Over the course of Giant Machines’ history, we’ve gone back and forth over what we call the business. A development shop? A consultancy? An agency? We played Goldilocks for a while, but none of these quite fit—and that mismatch is how we eventually landed on calling ourselves a digital transformation studio. We’re not a one-size-fits-all development shop because we approach work differently than most. We don’t take instructions and spit things out. Instead, we transform: the digital products, ways of thinking, and skills of you, our clients. Here’s how.
We build trust to drive outcomes
The initial touchpoint of working with Giant Machines is about discovering what success means to us. That “us” encompasses clients and GM collectively. At Giant Machines, we work best when we are working shoulder to shoulder with you. We’re all a team, working together toward a goal. We investigate and understand why we’re doing this work and what success actually means. It’s a matter of developing trust from both sides of the relationship by actively listening to each other and driving forward in a thoughtful way.
“We ask the questions first, form the picture together, and then ultimately land on where we’re going,” says GM Product Director Nicole Rufuku.
Staying aligned on the definition of success is what keeps everyone on track towards the digital transformation we all desire. We like to think of this in terms of the “how” and the “what.” The “what” is the success we’re working toward, and that doesn’t change. The “how,” though, will certainly change. Being flexible to these adjustments while maintaining our definition of success is how we drive meaningful and transformative outcomes.
GM Chief Technology Officer Frank Cantelmi likens this to sailing.
“When you’re sailing into the wind, you kind of tack back and forth,” Frank says. “And then you begin to get longer pushes. You’re always moving toward the same destination.”
The idea is to give your digital product the best chance to achieve what it sets out to do.
“Your product is an expression of a business theory,” says Director of Product Sam Ha. “And what we develop together is an attempt to try that theory out in the market. The array of decisions we make together determine whether we can get the most essential and valuable product released.”
We collaborate to generate quality
Every business partnership requires collaboration of some kind. At GM, we focus on the quality of collaboration, Frank says, working more as co-creators than simply as collaborators.
“Our delivery philosophy has to do with the fact that you are a part of our process and we’re a part of yours. Our aim as co-creators is to bring everyone along on the journey by meeting you where you are.”
Our delivery philosophy places you, our clients, and your customers at the center of our process. Our teams are working side by side every step of the way, communicating and creating in the same tools and designing user experiences that are aligned with brand guidelines and agreed upon design patterns. We partner on everything that goes into building: DevOps, back-end databases, functionality, front end interfaces, design reviews to ensure cohesiveness. This ensures that the product and team that we work with benefits from this process and thrives post handoff.
“We respect and build on the decisions that have already been made and make recommendations as we go,” Sam says. “Our teams can work as autonomously or as involved as clients want them to be, but we’ll always work with them to understand which decisions are worth surfacing.”
We put outcomes over output
The emphasis on outcomes over output cannot be overstated. Our work is not about the features that are shipped. Rather, it’s about the problems those features solve for customers and what business goals they achieve.
“It goes back to the ‘why’ and the ‘what,’” says Nicole. “The focus is not to ship something cool or pretty. It’s about achieving success by solving meaningful problems.”
The other way we think differently about outcomes is that “done” never officially means final. A digital product is always evolving. We’ll get to a point where “done” might mean your team is ready to assume ownership, but that is only once you are fully equipped to run with it on your own, Frank says.
Our enablement services include supporting your team with an immersive focus to ramp up new roles and responsibilities as we pass along the product. The goal for us isn’t to hold the keys to consistent iteration but to give you the keys, the map, and a vehicle to drive forward.