I’m James Burk, and I head up the Business Management Services practice at Artic Consulting.
I’m a technical project manager with over 20 years of experience at Microsoft and other companies in Seattle. During my career, I’ve often found myself in charge of all aspects of a project including their planning and execution. I’ve also had the opportunities to build out teams of project managers and our supporting templates, training and procedures. Working with excellent team members, we delivered entire portfolios of projects within scope, on time, and with high quality. Often I was presented with a unique set of challenges which forced me to think fast and adjust plans to meet evolving needs of the businesses I’ve supported.
When I joined Artic Consulting last February, I assumed I’d create the same type of Project Management Office (PMO) that I’d created multiple times before. But when we started thinking outside the box, we decided to take a different approach.
Our team started bringing in other skillsets outside of the traditional project management structure such as reviewing revenue models, setting up financial infrastructure, and creating invoice and payment workflows for different types of businesses. We thought about how best to create templates and standardized processes to ensure a holistic and systematic approach. With the guidance and leadership of our CEO Brad Feldman, we were immediately able to apply and demonstrate these new skills well in working with a startup client.
We now call these activities Business Management Services in order to package up all these types of services into a single consulting practice focused on management of all aspects of a business AND its projects. This is resonating with our clients and filling additional needs, and we are offering these types of services to our clients via several formalized service offering areas. These services cover traditional project management but also management consulting — things like product strategy, business and financial model creation, process engineering, and integrating new systems to an organization.
Artic’s core Business Management services include our ability to examine and improve all aspects of a company: goals, strategy, product roadmaps, and revenue models. We can shape specific recommendations across the organization, such as how a company can listen better to customers with the goal to improve its offerings. Our team brings in best practices, process improvements, and modern technologies to position a company ahead of its competition with better execution. We give companies the ability to deliver customer value quickly with a wide range of new concepts and getting feedback on them to see what works best.
Our BMS team can manage projects large and small for an organization. We are experts in different project methodologies such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe (Scaled Agile), plus traditional Waterfall projects. Our team can quickly understand your company’s culture to make the best recommendations for methodology that fits into existing workflow while also driving new efficiencies. We can kickoff and mobilize a project team to deliver functionality in short cadences. Or, we can manage a very large project with several major milestones and minimize risk to cost and schedule. Our goal is always to create accurate and realistic estimates and schedules, and deliver the project within scope, time, and budget.
Our team is also well versed in Project Portfolio Management (PPM) which gives a full picture of all the project activities in an organization. Well-established PPM tools can ensure that projects and programs are meeting the company’s near and long-term goals. We can apply program-level rigor to ensure that projects are being managed consistently across an organization but also toward tracking metrics with an executive-level project dashboard solution.
Process Design and Improvements
All business work is done through processes, whether ad-hoc or pre-defined. Most processes could use some type of improvement, large or small. When a process has been executed repeatedly, sometimes the exact reasons for doing it that way no longer exist.
Our BMS team can bring fresh eyes and perspective to how you and your team executes. Sometimes making some small or incremental improvements at the beginning of a process can drive very large efficiency gains overall.
Artic also brings order out of chaos with new processes and applying modern technology plus industry best practices. Often we can see a new way to do things that your team would have never thought of.
It can be challenging to break a team out of resistance to change. We start by first listening without prejudice — why are they resistant? Next we can show the benefits and taking them gracefully through the changes. The goal being that everybody buys into the change and nobody feels jarred by it.
Purchasing and integrating a new product or service that is meant to drive change inside a large organization can be quite a challenge. Sometimes the technical logistics are complex or the impact to existing process and people can be difficult to manage.
Our BMS team is highly skilled at on-boarding and integrating new systems into an existing company and culture. We can integrate a new product or service, or recommend the best solution that fits your organization. We can work with solutions that require many customizations or a unique roll-out approach.
For example, we have successfully rolled out a modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to transform the sales team of one of our clients. By setting it up and implementing new tools and process, we helped them to dramatically increase efficiency. Their CEO was freed up to make strategic decisions, instead of wasting his valuable time managing manual processes.
I am thrilled to share all of these service offerings and bringing them to our clients and partners. We’d love to talk to you about how Artic’s Business Management Services practice can transform your organization. We’ll immediately drive new business value by establishing key performance metrics to track your company’s progress toward your goals. Use our website to Start A Conversation.