Macedon and Inspirant: Partners in Digital Transformation
In 2018, Inspirant Group developed a business process strategy for a client that required implementing an Appian solution. To support this digital transformation, they searched for the best partners in the market with in-depth knowledge of the Appian platform. It was from this search that the Inspirant and Macedon partnership was created.
What started with adding a couple of developers, quickly grew into a strategic relationship across multiple clients from energy to the healthcare industry. Our ability to deliver together started from day one and expanded to larger, more challenging projects that required a deep trust between both companies.
These strategic partnerships are essential in delivering holistic solutions in a rapidly changing world. As we look back on our history, we’ve identified the core components that strengthened our relationship and allowed us to deliver consistent and successful results to our clients.
A Complimentary Foundation
We’ve seen two types of partnerships evolve: additive and complementary. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Additive partnerships are between companies with similar - if not the same - competencies. For example, both companies might have a developer workforce using the same platform. Additive partnerships give both companies the chance to pool resources and qualifications on bids, increasing value to clients in specific competencies and increasing the collective team’s competitive advantage. Care needs to be taken to divide up work “swim lanes” and make sure that team members don’t step on each other’s toes.
Complementary partnerships are between companies whose competencies are largely - if not completely - different but build on each other. For instance, one company might be highly skilled in designing marketing materials, while the other might have an extensive distribution network for those materials. Complementary partnerships marry competencies that - when put together - provide a complete and holistic solution, much as a great home theater setup includes several separate components. Depth of experience is essential to this kind of relationship to balance the breadth of offering.
The partnership between Inspirant and Macedon is a complementary one. While Inspirant provides extensive knowledge about the Healthcare industry (the “who” and “why” for our joint solutions), and Macedon provides deep technical expertise (the “what”), both companies speak the same Consulting language (the “how”), resulting in holistic, effective Digital Transformation solutions for our clients, and leading them from inspiration to transformation.
Shared Values and Operating Principles
The values you hold go beyond the marketing mantras plastered on company walls. Who you hire and the values you instill in your people matter. It’s how they operate day in and day out, from small individual tasks to large conflict resolutions.
Our values were never outlined or discussed. It started as mutual recognition and quickly became the foundation behind our communication and execution. Below are a few examples of the values and operating principles that contributed to our strong and successful relationship.
The key ingredient to any strong partnership is trust. Without trust, relationships, communication, and the team's productivity all fray making it harder and a lot less fun to work together and sharply reducing the benefits enjoyed by the team and its clients. Trust, in turn, stems from a combination of integrity and know-how. While integrity is an active commitment by the entire team to practical, effective principles, know-how is the team's ability to perform based on skillsets and knowledge competently.
Transparency is a form of honesty and openness, ensuring that the right people in the partnership get the correct information at the right time.
For example, while pursuing a business opportunity, the partner with the target client experience shares a stakeholder analysis to inform collective strategy. During proposal construction, the partner with technical skill sets shares a thorough list of advantages and disadvantages related to potential technical approaches so that the team can collectively choose and propose the most effective approach to addressing the client’s challenges.
Through curiosity, the team asks the right questions to promote clarity of purpose, accountability, and solution.
For example, during Sprint Zero, the team poses questions to the client’s leadership about overall project objectives to guide successful execution. During development sprints, the team iteratively collects feedback on developed user interfaces, making those UIs as easy-to-use and effective as possible.
Proactivity means recognizing the many things that our team can positively influence and acting deliberately on those things.
For example, the team escalates risks, and proposed mitigation plans, as early as possible to team and client leadership. The team uses informal meetings to resolve miscommunications before they fester into larger-scale challenges.
Congruent Operating Models
If values fueled the engine of our train, our shared operating model became the tracks it was running on. For us, this included our team structure, communications, implementation methodologies, escalation procedures, and how to work with clients in the context of a consulting agreement.
Every new team goes through the forming, storming, norming, and performing stages of development. Great partnerships accelerate through this process. We found that our shared values (what we believe is important) and operating model (how we get work done) were the key ingredients that drove us forward.
Components of work were understood in a larger context, handoffs and expectations were established quickly, and a cadence of work gained momentum with each new sprint. Our train was running on these tracks at full speed and allowed us to formulate the right roles and responsibilities within our complementary relationship.
Domain and Client Knowledge: Inspirant’s team includes former executives, operators, and technologists with 20+ years of experience in healthcare. Their expertise brought the needed insight on care management systems, data conversions for utilization management, and end-to-end processing for a claims match solution.
Technical Knowledge: Macedon brings its deep expertise in technologies that are game-changers to Digital Transformation initiatives - such as Appian and UiPath - as well as assets to jump-start these initiatives, such as a leading asset repository for the Appian Partner community.
This complementary foundation was fully maximized within the operating model established in the initial stages of our partnership. The values and principles we shared expanded our trust and accelerated our team development through the storming and norming phases. All of these items combined allowed our partnership to flourish and establish a long-term relationship for us to deliver for our clients for years to come.
Macedon and Inspirant are the perfect partnership to start and support your Digital Transformation journey. Together we guide organizations as they take the leap from
legacy to digital, helping them discover the opportunities of the new digital frontier.
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