Before I started my IT career a couple of decades ago, I envisioned that someday I would become an expert in my field and that expertise would allow me to help businesses leverage technology to improve their processes and ultimately increase profits. Fast forward to today and the reality is that the IT world is vast and deep and filled with many disciplines and technologies, and it is virtually impossible to become an expert because of the rapid rate at which changes are occurring.
So, rather than staying up late every night trying to keep up with all of the latest and greatest software and hardware technologies, I decided to take a different path and focus on helping businesses improve their bottom line by first analyzing their current processes and then navigating the minefield of technology to design a solution that provides the best possible return on their investment.
I’ve been able to provide quality service to my customers by having a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various technologies. I have learned to leverage the expertise of others in areas such as web application development, database design, service-based architectures, mobile development, and cloud services to assist me in designing and ultimately delivering a quality and valuable solution.
Keeping Everyone on the Same Page
I am surrounded by a team of outstanding consultants in our office in Appleton, and I spend a fair amount of time discussing design ideas with them. On any given day I may be involved in three or more projects and most of my day is spent balancing my time in order to provide the best possible service I can while staying on schedule with each project. I have many formal and informal meetings and discussions with both my customers and other Omni consultants, discussing the approach and design of some projects while getting updates on the status of others.
Keeping All the Balls in the Air
Time management and priority “juggling” is an important aspect of each day. I have learned that it’s good to plan out your week, but always expect the unexpected. There have been many days where I had a plan of action for the day and none of those items were accomplished because of an emergency situation that required immediate attention. That is where the ability to juggle comes in handy because you want to make sure you don’t “drop the ball” on any of your projects.
Keeping Everyone in the Loop
Communication, both internal and external, is vitally important for maintaining a quality relationship with your customers and fellow consultants, so I spend a fair amount of time on phone calls to customers or sending out emails. By the end of each day I usually leave the office with one or two challenges or issues bouncing around in my head that will need to be addressed the next day. The goal is to work on resolving those issues first thing the next morning before the day gets too crazy with meetings and any other issues that may arise.
So while I may not consider myself an expert in any one technology, I am doing what I set out to do—using my technical knowledge to solve problems and create better ways of doing things. Meanwhile, I’m also bringing my aptitude for consensus building, problem solving, project management, listening, and communication to the table. As it turns out, those old fashioned people skills are actually pretty valued in the work world today.