“Any chance you could come to us and present this?”
Fabian Streitel & Daniela Transiskus
Fabian Streitel from CQSE
Dani: Fabi, can you tell us more about TGA workshops? What are they?
Fabi: These workshops are basically a marketing activity. They emerged organically from our live conferences held before the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, we advertised our TGA analyses at conferences and people regularly approached us afterwards asking: “Any chance you could come to us and present this?” Subsequently, we visited the respective companies and gave presentations lasting two, three or even four hours. Since then, this has changed – not least due to the pandemic.
The biggest difference, obviously, is that in the last few years we have been traveling to our clients’ sites for workshops less frequently and have been running virtual workshops instead. We run big workshops with many clients where registration is non-binding. And then there are smaller TGA workshops which we run because interested parties asked us to come to their site and present our tool to decision-makers.
And has the workshop content also evolved?
The presentation has changed over the years. In the beginning, there was only a presentation based on slides followed by a Q&A session. Today, we start with the slides, then present our tool with the help of a demonstration and explain how Test Gap Analysis works, how it adds value for the client and what its implementation could look like at a particular company. We also talk about the long-term benefits of TGA on the basis of a study from our collaboration with Munich Re. Afterwards, we offer a discussion round. Questions may be asked at any time during the workshop. We have been told that this is extremely helpful when it comes to imagining what the implementation of TGA might look like for their own project.
How many of these workshops have taken place so far?
I would say 50 per year since 2016.
And what is the point of such workshops? What happens when they are over?
Ideally, we gain more clients. If a client hears something interesting about TGA during a presentation it does not mean that they automatically enter into a business relationship with us. However, if we run our free workshop after the presentation - the small workshops usually take place with 10 to 20 listeners, the big workshops with up to 150 - it becomes a lot more likely that someone will want to take things further. By now, we have gained a lot of experience. We can anticipate the questions that may arise and which jokes are well-received and which aren’t. (laughs)
What does a workshop look like in detail?
Our clients usually turn their cameras off. This makes it less personal but, nonetheless, we are usually able to build a good connection with our clients because they tend to ask a lot of questions. For me personally, remote workshops are obviously a lot more convenient: I don’t have to travel or get dressed up. A pair of jeans and a shirt and I’m ready to go.
Which clients have you gained this way?
Many. Siemens Smart Infrastructure and BMW, for example, and many others.
Has something ever gone wrong over the years?
Of course! Once, after our workshop, we left the self-evaluation kit, but it contained little documentation on integration in complex environments. Today, we try to actively accompany the customer - especially during the first steps in a complex environment. We help, for example, with a pilot or other individual guidance and assistance. Surprisingly during the first remote workshops each one turned out differently: For one client everything worked smoothly, while for another client nothing worked the way it was supposed to. This has now changed, with everything working all of the time. (laughs)
Are there any myths you would like to clear up?
Yes! The idea that we act like salesmen during a workshop and want to impose our tool on potential clients is simply not true. We don’t put pressure on anyone, and the atmosphere at our workshops is usually very pleasant. The participants are genuinely interested and wish to gain new insights from the event.
You've mentioned that you and your colleagues run approximately 50 workshops per year. Don’t you get bored with them?
I no longer break out in a cold sweat, that’s true. However, I don’t miss that feeling from the first few years when I would discover potential issues mid-presentation that would make my heart skip a beat before I realized: „No, everything’s fine. All good.“ However, some difficulties remain: Sometimes the connection’s bad or I have trouble understanding a prospect’s English. And there are times when somebody asks a question I just don’t get. Then I try to give the best answer I can give. I am not easily rattled anymore, that’s for sure. (laughs)
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