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Does solution still precede process?

When companies and organizations have a technical issue, they often look for resources. There is not enough specific knowledge, experience or technical skills in-house to solve the problem themselves. Unfortunately, especially within larger organizations, hiring capacity is seen as a generic HR procurement process. This too often results in the wrong person for the wrong price. In other words, a pedestal without a monkey. In this blog, we try to expose this problem.

Edco Wallet

Co-Founder & eigenaar
Edco Wallet - Co-Founder & eigenaar

The problem

In practice, we frequently encounter the following example problem: product owners and IT managers experience increasingly large performance issues in and around the production database, for example MariaDB with Galera Cluster. There is sometimes even downtime. The suspicion of the in-house IT team is that, due to the growth of the database, a number of different variables are causing such a poor performing environment.

This creates the necessary doubt as to whether the internal team has the right know-how. Moreover, an IT manager then wants to investigate right away, for example, whether migrating to a cloud (native) database is smart.

The alleged solution

The IT manager steps to HR and indicates a need for specific MariaDB knowledge combined with Galera Cluster and knowledge of Ansible. HR starts the hiring process, creates a profile and asks management for formal approval to hire an FTE. After approval, HR distributes the request to a number of pre-selected brokers or secondment agencies.

Through the broker’s network, someone is eventually found. A good interview follows, and this person goes through the onboarding process, gets inducted and blends into the team. He, she or they lose a lot of time with open tickets and backlog items. Knows a few improvements. Can’t actually help with advice on the migration because there is no benchmarking knowledge and the person hired is himself a huge fan of MariaDB on premise.

Everything remains as it was

In short, we drank a glass, took a pee and everything remains as it was. And after six months, “the project” is finished and the organization is a small ton further along. But was the desired result actually achieved? That’s a good question.

HR procurement process

In these cases, established HR pathways lead to:

– Long lead time

HR processes have long lead times. Between the demand arising and the day someone actually starts, there can be as little as two months. In some organizations with stringent screening requirements, this can sometimes be as long as four months!

– Down on your luck

By limiting oneself to hiring through the network of pre-selected brokers, one does not necessarily get the best specialist with the right knowledge for the specific issue. After all, one is dependent on availability within the network at that specific moment. So you get the specialist who is available at that moment. And that is not necessarily the most suitable one.

– Tunnel vision

Because an individual is hired with specific experience, the question is whether this IT person actually has the helicopter view, knowledge and experience to find and choose the right solution in this specific situation. There is a great deal of dependence on this individual and to what extent they can think “out of the box.

– Cost

One stays within budget because the processes have been followed, hiring term and hourly rate have been delineated. But hiring a full-time IT professional for three to six months (read 80k) for a performance issue and a migration study is flat out a very big bucket of money.

The beaten path: process before solution

That organizations set up and standardize hiring processes is logical in itself. The question is what you do or do not use these processes for. Are you looking for capacity? Then this can work fine. Are you looking for knowledge? Then the question is whether this is the right way to go. The revenue model of secondment agencies is based on hours and margin.

A short trajectory of problem analysis and formulating solution directions from a knowledge-driven route is therefore not very interesting. So the project is quickly made bigger than the problem. Capacity before knowledge. Process before solution.

The monkey on the pedestal

De aap op het voetstuk

Author, trainer and behavioral scientist Ben Tiggelaar had a great work tip a few weeks ago: “The monkey on the pedestal. Astro Teller, executive at Google X, used this metaphor to explain how they can innovate. To innovate, you have to be focused on teaching the monkey the trick. If the monkey can do the trick, you will naturally find a pedestal soon.

But many organizations start with the pedestal. Read Ben Tiggelaar’s working tip here. So if you want to add knowledge by focusing on capability, you focus on the pedestal. Whereas it’s all about the monkey.

So how to do it?

So it’s better to focus on the solution instead of just following the process. The ultimate goal of a project or task is to find a solution to a specific challenge. If you only follow the process, you may end up not finding an effective solution because you simply haven’t considered the right solution.

By starting with the solution, you are more inclined to think creatively and out-of-the-box. This irrevocably leads to better results in a shorter period of time. Moreover, a solution-oriented approach helps you use time and resources more efficiently.

Choosing direction first

In our view, every major issue begins with research, analysis, evaluation of solution directions and choosing direction. Only then is the question of how this solution can be implemented addressed. Hiring capacity is one of the options.

Give direction to your issues

There are IT companies, as OptimaData is also one, that operate in a specific niche and have specialized knowledge. These companies are solution- and results-oriented. They help organizations take direction on their issues. For a fraction of the investment of hiring, the solution can be formulated with all the knowledge and expertise of the consulting firm and also looks at solutions off the beaten path.

The client is then empowered to make an informed choice and set a focused work order through the beaten HR path or even the specialized agency itself.

Want to know more?

Would you like to experience how we approach issues? Are you hesitating to hire us and dare to take a different approach? Get in touch, we’d love to help.