Five years ago this summer, we hired C2IT’s first project manager. Phil Dumm came on board to help our younger team of 5 better coordinate and deliver technical solutions to the small set of clients we were serving at the time. His job included everything from the day-to-day organization of data into our management tools to the value-generating planning and review meetings he held with our clients. Phil played a game-changing role on our team and was a catalyst that helped us grow into a “team of teams” that now numbers 12 and serves over 50 clients each month.
Early last year, Phil shared with me that it was time for him to step into the next phase of life for him, commonly known as retirement. I’ve lost a couple young teammates to the next step in their careers over the years, but this was the first time we’d experienced a teammate moving on from a job they enjoyed into a whole new stage of life. Phil stuck out most of the year with us as we got over some hurdles we needed to overcome, but late last year we said our “see you laters” as we continued our search for his replacement.
As we embarked in this journey, we decided to split project management roles within our business between the IT Services side (IT support, helpdesk, managed services, and cyber security) and the Web Design and Custom Development side. Andrew Roy, a longtime employee, stepped into the role on our IT team, and we’re excited to see him blossoming into this role.
As Phil stepped away, management of development and web projects fell back onto my own shoulders, and it did not take me long to realize how much I needed a team member dedicated to this role. Whether it’s following up with a dozen clients we are trying to build websites for, waiting on content, or balancing priorities on competing development projects that each need hundreds (if not thousands) of things done to them “right away,” this wasn’t a mantle I could carry well while leading our team and running our business. I tried, and we managed, but I was reminded quickly of how much I needed to fill this role.
We’re more than excited to have brought Jon Cook, a seasoned project manager and leader of teams, onto the C2IT team. Jon’s background is not tied closely to the tech world, but when it comes down to it, managing projects (whatever their type) is more about coordinating, leading people, and listening than it is about a specific industry or technology. Jon hit the ground running on day one, and we’ve never looked back.
We have a short section of fire hose and a nozzle that we leave with each new employee because that’s what life is like for the first several weeks: trying to get a drink from a fire hose. There’s so much information, so many moving parts, so many people to meet, that the hurdle of onboarding a new team member is really the final test of their fit here. Jon is a shining example of a team member who’s jumped in with the excitement and determination that’s necessary to come out the other side and help our business continue to flourish. Our projects are moving forward and towards completion at rates we haven’t seen before, our billable time is up across our company, and our team members are already expressing gratefulness for clearer priorities, freed up time to focus on the “big rocks,” and freedom to get to work while another team member has their back and keeps the gears greased.
Several of our past hires have resulted in team members taking things off my plate and making things happen in ways that serve our clients without me being involved in every day-to-day decision that needs to be made. It felt strange (and still does) to be a bit “out of the loop” on every communication with clients that is happening, but the fact that it IS happening, and that so MUCH of it is happening, and that it’s happening so WELL leaves me sitting back in awe, grateful for the times they get me up to speed, thankful for client relationships with our business (and not just me) that are growing, and able once again to dream big, cast a vision, and launch ourselves into the future.
If you haven’t met Jon yet, you should. Give us a shout on email or stop by the office. We’d love to introduce you and show you around.