise to best complete the task.
In pulling together “Team Kili,” we approached it in a similar manner. We invited like-minded women (ten of them), who could handle the challenge and complement one another; a guide we all felt confident in, but who would “fit-in” with us and our different personalities; 45 porters, as we wanted this to be as easy and comfortable as possible, yet not feel crowded; a cook who could satisfy our various tastes and requirements, yet product quality food even at 5000m; additional guides who could nurture us all the way up the mountain, yet not make us feel inadequate.
Prepare, prepare and prepare some more
Preparation was absolutely critical for “Team Kili” from the outset - we needed to work together, support and motivate one another. Without this, the challenge would have been a lot harder, not as smooth and possibly a number of mistakes. Besides the required training, there was research into the appropriate vitamins to take; what to do to prevent altitude sickness; what were the best snacks to take; what clothing and equipment to buy and where to get the best deals. Instead of each person doing this alone, the ten people could share and ensure optimum results.
When it comes to an implementation, our “Team SYSPRO” teams are also required to work together to fully understand the customers’ requirements; model their business processes, map these onto SYSPRO and then implement the complete solution. Without this detailed preparation, the implementation might not run as smoothly and cost effectively as the customer would like.
A successful outcome
The success of an implementation is measured on the ROI and project completing on time and on budget.
The success of the challenge to climb Kili was measured on the whole team summiting with minimal altitude sickness and a great experience.
Both successes would be more achievable through the correct combination of people and resources and hence the best “team” being put on the job.
Looking back, one element I cannot emphasize enough throughout the journey, is the importance of communication. When working together to reach a common goal, this not only helps motivate and keep one-another on track, but also minimizes mistakes and ultimately ensures a commonly understood and shared experience that will stand us all in good stead when it comes to the next journey.