Working IN and ON the Business
What does a day in the life of a consultant look like?
As a Quality Assurance Practice Lead my role requires me to work ON and IN the business.
What’s the difference and why is it important to drive both?
Working ON the Business
When we work ON the business, we are always looking at ways that we can improve what we do and how we do it. Streamlining our processes so that our clients can engage with us more efficiently and effectively or launching new products and services to better meet our client’s needs. As a consultancy, we have great passion for improvements and get excited to enhance our systems, processes, and productivity to focus on growth in the same stead as we deliver to our clients.
Working IN the Business
When we work IN the business, we are looking at the day-to-day operations of the business either as a consultant on a client site, or internal administrative tasks to ensure smooth running for our client-facing counterparts.
When I’m not on a client engagement I am busy working IN the business where my day-to-day encompasses any combination of various customer support tasks, QA team support, and talent management activities.
We take pride in providing excellent services to our clients and deliver value through our team’s knowledge and skills, our methodologies and process and unique approach to problem solving. Listening to our clients’ queries, getting feedback about resources, placing resources on the right assignments, and assisting directly when required is a high priority in my day to day when working IN the business.
Having extensive QA and Testing experience means having someone available to assist with additional workloads, additional customer requests and ensuring that I am in contact with the team on a regular basis to help them with any challenges that they are facing aids in keeping the team and engagements on track.
Spending time on our Team’s growth through Talent Management is part of our QA department, and we ensure we are putting our team on assignments that both meet our clients needs and have enough challenge and growth opportunities for our people. We aim to promote and support the ongoing development of our team in alignment our strategic business objectives and individuals’ personal goals.
Often when I am on a client assignment, I would to balance my time and work with our wider team to attend to all of the above activities. However, I am fortunate that Accuteque and our clients enables flexible working so that I can make the most of my day and get through these activities as needed. Part of our social contract is to “Share the Load” which comes into effect here.
When working ON the business my day would be focussed on strategic planning with our Head of QA and leadership team, looking at process improvement opportunities, business development activities, review our QA Sales (including budget and forecasts), and attending the Board Meeting.
One of the internal process improvement projects I worked on recently was to revamp our Offboarding process. The existing process was not inefficient but it involved a lot of manual work for Managers like me when needing to offboard a team member, and we saw an opportunity to streamline this process to give ourselves more time for other tasks. With the help from one of our awesome System Analysts, we were able to remove most of the manual tasks by automating them. We created an online form to filter through a series of check list items that we’d normally do manually when offboarding a team member. A lot of these items were around sending email notifications to the different team members for them to action their part of the offboarding process e.g. Finance Manager will need to know the details so they can process final pay. The changes while seemingly small, has increased efficiency on my day as someone who offboards team members in our largest department. At the completion of phase 1 of the project I was proud to have been able to implement something that was going to save our team time and effort. Often it is hard to quantify the value of the work that is done while working ON the business, but it is important to keep in mind the notion that “time is money”, and for that any change that increases efficiency is essentially enabling us to spend more time and effort on growing the business.
It is easy to see that when we are solely focused on working IN the business, then our capacity to build our business through strategizing, planning, and innovating is reduced. Therefore, it is imperative for us to make time to work ON the business , make decisions and changes as needed to grow. On that note, I’ll leave you with this quote by Imogen Roy (Deputy Headmistress of The Academy – The School of Power for Women:
Working ‘in’ your business is spending time managing your business as it is today. Working ‘on’ your business is investing time so your business can be better tomorrow.