April 12, 2022
Using the #OneTeam Mantra to Complete Exciting Projects
Recently, I had the honor to be a part of a successful implementation of one of the biggest, most significant CIS implementations in the utilities industry. It was also quite likely the first 100% remote CIS go-live in North America of this magnitude and complexity.
At Utegration, we have a mantra and ethos, #OneTeam, meaning that all project members – be they clients, Utegration employees, or third party vendors – act as a single unit to deliver to the client’s requirements. This project stood as a testament to our mantra.
To give a sense of the complexities of this project, our client, a Canadian utility, wanted to replace an aging, obsolete customer billing application and relationship management system. Their legacy solution handled multiple services (e.g., regulated and deregulated electricity, deregulated gas, water, wastewater, waste, storm water, trash, etc.). This project had colleagues working across three continents and six time zones.
I joined the project in early 2019, staying with the project through the November 2020 go-live and post go-live support, playing various roles from a bill print developer to bill print lead during various phases of the project.
No doubt, COVID-19 added new challenges to this already complex engagement. Challenges for which we had no past references. In the true spirit of #OneTeam, we quickly innovated to adapt to the new realities as we transitioned to working from home, leveraging collaboration tools to ensure flawless collaboration across all teams. There were many moving parts to a successful delivery – especially focusing on safeguarding cyber security in our new home office setups.
One of the client requirements was a seamless bill presentment. Their legacy system had 20+ years of custom enhancements, which were often for very specific scenarios. Working as #OneTeam with our client, we achieved the desired outcome. Collaborating within the functional and technical teams, between Utegration and the client, and even with third party vendors we worked as #OneTeam to:
- Achieve a seamless implementation from the customer's perspective
- Eliminate customizations to reduce costs and complexity
- Innovate in delivery and people preparation
The client deemed the project as a complete success, achieving all of their goals including the most important metric of all: increased customer satisfaction.
The Project Management Office (PMO) team (Michael Allen, David Head, and Velmurugan Ramasamy) put immense trust in us, which pushed us to give our all to make the project a success story to cherish. I would like to give a special shoutout to Michael Allen who played an instrumental role as PMO. He always had the team’s back and challenged us to give our best and nothing less.
This project has taught me that with excellent teamwork one can achieve the impossible even when there are multiple challenges thrown in the way. Thanks to the #OneTeam ethos and the trust we have in each other’s abilities, we were able to overcome all of the challenges and delivered one of the biggest projects at Utegration!