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I recently had the opportunity to speak to a runner who’d finished the London Marathon last week. His finishing time was 2 hours 38 minutes, which is a seriously fast time. Many years ago I ran the same race and finished in a slightly more humble 4 hours 51 minutes. It’s still an achievement of which I’m very proud, but no one would exactly describe me as a speed-demon.

Thinking back to my own preparation years before, I’d really not taken it too seriously. I’d clocked up some miles and ran some decent distances, but I wasn’t particularly methodical. So I got through the race, almost at walking pace by the end, simply as a result of determination and sheer bloody-mindedness. I had to expend every effort just to get around the course. If we compare the effort I put in during the race, with the approach of my friend, I ran for longer, it felt harder and I definitely looked worse crossing the line than he did and yet he was faster.

It’s clear to see the difference. He built on his years of experience running to prepare properly. He took a methodical approach, honed and improved over those years and executed it perfectly. I just put my head down and ran, hoping I could continue to put one foot in front of the other.

When I consider how we approach implementing CPQ systems, I can report that we achieve all the benefits of a high velocity approach by taking the wealth of experience gained over many years and many implementations.

Not only does approaching a project with speed as a priority allow our clients to realise the business benefits of CPQ faster, it also helps ensure the success and the impact of the project.

Planning for quick wins lets us build project momentum. We put the right resources with the right skills in place to get visible success sooner. This in turn builds confidence and ensures stakeholders prioritise the project because they can visualise success more clearly.

Getting results to users faster lets us learn more rapidly too, and if changes need to be made then we can make those adjustments closer to the start of the project and save our energies for a fast finish too.

Finally, responding fast to our clients needs is a fundamental philosophy for success. The modern world is brilliantly described as the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman, and it is true that everything seems to be moving faster these days. Records get broken in athletics regularly, just as the demands on a business can change daily. By responding rapidly we support our clients better and ensure their systems stay relevant.

“Speed” is written by Andy Pieroux, MD of Walpole Partnership.

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