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Tags: Culture




We sat down with Erik Przekop, Callibrity’s new Director of Service Delivery, for a Q+A session to learn more about his journey into technology, his goals for the Service Delivery team, and his vision for delivering exceptional business value. Dive into our conversation with Erik below to understand his expertise and aspirations.

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We're thrilled you have joined Callibrity. What drew you to our company?

The focus on engineering excellence was a big draw for me!  I have also been working in big-box consulting companies for the past six years. While this experience has helped me grow as a leader and a consultant, I really prefer a smaller shop. I'm more able to make an impact in a smaller organization, and such organizations are more nimble and better able to take advantage of disruptive forces like AI. Also, some of my prior colleagues are already with Callibrity, and I'm delighted to be working with them again.

How did you get into technology?

My educational background is math and physics. As I was approaching the end of my degree, I realized that I didn't want a career in academia, and I had discovered that I loved writing software. It was an easy pivot to computer science, focusing on software development, and I'm very glad that I did so.

What are your goals for Callibrity's Service Delivery team?

Leading / managing delivery of complex projects is a pivotal role - essentially the "glue" that ensures success. This includes delivering business value to the client, as well as creating a positive work experience for the people on the project. My goals are:

  • To help our clients understand the value that the role brings, and to have a person filling that role for every engagement, whether full-time (for large projects) or not.
  • To help our teams level up their ability to solve business problems, rather than just focusing on specific technology problems.
  • To provide some thought leadership in the community around managing engagements to consistently deliver value.  So much effort goes into creating software, and some of it is wasted unless one takes a holistic approach.

What does Service Delivery mean to you? How have you seen this implemented successfully in your career?

It's all about delivering business value to the end users of what we produce. As much as I love technology, I'm wary of pursuing it for it's own sake. Successful delivery means always keeping the end in mind - what is the value of what we're creating? Does the current step we're working through support that value? Is there something else we could do that would be more valuable?

This value-centric viewpoint is how I have seen organizations grow their capabilities. This is best done by always asking "the V question", and consistently encouraging everyone else on the team to do so as well.

What is the best advice you've received?

"Don't expect the business customer to understand why you follow a particular practice. If you can't explain and defend it, you don't understand it well enough to apply it anyway." While that isn't a catchy phrase, it is an extremely useful one. It is important to understand the why of the agile, DevOps or programming practices we follow, and we need to be prepared to explain that to others. Expecting someone else to understand your area of expertise is unreasonable - talk through it until you reach a mutual understanding.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to get outdoors and walk or bike with my family and our dogs. We have logged a lot of miles on the trails and beaches of Michigan, all year round. I also spend a lot of time reading about the latest ideas in physics, astronomy and cosmology - I'm still a science geek, even though I've never been a working scientist.  I'm also a terrible musician, but I still enjoy playing guitar.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Supportive. With client and technical leadership, I always assume positive intent - nobody disagrees with you because they like being contrary. Conflicts should be surfaced as an opportunity to build understanding, rather than something to be avoided. A key piece of advice for me was, "seek to understand before being understood". It's much easier to explain my point of view if I first understand yours, so listen first, speak later.

With people leadership, I'm pretty similar - it isn't my job to tell you how to do things, but rather to set a target outcome, and support you and give you useful feedback to reach your own career goals.

Tell us about a mistake you made professionally and how it has impacted you. What did you learn from that experience?

It's hard to pick just one!

One that stands out was at a FinTech client in Detroit. Our primary client wanted to "go agile" on the project. This client was a senior executive, but wasn't involved directly in the day-to-day operations of the project. The management culture at the client wasn't supportive of agile practices - they had gone through a botched transformation in the past, and did not see the value in the practices we were following. I didn't address this directly, and instead tried to shield the team from it while quietly just doing things "our way". This led to a breakdown in trust between my team and the people we needed to work with to deliver value, and it took a lot of work and pain to get things back on track.

What I learned from this was twofold: 1) "Meet the client where they're at." We can and should adapt to the realities of the context we're in. It's OK to follow some delivery practices that aren't ideal for our team, while preserving the ones that really are essential. 2) Surface and defuse conflicts early and often. Mistrust absolutely kills success, so it's better to agree to disagree (and go along where you have to) transparently.

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To learn more about how Callibrity can help your organization, email us at to schedule a time to connect.

Post by Callibrity
Callibrity is a software consultancy specializing in software engineering, digital transformation, cloud strategy, and data-driven insights. Our national reach serves clients on their digital journey to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions for ever-changing business models. Our technology experience covers a diverse set of industries with a focus on middle-market and enterprise companies.