A young man in a suit with a shaved head looking off to the side in a brightly lit room dotted with ferns.
Michael Kavanagh. Image: Deloitte

How to juggle clients without totally losing your mind

29 Jan 2019

When your work involves serving clients from a broad swathe of industries, it can be easy to feel as if you’re spread a little thin. We spoke to Michael Kavanagh, a solutions architect in the Maximo Centre of Excellence at Deloitte, about the challenge of personalising solutions to every client.

In many pockets of the tech industry, you have to work with clients. There is huge crossover between the skills required in the world of tech and those required for customer service.

It’s rewarding, of course, but can also fray the nerves – and that’s just dealing with one client. So, how do you cope with multiple clients, all of whom have differing needs and are constantly competing for your attention?

We caught up with Michael Kavanagh, a solutions architect at the Maximo Centre of Excellence at Deloitte, to learn about a typical day in his role and how he keeps a level head in such a fast-paced environment.

What is your role within Deloitte?

My role in Deloitte is as a solutions architect for the Maximo Centre of Excellence (CoE). The Deloitte Maximo CoE specialises in consultancy in the area of enterprise asset management specifically for the Maximo product. We are a team of nearly 30 people with a strong mix of functional and technical Maximo skills.

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

A typical day would involve a mix of design and build work for different clients depending on what stage a given project is at. The CoE offers a range of Maximo services such as assessments, implementations, integrations, upgrades, ongoing support and maintenance.

As you can imagine, there is plenty of variety when you consider our range of services and our diverse range of clients, including energy and utilities, transport, facilities management, and energy.

What types of project do you work on?

Maximo is an enterprise application. Typically, the projects I work on are Maximo implementations, which involve integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP), HR and other third-party enterprise applications, as well as the roll-out of Maximo mobility products and the development of IoT and analytics solutions for our clients.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

Software development, design and communication skills.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

The hardest part is balancing work that is happening concurrently for multiple clients.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

Regular breaks, fresh air and good coffee!

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

I was surprised by the dedication to the learning pathway within our team. The pathway has been well developed for everyone on the team, from analysts who might be starting their career to senior managers and leadership.

How has the role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

Any role which embraces technology comes with a responsibility to continuously learn and upskill to stay with the pace of change. Our team works hard to keep certifications current and to upskill in areas of architecture and engineering as well as agile working methods.

What do you enjoy most about being a solutions architect?

Each client presents a unique challenge in terms of process, people and technology, and no one project is the same. This variety is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job.

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