Where do you work?
After a significant experience as an entrepreneur in the field of management information technology (about 23 years), I have held the role of director of the ARXivar Consulting BU in Able Tech since 2018. We are a leading software house in the information & process management market.
The unit I manage deals with the management of direct customers for projects and consultancy on the ARXivar software, a platform (also in SAAS) for the management of information and business processes. The Department team also supports the growth of the reseller channel through coaching and tutoring activities as well as support in the most challenging projects.
In the current scenario, the race to Digital Transformation of companies of all sizes has accelerated exponentially: in this context, Able Tech is increasingly called upon to deal with large projects for Enterprise companies. From this need, a real revolution was born within the ARXivar Consulting Department, which was structured with a PMO and several PMs as well as technicians and product specialists, now counting on a structure of 25 people. The methodological approach of ITIL 4 has allowed us to manage medium-large customers and to approach even more complex and articulated projects.
Much work still remains to be done, especially on the experience side, but by applying continual improvement and lessons learned, every problem becomes an opportunity to improve. Abolishing the culture of blame and replacing it with the culture of improvement is one of my most ambitious goals and one of the reasons that led me to be certified as ITIL 4 Strategist DPI.
What is your role within the organisation? What is it that you do on a daily basis?
In my role I deal with managing the people of the department, from hiring to individual training plans, to the right placement in the role: in a broader sense my task is to facilitate the teamwork of people and improve the general climate of the Department.
With respect to relations with other company Stakeholders: I am part of the Steering Committee, I share company and product strategies, I relate to the Commercial Management for economic objectives, I interface with the Administrative part for the management of orders and with the part of Development for requests for changes to the standard coming from the direct channel.
I am responsible for achieving the budget entrusted to me both in terms of revenues and costs, reporting directly to the CEO of the company.
Why did you choose to continue the ITIL 4 scheme with the DPI module?
After having certified the entire department on ITIL 4 Foundation in order to adopt a common glossary, we decided to continue on both the Strategist Leader and the Managing Professional parts. So in addition to the DPI module, on which I am now certified, we are also certifying our service manager on the CDS module.
These two modules are essential for us in order to create and improve our extended AMS services by following both the theoretical part of the DPI and the practical part of creating the service in accordance with the ITIL 4 standard.
Although many topics were already in our domain and applied to our contracts / services, a certification helps both inside and outside the company to greatly increase the credibility of the service provided. Clearly our service must work and must work well because the certification alone does not guarantee anything.
ARXivar is a platform that adapts to the needs of each customer, what are the most common challenges in having to adapt a standard tool to individual requests? And how are these requests handled?
Our department takes care of just this: it adapts the product to the needs of the specific customer. Arxivar is a platform that can be used across all industries. It has not been designed for a specific sector. In practice, it has a documentary heart and a closely connected workflow engine which, combined with the hundreds of options present in fact, guarantee us the possibility of implementing any type of process and integration with systems external to the document.
Arxivar’s customers range from small businesses with few employees to large multinational companies with thousands of users. It was therefore necessary to structure the department in two divisions: Projects and Operations. These two groups work differently.
The first is supervised by a project team headed by the PMO which guarantees the flow from the analysis and drafting phase of the project up to the execution phase and subsequent go live. These projects being medium-large are entrusted to mixed teams with different specializations (application consultants, custom programmers, systems engineers, trainers, drafting of documentation) coordinated by a Solution Architect / Team Leader who takes care of the assignment of activities to the team, verifies progress and reports to the PMO for the management of critical issues or delays.
The second group is made up of individual consultants who manage small projects in Time & Material in total autonomy. Sometimes the components of the Operations department can actively collaborate with the Projects department in the execution phase on the individual parts of the project based on the time available and personal skills.
Therefore, in the Build phase, up to the Go Live in production, the customer management is entrusted to the project team while, in the Run phase, it is entrusted to the AMS department for the management of basic maintenance (incident, event & problem management) and extended (CR on the project).
If there are new project requests, then the project team returns to the field, triggering a new complete cycle.
Such a complex job requires heterogeneous and different professional figures, who do not necessarily work and think in the same way. How do the different professional settings fit together in this case?
Answering this question would require a treaty! I will therefore limit myself to what I believe to be the most important thing that should never be underestimated.
Being able to amalgamate people with important curricula and make them work in close-knit groups is my main mission. It starts from the personnel selection phase and develops over time by periodically checking the training course and personal attitude.
We need to understand the attitude that a person has. It is useless to force a person to fill a role if he does not hear it from her. There are people who after having made two identical projects tend to “suicide” while others love to do jobs where they already know everything.
There are people who have an attitude towards the customer relationship and others who like to be behind the scenes. First of all, this is what needs to be considered when assigning roles and building teams. Then it is clear that we are all professionals and sometimes you have to do things you do not like but, as the Latins used to say: “Ubi maior minor cessat!”
Also read: What is a PMO?