Simone Jordan from Inhealth talks about her experience working with Vocative to deliver a project for the group.

What business challenge are you facing?

Inhealth has grown quite a lot, particularly over the past 18 months to two years in terms of the amount of activity that it’s got going on. And the rate at which we have to deliver projects now is an awful lot faster than what we had before. 

It’s a much more agile-type environment. I think the lesson that we were starting to learn was, is that it’s the right fit for the right project. And I think part of what we experienced is that a project manager on paper can look very, very good. But one project manager will deliver a finance project much better than another project manager that might deliver an HR project a little bit better. Not just because of their actual skill sets, but it’s their fit, their personality, their stakeholder management within that particular area of the business, which I think is actually as instrumental to getting a project across the line. 

How did Vocative meet the project need?

The Great Plains project was an upgrade of the finance system at the same time as moving into the cloud, which is obviously where a lot of our systems are moving to now. But anybody that’s worked in finance knows that these guys are actually set by a very rigid timescale. So their availability for a project is quite minimal, you know, month-end, year-end, whatever end it happens to be. 

What it really needed was somebody with a degree of gravitas that was going to be able to encourage them (the team) in the right way to actually be a part of this project, because we were delivering it for them, not delivering it to them. [This was] instrumental in the testing and in the decision-making process of when the delivery would take place and when we would go live.  I very much think that Keith [Vocative contractor] also had that background as well as experience within the finance arena. So he could talk to the stakeholders or the key stakeholders at an equal level because he understood what their challenges were. And that’s why I say the right person with the right understanding, and the right personality actually starts to build a partnership with the customer. They’re not delivering it to the customer, or even for the customer. They’re delivering it together. Because ultimately, in that situation, finance is our customer. 

So that’s where I think that you know, and it’s probably and I shouldn’t say it but quite often projects go over time by a significant amount. And this one, people were always doubting, but it was on time and caused no issues. And it’s a happy client base. So that to me, is the result of really good delivery of a project.

What is it like to work with Vocative?

You know the relationship… is very much [about] putting the emphasis on the right fit, not dispelling what the skills are, but actually they do come secondary, I think the type of person that we need in that environment, we are a maturing company so we don’t always have all the nice processes and administrative support that underpins a project manager. So they do have to kind of get down in the weeds and get a little bit down and dirty with some of the stuff that needs to be done. And sometimes [they] have to wear a number of different hats…maybe a little bit of testing or something like that. I think what came across after the brief was given is that you very much understood what that need was. And I think almost from the outset, I mean, we interviewed through Vocative, two really, really great candidates, both equally as good as each other. But there was one candidate that stood out as being the one that understood what that delivery was going to need which is hence why we selected him. We brought him in early, which was another understanding about the need to bring somebody in from the outset so that they can actually lay down a great foundation for the project.

Did Vocative help the project succeed?

We’ve delivered what was always going to be a challenging project in terms of getting the time commitments from the key stakeholders. And because that was shared with Vocative, that’s why Keith came up as the potential solution to our problem. It was always going to be about getting that engagement with a very, very busy team, also the understanding and experience of working with financial systems and obviously, the challenges that that brings, but also about somebody that becomes a working partner with us. As contractors, or when we have a contract, they are very much part of the team from the moment that they actually join the organisation. So, equally Vocative is our partner in that as well. So it would be a waste of time for you to send me anybody that isn’t going to fit because that would waste your time, their time, and our time. In terms of delivery, he (the contractor, Keith) succeeded very, very well. My view on a project is no noise is good news. And we had no noise. And equally on from that, because of how he delivered that project we have now used him to deliver another one of the projects that we actually already have in fly. Really just on the basis of the commitment that he made to us as an organisation, but also the understanding of the company. And we wouldn’t have got that if we hadn’t been introduced to him by Vocative.

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