Can Independent Programmers Play a Vital Role on Your Team?

I continually devote a lot of time to building personal relationships with our customers and associates, in order to better understand their needs and ways of doing business. This is because we want to develop an easy, efficient working relationship and become a more effective and valuable resource.  From my experiences and conversations over time, I have realized that although individual situations vary, no matter if you are a consultant, integrator, end user, technology manager, independent programmer, or manufacturer, everyone’s trying to achieve the same goal: customer satisfaction.

It’s easy to get caught with blinders on when your focus is limited to your area of expertise. All the players in the AV industry feel their own unique pressures to be responsible for their job and satisfy the demands of their immediate client as well as the end customer.  As programmers, we often face limited project input, compressed schedules, inaccurate system information, installation difficulties, and equipment issues.  Although some are preventable or perceived as someone else’s responsibility, it’s important to recognize the challenges and adversity each party faces within the project. We should all learn to be more aware of each other’s needs and understand that, most of the time, we’re on the same team trying to work in a cooperative, non-adversarial manner.

In order to realize our potential and create an efficient, successful work team, it’s critical that we eliminate any communication barriers so we can learn to work better with our clients and become a more effective project team.  This requires effort from all parties and a mutual respect and understanding of the roles and critical path items needed to harmonize our efforts.  We all believe we’re team players yet many times, we’re self-serving.  If we could all lower our guard a little and work as a true team, we could get more out of our resources, be more efficient, and produce a better product. 

Cooperation and understanding the “rules of the game” make our efforts most effective.  For example, if a project is delayed, everyone should be responsible to communicate accurate status and be honest about the situation.  It does no good to create a false sense of urgency or unrealistic expectation by having a programmer sit onsite being unproductive just because a schedule says so.  Additionally, as a programmer, we need to be more aware that the client, consultant, or integrator may be unfamiliar with what we do and how we do it.  If we prepare them with what to expect, educate them on functionality options and best practices, and assist their technical staff, they’ll be more effective.  And that makes things easier moving forward.

Our company looks to form relationships and serve all players in a project either directly or indirectly.  From an integrator who may hire us to a consultant who may specify us or a technology manager who may request us, we form multiple relationships and fulfill many support roles.  Regardless of your role or who is your direct client, you should consider the importance of having a skilled, multi-faceted programming resource on your project team. Think about all the ways that involving an experienced and reputable independent programming company can contribute to your project’s success, supplement your knowledge, and lead to a higher degree of customer satisfaction.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?