I’m back in the saddle after not blogging for awhile. This will be the first in a series of blog posts about my business travels on behalf of Liaison, what I’ve learned from them, and what you can learn from me.
When I first came to Liaison, my previous job had been doing data analytics for IBM. I did not have focused experience in data integration, cloud computing, or managing long-term client projects.
That soon changed. Last March, I traveled to Baltimore with some experienced and senior colleagues to do a project for a well known global Fortune 100 company. I typically go on seven to eight trips per year. Right now, I’m currently a project manager and a business analyst for a business-to-business data integration project — Liaison is serving as the cloud provider helping two different systems interact. This kind of work is Liaison’s bread and butter, providing 73 percent of our business.
While in Baltimore, I met with the client’s business and technical teams, as well as with third-party warehousing, SAP, and contract management providers. We hammered out communications plans and management plans, hashed out project scope and determined project responsibilities. We set forth communications plans and schedules and assembled the project charter, which we executed once we returned to our homes. We dealt with issues like how to connect to the system and how often to transfer files in advance. Different stakeholders were represented in that room. The kickoff’s challenge was to keep everyone on track and meet all their interests. The goal was to leave Baltimore after a day or two with a team able to work together on a project that might take eight months.
I’m going to be setting off for Baltimore once again in a couple of weeks. The project is about to enter the User Acceptance Test (UAT) phase. All the teams will get together for first time since kickoff and start testing the project all at once rather than in bits and pieces. We turn on all the systems to simulate a production and environment and work out any problems together. It’s so important that we’ll all get together once again. I’ll be there for one or two weeks.
Next time, I’ll discuss how my travels have affected my working philosophy.