Editor's note: What are the best practices in moving data to the clouds?
Learn more here!
I have never been shy about taking on a new challenge. So when I was offered
the opportunity to be a lead consultant on a BPM implementation project, I jumped
at it. I had been out of consulting and project management for a while, but
I thought it would be like riding a bicycle, a skill I would never forget. Did
it matter that I would be riding that consulting bicycle on the wrong side of
the road in Mexico City, with only Spanish language skills picked up during
a lengthy stint of tourism? I heard the words "sign me up" escape
my mouth while I was still considering these questions.
A few weeks later I found myself in Mexico City, ready for a three month project,
with no idea where the client's office was, and a new realization that Google
Maps doesn't work well in a city of 21 million inhabitants and about as many
different street names. Despite that, my real lessons started about fifteen
minutes after eventually finding the office.
Lesson 1: Get engaged early
When I walked through the door of ALICO, Mexico (a part of AIG Foreign Life
Division), I was already a little behind on the project. My colleague for the
next three months was an extremely smart Argentinian, Gerardo, who had been
on-site for the three days prior to my arrival. He had already worked out the
lay of the land, and was ready for the challenge of helping me through the obvious
language difficulties (even though he spoke less English than I spoke Spanish).
Gerardo's first task was to introduce me to the business analysis team (referred
to affectionately as Las Chicas) who had been defining the process best-practices
for the underwriting and policy management groups we would be improving. Their
welcoming gift to me was a binder containing close to 3 pounds of printed materials,
covering every facet of the intended processes: the ACORD standards definitions
of the underwriting activities; photocopies of forms and documents used for
new business; BPMN standard notation guides; three over-sized Visio diagrams
showing the proposed processes, cross referencing the ACORD standards previously
mentioned. In other words, it was a gratefully received paper doorstop.