Working at a client services organization such as DCI is often exhilarating, sometimes exasperating, but always challenging. We wanted to explore creative analogues to the work environment at DCI and asked DCI employees to share their mental images of working at DCI. The following are three representative examples. Not surprisingly, the common themes were teamwork and a sense of accomplishment.
Every part of a pro football organization must play their role well to ensure success. It starts with the ownership, then the coaches, the players and right on down to the fans.
The team owners are like our customers. At the end of the day, they have the most to lose if we fail and the most to gain if we succeed. Ownership changes from time to time but it is their interests we must have in mind to guide our overall actions. Without customers, we don’t have a business.
The head coaches are best represented by our management staff. It is their guidance that must find a way to make our team work together as a whole, to put together successful drives when we need a score, or defend against other teams, i.e., our competitors. To “get a win” they must figure out a way for us to rise above our competition and do what is necessary to make our owners happy and our fans cheer; the fans being our potential customers.
Project Management can probably best be summed up by comparison to position coaches. They have to apply upper management’s vision to execute that game plan; each game being a separate project. It is their job to make sure they have the proper players in place to execute the game plan. Frequently, they are stuck between the interests of the owners, coaches and players.
Engineering would be best described as being the offensive/defensive skill positions such as quarterbacks, running backs, defensive backs, etc. Some take the ball and run with it, others go over the middle for a tough catch. The team has its stars but they can’t do it on their own.
The linemen are our technicians and support staff. They get the work done in the trenches – building machines, getting parts, collecting money and paying the bills. These players may not be as visible to our fans but their importance is paramount. They do the thankless work to keep things moving.
Our Sales force is the face of the organization to the public so they are the cheerleaders. Their job is to get the morale of the fans up and get them cheering. If they get our potential customers excited enough about our capabilities, they will want to be more involved with us and even want to become owners.
Many players in our organization play multiple positions so these comparisons can shift from player to player on any given day but the bottom line is that we are a team. No position is unimportant and every player has an opportunity to make a play. Success follows those who are aware enough on the field to recognize where they are, what role they play, and how their actions affect the team as a whole.
Mechanical Engineer, DCI
My idea of the DCI business model is remarkably similar to the band where I play the saxophone on weekends. Our ultimate goal is the same as DCI – customer satisfaction and the feeling of personal accomplishment.
Our band consists of people from all disciplines – an auto body mechanic, a senior manager for a large medical company, professional sales personnel and me. DCI consists of senior management, sales, engineers and of course the people that build the products every day.
We practice every week and discuss what potential and existing customers want to hear from us as a band. We all have input in the music selection and our approach to playing the chosen repertoire. At DCI there are weekly meetings to discuss and review customer requirements and all disciplines have input as to how the product should be designed and built. All suggestions are welcome, all inputs are important to build the very best product we can for our customers and achieve total customer satisfaction.
There are occasions when disagreements and tensions arise in the band but our intentions are always to be the best we can and deliver a top notch show for our customers. The same can occur at DCI but always with respect and on a professional level, to listen to all sides of the debate and realize that everyone has the same goals – personal satisfaction for a job well done and a happy customer.
In closing, both DCI and my band are about the people. No one person in DCI or the band can achieve the goals without all of us contributing. Both require dedicated team effort and the realization that the challenges we face are worth the effort. It is not easy but we can have fun and at the end of the day we can all look back and say thanks for the help and good job.
Director of Purchasing, DCI
Working at DCI reminds me of a hiking trip. Good hikers always seek to improve their basic skills in map reading and first aid, and have the tools such as boots and gear that enable them to scale more challenging peaks. Similarly at DCI, the engineers learn the best practices in design tools and methodologies that enable them to solve the most challenging problems.
A successful hike requires good preparation and it starts with an understanding of the park regulations and planning what trail you are going to take, how long it is, the terrain, elevation and points of interest along the way. I am always hiking with friends and we divide up the tasks of procuring the food, updating our gear and carrying the food, water and gear between us. Similarly, a successful project starts with understanding the customer requirements for design and build, and developing a project plan that partitions the tasks among the available resources, and sets key milestones.
During the hike we follow our plan but make adjustments along the way if the trail is not what we expected or if we find a shorter path, or how we are doing on time if we decide to stay longer at one place. Similarly, execution is the key to success on a development project and we follow the plan but make modifications depending on challenges encountered in meeting the specifications or cost or schedule.
The hike ends with a feeling of satisfaction, some nice pictures and journal entry for future reference. At the end of the project, there is a feeling of accomplishment, once again, as we deliver the product and documentation to a happy customer.
Software Engineer, DCI