Roll up your sleeves

I’ve been a business analyst at K2 for six years and I’ve been cooperating with corporations from various branches, i.e. PKN ORLEN, Energa, Carrefour, IKEA, PZU, PKO BP, Raiffeisen Bank Polska, as well as Polish and foreign start-ups and companies I can’t list, but they are highly ranked in Forbes 500.

With the first ones I have often occasion to discuss the issues of their internal processes which cause a lot of problems, generate many challenges, pose many questions. My task is to come up with the idea how to cope with them and solve these problems.

My role allowed me to notice a certain type of approach to which this post will be dedicated.

The services of consulting companies are limited only to advising, like ‘Hey, this is a cool start-up that will solve your problems. Take a closer look at this one, maybe cooperating with it will turn out well?’ Every time I hear this I promise myself that I’ll write an article explaining how much I disagree with this approach. Finally, I’m doing it…

Cooperation shouldn’t be limited only to advising and giving pointers. The CEO of a listed company, or a large corporation (who doesn’t necessarily need to know anything about the world of start-ups) doesn’t need to own books listing ideas, interesting companies or valuable inventions. It’s just as important to conduct implementation which will allow the corporation to reach certain KPI. Whereas the consulting companies operating on the Polish market very often limit themselves to only pointing out start-ups that could help solve corporations’ problems.

At K2 Disruption Lab I’m trying to look at it from a broader perspective. Searching out and pointing at the right start-ups is indeed a difficult task. But the true challenge lies in the next step — implementing solutions offered by start-ups and meeting the set KPI. Especially if one operates on global markets (like K2 Disruption Lab). It’s one of the most important rules of conduct and the reason for establishing K2 Disruption Lab. Why?

1. Because corporations have overloaded IT resources which often work according to a set methodology, and start-ups don’t. The IT and QA departments are over 60 people. They can create high-quality software in .NET (VITAY.pl), PHP, Python (PKOBP.pl), or C/C++, and quickly scale the team based on the needs.

2. Because corporations use expensive enterprise-class technologies and start-ups don’t. We have experience in implementing complete corporate-class software (e.g. SharePoint, SiteCore, MS BizTalk, MS Dynamics CRM, K2 BPM), and in creating custom applications based on open-source technologies.

3. Because corporations don’t know how not to trample the ladybugs (start-ups) when absorbing them into their structures. K2 is a listed company which has incubation and start-up building support on its track record (Audioteka, Oktawave). So we advise corporations on how to handle start-ups and we know how to build their business value.

4. Because corporations have different communication standards in a team than a small group of people in a start-up. At K2, we work in small teams of people each of whom has experience in a different field, which allows us to provide high quality software. We rapidly catch and implement start-up solutions that support us in our work, e.g. Slack, Jenkins CI, IFTT, Axure RP, inVision, and many others.

5. Because corporations have rigid procedures and processes and start-ups don’t. We know what an iterative cascade model (waterfall) is, as well as Scrum, Agile, Lean UX, and Kanban. Depending on the project, we know how to choose the right one.

K2 Disruption Lab is a part of the largest interactive agency in Poland. Employing over 350 people specializing in analysis, technology strategy, UX, motion, mobile, DOOH, SEM, SEO, business development, all of them ready to support K2 Disruption Lab in its operations. We know how to realize projects — starting from the vision, and proof of concept, to designing and implementation. Our competences are 360° of support.

Corporations and start-ups can do great work together (e.g. GM and Lyft, or Coca Cola and Vending Analytics), but very often they need someone with both start-up and corporate experience to link these two completely different worlds together.

That’s why my role at K2 Disruption Lab isn’t limited only to a ‘Hey, check out this start-up’.

Author: Marek Rakowski, check out his LinkedIn profile: https://pl.linkedin.com/in/rakowskimarek

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