To simplify everyday life through valuable IT products and services. After almost two decades in the market and several awards on the shelf, HiQ's mission remains strong. The 1300 employees at this Swedish IT and Management consultancy keep their focus on creating services that improve people’s day-to-day life. Turning complexity into simplicity is a concept we admire at 10,000ft, so we couldn’t miss the chance to know more about the team behind HiQ and learn about how they work.
What is your company most proud of?
We're proud of many things, but our offer is unique: we have the creative and communicative side of an agency, while being technical wizards since way back. It's our way of combining the value that a beautiful user experience offers with crazy ninja tech skills that makes it pull it off so well.
How do you manage your project portfolio and people? What are some of the challenges and benefits of your process?
We're a big team of rotating resources, in office or out on the field, and each project has its own biosphere with its own culture, routines and habits. We have a few fundamentals that all teams must follow – for example, we all book and schedule our resources through 10,000ft and it's our recommended tool for tracking – but each team must be allowed to have its own temper.
The challenge in this is the lack of consistency: due to the different nature of our assignments, we need to be flexible and can rarely rely entirely on a process or earlier productions or platforms. The benefit is that we can adapt to almost any need and project, and we can pitch on jobs that our competitors can't. They're either techs or creatives, but none is creative techs or technical creatives.
What attracted you to 10,000ft?
Your mindset, which is obvious right from your website and the high visibility and usability of your product. It's easy to scale and easy to adapt to new circumstances – and ours change on a daily basis. And, in all honesty, the old-fashioned ways of most of your competition. This field is fairly unexplored when it comes to quality product, so it was like you and two more that even had a chance of making it to the HiQ Finals of Scheduling Software.
What benefit has 10,000ft added to your company?
It has made our chaotic resource scheduling a lot easier, especially for our Project Coordinator Åsa who now only curses twice or three times a day, instead of ten or fifteen, and rarely because of the tool. It has become essential for teams and individual members to manage their days and weeks, and to track our prognosis for future assignments. To put it simply, things that couldn't be measured before have become measurable, so now we can focus on the skills of people without being blocked by a lack of – or the presence of a mediocre (which is almost worse, actually) – tool.
What's the secret sauce to your success?
I can't tell you that, it wouldn't be a secret if I did. But it's a grand old recipe way back from mama HiQ's days, when people cooked their stew for hours and the steak was left in the oven until evening.
What's your vision for your company in the next 5 years?
We'll be the primary agency for any assignments where the challenge of the creative output is high and equal to the technical expertise required to pull it off. When you're thinking – can this even be done? That's when you call us. We're like Ghostbusters, only tech creatives instead. Which actually they kind of are too. So we're like Ghostbusters minus the ghosts. Although personally, I believe our main toilet is haunted.
What lesson would you give to someone starting out a new consultancy?
Don't compromise on quality. You can compromise on price and deadlines, put in the hours and deliver for a low price to begin with. But reputation is built through quality. Deliver the good stuff and your ability to charge more and create conditions your client must follow, grows. Don't oversell your value when you got nothing to show for it. Don't undersell yourself when you do.