Interview with Gina Abudi she gives us tips on how her company helps for profit businesses.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, Also share with us how your company help businesses have a for profit year.
I have 20+ years’ experience in a variety of areas, but mainly in project, process and people management. Abudi Consulting Group, LLC helps businesses increase efficiencies and improve for profit through developing and implementing strategy around projects processes, people and technology.
We are a management consulting firm. We work on a variety of projects including, just as a few examples, developing Project Management Offices and best practices, business impact and for profit ROI of training programs, business process improvement initiatives, developing of high potential programs and mentoring programs, and offering a variety of for profit management and project management focused workshops.
The book I co-authored is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Best Practices for Small Business and shares knowledge and expertise in all areas of small business from start up to growing the business for profit.
It is of value to someone thinking about going out on their own, just starting in their own business or who has been in business for a few years and ready to move forward with their for profit business.
2. You have a great career! Share with us how you got started; give us some ups and downs on how to get to the top.
It wasn’t a very long path to get to where I am, but it was an odd one for sure! My first job out of college (although I’ve worked since I was 14) was working in a law firm doing administrative and paralegal work. From there I moved to working at a management consulting firm and got my master’s degree while there. I went out on my own for awhile; then took another job that was a great opportunity and am now back on my own and loving it. This business.
Abudi Consulting Group for profit business was started by my husband in 2006 and focused on business intelligence, application development and technology strategy. When I took it over we expanded to include work around projects, processes and people. I have had what I call my “hiccup” year where I took a job with a small consulting firm that just was not a good fit at all - that was before joining ACG. There have been more ups than downs frankly. I will tell you that for every “down” I most certainly learned something of value. I tend to be someone who is always looking at for opportunities and I don’t mind taking calculated risks. I think that is important if you want keep moving ahead in your career. In each of the jobs I’ve had I increasingly took on more projects and responsibilities just to continue to learn and develop my skills and increase my knowledge. I’ve worked in nearly every area of a for profit business - operations, finance, marketing, etc. That has been invaluable to me in running my own business.
3. How do you market your speaking services for profit?
Initially I applied to speak at a variety of conferences and industry events when “Call for Speakers” came out. My first big opportunity was when I was accepted to speak at the Project Management Institute’s Global Congress. I’m pleased to say that conference arrangers have been seeking me out to speak at their for profit conference due to the branding I’ve done of myself through my blog and my success speaking at other event - word gets around! I’m pleased to announce I’ve finally moved to getting paid for my speaking engagements. Participants who attend my sessions at a conference walk away with practical advice they can apply immediately back on the job along with a variety of tools and templates to use.
4. Prove Your Value to the Bottom Line: Evaluating the Business Impact and ROI of Human Resource Initiative.
I find an increasing interest in determining the bottom line impact (or ROI) of a variety of strategic initiatives including HR focused ones such as mentoring programs and leadership development programs. Both of which have a tremendous impact throughout the organization and can be costly to implement. For some of my clients, the initial idea of doing a business impact and ROI study is overwhelming; but the value in doing so is well worth the effort involved. I have successfully worked with for profit companies to secure additional training dollars simply by showing the monetary impact programs they were running were having for the company. For others, we were able to help them save money by removing programs that were ineffective or “tweaking” them to make them more beneficial to the employees. Business impact and ROI studies basically help the executives (especially the CFO!) see the value to the bottom line of particular programs and initiatives. As we know - executives want to see the money! If you can show how what you are doing is adding to the bottom line, you get the support you need.
5. Give us some tips on Better Manage Your for profit Projects.
Project Management for Human Resource Professionals
Bottom line - everyone benefits from having some basic project management practices and processes in place. When you think about it, we are always running projects - both professionally and personally. HR professionals in particular frequently have a number of projects they are juggling - all while doing their day job! Here are just a few tips:
Develop strong working relationships with stakeholders. This includes spending time getting to know the managers and employees of each of the departments and business units.
Spend time in the pre-planning and planning phase! We talk about 4 phases to successfully manage projects and these two are absolutely essential to the success of the project overall.
Take time to build the project team. Rather than just jumping into working on the project, I recommend taking some time upfront to let the team get to know each other. This increases their comfort level and confidence in working together and enables for a much smoother running project.
6. Developing, Launching and Measuring High Potential for profit programs.
Determining who are your high potentials - those individuals who have the ability to move into future leadership roles within the business - is essential for long-term planning. Once you identify them however - your work is far from done! It is essential that programs are put in place so that these individuals can continue to develop and build the skills necessary to lead the business in the future. Every successful high potential program should include the ability to work in various areas of the business and a mentoring component. The most valuable assets in any organization are the people. And your high potentials are the ones who are going to help you move your business forward - you want to be sure to develop them and provide them opportunities which increase your retention rate and reduces costs in employee turnover.
7. Performing a for profit Business Impact and ROI Study of a Leadership Development Program.
Suggest combining with #4 above as I talk to this case study in that response.
8. Best Practices for Creating a Culture of Learning in Your for profit Organization.
We should be learning all the time. A for profit learning organization is an organization that facilitates the ability to learn for all of its employees and by doing so continuously develops and grows the individuals and the organization as a whole. To start, an organization must strive to create a supportive learning environment. It’s all about sharing knowledge and best practices and providing opportunities for people. The benefits of creating a culture where learning is expected and supported includes the ability to innovate, improved customer service, and retention of talent.
9. Developing a Business Analysis Center of Excellence and to acheive for profit.
First, let’s define a Business Analyst. A BA commonly works with stakeholders to understand their requirements around projects such as software or processes for the business and makes recommendations on how to best accomplish the business goals. A Business Analysis Center of Excellence can best be described as a place where the best practices, processes and “ways of getting things done” exists for business analysts. In particular, we worked with a company that was hiring a number of business analysts (and had a number in place already) and wanted to find a way to help them do a better job. We worked with them to develop a BA Center of Excellence to help elevate the for profit business analysis group within the organization through improving the work done on projects, improving the time-to-market for products and services introduced to clients, and providing training and support to business analysts so that they could continue to grow and develop their skills within the organization.
10. What travel experience changed your life?
A trip to Italy I made with my now husband, Yusuf. It was a nightmare! He got very ill on the trip and almost did not survive. We had, at the time, just gotten together and there was this fear that I would lose him. It made me realize how important and precious time with our loved ones is and I can tell you I don’t take that for granted. As hard as we work on our for profit business we always take the time to take care of each other and spend time together.