Getting Fired for the Best Possible Reason
When is getting “fired” a reason to celebrate? When it is for the right reason and it was your ultimate goal anyway. To get to the crux of this belief of mine, and Salient’s, we have to go back to when I worked for Intel.
I was at Intel for seven years; the first four years in Business Intelligence, and the last three in the Business Process Management space. During that time, I can’t remember when exactly, I came to the opinion the ultimate goal of a software developer should be to create such great works of software that the software developer was no longer needed for that particular effort. If you build a great solution which runs without issues, you really aren’t needed anymore. Perfection can’t be improved upon. However, it can’t be achieved either, but it is good to aim high when it comes to goals; shooting for the moon almost guarantee s you’ll hit some stars. Of course, there is also the factor of technology constantly changing, but perfection is still a great goal to shoot for. Thus, this became my goal for any solutions I was involved in building. I would be “fired” because I had done such a great job I just wasn’t needed anymore. I wanted to be like the mythical Maytag Man.
When I started consulting for Lombardi (Lombardi was purchased by IBM in 2010 and became IBM BPM) back in 2008, I decided the same concept applied. My job was to not only build great solutions, but to enable the client to be able to continue building great solutions without me there. In other words, my work had to be repeatable and scalable. The key things with this are methodology and attitude. The attitude part is important because this has to be ingrained into a consulting company in order for this to be real. It cannot be something only one or two employees believe in, otherwise it will not work. The philosophy of the company overall must be one of enablement and that the goal of every engagement is to get the client to be able to “stand on their own two feet.”
So, how does the title of this publication fit in with the content? Our largest client is now at the point where we have so enabled them they don’t need us anymore. Well, at least they need about 75% less people from Salient than they did at one time. This has happened gradually over time. Through our efforts at mentoring, developer and analyst shadowing, sending their resources through Salient’s Bootcamp, as well as their own commitment to hiring good people, the client is now at the point where they have a fully functioning Business Process Management Center of Excellence, and are completely self-sufficient other than some staff augmentation. You can see how happy there are/were with us by the cards they spontaneously signed and sent to us saying goodbye to the Salient Process team members working on their projects (some names/words have been crossed off to protect the identity of the client):
This is truly what Salient is about. Our client’s processes are our passion, and our purpose as a company is to enable organizations to focus on Higher Level Thinking. We want to enable you to the point that you give us a card(s) filled with wonderful farewells, and send us on our merry way, with the assumption you are fully capable of running your own Smarter Process programs at that point. While we may move on, the commitment to the process and improvement does not end, it is continued with the client. In addition to that, being “Fired” does not mean goodbye. We will remain a Strategic Partner with all our clients so we are available to assist them with any bumps in the road they will encounter in their Process and Decision Management journeys.