Boston College MBA students are helping improve the way we measure productivity
We are proud of the broad community we have built over the past 25 years. Actively connecting and collaborating with local colleges and universities near our Boston headquarters (including Berklee, Framingham State, Wentworth, Northeastern, Boston University, Tufts, and Boston College) is one important dimension of our commitment to community.
Earlier this year my friend Scott McDermott, a director at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, approached me with the idea of connecting his students with a project at Rocket. Naturally, I jumped at the chance! How could I say no to giving a team of second-semester MBA students the opportunity to work with us the way that “real” consultants would and making recommendations we could use to improve our company (you can learn more on the Boston College website).
Since early January, we’ve been working with a team of six students on a project focused on R&D lab productivity. We’ve challenged them to work with our engineering teams across our various labs around the world to see if they can find a way to measure and compare productivity, efficiencies, collaboration, and best practices. While we’ve developed our own methods, we wanted to see if someone coming in with a fresh set of eyes (and ideas) might come up with some incremental improvements.
Our own Chris Pratt has been heading up the effort on the Rocket end, and to date the students have met with engineering leaders throughout the company and across technical domains (mainframe, mobile, and compliance.)
Recently, the BC team came into Rocket headquarters for some in-person meetings, and took some time to sit down with me to talk about the project. They wanted me to answer some questions about Rocket’s past, present and future, as well as discuss some of our internal processes.
They asked some great questions. Some had to do with our history and mission; why did we start the company, and what were our early goals? They asked how our priorities have (and haven’t) changed over 25 years. They asked about our biggest challenges, and how my view as CEO differs from people closer to the R&D labs. And they asked about how we make decisions to acquire new technologies and fund our various labs.
I always enjoy these conversations because it helps me realize that while the company may be bigger than it was in 1990, our early values still guide us today. In my meetings with the BC students I talked about the three principles that encapsulate the Rocket approach:
- Build software that matters.
- Really, really listen to your customers.
- Treat people like people, with respect, kindness and empathy—with humanity.
I told the team that if we keep doing these three things, we think we’ll be able to fulfill the original mission of building something that makes a difference and is long lasting. I had a great time talking to this bright, inquisitive group, and I’m looking forward to the recommendations they come up with as their project draws to a close.