Good morning Mr. Getzit, I appreciate the opportunity to interview for this position. Hi Larry glad you could come in. Please have a seat and let me give you a little background on our company and the position you are interviewing for.
Ahead-of-the-Rest was founded about nine years ago by our CEO Anticipate Betterway. She was determined not to repeat the execution ills of companies in the 80’s, 90’s and the first 10 years of the 21st century. Her vision was to create a company that provided the products and services we talked about on the phone but to also create a structure to deal with the changes that would inevitably come as a result of growth and success.
We have all worked in organizations where the number of projects far exceeded the capacity of people available to do the work. The result as you know is that projects move at a snails pace and projects never get implemented in a timely manner, not to mention the cost overruns and dissatisfied customers and board members. On top of that resources are pulled from their ‘day’ job and assigned to work on projects but are never freed up from their daily activities to put the time in to get the project done on time and within budget leaving them stressed and frustrated.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here but I do enjoy telling our story and how different we are and how that difference gives us a competitive edge in the marketplace. Well anyway when Ms. Betterway put this company together her strategy was to make sure that Ahead-of-the-Rest would be able to provide our products and services to meet customer expectations and be able to execute our strategy.
Let me digress for a minute and ask isn’t it amazing how many companies don’t even have a strategy?
Well anyway when Ms. Betterway first addressed our team she said the fact that we had a department focused on implementing our strategy immediately gave us a competitive advantage. And so my title as COSE was born.
As Chief Officer of Strategy Execution I hired people with various backgrounds whose sole function is to implement our strategy. Like all companies we have more projects than available resources but what makes us different is my department doesn’t need to reach out to other areas in the company to get things done. We have business and financial analysts, a team of IT folks who provide our system and programming support and a stable of trained project managers.
Now I don’t mean to paint a picture that everything is smooth sailing because we have issues like everyone else but part of Ms. Betterway’s strategy was to establish a portfolio project management structure that incorporates prioritization of projects with effective resource allocation so that when we develop a plan to implement a strategic initiative we get it done within the established timelines and gain the benefit of that positive change as soon as possible. The main reason we can do that is we have the SEE department focused on executing strategy while all other functional departments focus on providing our products and services.
Oh yeah SEE stands for Strategy Executed Efficiently. It works well all around because as an organization we know we will never run out of projects because change is the status quo and there are always new products to rollout, new companies to merge, new systems to implement as well as compliance projects that need to get accomplished. Basically we categorize our projects into running, growing or transforming the business and like I mentioned we have plenty to do. You know running a business is a like a never ending project in that you are never ever done, but hey that’s what motivates our team.
Our SEE team is provided with the right environment to succeed and our project managers can focus on driving down project cycle time through improved project execution processes instead of battling amongst themselves for the limited resources available to projects from functional areas. One of the biggest benefits we have reaped besides getting our strategy executed ahead of the rest of our competitors is that the top of our house doesn’t have to read all those risk documents that are typically prepared by project managers stating that resources are not available or resources have been reassigned from one project to another project or the functional manager pulled their project resources due to an operational fire that had to be put out.
The other big benefit to the company of the SEE department is that we our growing our leaders of the future that we can place in other areas of our business. We realized early on that people that could implement the changes needed to execute our strategy had the leadership characteristics of teaming, thinking outside the box, problem solving and generally making things happen affording us the capability to leverage those folks and build our leadership depth across the enterprise.
Well Larry I’ve chatted quite a bit so tell me about why you want to be a project manager in our organization.
“Hey Dad, wake up you have to drive me up to college.” Sorry Mike I was having such a weird dream. Oh yeah what was it about. Ah you wouldn’t understand. Try me. Well it was about a company that set up a department focused on executing their strategy. Hey dad, I’m in my 3rd year of college what’s so strange about that; doesn’t every company have people focused on executing their strategy?