Selected Story

Every Project Is a Story: How the DPK Approach Delivers Value to the Customer
James Heiser is the President and CEO of DPK

Regardless of industry, a project is a project is a project is a project. The formula is rather simple. Put together a checklist and timeline, make sure each task gets done, and provide the deliverable to the client. If the client receives the deliverable on time and on budget, the project is considered a success.

DPK approaches land surveying projects much differently. We view each project as a unique story. By incorporating this philosophy into both day-to-day operations and our larger business culture, we create a stronger connection between what we are doing and how it contributes to our customer’s goals.

Essentially, our story model conveys the “why” that provides deeper context for each person involved in the process. This level of cohesiveness leads to higher quality work and increased productivity and customer satisfaction. It also makes DPK Consulting a more rewarding place to work.

Consider the parallels between a successful project and a highly engaging story. Every story has:

  • A back story.  How did we get here and what is important to know about where we’re going next?
  • Impact. What are we looking to achieve? How will our contributions affect people’s lives or the success of an organization? How do we want to be remembered?
  • Characters. What is the role of each person as the story unfolds? The cast goes beyond our team and your team to include consultants, vendors, and subcontractors.
  • Communication. How are different characters kept informed? What is the collaborative process?
  • Chapters. What sequence of events must happen to take the story from start to finish? Who is responsible for each task and activity?
  • Pace. What is the timeline? What process must be followed to stay on schedule?
  • Conflict. What protocols are in place to resolve issues and minimize disruption? What can be done to prevent these problems from happening in the first place?
  • A desired ending. How should this story end to deliver the intended impact and make the customer happy?

In our fast-paced, unpredictable, and deadline-oriented industry, it might seem counterintuitive to spend valuable time learning the broader context of a project. Wouldn’t it be faster to go the “project is a project” route, run through the checklist, and simply get everything done on time? I mean, that’s why we have processes, right?

Sounds great on the surface, and thousands of companies have been very successful using this traditional model. For me, it was clear that we needed to look at this from a different perspective. We needed to help our talented people see the nuances of a project and how they contribute to the story.

With that knowledge, each “character” gains a broader sense of purpose and ownership, which serve as motivation to play their role to the best of their ability. They can then work together to identify and resolve issues that threaten the desired outcome of the story.

Most importantly, the focus shifts from working through a checklist to providing a more effective and valued solution for the customer.

For a story to be successful and memorable, every component needs to be taken into account. People, process, technology, and planning are critical. At DPK Consulting, our unique approach to land surveying projects brings company-wide alignment and a genuine commitment to helping you reach your goals.

We’re confident that our innovative model will earn your trust and your business. And when your story has a happy ending, we believe you’ll return to us for the sequel.


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