By Mariyah Saifuddin
What’s the secret behind successful IT projects? Our team at Innovative Solution Partners has seen a lot over the last several decades. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach, one common component for successful clients is their company’s culture and how they work cross-functionally.
David C. Williams of AT&T discusses the keys to managing change and tackling large projects successfully on this episode of “Tech-Driven Business.” What qualifies David to speak to this? He has led one of the largest Robotic Process Automation (RPA) initiatives, with more than 70 million daily transactions and a 3000% ROI. He understands what is needed from the top down in an organization.
When AT&T was faced with moving all of their employees to working remotely during the pandemic, a solution was needed quickly to maintain operations, meet government standards, and maintain customer satisfaction. David’s diverse team was able to generate a solution.
David’s approach to creating a solution within his team provides a lesson for others in company leadership. He discusses here the value of recognizing the expertise of each team member, and how that allows for cross-functional teams to be successful. His team is full of superheroes who, when they come together, are a powerful force that generates ideas and solutions that allow them to conquer mountains.
It is about giving your team the freedom to ideate and butt heads so solutions can be found. As David loves to say, “There will always be mountains to overcome” so it is important to hire for grit and passion.
David emphasizes, however, that a solution is not enough without support from across the organization. He shares the power of telling a story to whomever your stakeholder may be. You must be able to frame your problem and solution in a way that resonates with that stakeholder and makes clear its value to the business.
No matter what role you play, the common denominator in any successful implementation is sharing how your project aligns with the organization’s vision and your commitment for doing what is best for that organization. If your story aligns with this, you have overcome the first obstacle in managing change.
One of the most important messages David shares is that the only people that benefit from infighting is your competition. Amid change and different operating styles, it can be hard to see that. Successful leaders, however, stick to the overall goals for their organization and navigate projects that bring out the best in their teams, align all levels in the organization, and continuously share the value that will come to the organization by taking on the project and investment.
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About David C. Williams
During David’s career with AT&T, he has created deep-link HTML marketing initiatives that garner 90 million monthly impressions, has led competitive intelligence which helped shape AT&T’s mobile first strategy, has been responsible for supporting several Fortune 500 companies encompassing $120 million in revenue, and authored two patents for Reprogrammable RFID and bridging satellite and LTE technology. In his current role, David is responsible for hyper-automation and emerging technology to transform customer/employee experience and cost structure for his organization. He leads the largest Robotics Process Automation program worldwide. His innovations are driving change across the company as his team has developed 600+ Bots automating 70 million contacts, realizing $400 million in operating income at over 3,000% ROI. Additionally, he also invented and sponsored a decision engine that has driven a $200 million annual credit reduction.
David is the 2021 Legacy Award recipient at Black Engineer of the Year STEM Global Conference, a two-time Dream in Black winner, the AT&T Champion of Diversity Award winner, a proud mentor of multiple employee groups, and a diversity ambassador. David’s humble beginnings in the poorest corner of Dallas continual giving back through Solar Robot Workshops to the community, and rise through a corporate giant is encapsulated in his soon to be released book, “Business Model.“
Innovative Solution Partners
At Innovative Solution Partners, we have made it our mission to connect the dots between people, operations, and technology because we know that it takes all these components to be successful. David’s real-life experiences illustrates this better than anything else. As you embark on your next project, think about the value to your organization, the role of your superhero team members, and how to share this across your organization to create alignment and success.
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