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Remodeling My Bathroom Gave Me a Fresh Perspective on Consulting

Old Bathroom - Taj Mahal - New Remodeled Bathroom

This past spring, my husband and I decided that it was time to rip out our dated, funky orange and green bathroom and replace it with something a bit more modern. Nothing fancy. Just a non-80s, clean, functioning bathroom. Now, neither of us is particularly "handy." And even if we were, where would two working parents ever find the time to remodel a bathroom? And so it began. We searched for contractors. We picked their brains for innovative ideas to make our updated space perfect for us. We evaluated prices, timelines, and personalities until we found the right fit. And the construction began...

During this process, I had an epiphany. Not an earth shattering epiphany, but it certainly a thought that resonates with me: The differences between building a bathroom and building software are simply the tools and the output. And as a Practice Manager for Oracle's Service Cloud Practice, can better support our customers and my teammates by embracing lessons learned along the way. I'll elaborate.

Step 1: Decide on a Project and a Ballpark Budget.

Clearly, we needed a new bathroom. We knew we did not have the skill set or the time to take on the remodel ourselves, so we decided to hire a contractor.  We established a ballpark budget by evaluating the value that the investment would bring, along with the money that we had to spend.

Step 2: Interview Contractors and Gather Bids.

Bath remodel contractors work with tile saws and grouters. Service Could Contractors work with .NET, JavaScript, and HTML. Both bring their experience and ideas to the table and you determine if this contractor is the contractor that you trust with your investment. Every contractor bidding our project had vastly different ideas. My biggest frustration throughout this process was that it was difficult to get anyone to really listen to our needs and wants, couple that with their experience, and propose a solution that really made sense. Some were tearing out walls, building new drains and skylights, dragging the project on for months. We received bids that were for more than we paid for both of our vehicles combined. We weren't trying to build the Taj Mahal. Again, just a modern and functioning bathroom within our ballpark budget. It was hard to get the contractors embrace that concept.

Step 3: Select and Secure the Contractor.

When we finally found a contractor who proposed a redesign within our budget, we knew he was the one to go with. He was consultative. He offered simple solutions to matters that others made complex and expensive. He gave us good reasons to opt for upgrades (e.g. the tile floors will be cold in the Montana Winter, install the heated floor). He talked me out of the super expensive shower door and explained why the less expensive
option was the way to go.

Step 4: Design the Project.

Once the contract is in place, the design begins. This is the fun part, right? For the bath remodel, I was excited to pick out tiles, colors, paint, fixtures, faucets...and after hours of wading through local and big box stores, I returned home completely defeated. The options were endless, and I had no clue where to even start. I work in software, not interior design. I didn't have the knowledge nor the time to get this right. Ceramic or Travertine? Brushed nickel or just regular nickel? Satin or matte? Grout comes in 40 different colors?!?

I didn't have a consultant to help me through the design phase of my bathroom model. I spent hours borrowing others' ideas off of Pinterest, paging through design books at the book store, and talking to helpful hardware folks. I eventually built out a design that I'm proud of. But I sure wish I had an expert guide to help me get there.

Step 5: Implement and Realize Results.

This is where our bath contractor was great! I provided the materials, and he made it happen. He brought in the plumber and the electrician at the right time and created beautiful tile work. He checked in with me every day to show me where we stood on progress and budget.

Our bathroom remodel has been complete for about a couple months now. I'm happy with the results and, unexpectedly, I've energized my professional intentions along the way. In any consulting engagement, it is imperative to understand the client's needs by asking questions about business goals, target personas, metrics, timeline, budget, etc. As a client, you look to consultants in cases where you are typically not the expert. Consultants provide consultative guidance through the entire project to ensure you're getting the solution that fits your unique needs. Proactive communication--whether it's about the options, progress, budget and risks--is the key to building trust and delivering results. My experience has focused my energy to cotinue to build on these concepts within the Oracle Service Cloud Consulting Practice.

The next time you have a project where you can use a little help, consider Oracle Consulting to provide the expert consulting you need and deserve. We'll listen to your needs and help determine the service level that is right for you. We have great options you can choose from:

  • Managed Services - Have your handyperson on standby. Purchase a pool of annual hours to engage Oracle Consulting experts to support configuration, reporting, design, customizations, and best practices on the fly.

  • Pre-Packaged SKUs - Off-the shelf, easy to buy and competitively priced, these pre-packaged services help you get a jump on your projects. Whether you are implementing new or improving your existing platform, these popular offerings include everything you need to take advantage of our most common requests:  Knowledge Foundation implementations, Chat, 3rd Party Integrations, Branding and Styling, Custom Reports, Data Imports, and more!

  • Custom Scope - Don't see what you're looking for? No problem. We can always custom scope your project to meet your needs. To address your unique needs, we offer a wide variety of staffing mixes to support Time and Materials and Fixed Price contracting options.

  • Customization Support - Protect your investment by leveraging our Customization Support package option.Your environment evolves constantly, and that evolution may impact your customizations over time. If something unexpectedly breaks, Customization Support ensures that Oracle Consulting will quickly be there to help. Think of it as Home Owner's insurance...for Service Cloud.

I have two additional bathrooms that could use some professional polishing. Now that
I have a contractor that I trust, I look forward to a less painful remodel the next time around. The next time you find that you need professional support, please consider Oracle Consulting. Contact ask-oracleconsulting_us_grp@oracle.com, or your Sales Manager to get you started.

And if you've had a similar experience of finding inspiration and insight for your job in unexpected places, I'd love to hear about it!

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