Corlett-Wellstone Ltd. has always been ahead of its time, working with its team of expert associates in a virtual office for many years. When working from home became more prevalent, the Corlett-Wellstone teams were already experts and could continue to perform, uninterrupted, in a highly connected and productive way.
Tracy Batcheler, Client Services Director at Corlett-Wellstone, says, “One of the timely benefits of the way we work and the toolset we use is that we are well positioned to continue effective operations throughout the restrictions on movement, social distancing and face-to-face meetings imposed by New Zealand’s COVID-19 pandemic response.”
Here is more about what this company does.
Corlett-Wellstone is a professional services organization with a team of 30 associates, or independent contractors, who are highly skilled in architecting strategic business plans, from initial concept, to defining implementation guidelines and often, carrying out execution steps.
Project workflows begin with the associates collaborating with clients to develop and submit proposals for the business solution they require. These new opportunities are then posted to the internal Connections community and associates bid on projects that best match their interests and skills. Projects are then assigned to the most qualified associate or team of associates. The associates engage with the client to kick off the project and plan for the work ahead.
Many of the projects that Corlett-Wellstone manages are multi-year endeavors, which can have an 18-month to 3-year life cycle. At any given time, there may be as many as four long-term (multi-year) projects plus five intermediate or shorter-term projects in progress.
In addition to using Connections for collaboration, they have been using HCL Notes and Domino for years as the trusted and secure platform for email communication, scheduling and application development. The application used by associates to express interest and bid on projects is built on Domino and is accessible to the team via the Notes client or browser.
Work Philosophy and Ethics
The Corlett-Wellstone organization knows that the key to success is to leverage the knowledge and skills of all associates. This requires effective communication, knowledge sharing and mutual support across their team. The company has worked hard to establish a professional work environment that aligns with this philosophy.
To support this with technology, an HCL Digital Experience site was deployed, which serves as the gateway to their environment. It allows for communication with external clients and they have established separate site instances for each client to allow for the confidential exchange of project information.
It is often the case that government agencies are clients and adhering to strict government regulations is mandatory for successful project execution. The close and frequent communication — along with a secure DX gateway between associates and the client — helps ensure that work and outcomes align with government guidelines and regulatory standards.
For internal collaboration, Corlett-Wellstone has deployed an HCL Connections environment with multiple communities that serve a variety of purposes. There is a core community, which they refer to as the “mother ship,” which provides a forum for associates to share information and support each other while also allowing the management team to monitor and track overall progress of all active projects.
This spirit of mutual support across the team has resulted in associates working together to provide peer review and quality assurance of key project outcomes with associates dedicating a portion of their time to peer support. This extends to services delivered, as well, so they ensure that project outcomes will be of uniformly high quality and will meet client expectations.
The Connections mother ship sits at the core of the mutual support work environment, with its shared forum. The environment also includes a resource library of standards and practices to provide guidance for the high-quality delivery on all assignments, plus a “public square” community that houses announcements and other general information useful for the whole organization, and individual communities for each project, which often securely contains client confidential information.
When projects conclude its materials are moved to the global Community library so it’s available for reference and potential reuse in future projects.
In general, the Corlett-Wellstone team has an open philosophy on the internal sharing of information on everything about the company and projects — except confidential HR related or client confidential materials.
Bruce Wood, Managing Director at Corlett-Wellstone, says that “at Corlett-Wellstone we recognize that by sharing knowledge across the team, thanks to HCL Connections, it deepens the expertise and strengthens our collective ability to meet client needs.”
Corlett-Wellstone prides itself on keeping its work environment current with the latest features of the latest versions of the HCL solutions. It upgraded to Domino v11 and is exploring Sametime Premium as the chosen platform for both persistent chat and desktop and application sharing (white boards) for potential deployment in the future.
The way we work at Corlett-Wellstone continues to thrive as a ‘virtual office’ operation and only gets better as we move ahead with later and more feature-rich versions of HCL Digital Solutions – Connections, DX and Domino - which serve as the backbone of our digital working environment.
About the company
Corlett Wellstone is part of the new breed of emerging virtual companies. Headquartered in New Zealand, its staff of consultants provides services for strategic business planning, implementation and execution to New Zealand and multinational clients.
About the business partner
Crossware provides award-winning IT services and software and is an expert in professional email signature management and design for businesses of all sizes.