A cornerstone of nearly 20 years of HL Group success has been partnering with larger organizations like Accenture for our solution deliveries. When you’re a small company located in the central U.S., its teaming that provides your links to markets. Teaming relationships have allowed us the opportunity to specialize in certain disciplines and leverage and bring those specialties to complimentary organizations – and together, create a more robust and complete solution for a client.
Over the 17 years that we’ve been partners, Accenture has proven to be a great relationship in helping us to expand our reach as a team, but more importantly pair our complementary strengths to create successful customer solutions and experiences. We have worked with them at all three levels of government – federal state and local – and through all solution stages – capture, implementation and long-term sustainment. The result has been high customer satisfaction and individual financial success for our teams.
This got me thinking about what are the key factors in a partnership. These, I think, are the three most important:
Goals In an earlier post I talked about the importance of having clear and achievable goals for an overall plan and each of the critical steps. Those goals, and the steps to achieve them, are critical to a successful venture. Partnering is no different in the need of establishing these clear goals. With Accenture, we have been able to establish clear goals for the engagements, along with the individual roles and steps for each party along the way. This contributes to significantly minimizing wasted and non-productive efforts while achieving the highest performance in deliverables. Both of these translate to a better customer experience and success. Accenture and HL Group have done well establishing and respecting each other’s roles and goals over the years – and the results can be seen in our success.
Communications While we’ve talked about this before too – I can’t stress enough how much communications can make or break a successful partnership. When you’re dealing with long and complicated customer relationships, it’s critical that all parties are up to date on where things are in the different life cycles of a solution. Our relationship with Accenture has produced a long history of successful deliveries with a number of customers. This success has been supported with a combination of formal scheduled communications and – often more importantly – with many off-line discussions to identify and resolve challenges before they mature. Frequent and effective communications translate directly into customer satisfaction and improved financial performance for us.
Trust With everything else considered, if you can’t trust the goals, communications or other activities, it is all for nil. The foundation for any long term relationship is trust. It is not something that can be contracted or demanded, but earned. Just like in a friendship, a job or a marriage, trust is developed over time. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t periodic set backs or disagreements. But when there is trust these issues get resolved and usually provide opportunities for growth. While it hasn’t always been perfect, our partnership with Accenture has been one of mutual trust grown through contracts, communications and actions.
HL Group has had many successful partnerships with a wide variety of organizations over the past two decades. Accenture helps set the standard for us in our goals for these relationships. Thank you, Accenture – we look forward to our continued mutual success together for another two decades.