Yesterday the YellowGround team visited an Escape Room where we had to work together to gather information and find a murderer in order to unlock the door. After being locked up in that room for an hour, we could not unsee the resemblance of our teambuilding activity to a Product Information Management project.
When our team entered the room, we were immediately confronted with a lot of scattered information. We did not know where to start searching, because we did not know what we had to expect from the setup of the Escape Room. This reminds us of the initial meetings we often have with customers, where we do yet know what their expectations are. During workshops we need to start digging into their current system setup and understand how they want to handle their product information in the future. Most of the time, their information is managed in a variety of places, such as Excel sheets, ERP’s, mailing traffic, eCommerce systems… and they want to strive to a single source of truth.
Our next step in the Escape Room was to gather all of the scattered information and search for suitcases and closets that had to be unlocked. We put all of the objects in a structured pattern on the desk that was in the center of the room and wrote codes down on a piece of paper. Working as a real team, we gathered all data and determined a logical way to order the large amount of information into one system.
After clustering the information, we started to determine which codes were required to unlock the next step of our puzzle. When setting up a product information management solution we want our customers to approve specifications that we wrote down based on the data gathered before we pass on to the next phase of our project. Only when the expectations are met, we can guarantee that the information is passed through to different channels without flaws. Luckily, we managed to fill out the correct codes in the Escape Room, which opened new doors for YellowGround.
Naturally, a project is nothing without a few setbacks. One of our team members managed to unlock a new phase by finding the location of a laser that we needed to complete the next step. However, the key to our next step was not working sufficiently and we were set back. We saw the seconds ticking away on the large timer, which we planned to defeat.
Fortunately, that is why our team has great and reliable partnerships (supervisor of the Escape Room) to help solve these issues. When our partner noticed that the laser was not working properly, he immediately jumped in and repaired the laser. YellowGround values its partnerships, because good relationships mean that you can escape a room within the hour even with some minor issues.
It has been mentioned a few times before, but a good solution for every problem can only be found when you have a great team. Even before we entered the room a few of our team members were already sharing information about previous experiences. Because of their experience we immediately knew how we initially had to plan our escape.
Because of the different backgrounds within our team we were able to look at the information available from different angles. Each team member really contributed to the entire process by unlocking a next step or finding an improvement somewhere in the process. That is probably the main reason why we were able to achieve great results.
Eventually, our team was able to find the murderer and unlock the door of the Escape Room. The feeling of our success was exactly the same as completing a project for our customers. In the end, bringing together the correct information and making sure that our customers achieve their time to market is what it is all about. For YellowGround customer satisfaction is rewarding enough, but after such a teambuilding experience dinner at a fine Italian restaurant and a good glass of wine was welcome even more!