Pushing his plan

SRA vet Kriegman wants to meld commercial expertise with government know-how

It wasn't TechTeam Global Inc.'s National
Institutes of Health or
Defense Department customers
that caught David
Kriegman's eye when the company
recruited him to run its
government business. It was
commercial clients such as
Ford, which TechTeam has
supported for 30 years.

Kriegman, who spent 23
years at SRA International
and was then president of Command
Federal, joined TechTeam in August and by
September had written a strategic plan for
TechTeam Government Solutions. One goal
is to double the unit's $100 million in revenue
in three years.

He spoke recently with Editor-in-Chief
Nick Wakeman about TechTeam's strategy.


Q: Why were TechTeam's commercial customers
important to you?

KRIEGMAN: None of the government contractors
? not even TechTeam ? is taking
advantage of the best practices from the commercial
side of the business.

I saw a chance to take the commercial best
practices and integrate them with common
business sense, with government sense.
I saw a place where I could make a
difference and we could provide a service to
the government that I don't see anyone else
providing.

Q: What lessons do you bring from your
time at SRA?

KRIEGMAN: No. 1 is do right by the customer.
When you win a task order, ask yourself,
what is the underlying reason for putting
out this piece of work? What is the underlying
problem? If you craft a solution to that, then
you can convince the customer that you can
help them with the broader problem.

No. 2 is take care of your people.
Employees need to feel fulfilled in their work,
they need to feel good about what they are
doing, about their customers, and who they
are working with.

No. 3 is do not be driven by the numbers.
They are a score card. Put the
emphasis on forward-looking
measures and indicators, such
as the backlog, number of new
customers and number of
large jobs.

Q: Describe the strategic
plan you presented to
TechTeam's board.

KRIEGMAN: The strategy is
to become a real systems integrator; that is, a
company focused on providing a solution to
the underlying problem as opposed to providing
a point solution to a piece of the problem.

You have a little bit of a dichotomy between
the specialist role, where the value proposition
is hire me because I'm the best at this
specialty, and the systems integration role,
which says hire me because I'm the best value
for a total solution.

The key is knowing and understanding the
role that both play and balancing the two.
We need to build the right functional and
technical expertise that will let us put together
the teams that solve the underlying problem
for our customer.

Q: How do you make that transition?

KRIEGMAN: You need people who can focus
on the customers' underlying problem. Those
typically aren't the project people because
they are nose down working on deliverables.
You need someone not on the project but
connected enough to the project to understand
what is going on. I call those people
account managers. We are designating
account managers with each customer.

Where we have to excel is understanding
the customers' mission and becoming that
trusted partner. That is the role and future of
mid-tier companies.

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