The Problem of People

The Problem of People and how we solve it with our new engagement model.

At XWP we’ve been serving our industry for close to 5 years. As part of the larger X company family, it’s been closer to 13 years. We’ve learned a lot of things over this time. It’s actually been so long that we’ve even had to “unlearn” some things due to the pace of change we see in our industry. One constant though is a problem we’ve observed, year in and year out, across every one of our client and partner engagements.

The problem of finding the right people.

Finding the right people to work on a team is hard. There’s absolutely no shortage of talent out there, but finding, connecting, and onboarding them is hard. No surprise the size of the recruitment industry.

We’ve seen this problem regardless of the type of engagement we’ve had with our clients. Be it:

  • Project engagement
  • Support engagement
  • Consulting engagement
  • Placement engagement

The underlying issue beneath all of these is that the company wants to do something and they need someone, or a team of someones, to come on board and help them get it done. Break it all down and this is literally why agencies exist.

We’ve also learned, sometimes the hard way, that the typical “agency way of doing things” just gets in the way. Our industry is amazing at producing complex proposals, SOWs, contracts, etc. Granted, clear documents and contracts are necessary to a safe and rewarding b2b relationship, but we’ve realized these are not what set a project up for success. They just mitigate risk. We’ve become clever at muddying the water and dressing up the “problem of people” as something else as we go about positioning, pitching, and growing our businesses.

The more we review the last decade we identify our biggest wins and best projects have 99.9999% of the time come down to having the right people on the project.

With all our learning we’ve decided to change things up. We want to establish a simple foundation that brings the right people to a project fast and sets them to work on the things that are important to our clients.

Effectively we’ve reworked our engagement model so that it simply enables work to get started and clearly outlines the parameters of the engagement in a way that scales rapidly. Up and down.

This works internally by:

  1. Having a highly optimized recruitment and resourcing model that includes rigorous vetting and onboarding.
  2. Engagement contracts that aren’t blocked by project scope definition but are rather geared around the number and type of team members joining a project.

With these two pieces in place, we can quickly bring the right people to a project and quickly set them to work. We can get the right people working fast. Whether an individual joins a team, a whole team joins a project, or a team manages a project, our engagement model sets the stage for doing great things with WordPress. And we do this by gearing the engagement parameters around the people.

If you’d like to learn more about how we’re facilitating this, we’d love to hear from you.