Do you assume people know what you’re thinking?
Or do you presume to know what other people are thinking?
As a #Salesforce consultant, we have to try and understand the client’s pain, so that we are able to design a solution that addresses those issues.
The problem comes when we assume.
I’ve seen a lot of assumptions drawn into #ProcessDiagrams and documentation that aren’t explicit – and issues arise when the software is delivered and the client starts testing.
This week’s newsletter issue addresses the part of process mapping during Discovery that all functional consultants have to do:
To get the ‘As-Is’ and ‘To-Be’ processes as accurately as possible without trying to mind-read.
Link to subscribe 👇🏻
Do you find yourself in situations where people are constantly assuming what they think you’re thinking?
How do you deal with that?
I think there are a few things I’ve always done, that points to the kind of career that I’d end up with.
Here are some of them:
– Obsessing over my handwriting and document formats
– Being a completer finisher in things that ‘matter’ (like jigsaw puzzles)
– organising people and events (like birthday parties)
– playing computer games and learning about teamwork to kill the Bad Boss! (though I’m currently ‘sober’ – waiting for the lil ninjas to hit 18 so we can properly MMORPG together!)
Looking back, it seemed inevitable that I’d end up here, but it was as clear as mud when I was going through it all!
If I could turn back time and talk to a younger me (skinnier and more stylish… 🤭 ahahaha who am I kidding!), I’d say the following:
🍩 Don’t be afraid of trying new things
🍩 Make lots of mistakes
🍩 Get up again when you fall down
🍩 Pay attention to what energises you
🍩 Listen to your body, and listen to your gut (unless when it’s trying to talk you out of that last donut!)
For all I know, I could have ended up as a librarian (I am still a voracious reader!)
What things do you do now that you used to do, that would have given a clue to what you’ve ended up doing?
Now that’s a mouthful!
I have a graph of my cholesterol reading for the last 20 years, 📈although the data collection and graphing had to be done manually of course.
Nowadays, with so much wearable tech and analytics, this particular exercise can be made so much easier.
She finds out the days of the week when her punches are extra powerful, and why that is. 🥊🤕😁
You’ll have to tune in to find out the answers!
Heyyy when you’re a data nerd EVERYTHING is fascinating!
Come and listen in on our conversation – the podcast is dropping next Monday 24 May!
What data do you collect, and do you analyse it??
Many Consulting Partners aren’t able to get their Support and Managed Services right.*
I was talking to a #SalesforcePartner last week about why the attrition rate in her Support team was so high.
The problem is that most companies see Support as a Cost centre, much like the Legal department – a necessary evil.
They are there to deal with situations when we don’t get things right in our products or services, and to deal with our grumpy customers in a way that doesn’t escalate into a PR disaster (or disaster of any kind).
As such, they don’t get very much love. They
– are measured by how quickly they close cases
– aren’t given much autonomy in their work
– generally don’t get much training
– have very limited career path
– are generally treated quite poorly
Is it a wonder why they leave?
Treat them well, and design a career progression that creates excitement and loyalty to help bring success to your organisation.
This may mean creating an opportunity to join the Professional Services team if they wish.
Understanding that people have intrinsic values and motivation will create a high performing team who will want to stay.
That’s not really rocket science.
It’s the execution that’s hard.
* There are a few exceptions though – you know who you are 😘.
Covid is brutal.
I find so many of my friends and colleagues I’ve worked with in India grief stricken, having lost partners, parents, siblings, friends.
This disease is ripping through the world so many countries at an alarming rate.
People haven’t had time to take a breath before they’re hit with another loss.
I’ve heard of employers who are compassionate, but many are not.
I’ve heard so much that makes me so angry about the callousness of some.
It does not make you a man to be demanding, and to be cruel when someone in your team has lost a wife and a brother in the span of a week.
And if you’re struggling, please reach out.
To friends, or family.
If you’re in the #uk you can ring freephone 116 123
If you’re coping, look around and see who’s drowning.
That’s really all you need to #BeKind
My ❤️ is with you India.
What’s the difference between operational business processes, and life processes – say, the process of making friends, or finding a life partner?
It’s the degree of certainty involved.
In business processes, you can be reasonably sure what’s going to happen next when you pick option A over option B.
For example – choosing payment via credit card using a specific currency, over a manual payment process using a cheque (who does that nowadays?!)
In Life though, you aren’t quite sure what you’re going to get.
The value is in
– the thinking – about how events may play out.
– identifying the options and weighing the pros and cons.
– thinking about what you want, and whether the risk is worth going for it.
The value is in the process of thinking about the process.
Too many people focus on the reaction of our lizard brain that is instinctive and serves to protect us from harm and pain.
“Ack! You want me to CHANGE?!” 😱
We need our rational, ‘grown-up’ brain to walk through the process, evaluate outcomes and make sound decisions.
By the way the doodle is from my weekly newsletter.
Sign up 👇🏻
And yes, donut makes things better but … timing is everything!!
Here’s the ONLY secret you need to know to scope out what you want in a CRM (and yes – it’s as sexy as a drawerful of unmatched socks) 🧦
It’s so boring compared to the other sexier stuff in CRM but it is the foundation of well designed systems.
What do you need it to tell you so that you can
– make better decisions
– make good decisions quicker
– identify key areas of weaknesses
– identify bottlenecks in processes
– etc etc etc
Once you have identified what reports and key information and insights you need, you can then plan and design it into the system to provide you the right information at the right time.
I was in my element, as we geeked out over data and projects (and her passion for boxing!) 🥊
If I knew how much fun this podcasting dooda would be, I’d have started it aaaages ago. 😁
There is a reason why we have ‘Best Practice’ and the golden mantra: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
In the ‘Before Time’, the sysadmin or sysop was all powerful.
These tech gurus could unleash the Power of the Universe just by sending off a string of alphanumeric thing into a black screen.
Nowadays, you don’t need years of learning the occult lore of computer wizardry in some dusty AS400 back room, bathed in the green tint of the monitors.
Now, you can get on Trailhead, Udemy, YouTube and learn #Salesforce. For Free.
This unleashes upon us many enthusiastic newly certified admins who feel invincible, because they now know the secret of
How To Do this Magical Thing.
There are two things that can only be acquired with experience.
(1) How to do this magical thing *The Right Way*
(2) *When* to do this magical thing The Right Way.
That’s why you turn to seasoned Consulting Partners, who have experienced consultants who Know Better.
If you’re a #SalesforcePartners and you want to level up your consulting team, DM me because I specialise the the Best Practices around Salesforce Project Delivery.
I’ve seen enough catastrophes involving “just this little fix in PROD.” 🙄
3rd #podcast episode of #OnThePeiroll is out.
Here, I talk to Yvette Kempson (she/her), a seasoned professional in the #Salesforce ecosystem who’s an ace Business Analyst, Project Manager, Scrum Master.
We riff about loads of things including #ProjectManagement and helping end users utilise technology well.
It was a really fun conversation, and she’s full of humour and quirkie analogies and I am sure you will enjoy it.
I invite you to listen in on our conversation here.
Pei Mun Lim
Welcome to my podcast called OnThePeiroll. How are you today?
Young really good. And I’m really excited about this session today. It’s my first it will be my first podcast, so I’m super excited about it.
Pei Mun Lim
Okay. We met about a year and a bit ago at the women in tech. Yeah, God. Yeah. in need. And that was when I first met you. And I heard your talk. And I thought, Wow, you have such an interesting career. Tell us a little bit about about you.
Oh, Crikey. Okay, so I Well, basically feeling right from the beginning, I really struggled at school. So, I mean, I am dyslexic. And so I struggled with English, maths, you know, arithmetic, I’m a very visual person. And basically like my career’s advice. And person said, okay, you know, with the skill sets you have and the qualifications, you’ve got your, you’ve got two options, you can be a dog groomer, or a fish farmer, which was then the kind of two outputs that I had. And as I was allergic to dogs, that meant I could only do one thing, which was fish farming, by all accounts, according to my creative advice. And but I did have a love for animals. And so I decided to at name do applied animal science, and loved it, I absolutely love being outside, I love being like hands on with everything, like you couldn’t get any better, really. And I ended up going through university did agricultural management specializing in dairy farming, went to America did that for two years, and came back, I’m still working agriculture, but I actually wanted a more kind of inside job. Now I spent a lot of time outside COVID, in all kinds of excrement that, you know, you shouldn’t probably mention now, but I just wanted a nice job. So it was warm, you know, 95, there’s no four o’clock carvings or anything. And see, so I started working for green merchant. And that’s when I kind of got introduced to it as well. So when we were looking at their systems and processes, I started to get more and more involved in like, how can we improve this, you know, because this is a problem all the time, you know, rather than just fixing it, like find the core root of the problem and stuff like that now start to get into that. And that’s where my love for it kind of joined in. And then yeah, just sort of went from place to place move to different companies, the different fertilizer, logistics, you know, kind of all this sorts of stuff. And then since then, all cars and all sorts of manufacturing retail, as they transition transport and kind of jumped into all these different industries. I love it. Absolutely love it. So yeah, it’s just it’s been it’s been quite a journey, but I’ve loved it.
Pei Mun Lim
When you when you talk about all these different industries, what kind of role that you have there? Where you doing business analysis? Yeah.
And I say it’s one of the things so I kind of when I came back from America, using that as an example, like, obviously, I’d been out in agriculture for water didn’t really have any office experiences search had done some temp work at school and stuff. So I just kind of went in as an admin really. But it was just through my naturally in like inquisitive nature that I then started working with different teams. And that made it when I first started, like the business analyst role wasn’t really wasn’t really new in the project management was kind of, you know, different. There wasn’t sort of service design or anything like that at the time. So I guess I didn’t really have a job for all I mean, I was an admin or logistics Clark, or whatever you do you call it, it was only until I was working for one of the agricultural places where the IT director was actually looking for a business analyst. And it was only because that job role got circulated. And I looked at it and I just thought, well, that’s what I do every day. That means I must be a business analyst. Yeah, I mean, I didn’t know this until until that very moment. And it suddenly became quite clear to me, but But yeah, so yeah, it was a kind of varied roles really, in, in each of the roles I had, I quickly jumped into different roles. That mean, so much started off as an admin, then I was senior admin. And then there’s something that just because of my skill set, I guess, kind of positioned me in that way. But yeah, it wasn’t until I can’t remember the year actually. I was officially a business analyst. If you’re not I mean, but I’ve always done it. I’ve always looked for improvements and stuff, but I just never knew that was the job title.
Pei Mun Lim
So he worked for quite a long time, as within the injures environment is in Yes, yeah. I,
you know, I love I love engaging with end users. Like there’s so many. There’s so many things you can learn looking at from their perspective and stuff like that. I wait. And the reason this came about actually was because I worked for one company and they were implementing a brand new IT system. And they were basically replicating the old legacy system into a new system and they involved Know users in this process, and they’d spent millions, and I’m saying millions of pounds in this system. And then I came on board and I had a look at it. And I was just sort of saying, Oh, well, what does this button do that you’re replicating? Or we don’t know? Right? Have you spoke to anyone about it? No. Okay. So I then spent, like, it must have been six months of really intensive interviewing with all the end users and stuff like that to find out, okay, what buttons do you use? What do you not use, because we’re developing them. And we managed to strip out 50% of the development work, just by finding redundancies and stuff like that. And that that really, really shot home to me that the end users are so important to the process, and even challenging them as well. So you know, just saying, Well, why do you do that process? And why do you need that? Just to get an understanding of them? But yeah, user engagement is just, it’s, I love it. Absolutely. Love it, really?
Pei Mun Lim
So you were working with end users? Yeah. And then you move to a consultancy for a bit.
Yeah. So I just for me, I need to be constantly stimulated in that sense. So you know, I kind of get to a point with each with each company or each role that I’m in where I get to a level whether self sufficient, or that, you know, there is near to it as possible. And that that’s me is when I kind of start to get like losing, not lose interest. I think that’s the wrong word. But I start to look for the challenges. And when there aren’t, those are the challenges, then I sort of start looking elsewhere. Or I hear someone mentioned something, and my spidey senses go off. And I’m like, Oh, I can go and help those people. But yes, it’s just a case of like, identifying where I’m where I can add the most value and the most help, I guess, in that sense. So I did consultancies quite well, I loved that as well, because you get to get insights into different industries and specific problem areas. But the downside of that as well was that you didn’t kind of see the whole holistic approach to what they were trying to achieve. So you, you kind of problem solve that little bit. But you know, for me, it was a bit like, well, what’s happening to everything else? Do I mean, say that, again, loads of different industries, loads of different people. It’s really fun. Really.
Pei Mun Lim
Yes. So I think the pandemic kind of change that slightly. And you are now working with an end user again.
Yes, yeah, say, the pandemic here. And it was just one one of my larger projects of just London, actually. So you know, but they’re sort of getting involved in the testing and stuff like that my sort of requirements and everything else had been delivered. So I’ve got a six year old son. And it was just becoming very stressful at that moment in time trying to facilitate homeschooling my husband self employed, and trying to juggle it all, which is really difficult. And you know, we were all getting stressed out. And I just thought, hang on a minute, you know, there’s options here, there’s always options. So let’s look at them. And then obviously, with a fairly scheme being introduced, and we were able to actually suggest voluntary ridden, voluntary ferlay sorry. And, and I said, Look, hands up, the company could do with a bit of a rest by in regards to resources, and I could do the homeschooling. So I actually took furlough for six months, and I homeschooled my son, and kind of kept the house in order. I think I lost my marbles sometimes during that, that exercise, I think we all did. And but you know, it’s really good for me as well. I mean, I’m, you know, I know, the pandemic, obviously, is what it is, but I will never get that time with my son again, you know, for that period of time. And it was the that was a really good sort of emotional thing for me. And but yeah, it came to the end of that. And then, you know, due to the pandemic, obviously, a lot of projects weren’t starting or been extended to next year and stuff like that. So work was essentially sort of going a bit thin and the company I was with, and so they actually started looking at redundancies as well. And the similar thing, really, I just thought, you know, what, I’m quite confident that I can do something, whether it’s in a pot washing pub, whether it’s mowing people’s gardens, cleaning, you know, whatever it is, I’m quite, quite prepared to roll up my sleeves and just get stuck in with it. And I just thought, you know, what, it’s fine, we’re fine as a household. And so I actually said, okay, you know, I’ll, I’ll go for redundancy, essentially. But in that case, it actually wasn’t very long before my company which lovingly reached out to some of their client bases to say, look, we’ve got a couple of these roles being made available, does anybody would anyone benefit from them, and it was actually from a customer we had at the consultancy that I then moved over to do some contract work again, you know, six months contract essentially, just to see if I can help them out. And that’s when I then moved, moved over to these guys. So yeah.
Pei Mun Lim
So how does it feel moving from end user to consulting to end user? Well,
the way I look at it is it’s it’s all end user base. And I know that sounds quite funny, but you know, whether it’s an internal user or an external user, and you know, someone’s always having that end product that end delivery, so you know, regardless of who they are, whether they’re a customer in a retail shop, or whether they’re The, you know, accounts manager wanting a new feature putting into the system, they’re all users at the end of the day. It’s just a different way of communicating with them really. And facilitation. Obviously, being online is slightly changed. But yeah, you know, it’s, it’s the same thing for me, I don’t really see too much of a difference in all fairness,
Pei Mun Lim
there, there is a difference in the way of working, obviously. So within consulting, you’ve got to put in your timesheets, for example, you can be a little bit more disciplined about how long it takes to do things that estimations become a bigger thing. Do you? Did you find that? Yeah, not well, not again,
not really. So the things that I found, when I, when I joined, this is a relatively small development team, one of the things that I found is that they were, you know, they had no, not much structure, they weren’t really cautious of time, because they just thought, okay, you know, we’re employed, we get paid our wages, it doesn’t really matter. But each each development, each delivery is a cost, like, it still costs something to deliver something. So we still need to be accountable about time and our charges, whether we’re an internal company or an external company. Obviously, if you’re a consultant, and it’s external, it’s kind of, it’s more focus, because that is generating your paycheck at the end of the day, that is what you’re counting your time to and how you’re being paid. But in the same instance, I think a lot of people fall into the security of having a regular wage, but they then don’t take into account the cost of their time and development. So, you know, when I came in, they’d been spending, you know, nine months delivering something. And I was just thinking, wow, you know, we could have got a third party app for that cheaper that we could have, we could have synced in and stuff like that, they wouldn’t have been as much fun and you wouldn’t learn as much. But still, it’s that cost to benefit, isn’t it? And I think whether you’re in full time employment, and within a company, or your consultant is still as valid to take these things into consideration.
Pei Mun Lim
Oh, no, absolutely. I can see where you’re coming from? Do you looking back at the different projects and different industries that you’ve been in? Can you pull out a few favorite ones, and talk about the more enjoyable projects that you’ve been on? And perhaps maybe draw some things out of it? What made it really enjoyable?
Yeah, today, like I say, I suppose it’s been a couple of projects that haven’t liked doing probably more to the point. And, and but I think, you know, all the projects that we’ve had, I just love the people I’ve worked in since and that’s, that’s, it’s not necessarily the project or the outcome, it’s the people that you’re working with, and how well that works. And I’ve worked in some projects where the, you know, the pool of it of experience and enthusiasm and stuff is so energetic, that you just buzz every time you’re in the office or working with these people. And you’re so excited about the next delivery and what you’re doing and the methods of delivery. I mean, I’m, as I said before, I’m very visual. So the more pictures and do learn and kind of brainstorming activities that we can all do collectively, it’s just really like it really energizing environment for me. Whereas some of the other projects, you know, if you’re sat down in a boardroom, and you’re in it, you’re systematically going through certain things, and it’s just the energy levels are low, you’ve got people that are argumentative, and, you know, I’m all about challenging ideas and stuff like that. But when people you know, you can obstructive people essentially can we can cause issues. And that’s when I find the projects, or the teams quite draining and, you know, it becomes hard work. And it’s, you know, you don’t you don’t feel that energy in the bus, say, for me, it’s definitely the people and it’s definitely the environment as well, you know, you can work in a shoe box and have amazing outputs, you know, it doesn’t have to be a swanky office, or there’s certainly other but at the same time, you’ve got to have that kind of environment that allows you to be yourself as well. I mean, like, you know, you know, I remember a time when I was thinking of what am I gonna wear for work. And so I was thinking in a suit tie, you know, again, this is a little bit further back, and you end up feeling quite restricted, and you’re not yourself. And so that that, to me has also has an impact on your work and, and how comfortable you are in yourself. And then again, in some of the teams, you can, you know, you can have your blue hair, you can have your jeans on you can have this to do. And that, again, makes you relaxed makes you more open to stuff. So yeah, I think it’s the the teams in the environment really pay a huge part for me in projects, not not even the projects really, I mean, if you can tell me to design a bin of bin waste products and have like, yeah, as long as the team is great, you know,
Pei Mun Lim
I totally buy into that. So looking at again, just what I want to focus on is a little bit more of consulting side. So in in an end user company where you’re that you know, the team and you’re working on different things, then yes, when you’ve got really great people around you then the environment It is very conducive to exciting looking forward towards the next challenge. But let’s say in a consulting environment consulting partner, where you do have, let’s say, I think, or Jen was a company that had a lot vibe, when I went there, it was so colorful, they were so cozy and warm, and everyone was great. So I can see, and I can feel the vibe already. So you’ve got the same people who are great, and what they do, and you connect vibe, then the thing that’s different, all the clients and projects, so where I want to get to is looking at the projects that you’ve had, when you were working in consulting partner. What are the things that you can differentiate between what makes an enjoyable project then? And not so enjoyable project? And those that didn’t go so? Well. So I’m putting a constant where it’s your team, you’re in the same team, but then the undulations of the, the more fun ones? and not the fun ones? What are the themes that you can draw out? In the variables that that?
Yeah, I mean, again, I’m a big on the people innocency, if you’re working for a say, You’re unknown, it’s just making sure that the collaborators are the right people. So it’s making sure that you’ve, you know, not necessarily it’s not necessarily the higher up they are, the more valid their opinion, it’s about understanding, you know, the people that are really going to add value to to your discovery piece, or to the project management piece side of it, and just making sure that you’ve got those right people in the room, if you’re not, I mean, to make these kinds of decisions. And, you know, again, it’s, it’s difficult to see because, like, you know, I would say in my you know, ideal scenario that the company that you’re working for has everything to hand, they’ve got the you know, they’re quite good with time management, you know, if you ask for things, the response rates are good, and that kind of thing. But, you know, that’s very hit and miss as well, depending on who you’re with. But it’s just making the most of what you got. And it’s understanding the limitations of each client as well. So not everybody is the same, not everybody has the same energy. Not everyone has the same outputs and stuff like that. So it’s really understanding that client that you’re working with, at that time, to make sure that you’re working to what they require, as well. I mean, I’m very visual, but I’ve worked with companies where they didn’t want details, they don’t want pictures, they want spreadsheets, they want, you know, they want all this other stuff. And if that’s how they work, that’s you have to adapt to that. And you have to, you know, make allowances for that there’s a bit of education in there to kind of try and show them benefits of other ways. But if that’s the way they work, that’s the way they work. And you’ve got to adapt to that, you know, you’ve got to go right, okay, this is how we’re working, because that’s how they work. And it’s got, you know, ultimately, you’ve got to work together haven’t you, so.
Pei Mun Lim
Indeed. So I understand you’re a scrum master as well.
Pei Mun Lim
Do you buy into agile? And is that something that you?
Yeah, so um, yes, I’m a huge again, I don’t really like labels as such. You know, it’s one of those things where like, I’m a bit like, Whatever works like so there’s this element of Agile that I absolutely love, and you know, the the daily standards, the kind of the way of delivery, incremental, you know, collaborative and stuff like that, I love that kind of stuff. But at the same time, you know, each project is different. So I can see where waterfall methodology would be more beneficial to some projects and others. But I also love design thinking, I also like visual representation as the same much out there that I wouldn’t say 100%, right? We all work in Agile, and that is it. Because there’s so many benefits from other methodologies that you can adapt and learn and kind of create your own way. And you know, there are problems with that. So you can essentially create a beast, if you start to try and use too many conflicting things. But it’s understanding like, what bit of that methodology works, what bit Can you adapt? And what bit Can you kind of is going to fulfill the art and the nav, the output of that project, really. So there is so much out there. And again, new terms coming out all the time, you know, new abbreviations coming out all the time. Sometimes I’m like, I need a dictionary just to find out what u x e x e x x and everything you know, is coming out. But yeah, you know, there’s so much out there, I think it’s just finding the one that works for you. If someone said to me that there’s an agile project, or there’s a waterfall project, I would navigate to that Darwin anyway, purely because there’s, I don’t know, that’s kind of more in my team way of working. But at the same time, I would never rule out a waterfall project just because it’s a waterfall project or, you know, other other other methodologies because they each have their own benefits. So
Pei Mun Lim
I’m loving this conversation, by the way. So from a consulting point of view, we generally have to adapt to what the clients like the culture and the kind of project And the product that we’re trying to deliver? Yeah, if you were, if you were hired into a company to say, right, I don’t think there’s a role for it, but let’s just make it up, you are going to be the initiator of projects, I’d like you to come in, have a look at how we do things. And then tell us what we need to get better at what we, what we do, whatever that might be, you know, the three main tries or whatever, how would you looking at all the things you know, and I love your visual doodling as well, that you you post? How would you put together your quilt of, of, of tools and methodology? And we don’t know what the companies like. So you come in the first day, if just just talk us through? What would you? How would you get to know the company? And how would you think about putting your methodology together to say, right, you are very agile, you’re very nimble, let’s go this way. Or you seem to be quite risk averse. And let’s do it this way? Or how would you work out?
Well, the thing is, and this is what happens with each each of the companies, I guarantee you because even even if I’m employed for a specific job, that’s, that’s not in my nature, just to sit there in that box and just do my thing, don’t mean say that every company I go into, I always do kind of like a bit of my own self discovery in the sense of like, I want to find out what this company is, like, I want to find out, you know, what their way of workings are, what their pain points are, what you know, what their issues and stuff are. So I do like, essentially, when I when in any company, I do a bit of sort of discovery for myself. So sort of interview people is my number one, and just, and it’s kind of really informal. For me, it’s just a case of Okay, you know, we’re just here to have a chat, what are the problems? What are your pain points, you know, and I write that document that down, however, it suits me, because these are my notes. So whether it’s doodles whether it’s, you know, less, or stuff like that, maybe it’s probably a bit of a process map, you know, whatever helps me have an understanding of that company. That’s essentially what I do. And again, you’ll find out, you know, it might be that some of them are risk averse, but some of them aren’t. Some of them need documentation, some of them don’t. And so it’s understanding that balance and and what, what the consensus is really. And so yeah, I’d only go in informally, and start doing these interviews and stuff like that, and then start asking some of the questions that are going to really help that process like, do you have your processes documented? What What information do you have? You know, do you have meetings regularly, where we can feed this information back in, you know, how is your What are your time constraints, like, you know, I am very direct to the point I know talk a lot which I am very direct to the point that bullet points, you know, bom, bom, bom, this is what we need to achieve, it’s not reams and reams of information, because I would rather have that 10 minute conversation than right, that six hour email to explain something. And to me, interpretation is, is a huge thing as well. So understanding. So sometimes it’s about getting everybody in there taking the time to get the key stakeholders in a room so that they all understand everybody’s pain points as well, because that seems that a lot of companies often silo themselves, and departments silo themselves. So you know, accounts might be absolutely fine and needing nothing, no problems at all, but the sales team might have real problems because of some of the accounting stuff. And so it’s about understanding, you know, an overall understanding for everybody to understand, like, we’re changing this process, because the whole of the sales team have the pain point, you know, and trying to get them on board and kind of understand the process as well. So whichever process you then come to the conclusion of use in it’s about them, communicating that out to the business that this is the methodology we’re using, this is how we’re going to communicate this is the impact of this, that and the other and, you know, I generally do like email essentially bullet point project emails, which is like bom bom, bom, this is what we’re doing this week. Worry about this, don’t worry about this, you know, sign up, because no one’s got time anymore to be sat there reading loads, nation, but is making it relevant in the format that they need it for, in order for the business to continue for them to continue doing their job role and stuff. So that’s what I do you generally.
Pei Mun Lim
Okay. Have you been in a situation? So you talked about one of the challenges is getting everyone to room and getting everyone to understand or empathize with the pain points and different divisions are encountering? Have you been in a situation where the people are finding it difficult to see eye to eye, and if you’ve been in those situations, how do you how did you deal with that?
Yes, I did. I had a pretty big one actually. And when I was asked to the project had already started, he’d already been kicked off. But there’d been no sort of ba involvement, it had just been the case of the stakeholders, and the project manager had come up with a solution, and they were rolling out. And there was a few flags that were a bit concerning, which is why I think a BA essentially got dropped in it. And when I had a look at the overall project, and the way that they were going to go about it, it was hugely flawed, like it was, it wouldn’t have achieved the goal, it would, it was kind of like putting a bandaid on a, an open wound that was gushing, you know, it was a bit like, this nail isn’t gonna work. But I could not get that across to the project manager, everyone else sort of like understood it, like we kind of went through the whole process going, Okay, if you do all of this, that’s fine. But it’s not going to achieve x, y, and Zed. But the project manager was just not having it. That was that was their vision, they were going to implement it, they’d spent loads of time doing all these things, and they felt that they weren’t gonna stop it now. And, and it was, yeah, it was tough. It was really tough. And it was one of those things where, you know, to the point, it had to actually get escalated, because it’s not something that I could resolve myself. And I found that quite challenging myself, because I’ve always been able to resolve these things. And it was the first time it got to a point where we were, you know, it started to get a little bit tit for tat. So if I mentioned something, they would mentioned something and I just thought, I’m not like that at all, any kind of, as soon as it starts getting like that, I back off. But at that point, I backed off and then escalated. And then, you know, when it came to the escalation, and that causes it, it was a horrible experience, because it caused more tension in the sense that all now it’s been escalated. But it had to be done, because the solution that was going to be put in wouldn’t fix the problem. So unfortunately, we had to go through that pain point. And it did get really nasty, it got, you know, really bad. And it got to the point where even I was like questioning, you know, am I right? Am I doing this? And I took a really hard hits personally on that process, because it made me doubt myself. It made me question if others trusted me, you know, that kind of thing. But yeah, it was really, it was really painful. But it did, it got escalated, they reviewed it. And I actually took myself away from the project at that point, because I was just like, even though the solutions wrong, there’s no way I can go back in and work with that person. And so they ended up swapping out, and then they ended up putting the solution that I’d recommended, but it just had to happen that way. But yeah, you do get you do get it every now and again. And you know, again, challenging people that have been in the business a long time, I’ve been doing that process for years trying to get them to change. And you need any sort of change management or complex always hard. But it’s you know, you you kind of do it in the best way you can, you know, it’s in however you can in that sense, you know, so yeah, there’s been there’s been a few that one was probably the main one. That Yeah, there’s always a few.
Pei Mun Lim
That sounds like those quite a big, big thing. Yeah,
it was it was huge. Yeah.
Pei Mun Lim
How has that changed you in the way you think or in the way you
work? Yeah. So it’s really strange because I’m I’m really outgoing, positive person, you know, and I’ll give anything ago essentially, but it took a while after that for me to actually get my confidence back and just think, Oh, you know, am I right? I got I got quite anxious about making decisions and stuff like that. And you know, it got to a point where I just thought okay, you do know what you’re doing and everyone around me was seeing it everybody was saying about you know what you’re doing Look at all these achievements that you’ve done all these projects that you’ve rolled out, you know, it’s just it’s fine. It’s not you It’s just that situation but you kind of take it personally I think sometimes. And I think it got to the point where I kind of had to have a bit of a chat with myself. And just sort of say you know, just let it go just let it go. Like you can’t win them all. And you know, you can’t be best friends with everybody and stuff like that you just need to get the job done and the Job did get done and it was successful. And it was just a bit of a painful process. There’s sometimes you do have to kind of take yourself to one side and you know kind of validate that you do know what you’re doing. Give yourself a pat on the back and just dust yourself off and keep going really and then once I did once I honestly hadn’t had a bit of chat with myself it was fine in a year all guns blazing again and you know on to the next one so
Pei Mun Lim
So if you had a time machine, and you could go back then but with us You are now would you have handled it differently
Would I have handled it different like I would have I would have I don’t think anything I could have done could have changed, changed it but I do think that I would have probably like kind of stepped out sooner if that’s that’s on it being honest with myself. I would have just said like this. There’s obviously a conflict between the personalities here. I’m not the best person to, to sit in this. And I’m going to, I’m going to get someone else in. And you know, it was one of those things that I could have, I could have said, Yep, fine, just go with that solution and just gone and rolled with the punches and, and that project would have been fine. No one would have fell out in that sense. But it, I couldn’t have done that to myself, I couldn’t have let the wrong solution be implemented, because I just can’t do that. And so if there was any advice I would give myself, it was just like, this is not the product for you just just step out, just step out, let someone else deal with it. Because, you know, I didn’t it like speaking to other people, they even they said, Well, we wouldn’t have stayed that long, or we wouldn’t have been able to keep Australian. So again, that’s kind of a merit to my strengths. But at the same time, it did have such an impact on my life. And, you know, an impact on my self belief and stuff that I think honestly say, I should have just stepped out of that project. That was not the project for me. And I should have just stepped out of it in the sunlight in the project, just the the conflict really, like I just couldn’t work with that person. I think it was quite evident early on, but I kind of pushed three through it, because I was so adamant not to put that wrong solution in, and that I probably should have just stepped out. Yeah,
Pei Mun Lim
Would you have escalated it sooner?
Yes, yeah. That’s what I saying I would have just got to there, seeing the solution was wrong. You know, after essentially the first challenge where I thought this is a little bit off, I should have stepped out and escalated it. Okay, this isn’t this is not for me, this is this solution is not fit for purpose, you know, blah, blah, blah. But I would have just said, and I don’t think I can roll with this because of the attitude that I’m already getting.
Pei Mun Lim
So there was no, there was no way that you could have escalated it sooner, somehow have it resolved. Wow, love you. And still finish the job. You don’t think that that was
a I mean, it was really like the problem was it was GDPR. So there was a deadline. And, and we were already late to the party, we were way, way late to the fight. And I think a lot of companies found themselves in this position. And the view was, and this is why I sort of had a bit of a cake because the view was, well we know it’s wrong. And everybody, you know, people higher up in the business for saying yes, we agree with you. We know this is wrong. But we’re in this situation, what do we you know, how do we do it, and you know that for me, it was a bit like it was just too late, left it too late. So, you know, with anything, if you get notified, something is going to change in the future, whether it’s five years times, three years time, one year time, start preparing yourself, and I can’t stress this enough, because you will be in a situation where you’ve got six months to implement a five year project, and you have to make the best of what you’ve got. And if that is not going to fix the problem. It’s just a bit like, well, you’re in this situation, you know, a lot of I find a lot of people do that. They just think oh, it’s not, you know, that’s 2023 we don’t need to worry about that now, but it creeps up on you. And then and then it’s a problem. And it’s a big problem, you know?
Pei Mun Lim
Absolutely. I was just talking to someone else about going back to Stephen Covey, I read his book on the time management and the quarter and you believe something that’s important, but not urgent, and it moves to the urgent and important. And as you say, you run out resources all the time to actually think and plan and put in something robust, then you’re in some mess.
And it is it’s like you know, you know, if you’ve got if you’ve got a hole in your boat, if you know, in plenty advance, you can start you know, collecting the seaweed and plugging the hole. I mean, you get to a point where that’s hot, you know, you’ve got loads of seaweed, you’re not gonna sink for a very long time. But what happens is that people just leave it and then the hole gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And then it don’t matter how much CBD collects or how much resources you can get, you’re just still going to sink. Like, there’s no other way you will go up and down. So yeah.
Pei Mun Lim
So we’re talking about this challenging project and is one personality who had a vision, and who refused to listen to other people. And that was a personality you found difficult to work with. Are there any other traits or personalities within a with the client that you were you are working with that you think this person is going to be quite hard to work with as well? Is there any?
Like? So yeah, I mean, everybody in it takes all sorts of things. So I’ve kind of been on the other extreme, where someone has been so enthusiastic, and so you know, energized and so, you know, coming up, they come up with some ideas and it’s just too many to the point that you just think Yeah, okay, we’re, we’re, you know, you let’s get it all done and and then they’ll go away and think of some more No, go and think of some more and then you know, before you’ve know it, they’ve already done a prototype and you just think of why we’re we’re you know, let’s just let’s just think about it, because again, it’s it’s the holistic view that some people don’t understand. So even though they’ve come up with this perfect solution, and it’s gonna solve the problem and, you know, they’ve already been repurposed. habits can be amazing. It’s just like, okay, but what impact does that have on the rest of the business? let’s just think about it for a second, have some of these ideas and try them, or investigate them a little bit further before we start applying it. Because otherwise, the other thing is you end up with so many ideas. You don’t start any of them either. So yeah, and again, it’s about you know, because I’m, I’m never want to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, because I think that’s incredible. You can’t kind of breed that in people, it’s really hard to get it out of people, let alone stop squashing it. So yes, but it’s just about kind of redirecting some of that energy into focusing on one thing, and so it’s about how you manage that person. And, and again, it’s a completely different way. But you know, that has its own challenges as well, sometimes there isn’t, there’s all sorts of people and all sorts of ways of managing them. And all sorts of problems you have with everythin
Pei Mun Lim
What’s your go to strategy in managing somebody you find difficult to work with,
Just like being 100% honest, like if you’re, if you can’t be honest with them, and have these kind of frank conversations, that there’s kind of ambiguity in what you’re trying to achieve, or you know, they don’t quite understand or you don’t quite understand where they’re coming from. And so it’s about having that complete Aprilia and having that environment that’s, you know, psychologically secure. So you know, that you can say anything in anything. And it is what it is, you know, no one’s trying to pick fights, they’re just trying to resolve the problem and stuff like that. So for me, yeah, it’s just about being honest. And if you’re having a bad day, or a bad moment, or something’s happening in your personal life, just, I’m not saying announce it or anything, but just, you know, make people aware of it. Because that can then help them work with you didn’t really, if they need in particular tough time, they can just be a bit more aware of that sort of thing. So just being honest about where you are. And again, if you don’t know something, just stick your hand up, like, nobody is born knowing everything. And yet, there’s a lot of people that you know, because I’m Chief finance director of whatever I need to know all of this stuff, like put your hand up, it’s okay not to know, we will find out together tonight. I mean, and, and that’s something that I’ve come across quite a lot that people they don’t want to they don’t want to protect, like they don’t want people to know, they don’t know. And I’m a bit like, I don’t know, I’m sticking my hand up. And sometimes I know, that people don’t know, so I stick my hand up anyway, just because if I if I if they don’t, I will, and then I’ll find out the answer, you know, and then we can all breathe a sigh of relief, because we kind of opened that tunnel. So again, you notice that that sort of open and honesty, that and it really helps the team really helps the projects and stuff with people just adapt that kind of mindset of just being honest, you know,
Pei Mun Lim
100% percent. This segues very nicely into the wrapping up. And you were talking about, you know, just putting your hand up and letting people know if you’re having a rough day, so they know how to approach you. And I came across this actually, interestingly, not too long ago, although it’s been around for quite a while. It’s called the EU user manual, where what I read was this high level executive would pass this document to his team and say, This is how you work well with me series of questions, which he answered, so I’m going to ask you a few here. may or may not have thought about it before, but answer the first thing that comes to mind. Right? What are some? What are some raw, unfiltered truth about yourself.
And I am very direct. And I am dyslexic, and I can’t do mental arithmetic. So if you if you start asking me questions about adding things up, there’s no hope there. And likewise, if you’re writing something on a board, and you’re asking me how to spell it, I won’t be able to help you there. That’s why I say vision. I’m not just drawing an apple, I don’t need to spell that Jerry and that sort of thing. But yeah, and I am very to the point so you know, don’t send me a massive long email because our last you can condense it into bullet points and he needs just to kind of get to the point quite quickly with me really with mine
Pei Mun Lim
With that, how do you absorb the nuances then if someone writes you an email that’s got bullet points, a lot of context and nuance would not be be missed out? How How do you make sure that you don’t miss something out?
That this is it so I will always you know, either either reams and reams of emails and content I will rather have that conversation so I’d rather people list the bullet points session for discussion and understanding then try and try and get my understanding by reams and reams of text. It’s, it’s I need that clarity for myself, but also you also by doing that kind of technique. I find that you actually we’d like more of the worms if that makes any sense. Yes. If they didn’t mention to me email that you have that conversation with us and you get extra extra extra points. I
Pei Mun Lim
Got it I like that. So bullet points for the for the meat and then the conversation for the coloring in the Picture. Yeah, I like that, like that. And what are you great apps
I’m great at talking like I do a lot. So I also do sign language as well. So even if you get hard of hearing, I can still communicate with you, it’s fine. And But yeah, I love talking, I love finding stuff out, you know, whether I’m stood at a bus stop, whether I’m, you know, sat in a boardroom and stuff like that I love engaging with people and understanding their pain points and that kind of stuff. And I’m pretty good at kind of building relationships quite quickly. And I think that’s because I’m quite open, like, I will be the idiot in the room, if it means that everyone else can relax, you know, that kind of, I’m kind of confident, confident in myself that I can kind of get away with it. And that, yeah, you know, talking and stuff like that, and getting getting people to open up, I seem to be able to do quite well.
Pei Mun Lim
So what are your flaws?
Then? On my flaws, I’ve got, I’ve got a few. I’ve got a few tabs, you know, sometimes time management can get the better of me, especially if I’m going to work sharp, I’m just like, oh, let’s continue, let’s go, let’s go on, you know, we’ve got all day. And we haven’t. And, and again, sometimes I do take things a little bit personally, like sometimes if I get an email, and I’ll be like, oh, oh, I didn’t mean, you know, I kind of do take that a little bit personally. But again, I think I’ve kind of I’ve adapted to ways of managing that now I think I think I’ve kind of like old, older, wiser and more mature and maybe not mature, but otherwise, that sort of feedback. And, and I can I can be when I say direct, I can be a bit too direct. And I said so sometimes it’s like, even though I understand that person, it’s about in that in that reaction, I’ll be quite direct with them, meaning they malice or know anything like that. But sometimes that directness can cause a bit of, you know, those people to think, Oh, she was a bit sharp or stuff like that. So I always make sure that if I if that does happen, I always follow it up and to say, Look, I’m really sorry, I was time pressured at that moment in time, or, you know, I’m probably I probably take a breath before I respond to certain people knowing that they probably don’t appreciate that directness as well. So that’s one of the flaws I think I’ve got.
Pei Mun Lim
Okay, so if you, if you were managing a team, what are the kinds of behaviors that or kind of things that you won’t tolerate?
So I value honesty of everything, which I think means that he lied to me, he can cause a lot of damage. And, you know, I’d rather someone be completely honest, and say that they’ve absolutely fundamentally messed up, then try and lie and hide it, because that just causes more problems than anything. And I don’t, again, if you’ve got a few, I think, you know, if you’ve got a problem or an issue, I’d rather you discuss them directly rather than going around the houses. And, you know, I’m not a massive fan of see seeing people into emails or you know, stuff like that. I’m not very tit for tat like that. And office politics, I can’t stand it. I just, I’ve just got no time for it. And so you know, if you are part of the team, you are you open and honest, and you should be able to have those conversations. And if you can’t, there is always ways to facilitate that. Whether you have someone else in with you or whatever. But yeah, lies, I think lies are a big thing for me. Because if I lose trust in somebody, that’s a really big thing for me, because I’m either asking you to do stuff, or you know, what you’re coming back with, I’m always gonna second guess. And so trust trust is a huge thing to build up very, very quick to destroy those. So
Pei Mun Lim
Yeah, but it’s true. That’s true. And how do people know when you’re stressed?
Oh, my husband will tell you that I start cleaning can see, if I stressed it, hey, you’ll see that my house is immaculate. Because all of a sudden, the kitchen services have to be squeaky clean and stuff like that. And generally, I’ll just go quiet quiet. If it’s you know, if it’s a high, if a high stress environment, in the sense, I’ve got a lot, and I will just kind of that zone out of focus a lot more and kind of, you know, kind of drone on that way. And but yeah, that’s it really, I don’t really, I’ve always make time for people say, and if they see that I’m being a bit quiet or whatever, it doesn’t mean that I say you can’t talk to me and stuff. But I think that’s probably the key indicators to saying, If I get off the radar a little bit, it’s probably because I’ve got quite long and but I am very, very secure and myself to tell people, if I’ve got too much on as well. This is too much it gets to a point where, you know, I’m working too many hours, I’m really stressed. I’m not sleeping. Well. You know, we’ve all been there were certain projects, I think it’s about putting your hand up and delegating and just saying Actually, I’m really stressed right now. Can anyone help me? Can anyone help me whether it’s the admin clerk, you know, or anybody in the business? Yeah. I mean, I think that’s, that’s a good thing to be able to do. And it’s quite hard to do that as well to admit that you’re stressed or that you’re overloaded. And then delegate it out. You know, and sometimes you have to, otherwise you’re just going to be stress and stuff all the time, which is not beneficial to anybody. So
Pei Mun Lim
That’s true. That’s true. Okay. final questions. Question. What, what? What’s the thing that’s currently exciting you at the moment, whether it’s personal, what are the things that you’re constantly thinking about? Like you’re looking forward to?
Wow, we’re thinking about this the other day, actually, because I think COVID had a huge impact on our goals. And I knew that that might sound silly, but we had all these goals for this year, we were going to do this, we’re going to go on holiday, we’re going to go see my dad in Cyprus, and, and all of this stuff, and then COVID hit and then it kind of just said about, you’re not doing any of that. So we kind of were a bit goalless for a while. And, and, you know, I think we were all thinking, you know, it’s gonna end soon, it’s gonna end soon, it’s going to end soon. And you know, now the end is in sight. We had this discussion actually, the other night, me, my husband and my son just saying, Okay, what goals should be reset, because at the moment, we’re like, we’re not looking forward to anything a bar cave, attending and seeing people actually seeing people. And we haven’t really got anything engaged. So we started planning everyday and the things I you know, and I think, with COVID, is the luxury of being able to see your family seeing your friends, like we were planning a trip to go down and see my brother who’s in South End, and he’s got a big garden. So we’re thinking about the the camping down there and making a bit of an event of it. And we’ve got a festival that we’re hoping the tickets are going to come back on. But again, we’re just thinking, do we extend that till next year. So again, there’s still a bit of ambiguity of what we can be excited about, but we’re definitely getting excited about just, you know, some of the things we probably took for granted before like seeing friends and family having barbecues, you know, just having nice times out things.
Pei Mun Lim
Absolutely. Okay. You bet. Thank you very much. It’s been so fun talking to you and listening to how you got here. And specifically focusing around a business analysis. Part of implementing software, whether it’s from an end user point of view, or a consulting point of view, and your insights throughout have been very valuable. And I think that a lot of the listeners will find huge amount of volume just listening to your journey from fishing….
Yeah. Honestly, I can tell you so much in my head, I could just wow you with my really like random knowledge. Not necessarily useful, just random.
Pei Mun Lim
No, it’s been absolutely fun.
Thank you very much for having me, Pei. It’s been wonderful.
Pei Mun Lim
Fantastic. Thank you.
It was a tough shift tonight.
All I can say is – look out for people who might be hurting, the young and the old.
Many people don’t ask for help because of fear.
Don’t let YOUR pride stop you from reaching out and lending a hand as there are so many who are hurting out there.
If you’re one of them, please call Samaritans freephone 116 123.
Childline have more power and capability to intervene in safeguarding cases so tell the children you know to call 0800 1111 if they are at risk of being harmed.
And as always, use thr Samaritan’s Listening wheel to practice Active Listening (see picture of the helpful mouse mat at my branch below).