At Catapult SAFE Managed Services, we get a large number of requests for customization. Projects vary from small things like simple web parts or scripts to larger issues – almost whole projects sometimes – like intense customized workflows. Everything follows a process and we’ve gotten very good at following the process. But there are some things that simply can’t be expressed like that.

 
One of the most important gaps in that process is right-sizing. There’s no formula, there’s no set of steps, it’s widely opinion-driven, and there’s usually no way to know what’s right until after you’re done. This is where we bring our experience to the table: helping to decide what to do and how to do it.
 
Most consultants will tell you that their customer needs to be told what to do. We don’t believe this is correct. Our customers often need help – our expertise – in answering a few questions or knowing what questions to ask. But the majority of the questions and answers are already set before we’re asked the first question.
 
SAFE Managed Services is about solving your business problems. Each of our tasks: scan, administer, fix, and enhance; comes with a different set of skills but the goal is the same in all cases. Enhancement and customization requires that we figure out where the pain point lies, then we apply the correct solution to it.
 
Those are two powerful statements: figuring out the pain point and applying the correct solution.
 
How often have you worked with someone who listens to half of your description of a problem then sets off starting to fix it? Potentially, maybe nine times out of ten, that’s fixing the wrong problem. We don’t do that. We listen and sometimes we ask some questions. Often we’ll think for a bit then come back with another question. Sometimes a little time offers the best introspection and circumspection of the issue. It’s all about finding what hurts so that we know how to stop the hurt.
 
We also don’t bring a bazooka to a gunfight. You want a car that can get from point A to point B with reasonable gas mileage. You may stop at the store on the way for some groceries and park in the lot. You know this is a $9,000-or-less car new, so things just aren’t going to work out at a truck dealership or a sports car dealership. A few quick questions up front will right-size us into the correct ballpark. On occasion, we’ll even tell you how to solve the problem without our help.
 
One of the many means that we use to get to this end is by regarding all the details. Sure, some evaporate quickly. But sometimes the small things turn out to be most important. How many times have you dealt with, “can you just write me a quick script to…,” only to find out that there’s a heavyweight problem that needs a heavyweight solution? We shun the word, “just,” at SAFE Managed Services. It forces people to skip over what could end up being a game-changer.

 

These approaches let everyone concentrate on the real issue: solving business problems.