Deploying SaaS tools? Here’s what you need to know about Barbara

Written by Tracey Foulkes

While I’m all for celebrating individuality, there is a massive benefit to being able to put people inside a box. Our deployment team work with up to 300 clients at any given time, each with their own mandate for success. To maximise our results, we simply need to place the client (gently, and loosely at times) inside a specific persona to ensure that we’re better able to match their objective with the ideal solution. This is something we do well.

Environment (Industry + Organisation + Management) *

Personal Profile (Personality + Skillset / Experience) 

= Solution Space²

Above by Kaleb Schiffmann, (TIP deployment consultant)

We have many different ways of identifying these specific personas. Essentials like role, company type and department come into play. Work style, learning preferences and leadership styles are also factors. However, more often than not, we tend to find that boxing isn’t as tricky as it might seem. While each human is unique, there are many traits, quirks and characteristics that are shared with others. Simply looking to science we can identify the natural, and totally normal, resistance to change. Add time pressures, fear of failure and other pain points when it comes to deploying software into the mix, and you’ve already got a couple of boxes ticked.

I asked our formidable deployment team to share some insights (and their thoughts) around their typical client. According to Craig Von Chamier, Kaleb Schifmann, Claudio Mennecozzi and Ben Jones, these are the three most common personas they work with. I’ve embellished them slightly for my own personal entertainment!


Profile: 20’s to early thirties, clean shaven, bright-eyed, big smile and a spring in his step.

Nick is new; new to the team, the company or work itself. Hired because he’s smart and shows promise, he’s understandably excited but equally overwhelmed by his mandate to support his colleagues as they move to using a new SaaS tool. He needs reminding that this is a great opportunity to get to know the work and the people fast (think: speed dating). He’s conscientious but lacks insight.

Bottom line: Nick needs figurative hand holding. While he may be super keen and capable of bringing everyone on board, he needs a mapped out plan that clearly defines the steps from A-Z so he can manage expectations.  Nick needs to know his way around the tool confidently and play to his ‘newness’.  Above all, you need to make Nick look (and feel) good. This is the foundation of his career, take it slow and encourage questions… Lots and lots of questions!


Profile: Late 20’s to early 40’s. Trendy guy; the one who turns up his skinny jeans so we can see his Happy socks.

This dude heads up a team, a department, or a small company. He feels overwhelmed by the challenge of managing his workload, frustrated by the lack of visibility of his teams’ efforts and has the ambitious objective for his tribe to be more efficient and transparent.

He’s fairly new to project management but not fixed on a methodology (just yet!). Kevin works in marketing, IT or engineering.

Bottom line: Kevin needs to feel that he’s in control of what’s happening in his area of responsibility without making too many major changes. This is not his area of expertise; he’s not comfortable nor willing to challenge the status quo and fears losing control by implementing something that he himself isn’t familiar with. Kevin needs your empathy (not sympathy!) as you help him build up his confidence to roll this out to his team.


Profile: Mid 30’s and +. She’s all ‘Devil Wears Prada’ cliche.

Tech savvy Barbara is the business owner, CEO or holds another senior/executive role and title. She knows that having a system in place is their best chance for growth. She has a strong team who knows their stuff and she trusts them as they do her. Barbara is confident and ambitious. She wants the entire team fully deployed ASAP… as in yesterday!

Bottom line: This lady is smart and very on-it. She’s spent time in the tool, worked on the integrations, has most things set up and laid out and ready to roll. She needs your help in confirming she’s set things up for best practice. Based on your experience and expertise, she wants to know if there are shortcuts she’s overlooked or anything else she needs to consider. This is not about stroking her ego (although do that when it’s required), it’s about efficiency and effectiveness, scalability and her team. She is interested in what’s best for the business. Managing time expectations, use-case and change management are important factors to hone in on; you may need to dig deep to win her over – think iron fist, feisty, determined.

Whether we’re working with Nick, Kevin or Barbara (Fred, Xipo or June), it’s important to stay focused on the end objective; our shared goal remains, adopting a new software in the most effective and efficient manner. Remember to stay human.

About the author

Tracey Foulkes

What Tracey doesn’t know about leadership, productivity and teams isn’t worth knowing. With her superhero power of analysing a person’s personality traits, she has empowered the lives of MD’s, CEO’s and their teams globally to achieve substantial growth on their bottom lines. Read her articles, learn, revise and repeat.

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