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Who's Zoomin' Who? Making it work with external partners.


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What's the secret for getting the most from an external partner? How do you know when you need one and how do you find the right firm to work with? More than that, how do you run the show effectively once you do? Let's empower the campus designer to get the most out of these external partnerships! We'll talk about directing the process internally, and making sure you get what you need. As someone who's worked on both sides, I'll talk candidly about what to look for and what to avoid during these key partnerships. This session was part of the 2013 UCDA Design Summit.

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Who's Zoomin' Who? Making it work with external partners.

  1. 1. WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO?Making it work with external partners.Susan T. EvansSenior Strategist @ mStonerUCDA Design Summit 2013 m
  2. 2. m
  3. 3. CONSULTING m If You’re Not a Part of the Solution,There’s Good Money to be Made in Prolonging the Problem.
  4. 4. Let’s get this over with... m
  5. 5. Never kill a client. Attempt to find a less drastic solution. #bestadvice
  6. 6. For our purposes, let’s agree there’s plenty of blame to go around. m
  7. 7. “Someone brought in fromthe outside to give advice.” m
  8. 8. m
  9. 9. m
  10. 10. m
  11. 11. good to know at the end of the day value add right-sized in flightbuttoned-up Lingo circle back bandwidth on the same page close the loop it depends low hanging fruit deep dive sea change wordsmith hard stop granular take awaybirds eye view push back directionally correct m
  12. 12. m
  13. 13. Benefits (and risks), please. m
  14. 14. The Benefits• You can extend staff capacity.• You can get things done quickly.• You can secure external validation.• You can evaluate and plan for change.• You can challenge the “tyranny of the immediate.” m
  15. 15. The Risks• You may not have the same continuity in the relationship as you would have with an employee.• You may have to pay high fees to the consultant.• You have limited control over the consultant.• You may not have their undivided attention because they are juggling multiple projects.• You may get lots of good ideas that won’t get m implemented.
  16. 16. “How do you knowwhen you need one?” m
  17. 17. The Reasons• You need a core competency of knowledge for a specific discipline to address a short-term project.• You need content expertise around particular best practices.• You need a neutral, objective party who is not living the university’s culture every day and has no agenda.• You need to bring people together, crossing organizational boundaries.• You need a fresh perspective because you are revisiting the same problems with the same set of solutions.• You need to deliver a message that can’t come from the inside. m
  18. 18. We’re not all the same. m
  19. 19. “What qualities are you looking for?” m
  20. 20. The Qualities• Knowledge• Credibility• Strong emotional intelligence• Superb communication skills• Ability to engage and inspire• Friendly, approachable, likeable m• All-in sense of commitment
  21. 21. We’reHIRING
  22. 22. m
  23. 23. “What’s the best way to getready to hire a consultant?” m
  24. 24. RFQ RFPAt least some bullet points m
  25. 25. Think about:• Goals• Scope of Work• Deliverables• Process• Timeline• Project and collaboration tools (built-in check points, tracking milestones, documentation)• Budget (10% contingency) m
  26. 26. mGetting to know you. Getting to know all about you.
  27. 27. CompetencyDo you know how to do this? m
  28. 28. ExperienceHave you done this before? m
  29. 29. Results/OutcomesWhat happened when you did this elsewhere? m
  30. 30. CapacityWhat resources will you devote to us? m
  31. 31. DeliverablesWhat will we have in our hands at the end? m
  32. 32. TeamWho will actually do our project? m
  33. 33. Risk Factors What could go wrong?How will you prevent that? m
  34. 34. Philosophy/ApproachHow do you work with clients? m
  35. 35. 2 m
  36. 36. m
  37. 37. m
  38. 38. A note about portfolios: m
  39. 39. It never gets better than the pitch. m
  40. 40. m
  41. 41. Pay attention at the start. Plan to spend time.(No one cares about the project more than you do.) m
  42. 42. Determine primary points of contact.(Who on campus? Who on the consulting team?) m
  43. 43. Establish a small, but formal, project team. (You’ll have to fit this in with your day job.) m
  44. 44. You don’t have to be right,you just have to get what you want. (What you’re saying, I’ve already said. So why do they believe you?) m
  45. 45. m
  46. 46. Think back.
  47. 47. Talk about it.
  48. 48. Consider the long haul.
  49. 49. Renegotiate.
  50. 50. This isn’t working out.
  51. 51. What’s frustrating for us? m
  52. 52. You already know exactly what you want. Confirm that, and only that.
  53. 53. You need to check it off the list. We’re doing this for show.
  54. 54. You want us to pick a side. Internal warfare, anyone?
  55. 55. You have a crazy timeline. Cheap, fast or good. Pick two.
  56. 56. You aren’t serious.Limited possibilities. Limited engagement.
  57. 57. You don’t want to hear negatives. Let’s ignore the facts.
  58. 58. Shhh! Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this... m
  59. 59. A bonus tip for theempowered designer. F**k you. Pay me. m Design is a Job. (Mike Monteiro)
  60. 60. You’re (like a) vendor if you work in... Creative Services Communications Web Services IT Services (Whatever) Services m
  61. 61. Thanks!Now for your war stories. Lay ‘em on me. Susan T. Evans Senior Strategist 757.903.1120 @susantevans m
  62. 62. What’s the role of the client?• HONESTY Be forthcoming about the problems that face your campus. Set aside your embarrassment and fears – and tell your consultant the whole story.• FOLLOW-THROUGH Over time, you and your team will need to do some project work that might prove demanding and time-consuming. Above all else, the consulting relationship is a collaboration. You must hold up your end.• COMMUNICATION The arrival of a consultant may spark fear, suspicion, and rumors – particularly if your campus is experiencing turmoil and uncertainty. Determine early on how much and what kinds of information regarding the consultants work needs to be shared with internal m stakeholders.
  63. 63. Role of the client (continued)• LEARNING FROM THE EXPERIENCE In some instances, the collaboration will mean new skills for the campus team. If you can incorporate the consultants best insights and techniques into your own process, you may be able to handle problems on your own next time around.• WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE The consultants work will often conclude with a set of recommendations. Only you can finally decide whether the recommendations are justifiable and correct – and then summon up the energy, flexibility, and plan for m implementation.