Continued from Journey from an Intern to Solutions Team Member: Part 2 of 3
The existing site on the Kanji project had a lot of complex customizations and above all it was in Drupal 6, using Ubercart. Keeping this in mind, I discussed this with the technical team and suggested to the client that, it will be better if we could separate the current site from the marketplace and start a new D7 site with Drupal commerce enabled. We convinced her that, if we go with the Commerce Kickstart distribution, it will definitely help us to get a head start as it already had Drupal commerce integrated. We provided her with demo and screenshots and explained to her how the other tasks which were not in commerce kickstart could be implemented. She agreed to the idea and signed the contract with us.
Building relationship with client
During development, she had a lot of concerns about various points. Alongside the daily development tasks, I ended up sending close to 6 to 7 emails addressing each of her queries almost every day. She was happy with our prompt responses which resulted in a good relationship with Zyxware and helped us to successfully complete the project. She still approaches us for new features to be added to her site.
I followed the same principles with my other projects and tried to improve myself. During project execution, I used to think about what the stakeholder expects and was able to fulfill the same (well, mostly).
Team Lead to Solutions
Without much ado, I was assigned to be the TL of a project which was (still is) running in Zyxware since 2010-11. The project was kind of big and the business of the client was bigger. Every couple of days either they have a new feature, a bug in an old feature or a task which required consultation. Working on this project for close to 3 years helped me to build a better perspective: On clients and how to handle their queries, concerns, and complaints.
I was then assigned to a new role - a member of the solutions team. The solution team was developed in order to help the sales build a better proposal for clients by playing the role of “consultant” to clients. The activities include reading the RFPs by the client, communicating and clarifying requirements via meetings and build a solution for their requirements. Solutions are to be prepared as a solutions document in a particular format. This document is then used by the estimation team to arrive at a number. The requirements usually varied from client to client and I had to do my research well to prepare solutions for each proposal.
Experience of a lifetime
I would like to admit that the projects I had worked on so far, to a great extent helped me get this role. The experience I had gathered from those projects helped to get this position. In the solutions team, it is quintessential to understand the client's needs and prepare a solution that works for them. In the process, I am constantly being introduced to many of the latest technologies. Apart from the usual scrum, development, reports etc, I am getting a chance to learn new things every day and help clients to find a solution for their needs.
It is true that at times, I miss development, but the knowledge that I am gaining from being part of the solutions team compensates all that.
The goal that I have for future is to be a consultant in a specific area. I believe that the experience I gained so far and the upcoming opportunities in solutions team will help me get there, eventually.