1. What event or challenge inspired you to work with NRC?
In 2018, we recognized that we had been underinvesting in the health and stability of our PeopleSoft platform. We held a number of meetings with key stakeholders across our IT, Risk Management, and Finance departments and ultimately decided to proceed with a large PeopleSoft Upgrade Initiative.
2. What type of services did NRC provide for you?
In 2019—when we were kicking off this project—we knew that we would have to plan around a significant amount of firmwide events as well as a surplus of competing priorities. This resulted in a very tight timeline and we felt that we simply didn’t have the internal capacity, bandwidth, or subject matter expertise to hit all of our critical milestones. Having worked with NRC in the past to identify resources for PeopleSoft projects and other Finance initiatives, we reached out and inquired about adding NRC staff to our PeopleSoft Upgrade Project Team. NRC was able to bring in four (4) team members: a project manager, a business analyst, a software developer, and an upgrade specialist/admin. Two (2) of those four (4) individuals are still with us at Baird today.
3. What benefits did you receive from NRC as part of this project?
NRC brought large-scale implementation experience. We had done upgrades in the past leveraging Baird resources, but given the timeline and scope of the initiative, we knew it was going to be complex: a lot of testing, coordination, and moving pieces. That’s where the four (4) candidates from NRC were able to provide their expertise. We were able to drive home impactful accomplishments, successfully reach our milestones, and meet our target go-live date, all within an aggressive five (5) – six (6) month implementation timeframe.
4. What advice would you give to other companies looking for similar services?
My advice to other companies is to be as specific as possible when outlining your needs and what you’re looking for in potential candidates. NRC brought to the table a great balance between capabilities and cultural fit. At Baird, we often talk about our values and cultural principles, one of our values being: “How we succeed is as important as if we succeed.” The candidates NRC provided had the same mentality and helped reinforce that. They were technically capable, had experience with the platform and technologies we were working with, and were able to integrate themselves into our team, values, and culture.
5. What have you enjoyed most about working with NRC?
What I’ve enjoyed most about working with NRC is how it feels like a true partnership. It doesn’t feel like they are a client of ours or we’re a client of theirs; we are in it together, which became evident early on in the process. I felt confident NRC conveyed a stake in the game and shared a sense of accountability to deliver on this initiative. It came across in all of our interactions with the candidates we brought in for our project and our client relationship team. This was also reflected after we went live, and we were able to get together with both teams and celebrate our collective success.