What’s necessary to provide a 365-days-a-year service to one of the biggest European institutions?
What comes to my mind on the eve of the first anniversary of a landmark project is a maxim that my colleagues started me off with years ago when I became part of A Data Pro – the impossible we do at once, miracles take a little longer!
It has been a roller coaster ever since, with one of the most impressive examples being a project we launched last June, under which we provide a 365-days-a-year media monitoring service to one of the biggest European institutions.
The service has an impressive scope covering 36 countries and 23 languages, and spans over 12 hours during working days, with weekend coverage also on the books.
Seven days a week, our media monitoring guys rise together with fellow reporters from the early morning shows, as they need to start work at 6:30 latest in order to catch all the fresh news of the day and have it delivered to the client by 7:30. And truth is, the early bird does catch the worm as the popular saying goes!
There are four more deadlines to follow during workdays, so the show goes on throughout the day. The weekends are slightly more merciful with fewer deadlines. However, we are still not at ease then because the bulletins get delivered to the bossess themselves (not to their analysts).
With this picture in mind, we knew from the very start that we were up against a tough challenge, both in terms of set-up and in terms of turning this into a sustainable operation, but rather than discourage us, this added fuel to our enthusiasm and set our blood on fire.
And so it all started…
We did a couple of trials in order to test our understanding and capabilities prior to the real challenge. Both trials and initial phase of the project were entrusted in the deft hands of our most experienced staff and experts, led by a dedicated and selfless managerial team, ready to give up the comfort of regular office hours in order to work miracles.
Once the projects took off, most of the initial team members would gradually be replaced by a brand new dream team, fully trained and in charge of the project. And so, at this point there were three simultaneous processes that the project and department management successfully juggled:
• Building up expertise in constant communication and interaction with the client to make sure that we know exactly what the client wants and guarantee that we deliver on all points;
• Recruitment – to do justice to the truth, this process was initiated immediately after we knew we would be the company to take up the service and continued for about five months until the very last person needed to build the dream team was hired;
Our biggest challenge was that we had to re-prioritise the company’s entire recruitment agenda in order to set this project as top priority while making sure the rest of the business was not harmed. An impressive 20 people were hired during this initial phase to work exclusively on this project.
• Training – as you can imagine bringing 20 newcomers up to speed with a demanding project like this one, where knowledge of the industry and English are more than a must, was quite the challenge, expertly handled by our Training Unit. The specifically tailored training courses and initiatives helped turn the project team into mini masters in all industry related matters!
Now that the project is all settled and long termed “ongoing” it is very difficult to imagine that at the start, prior to the consolidation of the core team and management, a total of 120 were involved or at least had to be kept informed about everything relating to the project. Well, it was all their joint efforts, enthusiasm and hard work that made the impossible at the very start and turned the project into our biggest and one of our most successful ones as of today.