That year was remembered for the struggle.
Spring. A gambling struggle for a dream contract and a short-lived joy of victory “and how are we going to do it now?”.
Summer. A sultry struggle for resources and the simultaneous delivery of functionality to the client despite “one hand, and that one on the back”.
Autumn. Knockout. Delivery of the project, grateful client, bonuses. Euphoria from the anticipation of even larger projects.
With the onset of December, I finally deserve a little rest. And if you are planning a vacation now, listen to my advice - always, always leave your phone in the hotel safe. On the very first day, blown by a cold wind at the top of the mountain, with ski gloves in my teeth, I opened Pandora's Box - 18 missed calls ...
Winter. Extreme descent. The client breaks the contract for no apparent reason, the team is in fear and despair, I am returning on the next flight.
They chose a different partner.
“No, it can't be. They were pleased with the result. Have sent a good review. Their CEO started talking about expansion last week. - I scrolled through the last events in my memory - There must be some mistake. "
And now I think, but could he even be?
We were quite an ordinary outsourcing company, of which the market is full. Several stable legacy systems fed us from year to year, at the same time we had to take a smaller “fish” - orders for small standard projects. A minimum of technology and innovation, but they paid well for them.
This one was completely different. Ambitious, large-scale, outstanding. After three hours of talking about smart machines in smart cities, it turned out that they wanted to do some cases on existing facilities and test a couple of hypotheses before launching new products on the market. Such an intelligent R&D. And if our team demonstrates the ability to quickly give results, then an exceptionally great future awaits us further - a number of large-scale projects with their portfolio companies.
Dilemma between dream and reality.
Between the risks - “why do you need this? do what you do well ”- and the desire to reach a new level.
The uplift was periodically shaken by the remarks of other participants in the process:
"There are not even requirements here - how will you complete the project?"
"Where do you find the team, our people have never done this before."
But when you really want something, then all the difficulties can be solved.
This was our chance, our dream to become something more than a conveyor of typical functionality.
And we did it against all odds. And I saw how every day the criticism weakened, and the faith in our capabilities grew stronger.
-Yes, they chose a different partner. There were political reasons for this. But this does not mean that we failed. With such a cool team, we will have other projects as well. Our goal is the same - to get away from the classic outsourcing in R&D. - I said then at the general meeting, trying to keep the morale of the team.
They believed me.
And after three months:
- Be patient, we need a little time. While negotiations are underway with potential clients, I expect you to do your job well on existing projects.
They believed me.
And six months later:
"Need to talk." - the chief architect will write to me in the messenger.
I already know what intuitively. He found an R&D project in another company. This is to be expected.
I stop myself in the impulse to talk about prospects, a strong team and the need to show patience.
To be honest, he will be better there. I understand that he is the first.
Return to stability
With each next dismissal, it is easier to let go, but it's harder in my heart. That's dream teams scattered, and with it my romantic optimism was exhausted.
A couple more months and I can already sound convincing enough at meetings:
-We will do what we can do well and what clients are willing to pay for. While we were chasing smart city in attempts to transform, we have accumulated problems on current projects, clients are complaining! Let's not be scattered and focus on good service.
Life gradually returned to a stable track. Conveyor and operating systems. Skiing 2 times a year, phone in the safe and 0 not accepted.
-We have done one R&D project here that you could present to clients ...
- Stop. What other project? We have not been doing this for a long time. And you still need to complete the projects that you have.
-And those that are, too.
Time to reap the benefits. I am no longer “at the helm” of this transformation, although the role has been reserved for me.
Gas or brake?
I take out the dusty presentations from the archives and start over again.