Pondering what the first post on this blog would be about I realised it made most sense to start by telling a story that had taken place at the very beginning of our venture. It was then, during the countless hourslong brainstorming sessions, that we were struggling to come up with a real, defining image of JMB Lab. Poring over our resumes and accumulated wealth of experience we finally grasped the shared and defining feature distinguishing us from others in the field – our ability to instinctively understand concerns and needs of clients not familiar with or working with the IT industry on a daytoday basis. That wasn’t the end of the story – we realised we still needed to work on our identity. We were getting there though, on the right path to the long (well, not that long!) awaited outcome.
As befits any studio working within the business of delivering creative solutions, we face various aspects and challenges of our industry on a daily basis. Merely outlining these would probably take up pagesworth of text and, in all likelihood, would still be a far cry from bringing you the full picture. At this point, I could, perhaps not unexpectedly, start boasting about our expertise and professional attitude. But then again, this goes without saying for any respectable company.
The IT industry is a place full of pitfalls. This is particularly true for small enterprises, arguably the most vulnerable in this regard, after optimum solutions for their businesses. Repeatedly, they are left with footing the bill for programmers supplying them with tools that do not match their businesses’ needs. Usually, this is a result of the management’s lack of expertise required to make a fully informed decision as to what is actually needed in terms of IT solutions. Such inability does not highlight any particular blame or willful ignorance on part of management. Rather, such tasks should be entrusted to the appropriate project team since they’re the experts in the area. A sadly too popular scenario comes to mind where a dishonest contractor deceives the unknowing customer by ballooning the costs out of proportion. At JMB Lab we adhere to a completely different philosophy. We are there to enable you achieve best results whilst simultaneously minimising input and maintaining topofthe line quality.
Using a simple analogy, let’s compare the work we do to that carried out at gym. It’s no secret that many beginners waste their energy on workouts unlikely to produce the results they seek. They’re then left with basically two options. They can either carry on regardless, sweating for results with nothing or little for show for it. Or, alternatively, they may seek help of a professional trainer who will assess every case individually and establish what they need most, in terms of training routine, that is. JMB Lab is precisely personal trainer of the IT world. One that will do most of the workouts for you.
Omniscience is great goal to strive for but, realistically, knowing everything isn’t easy. This is why we like our cooperation with clients to be an ongoing dialogue informed by mutual respect and trust. We prefer to analyse problems, not solutions. Therefore, even when presented with a readymade proposal we break it down and try to obtain a deeper understanding of the underlying reasons.
I wouldn’t want this blog to sound disconnected from reality. This is why every post will be substantiated by relevant reallife examples from our work. This month’s post will be best served by recounting our work on the Simple Care system. This system is designed to support work carried out by surgeries, including that of handling appointments. One of a multitude of problems we found was that members of reception staff were required to communicate to each other the fact of every appointment verbally. We could have followed the path of least resistance and settle for an appointment system that assigned every appointment temporarily (so that it no longer could accidentally be assigned to more than one person), for the purposes of allowing the input of necessary data. That, however, would amount to nothing more than scratching at the surface of the problem and putting a band aid on it. Instead, we decided to find the root cause of the problem. As it turned out, a large proportion of patients can be served in a simplified manner. Time required for processing appointments has been significantly reduced through automation of a part of the appointment process and, as a result, verbally communicating information concerning appointments is no longer necessary.
This is how we handle problems at JMB Lab. Not only do we strive to supply alternative solutions to problems, but we also actually attempt to discover their origins, for it’s there where most valuable information is to be found. Our perfect scenario is one where our client receives a tailored solution that takes full account of his needs and we head off towards new challenges, wiser and more knowledgeable through this experience.
Born 1989. Vice president and project manager at JMB Lab. A software developer for as long as one can remember, he wrote his first programme at the age of ten. Marcin has been a professional problem solver, and by that we mean there is no problem too big for him, for the last six years. Always on the lookout for broadening his experience, he is helped in this pursuit by his hobbies, travelling and cooking in particular (there is inspiration everywhere, right?). He considers honesty and commitment to be his strongest suits – and he consistently brings these values to his workplace. Marcin truly believes that realising the full potential of all members of a team is the key to success.