Christian Lane

Christian Lane

With over 20 years of consulting, IT operations, integration, and software development experience, founder and managing partner Christian Lane drives the business strategy that has led to landmark company success. His experience in myriad industries including start-ups, utilities and commercial arts provided Christian a wide knowledge base of operational development. Prior to founding Praecipio Consulting, Christian gained respect in the technology field through his work with ERCOT and Tactica Technology Group (now Hitachi Consulting). Choosing a headquarter office moments from Lake Austin, Christian enjoys going out for "board meetings" (a.k.a. wake boarding) with our team.

Recent posts by Christian Lane

4 min read

Turn Your Next Project into a Promotion

By Christian Lane on Oct 1, 2020 1:15:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_Do These Things to Leverage a Successful Project Into a Promotion

Make this next project the one that gets you noticed.

Kate Cornell was in a tough spot. Her fast company growth exposed a weakness. Her project management tools were a collection of cobbled-together solutions that were never purposely developed for case management or tracking complex projects. As a result, the team was fragmented and communications were inefficient, making work difficult to track. 

There had to be a better way. When the problem was presented to the management team, she was tasked with figuring it out.

Smartly, she knew that she needed some specialized help in not only choosing a platform but configuring it to meet the present and future needs of the company. After vetting multiple vendors, she chose Praecipio Consulting, a Platinum Atlassian Partner known for their strategic approach and ease to do business with, not to mention their expertise around the Atlassian platform.

katie aci blog post

In her role as the Director of IT Project Management for ACI Worldwide, it’s her responsibility to make sure projects like these are executed well. The company depends on it - careers depend on it.

Thankfully, this project was an enormous success. In a double win, the company was able to save significant costs and the Atlassian technology stack is exactly what they needed.  

Now that the project is complete, we asked her to reflect on the process and what she would recommend to others faced with a similar challenge.

Tell us about the vendor and how they performed for you. 

“I knew from the get-go that this is a project we needed help with. We used our previous CRM-based system for 10+ years, and there was an incredible amount of data that needed to be migrated over. But what impressed me most was their ability to ask questions and gather requirements. You can tell they had lots of experience. They led us in directions we didn’t know we needed to explore.”

What did success look like?

“I’m calling the project a huge success - first, because the solution works well. The data moved over, and we finally have everyone on the same tool. It’s nice to have a framework that is purpose-built for what we need. We’re able to move faster and with more efficiency than ever before. What I’m most proud of though is the broad adoption among our team. It’s hard to break out of your routine and use something new. Going through a necessary learning curve is difficult and cumbersome, but our team bought into the long-term vision and saw the value immediately.

What advice would you give project managers that want to fast forward their careers with a project like this?

Don’t operate in a silo. Design an escalation process so that when you get stuck, you can bring in other stakeholders to work toward a solution. Transparency is key. Managers don’t like surprises. They understand challenges will arise and usually, they are willing to help. But make sure you have a plan to execute and not just a problem with no solution. 

Set realistic expectations. I want my managers to commit to running at a rate of speed they feel is appropriate considering they have multiple projects. If we are managing the business correctly, everything is not an emergency. I can wait an extra two weeks if it means the project is done right the first time. 

Clearly define done. Ambiguity is a productivity killer and it can ruin relationships. The best managers we have err on the side of over-communication versus under. Making sure all relevant team members are aware of progress milestones, have an opportunity to provide input, and understand how this project fits within our overall mission is how it should be done. 

Be predictable and reliable. Successfully handling projects that deliver on time and within budget earns you a reputation as someone who delivers results. Our best managers are the ones that use company resources wisely and think one step ahead of the task at hand. This strategic mindset gives managers comfort knowing that they don’t have to worry about micromanaging.

Praecipio Consulting's take on how to leverage a successful project:

In our experience, we have seen how production-based project managers have climbed the ladder of success. One common theme? They make others around them better. Getting the most from your team and developing the talent of tomorrow has far-reaching implications for any company. At Praecipio Consulting, we are in the business of making our clients more competitive while helping them realize cost savings through better processes and better technology. IT project managers that have an upward career trajectory tend to not get caught up in technical jargon and can talk to the C-suite in terms of ROI and how the project fits into the strategic plan.

One thing all experts agree on is that communication between management, engineers, vendors, and even other third parties will mitigate the risk of a project losing momentum or failing. If your communication skills can match your ability to motivate teams and deliver technical projects, you’ll be asked to take on more and more important projects and be rewarded accordingly.

If you're interested in the game-changing solutions that Atlassian products can bring to your business, let's chat!

Topics: enterprise project-management atlassian-products atlassian-solution-partner
3 min read

What's important for growing pre-IPO companies?

By Christian Lane on Sep 17, 2020 12:15:00 PM

What's important for growing pre-IPO companies_

It’s a dream we all have: To be the founder or early employee in a company so disruptive that it has a real chance to hit it big. With success comes prestige, security, respect, and of course, lots of money. 

How can you set up your small business to become the next big thing?

The key is to learn from others who blazed the path before you and not make the same mistakes they did. 

Jim Collins, author of the iconic business book Good to Great, suggests that one of the most important factors in building a great company is to adopt the right technology early in your business lifecycle.  

“When used right, technology becomes an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.”

-Jim Collins

Whether your business is the manufacturing of widgets, service, or software development, technology is what allows you to spin up faster, pivot, and gain a competitive edge through efficiencies. Praecipio Consulting specializes in helping organizations leverage technology through the use of Atlassian’s suite of products and leading frameworks like Agile and Scaled Agile, ITSM, DevOps, and Enterprise Service Management. EVERY company is a technology company or is currently undergoing a transformation to operate with those capabilities and mindset.

Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi, agrees. In a recent keynote at Mobile World Congress, he said, “We see ourselves as a technology company with a banking license." Capital One’s CIO, Rob Alexander, says they are a “software development company that does financial services.” Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, says she wants the public to “see GM as a technology company rather than an automaker.” Uber, Amazon, and other high-profile companies have made similar comments. It’s a common theme from organizations that have already had their IPO. Pre-IPO companies should take notice and follow their lead because it's what investors are looking for. 

Early investors want to see customer growth, not necessarily profitability. Having a plan to scale using technology can help a company get to a critical mass. For example, Twitter had 321 million users before they turned an annual profit in 2018. That figure would have been impossible to reach without cutting edge technology and processes.

But before you’re a big company eyeing a public offering, you have to start somewhere. When a business first starts, you usually have a founder or two with a good idea and the ambition to match. In a few months, when the concept is market-validated, a few motivated employees are hired. The excited team runs hard and fast but without established processes. Good ole’ fashioned hustle covers up any existing weaknesses. But eventually, the lack of infrastructure and tools catches up with the founders, and the business will begin to falter. If not acted upon quickly, failure is imminent. 

It’s at this point in a pre-IPO’s lifecycle that technology infusion becomes so critically important. It’s smart to set up your small business like it’s going to be a big business and plan for success.

We recommend moving toward standardization and being a cloud-first business. Utilizing platforms like Jira and Confluence keeps projects moving forward and with a high degree of predictability and reliability. Tools like these allow you to scale and will never be a choke point in your growth.   

It’s not just about growth either. It’s about sustainability and resilience. Even established companies like General Electric, Kroger, and Fitbit have found cloud computing success. Investors and boards of directors appreciate the risk mitigation in times of crisis and the flexibility that comes with the updated IT strategy. 

As a startup-founder myself, understanding the cost-benefit technology can bring you is just the first step. The details lie in implementation and design. It will always be worth the investment to bring in an outside consulting firm to design a workflow to reflect your desired processes. Training your team on how to use this technology as the backbone of your operations means you have a system for accountability and quality. Once in place, you can concentrate on building more, selling more, and not worrying whether or not your IT infrastructure can keep up.

Getting to the IPO means your company has joined a very select group of highly-efficient and promising companies of a generation, and the proper technology tools can help you get there faster.

At Praecipio Consulting, we are total Atlassian enthusiasts, so if you want to know more about how Atlassian products can help your business grow while becoming more resilient, we can answer any questions you may have!

Topics: atlassian devops technology service-management cloud itsm digital-transformation
3 min read

Praecipio Consulting's Commitment to Social Justice

By Christian Lane on Aug 13, 2020 12:45:00 PM

2020 Blogposts_Social Justice Public Statement_

At Praecipio Consulting, we are committed to our communities as we continue to fight back against the systemic racism and police brutality that has plagued this country for far too long. Like many of you, we are hurting as we try to process the tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Brayla Stone, and too many others. 

We believe that Black Lives Matter. Therefore, we are committed to educating ourselves, and listening to and amplifying Black voices.

It is troubling that, in the wealthiest country in the world, we’ve yet to fully realize our constitution's values of justice and equality. Yet, this is an old truth. Like many privileged Americans, we’ve struggled with finding a way to make an impact to help, support and participate in the movements that work tirelessly for justice and to reform the laws of systemic racism. We have problems. Black Americans and other historically marginalized groups continue to be oppressed. Black American men are profiled, incarcerated, and killed unjustifiably at astonishing rates; this is systemic – we need reform on so many fronts, now. COVID-19 is exacerbating the disproportionate load and stress on the marginalized; the gap between the haves and have-nots is expanding faster and wider than ever.

We believe that Praecipio Consulting has a responsibility to its employees and communities to uplift marginalized voices and groups. In doing so, we recognize the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, culture, nationality, immigration status, gender, sexuality, ability, age, and all social systems. We will work to bridge the equity gap and build communities that welcome and affirm people to be their whole selves, honoring unique identities and life experiences. 

As an immediate step, on June 2nd, we began matching employee donations and doubling Volunteer Time Off (VTO) toward relevant organizations and causes and created a Social Justice team. Today, we'd like to share with you our Social Justice team's plans.

Praecipio Consulting's Social Justice team's mission is to bring social, political, and economic awareness to the forefront by investing time and effort towards the education, advocacy, and required participation needed to enact invaluable change for marginalized groups in our society.

We are taking the following actions both internally and externally to make our mission a reality.

  • Internal Education - pulling together colleagues to educate ourselves with a Social Justice Learning club that will include books and documentaries, holding Lunch & Learns focused on these topics, and building a resource library for our company.
  • Community Engagement - identifying organizations in our communities with whom to partner and volunteer, aligning ourselves with actions and events addressing social injustice and change, and determining how we can be that change within our own circle of influence. We will seek opportunities in education, justice reform, environment, health care, and economic impact.
  • Direct Support - invest our time, equity and profit through our commitment to Pledge 1% to organizations doing social justice work.

Transformative change comes from our collective voice and actions. We will continue to embrace and celebrate diversity. As a business with a large platform, we understand that we have a responsibility to do more in spreading the message of love over hate and doing our part in building a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.

"Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”

- Representative John Lewis

Topics: do-good social-justice social-responsibility
4 min read

How and When to Choose the Right Atlassian Solution Partner

By Christian Lane on Jun 18, 2020 11:44:49 AM

2020 Blogposts_How and When to Chose the Right Atlassian Partner Support

No matter the size of the organization, small business or Fortune 50, most successful companies will come to a point where they need a technology and business solution partner to optimize processes and move projects forward. 

In today's disruptive business world, you may have furloughed employees or lack resources for critical functions. There may be no better time to hire an Atlassian Platinum solution partner, especially if you can’t afford the project to be fumbled. 

However, choosing the right partner can be difficult. All vendors claim to be the best, have impressive client lists, and work with smart people. Where should you start?

First, understand the consequences of a poor decision. Lost opportunity costs, money wasted, boss disappointment, ruined long-term growth, damaged reputation, and careers devastated - maybe even yours. Scary thoughts, indeed. 

A much more pleasant exercise is to consider if the project goes well. If you use company resources well and with a good result, you could be seen as the rising star and be assigned more complex and important projects. With this recognition comes upward career mobility, peer respect,...and a raise!

Make sure these factors are part of your Atlassian partner selection process.

Research 

Your solution partner is happy to tell you about their successful projects, but after they give you their initial pitch, ask some hard questions such as, “What is your Net Promoter Score (NPS)?” NPS is a widely accepted measurement of customer satisfaction and woven into the culture of companies that take the customer experience seriously. The higher the score, the more satisfied the customer is. If they don’t know what NPS is, or they don’t track it, it gives you a good glimpse into their business practices. You will find that companies with a good NPS, want to let you know about it early in the process. Christian LanePraecipio Consulting founder says, “It’s one of the first things we communicate to soon-to-be clients. We want them to know that with an NPS score of 70, they are in good hands, especially since the IT consulting industry average is 31. Setting high expectations for our sales and delivery teams ensures we focus on customer success and continual improvement to our delivery model. This helps earn trust so we can talk next about speed, execution, and value.”

 christian-lane

Other good questions to ask are: 

  • Tell me about your change order volume as a percentage of overall revenue.
  • What is your change control revenue as a percentage of overall revenue? 
  • If something goes wrong in the client relationship, what is a typical reason?
  • What does the discovery process look like?

The method

Be sure to ask about their methods and how they execute during an engagement. IT projects can be complex, and it takes a focused effort from the solution partner and the client to get a good result. Ask about how both teams will stay on track and what the regular cadence of communication is. Do they have a method that marches you toward success? Or do they rely on you to assign tasks? Ask them what quality controls they have in place so that no detail goes unnoticed. Lane’s best advice? “Get a comfort level with reliability and consistency.”

Great partners sell solutions, not just blocks of hours. 

Consultants or operators

No one solution partner has a monopoly on the smartest people, so don’t let the number of certified Atlassian engineers be your sole decision driver. What’s more important is how the talent communicates. Do they simply fix your problems and wait for the next one? Or do they take a more consultative approach and advise on things like, how your projects will connect to your existing infrastructure or the cost-benefit of creating features. Lane summarizes it best when he says, “Consultants help you look through the windshield and see where you are going.”

Ease to do business 

Some operators keep a minimal US team and outsource across the world. This could be problematic due to the differences in time zones slowing down the work, or having a language barrier that requires more middlemen. “It’s an opportunity for error,” Lane says. Don’t let your project be the one that they use to get through a learning curve. All of these factors contribute to how easy it is to do business with the solution partner. 

Getting complex projects off the ground or stalled projects across the finish line is hard enough to do even with the right solution partner. Failing to spend enough time and energy on the vendor selection process can have catastrophic results with major repercussions. However, choosing the right solution partner can get you recognition and bring the rewards that a superstar deserves.

Read more about the different tiers of service here.

Topics: atlassian blog culture atlassian-products nps atlassian-solution-partner
2 min read

A Message from our CEO

By Christian Lane on Mar 18, 2020 11:45:00 AM

Hi Friend,

I hope this finds you and yours well and in good spirits. The pace of change may feel overwhelming as the world responds to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. We appreciate your time in reading this message and your continued faith in our ability to deliver services to you through the pandemic. Praecipio Consulting has taken measures to ensure the safety of our staff and our customers. This is mainly by restricting travel and in-person meetings. Praecipio Consulting has always operated in a decentralized and adaptive manner that is central to our business continuity plan.

As of Monday March 16th, Praecipio Consulting returned to being a 100% remote company with both Austin and Monterrey offices closed. Our distributed teams across North America are taking extra steps to ensure that all capabilities are resilient in the event that anyone falls ill. We are leveraging video conferencing, the Atlassian suite of tools, and a host of SaaS products to ensure that our team is able to collaborate effectively. In addition, we have reviewed our vendors' business continuity plans and continue to monitor them for updates. We want to assure you that we are committed to delivering high quality work through these uncertain times and beyond.

We do not anticipate any disruption in services, but we do ask for your understanding in our inability to accommodate in-person meetings at this time. In an effort to reduce illness within our team and to help flatten the curve, we are isolating and practicing social distancing following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). When it is deemed appropriate, we will resume our in-person capabilities. In the meantime, we plan to have cameras on during our meetings, and give you the personal experience that we have found is critical to successful projects, hosting, and managed services.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Please let us know if there is anything we can assist with; we've built a business on enabling teams to collaborate. And most important, please take care of yourselves, your loved ones, your colleagues, and your communities. We'll get through this, together.

Best,

Christian Lane, Partner and CEO
Praecipio Consulting


And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

-- Kitty O'Meara

Topics: blog culture covid-19 life-sciences remote-work
2 min read

Praecipio Consulting Gears Up for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

By Christian Lane on Dec 5, 2019 10:56:55 AM

With 2020 just weeks away, expectations are high. It’s the beginning of a new decade, with many foreseeing it to be a monumental year. Japan is expected to build a robotic moon base, the U.S. military pledged to get half of its energy from renewable resources, and Costa Rica will near the finish line of becoming a carbon-neutral country.

2020 also marks the 50th Anniversary for Earth Day, a global initiative commemorated on April 22 that seeks to bring awareness to issues surrounding the environment and to encourage citizens of the globe to take action towards protecting our planet. According to EarthDay.org, Earth Day is the world’s largest environmental movement, and there are hopes that “Earth Day 2020 can be a catalyst that galvanizes an unparalleled global collaboration.”

earth-day-50-anniversaryAnother important milestone happening next year: Praecipio Consulting pledged to be a carbon neutral business by the end of 2020. This commitment is part of Praecipio Consulting's Global Climate Response Plan, our initiative to make a positive impact in the world by supporting charitable organizations and by reducing our carbon footprint through our commitment to cut back on company travel by 25%, expanding our work-from-home policy, our involvement with Pledge 1%, and by working with local organizations, such as Tree Folks.

And we're not stopping there. Our CTO, Christopher Pepe, is passionate about raising awareness for a movement called Green Up Day, a statewide initiative in Vermont that invites volunteers to clean up roadside trash on the first Saturday of May each year. Pepe has been involved with Green Up Day his entire life, and after recently learning that it’s not celebrated everywhere, he said: “I am committed to changing this. Green Up Day is a tradition that builds pride in our communities and promotes the natural beauty of the places we live.”

Each year, Praecipio Consulting joins more than one billion people in 192 countries to stand united in an effort to mobilize change for our planet and our future. With Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary approaching in April, we are more motivated than ever to achieve our goal of becoming a carbon neutral business. Stay tuned to our blog and social channels to see how we will get ready for Earth Day, and in the meantime, we encourage you to make donations to Tree Folks, a local organization that is near and dear to us.

Topics: do-good
2 min read

Tree Planting with Praecipio Consulting, TreeFolks, and Austin City Parks

By Christian Lane on Nov 26, 2019 11:37:00 AM

Praecipio plants trees, planting trees, volunteer planting trees, tree planting

On Friday, November 22, 2019, Praecipio Consulting co-hosted a tree planting event with Austin City Parks and Recreation Department (Urban Forestry Division), and TreeFolks at Civitan Park. TreeFolks’ mission “is to empower Central Texans to build strong communities through planting and caring for trees” and has also “engaged thousands of volunteers to plant more than 2.8 million trees” over the past 30 years. They have been involved in community-building events centered around pillars such as reforestation, education, and growing the urban forest. Their name tells you all you need to know about their fervor for making the Earth happier and our climate more stable by planting one tree at a time. 

Planting Trees

Despite the cold and wet weather, our volunteers (with the help of the Parks and Recreation Department Urban Forestry Divison), planted new trees and mulched existing trees in the park. Volunteers consisted of 20 Praecipio Consulting employees alongside 17 friends from Atlassian and the Atlassian Community. We planted 35 trees and helped spread 8 cubic yards of mulch throughout Civitan Park. In addition, Praecipio Consulting donates to TreeFolks to help support other tree planting events around the city of Austin, such as their Tree Adoption program NeighborWoods, which donates trees to homeowners to plant in their yards. Donations to TreeFolks goes a long way; 90 cents out of every $1 goes directly to planting trees.

P1210346

Aligning our Partner Values

If anyone wants to understand the long-lasting impact an organization like TreeFolks has on a community, one does not have to look any further than TreeFolks’ own Development Director, Margot Piper, who shared a heart-warming story with volunteers at the park. “When I was seven years old, my parents and I planted our first tree with TreeFolks. To this day, my parents and I still have picnics together under that very same tree,” she says with an enormous smile. It is refreshingly clear how much the organization and its mission mean to Ms. Piper. That level of affection is one of many reasons why our company chose TreeFolks as a partner.

Our Carbon Dioxide Contribution 

Praecipio Consulting beliP1210336eves in encouraging and enabling others in our ecosystem to amplify our efforts. By inviting the Atlassian Community to join our event, we hope to raise awareness of this noble foundation and hope to see future collaborations. “The goal of our green works program is to get out there and do the most good possible,” Praecipio Consulting's Christopher Pepe says passionately. “We could have just sent out a press release stating that we purchased a set number of carbon credits to offset our business’ activities, but that doesn’t lead to a change in our lifestyles,” Pepe continues, “We commit to these strategic philanthropic partnerships which, in turn, enables our team to get involved—get their hands dirty—and do the most good possible for our community.” 

If you'd like to learn more about TreeFolks and their purpose, we invite you to join their next event NeighborWoods 500 Tree Adoption at Austin Discovery School on December 7, 2019, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. 

                               

 

Topics: do-good treefolks carbon-footprint
3 min read

Green Team: Praecipio Consulting's Global Climate Crisis Response Plan

By Christian Lane on Oct 25, 2019 10:01:43 AM

Global-Climate-Crisis-Response-Plan

Next April will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but we just couldn't wait six more months to share our company’s exciting news—starting November 1, 2019, Praecipio Consulting's Work from Home policy is changing. Beginning October 14, "Work From Work" is optional with the exception of two important days of the month. In addition, our workspace is transforming into a much smaller, more intentional workspace emphasizing climate responsibility and a more fulfilling and sustainable workstyle. The company will facilitate, enable and encourage more meaningful interactions; going for quality over quantity of face time; reducing the cost to the environment and cost of our team members' time and money. These are major changes due to our choice to operate in a way that supports our Global Climate Crisis Response Plan - all in an effort to reduce our company’s overall carbon footprint. Our Global Climate Crisis Response Plan was shared internally at Praecipio Consulting at the end of October and will be shared more widely shortly thereafter.

Benefits of Teleworking

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 50 percent of the American workforce currently holds telecommute-compatible jobs. If those people worked from home half the time, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking almost 10 million cars off the road. It would also reduce annual oil consumption by 640 million barrels. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. uses approximately 19 million barrels of oil every day. If people worked from home part-time, 1.75 million of those barrels--almost 10 percent--could be eliminated. In addition to reducing oil consumption, other benefits teleworking can gift to the environment are the reduction of air pollution and water pollution (from chemicals spilled into our waterways, rivers, and other water sources).

Our Global Climate Response Plan

As a business and as citizens, we recommitted to our responsibility to not just hear these facts, but to quickly pivot into action and lean-in as much as possible in consensus with the scientific community. While the positive impacts our exclusive teleworking policy will have on the environment are a step in the right direction, and a major part of our Global Climate Crisis Response Plan, we will do more to fulfill our responsibility to our community through exemplary leadership. These facts are all that all of us need to know to “do good.”

Praecipio Consulting has been a member of the Pledge 1% initiative since 2015, and we take our philanthropic commitments seriously. We will continue to make contributions and donations with a tighter focus towards reforestation and restoration of grasslands to sequester more co2 going forward.

Earth Day and the millions of conversations that are on-going about environmental challenges we face, serve as constant reminders of the things we are currently doing and how much more we can do to benefit the future generations that will inhabit the Earth. As members of communities, businesses are in a unique position to help their individual employees make larger, more significant positive impacts.

Commitment to Make an Impact

Teleworking, a smaller office, reduction of corporate travel, encouraging and incentivizing personal impacts, and continued contributions in spirit of Pledge 1% are all commitments Praecipio Consulting is making as part of our Global Climate Crisis Response Plan. It's our sincerest desire and passion to lead the way and reduce our company’s (and our employees’) carbon footprint to zero. Join us. At this very moment, what steps will you take to ensure Earth can sustain humanity?

Topics: blog digital-transformation corporate-responsibility global-climate-crisis green-team social-responsibility remote-work
4 min read

Our Latest Methodology Obsession: The Bullet Journal

By Christian Lane on Apr 9, 2019 1:48:00 PM

Despite screens, tablets, and monitors -  life as we know it doesn’t revolve entirely around digital. Here at Praecipio Consulting, we found a way to effectively manage our analog and digital life - Meet The Bullet Journal.

The Bullet Journal

Invented by Ryder Carroll—author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Bullet Journal Methodthe concept of bullet journaling is more than using your average, everyday scratch pad. It is a brilliantly simple idea, and yet simultaneously a robust methodology that significantly impact your day-to-day life. It helps you “track the past; organize the present; and plan for the future. The Bullet Journal® is an analog system for the digital age.”

The Bullet Journal System

To begin, it’s important to understand the basics - The journal is a blank notebook with pages that are lined, square boxes, or dotted grids. You begin understanding the four types of Collections; the index, future log, monthly log, and daily log and put into practice using three main Bullet Categories; tasks, events, and notes.

Creating Collections

Think of a Collection as a module. The purpose of each collection is to organize related information.

INDEX

The Index sits at the front of your journal, and its main purpose is to locate content in your journal. At the top of the page, label it “Index” and begin listing Topics of your Collections with their corresponding page number. It may look something like this for consecutive pages, “Reading List 7-9” or “Reading List 7, 10, 13” for Collection Topics that are scattered throughout your journal.

FUTURE LOG

The Future Log Collection allows you to get a glimpse of future activities. These dated entries occur outside the current month.

MONTHLY LOG

This Collection involves two facing pages - one page dedicated to a Calendar page and the other, a Task page. The Calendar page is used to schedule events and tasks with the sole purpose of providing an overview of the month. The Task page captures priorities for the month as well as collects incomplete tasks from the previous month. It can be a list of items that need to transfer from your mind to paper.

DAILY LOG

The Daily Log is what you’ll use on a daily basis. Start the page using the date and rapidly log your tasks, events, and notes.

Rapid Logging

In a fast-paced world where your tasks, events, and notes (the three bullet categories) all seem to bleed together on a screen, learning how to use “rapid logging” is a fantastic exercise to keep all your to-do lists and calendar commitments grouped and coordinated.

TASKS

Tasks are represented by a simple dot “•”. Tasks have five states that are also represented by symbols:

 task incomplete

x task completed

> task migrated to collection

< task scheduled in future log

   task irrelevant

EVENTS

Events are represented by the open circle “ο” bullet. Events are date-specific entries that can either be scheduled in the future (e.g. “Wife’s birthday”) or logged in the past tense (e.g. “promoted”).

NOTES

Notes are represented with a dash “–”. Notes include: facts, ideas, thoughts, and observations. 

As you write in your Bullet Journal, • tasks, ο events, and – notes will help you efficiently capture your stream of consciousness as they pop into your brain day-in and day-out. You’ll also be able to tell each category apart at a glance because of the different symbols used. Don't fret about writing them down in any particular order. The important thing is to clear your brain’s bandwidth by transcribing those thoughts onto the page, allowing you to be more focused and productive on the other tasks at hand.

As you get more comfortable with the practice, you’ll start incorporating “nesting” and “signifiers” to help you organize your thoughts. Nesting is simply using your bullets to group together everything in a simple snap shot. Using signifiers helps to see priorities and inspiration at a glance as well. The “*” ahead of a • task, for example, indicates its importance. The “!” signifier represents when a – note is inspirational to you.

Productivity System

While there may be a bit of a learning curve to the technique, it is addicting once you get into the habit. It is a fantastic system to help take control of your life, all while reducing screen time and stress. By keeping you mentally disciplined it allows you to be more purposeful and productive. Vogue called bullet journaling and its approach to organization the “KonMari for your racing thoughts.” If you’d like to understand how to use the Bullet Journal approach in combination with your Atlassian tools, contact us to learn how we ‘migrate’ our tasks to Jira, Confluence, and even Trello.

Topics: rapid-logging
2 min read

2017: The Year of the Human

By Christian Lane on Jan 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

It's only a few days into the new year, but already we see the latest tech crazes for the next 346 days in the headlines: DevOps, ITSM, and SAFe. With Atlassian, the world's industry leaders have had great success in these frameworks (many with our expert help) and technology is producing the most ground-breaking things in human history. Everybody wants to put a proverbial man on the moon with their next release, and these are the proven methods to do so. 


But one integral factor in the equation remains- beyond products, beyond methodologies: human beings. Behind each of these revolutionary web applications, overseeing each of these cutting edge processes, are our most important resources: our team. We must automate our technology to give us more time to collaborate with each other; to facilitate the tribal knowledge sharing that allows a community – a business – to thrive and grow. 

In a recent presentation, Praecipio Consulting partner, Christopher Pepe remarked on the paramount asset of human knowledge within organizations. Behind each great innovation is a team who did their work to the best of their ability to reach this next level. People are the ones who make DevOps, ITSM, and SAFe the successful frameworks they are. People are the ones who developed Puppet, Splunk, Tempo and Atlassian to help us do our jobs more efficiently. We choose and configure our tools in the most advantageous way to give us both the best competitive edge and to, ultimately, free up our resources (our people) to come up with the next, history-making idea.

Each of these products and frameworks enables us to be more efficient. To build things faster, better, and smarter that help us (and others) do the same. With that time we save - be it programming an application to triage errors to give back support time, or an app that helps you order groceries for pickup so you have an extra hour to spend with your family. The things that will move our industries (and our world) to the next phase are being created by the companies that configure their tools to give them that time. We know - we've helped them.

Everybody says they will give you your greatest technology ROI. When we say that, we mean that we're sending the best team in the world to help YOU be the best team in the world. We have the knowledge and the expertise to put your proverbial man on the moon - whether that's breaking the Fortune 500 or doubling the size of your new business in a year. Our clients and partners (like DocuSign, Splunk, and Tempo) are a testament to our commitment to delivering this ROI to you at exponential rates. We don't just care about you getting a functional product - we want to see you use it perform optimally so you can go back to what you're passionate about. 

Give us a shout and let's talk about your most valuable resources- your team- and how we can get you the technology solutions to focus on their best work. We're ready to help you get to your proverbial moon. 

Topics: atlassian blog scaled-agile devops itsm
2 min read

2017 Technology Resolutions

By Christian Lane on Dec 29, 2016 11:00:00 AM

As 2016 draws to a close, it's time to reflect on the past 12 months and set forth goals a.k.a. resolutions for 2017. Where do you want to be in the new year? For many, this includes adopting new technologies or new practices like DevOps. Whatever your new year's technology resolutions, we're here to help.

2017 Technology Resolutions

5. Always be iterating

The faster one can learn and improve, the better your results. This goes for building products as well as continuously improving your processes. Look for opportunities to grow and eliminate inefficiencies. Those who have the tools and processes to achieve this agility will reap the greatest rewards.

4. Automate more

What are the repeatable processes in your day-to-day work life that can be automated? Save countless resource hours spent doing work manually by smartly automating repetitive tasks like sending esignature documents or creating issues at a workflow transition. This automation allows you more time to focus on your core competencies. 

3. Plan ahead

Having the capability to forecast project delivery is key. Using tools like Portfolio for JIRA and Tempo Budgets, you gain the perspective you need to ensure timely, on budget delivery of projects by leveraging your teams' historical velocity and resource availability. 

2. Speak up

Keep the lines of team communication open with daily standups and HipChat. Being able to quickly identify any blockers and swarm to fix them helps you to keep work flowing and gives your team the support they need to be productive. 

1. Try something new

Take this new year as an opportunity to embrace change. Ready to dip your toe into DevOps or try out AWS services? Now's the time! Set goals to measure the success of your new endeavor and challenge your team to embrace your new initiatives. We even provide training to help you get started faster and easier!

Whatever your technology resolutions, we have the expertise and services to help you achieve success. Our team is here to help you meet (and exceed) your goals- so don't wait to make your resolutions. Contact us to find out what you can accomplish in the new year. 

Happy 2017 to you and your team,
Your friends at Praecipio Consulting

Topics: blog support itsm
2 min read

The Atlassian Appeal

By Christian Lane on Dec 17, 2014 11:00:00 AM

The Atlassian Appeal:

Why It's The Software of Choice for Today's Graduates

Despite the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, five years later the effects are still felt amongst those newest to the job market. Today's college graduates face 8.5% unemployment and 16.8% underemployment as the U.S. experiences a 7 million job deficit. However, in spite of overall downtrends for college graduates, jobs in technology are not only remaining buoyant- but continually growing! In 2013, nearly 70% of students pursuing degrees in technology had at least one job offer by graduation. Though salaries for graduates in other industries have dipped by 7.7%, those who work in the tech industry are enjoying some of the highest, most competitive pay of all college-educated workers.

Today's business world looks radically different than it did ten (even five) years ago; companies operate virtually, contracting employees and doing business across the globe on an  around-the-clock basis, and their bigger-than-ever demands have been the catalyst for continuous advancement in technology. It has never been a better time to be in this field; however, not all technology education is created equal.

Atlassian offers continuously innovative products that push the technological envelope. With products like Bitbucket, developers contribute to the ongoing innovation of the Atlassian offering by integrating more processes, expanding their teams and reaching for the limit of each product. Boasting the appeal of cutting-edge technology that refuses to rest on its laurels, Atlassian is used by leading businesses in their respective industries. What college graduate wouldn't want to flex their Atlassian muscles to land the best possible job? Colleges have also caught onto the Atlassian appeal! Within universities, a growing number of information technology departments have incorporated the software into their curriculum to ensure their graduates will be big names in the technology field. During recent on-site training with an Enterprise client and top travel company, Praecipio Consulting learned that the corporation's recent migration to Bitbucket not only improved their processes, but gave them immediate job appeal with college graduates. "We've seen that as graduates are entering the job market, they're looking for companies that use Atlassian products like Bitbucket that offer continuous innovation," says Praecipio Consulting partner Christopher Pepe, who holds a degree in engineering and is an Atlassian Expert, "Companies are switching to Atlassian to get the best products and the best new talent." 

Atlassian continues to evolve to remain the leader in changing technology. We can expect to see more companies adopting the popular product line in the future. Just imagine what the Class of 2014 will contribute to the innovation of Atlassian that will inform development for decades to come!

Sources: The Economic Policy Institute and The National Association of Colleges & Employers 

Topics: atlassian blog best-practices bitbucket implementation it

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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