Harbinger Travel Diaries is a blog series documenting various worldly experiences from our team of consultants. This week Adam Rifai, Business & Accounting Analyst/Associate Consultant, shares his first client business trip experience.
Shortly after graduating from Western University last year, I was scooped up by Harbinger, and I've already learned so much. They've quickly trained me in Instructional Design and Consulting, allowing me to make impactful contributions in my work. Getting into Change Management was a first for me. And this past month, I also had my first client business trip to Québec City.
I had the pleasure of visiting one of our clients, Medicago, a pioneer of plant-based transient expression and manufacturing, in the fascinating and historic city. However, before I get into my experience working there, I wanted to share just how great it was to be in Québec. This wasn't just my first business trip; it was also my first time in Québec City. Anyone who's been to Québec City and Toronto can easily spot the differences. While Toronto, like Montreal, is vibrant, Québec City is very picturesque. Although the food in Toronto can be delicious, the preparation and presentation of Québec City's cuisine are far more detailed, resulting in an excellent experience.
Here are some terms that will be used throughout this post:
Instructional Designer: Learning Consultant that designs and develops the training material for the client
Super-User: A unit-based support person who serves as the point person for the IT system being implemented
End-Users: The individuals who will use the IT system being implemented
Train-the-Trainer: Sessions where the Instruction Designer works with the Super-Users (or other client assigned trainers) to prepare them to deliver training to the End-Users
Training material/content: The material used by the Super-User to train the End-Users
Go-Live: The launch date of the IT implementation
Working in Québec City
As satisfying as it would be to visit Québec City and try all the different restaurants, there was work to be done. In fact, there was a lot of work to be done. As a consultant, it's crucial to build strong relationships with the client, and by meeting with Medicago's Super-Users face to face, I had an excellent opportunity to do such. It was a pleasure to work with the Medicago Super Users, and while we’re great at connecting through channels like Skype and phone, I always enjoy having the opportunity to deepen my relationships with clients through face to face interactions.
During my time here, we participated in Train-the-Trainer sessions, where the Instructional Designers, like me, worked with our Medicago Super-Users to practice delivering the training content we've built. After months of collaboration, it was amazing to see the Super-Users deliver their training material so effortlessly in these sessions. I believe we had a very successful week doing so, not just in my area, but in all the functional business areas.
As this was my first business trip, it was a great experience working hands-on with the client and to finally be able to see this side of consulting. I learned a lot from being on-site and engaging with others within Harbinger and Medicago in this environment. I would say this is where I was able to solidify and develop my own training style. I will certainly take everything I learned from my first business trip and use it to my advantage going forward in my career.
Early November was my first business trip. One month later, I had my second business trip. This past week I had the opportunity to go back to Québec City to try more restaurants. Oh, and also witness the outcome of the months of hard work put in by everyone on the project. I got to see Super-Users deliver their training. To be able to see them to do this was great and I really need to give kudos to the Medicago team for being naturals in their training delivery.
As training continues to be delivered before Go-live, I am confident that Medicago's End-Users will be prepared to use their new ERP system, Microsoft D365. This will give me the full experience of working on an IT system implementation with a client. The more exposure I can get working with clients on business trips, the more I am able to foster invaluable relationships that are crucial in ensuring we achieve success together. I really enjoy the learning aspect of consulting and hope to travel to many more places in my career.
Accounting & Business Analyst / Associate Consultant